Heating Costs Rise — Thermometer Holding Past Nov. 6?

Photograph by Thomas D. Mcavoy

The Energy Information Administration said today households that use heating oil to fend off winter’s chill can expect to pay record amounts for the fuel.

As gasoline prices remain stubbornly high even after the summer driving season, consumers in some states are facing another hit to their pocketbooks: Higher home heating costs.

The Energy Information Administration, which tracks and analyzes energy data for the U.S., said today households that use heating oil to fend off winter’s chill can expect to pay record amounts for the fuel. Natural gas prices also are expected to increase.

“It is going to be colder than last year and as a result of that, heating bills are going to be higher,” Adam Sieminski, administrator of the EIA, said in Washington today.

Energy has been a subset of the broader economic themes shaping the presidential race so far, and conceivably higher costs could be a drag on President Barack Obama’s chances if it causes additional economic anxiety in homeowners.

Still, most of the pain, if predictions hold true, would come as temperatures dip in December, Janurary and February. The election is Nov. 6.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney accuses Obama of not doing enough to promote domestic oil and gas production. Obama has countered by saying the U.S. was drilling more oil and natural gas than it had in years.

The EIA also had some good news. Gas prices are expected to decline in 2013.

They stood at $3.81 yesterday, about 40 cents higher than a year ago, according to AAA’s daily fuel gauge report. The EIA projects gas to average $3.44 per gallon in 2013, as more oil comes on the market. By the time the next summer driving season starts in May, the election will be far beyond the rear-view mirror.

See the full report at Bloomberg.com.

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