Heating bills expected to drop due to warmer winter, feds say

U.S. households are projected to spend less this year on heating bills due to warmer winter weather, according to a federal stat shop.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistics arm of the Energy Department, said this winter season -- from October 1 through March 31 -- will be warmer than last year, which was 11 percent colder than the previous 10-year average.

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"U.S. households in all regions of the country can expect to pay lower heating bills this winter, because temperatures are forecast  to be warmer than last winter and that means less demand for heat," said Adam Sieminski, administrator of EIA.

Household costs for propane and heating oil are projected to be 27 and 15 percent lower due to lower demand and prices.

Additionally, the cost of natural gas and electricity will be 5 and 2 percent lower than last winter, according to EIA's Short-Term Winter Outlook.

Extreme weather last winter, more commonly known as the "polar vortex," sent demand for heating fuels sky high, increasing costs.

The stat shop also projects that gasoline prices will continue to fall to an average of $3.14 per gallon in December. Prices are currently at an average of $3.41 per gallon.

EIA attributed the drop in gasoline prices to falling crude oil prices.