EIA Winter Fuels Outlook…comments from the Energy Communications Council

Written on: October 15, 2012 by ICM

Washington, D.C., October 12, 2012 – The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released its 2012 Winter Fuels Outlook., including heating fuel price projections and how those prices translate into what the average residential household can expect to pay in order to heat their home this winter. The EIA expects households who heat with oil, natural gas and/or propane to spend between 15 and 19 percent more to heat their homes this winter than they did last. The unusually warm temperatures during last year’s winter months, combined with elevated fuel prices, account for this forecast. The EIA also expects oil production to increase to levels not seen since 1993.
The Energy Communications Council reminds consumers that the EIA’s projections are simply educated forecasts on which direction the weather, fuel supplies and prices might move in any given year; the reality of the winter heating season may or may not match up with the data they have provided. Additionally, heating oil prices and usage can vary greatly among U.S. states and regions. For more specific information on your state or region, please contact an ECC member in the area nearest you.
The ECC’s John Huber and Kevin Rooney offered the following thoughts in regard to the EIA’s Winter Fuels Outlook. John Huber is the ECC’s chief spokesman and president of the National Oilheat Research Alliance, and Kevin Rooney is the ECC’s primary spokesman and CEO of the Oil Heat Institute of Long Island.
1. ECC QUOTE ON STRONG U.S. HEATING OIL SUPPLIES “We expect the heating oil supply to be plentiful for consumers during the 2012-2013 heating season. In addition to increased supply, heating oil continues to become more versatile as more and more states transition to ultra-low sulfur fuel. These projections, coupled with very stable Northeast Heating Oil Reserve levels, suggest ample fuel supply throughout the winter months.” – John Huber
2. EIA expects U.S. consumers to spend up to 19 percent more on heating oil than they did last year. “It is important to remember that last year’s winter months were some of the warmest in U.S. recorded history. The sheer fact that this winter is expected to be more of an “average” one in terms of temperatures accounts for much of the increase that the EIA projects.” – Kevin Rooney
3. Residential heating oil prices are expected to be two percent higher than last winter.
“When it comes to winter heating prices, more customers are taking the heating oil industry’s advice on how to conserve energy and lower their heating oil bills. Federal and state incentive programs have also encouraged many consumers to weatherize their homes and replace older boilers and burners with new, high efficiency equipment. In addition, the heating oil industry embraces and encourages the use of alternative energy sources, like biofuels and solar powered water heating applications that continue to dramatically reduce the amount of fuel we consume. When consumption comes down, prices go down. And we continue to encourage consumers to speak with their heating oil suppliers about payment plans and programs specifically designed to ease the burden of increased fuel usage during the coldest winter months.” – Kevin Rooney
Read the ECC’s news release on 10 Tips to Save More on Heating Oil This Winter at www.heatingnews.org/eccpresskit.php. The ECC is comprised of the Delaware Valley Fuel Dealers’ Association, the Empire State Petroleum Association, the Massachusetts Oilheat Council, the Oil Heat Institute of Long Island, the New York Oil Heating Association, Inc., and the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association. It is funded in part by the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA).