(Reuters)—U.S. consumers can expect to pay up to 28% more to heat their homes this winter due to surging fuel costs and a slightly colder weather forecast than last year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected in its winter fuels outlook on Wednesday.
Nearly half of U.S. households rely on natural gas for heat, with the average cost for those homes expected to rise by 28% to $931 for the October-to-March period from the same time a year earlier, the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy said.
The average cost for a home with gas last winter was $724, far cheaper than other major sources of heat.
U.S. gas prices at the Henry Hub benchmark were up about 75% so far this year as soaring global gas prices feed demand for U.S. exports due to supply disruptions and sanctions linked to Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Electricity is the primary heating source for about 40% of homes. It is more expensive than gas at an estimated $1,359 per household this coming winter—but that represents a more modest 10% increase from last winter.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy)