U.S. residential propane prices stood at their highest level since 2011 at the start of the winter heating season, as global demand grows and supply tightens, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Friday.
During the first week of the winter heating season, residential propane prices hit $2.59 per gallon as of October 4, 2021, which was the highest start-of-winter price since 2011. Propane prices during the first four weeks of the current winter heating season were 49 percent higher than the same time last winter, EIA’s Heating Oil and Propane Update (HOPU) showed.
Propane inventories in the United States are tight and started this winter season well below the averages in recent years. Weekly U.S. inventories are averaging 28 percent lower than the same time last year and 21 percent lower than their recent five-year (2015–2020) average, the EIA said.
Propane is the primary heating fuel of 5 percent of U.S. homes, more common in the Northeast and Midwest. At least 14 percent of homes in Vermont, New Hampshire, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana use propane as the primary heating fuel.
Users of propane will see the steepest increase in prices in their winter bills compared to last year’s winter.
High U.S. retail energy prices, many of which are already at multi-year highs, will result in much higher residential energy bills for Americans this winter, the EIA said in its Winter Fuels Outlook earlier this month.
Compared with last winter’s heating costs, EIA expects U.S. households will spend 54 percent more for propane, 43 percent more for heating oil, 30 percent more for natural gas, and 6 percent more for electric heating. If winter temperatures are colder than expected, U.S. households will spend even more on heating bills.
For the 5 percent of U.S. households that heat primarily with propane, the average spending will soar by 94 percent in a colder-than-expected winter, the EIA said.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- Money Managers Are Throwing Their Weight Behind The Oil Price Rally
- Pipeline Leak Disrupts Libya’s Oil Exports
- Who Will Win The Race For India’s Emerging EV Market?