WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2016 - The Energy Information Agency says prices for residential heating oil and propane are starting off at the same levels as last winter (October through March), when prices were the lowest in at least a decade.

Based on projections in EIA’s Winter Fuels Outlook, the agency expects households that use heating oil or propane as their primary source of heat will have higher heating costs this winter than last winter, but will still pay less than the average of the previous five winters.

EIA bases the projection on expected increases in residential heating oil and propane prices, as well as on winter temperatures that are expected to be colder than last year, based on forecasts by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Retail heating oil and propane are sold by independent dealers, and these dealers can face considerable supply and price uncertainty, particularly in the event of inclement weather or supply disruptions, the agency notes.

However, inventories of both fuels are near or above five-year highs for this time of year, and EIA says the high inventory levels could moderate any potential effects of inclement weather or supply disruptions which may affect prices.


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