The outlook is getting better for the costs of keeping warm this winter. The state energy center relies on monthly reports from the federal Energy Information Administration, which looks at various factors to chart anticipated costs of propane and natural gas. And the reports keep looking better.
Energy Center planner John Buchanan says the latest EIA outlook is that a winter anticipated to be warmer than average will mean a four percent cut in use of natural gas and an 11 percent reduction in cost. The outlook for propane is a four percent dip in usage and costs declining more than 17 percent for the heating season.
“I know that households have been struggling…and whenever we have some relief like this, it’s always good news,” he says. Analysts say decreased demand coupled with anticipated adequate supplies of crude oil provide a positive outlook for prices into March. He says some refineries are shut down for winter maintenance. When they come back on line, they’ll be producing winter fuels.