Wrap up in that bear fur, Jon Snow: Winter is coming and this year it’s going to be a lot less friendly than it was last year. The federal government says American households are going to use more heating fuel this winter than last year because temperatures are going to actually be cold, instead of the balmy weather much of the country experienced last year. Makes sense.
The Energy Information Administration says natural gas heating demand this winter will be up by almost 14% this season, heating oil up 17%, electricity up 8% and propane will rise by 17% for October through March. It still isn’t going to be much of a frigid season, however — just colder than last year.
Demand will be higher than last year but our actual consumption of heating fuels will likely be less than the five-year average for all the major fuels besides heating oil.
The days we’ll need to heat our homes will be more numerous east of the Rocky Mountains compared with last winter, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts that we’ll need to turn the heat on 20% to 27% more days this time around.
We’ve got plenty of fuels on hand for the occasion, adds the EIA, with natural gas as the most popular way to heat almost half of U.S. households.
You know what this means? Plenty of headlines on your local news network warning about things like “CAUGHT IN COLD CLUTCHES!” or “SNOWTOBER RETURNS!” or “[INSERT SNOW/COLD WEATHER PUN DESIGNED TO FREAK YOU OUT HERE]!”