10/13/11 (AEIN) With overnight temperatures already dipping into the 20s and 30s in some parts of the northern United States, many people have begun heating their homes. A new report issued by the Energy Information Administration on Thursday predicts record high heating oil prices this winter, even as Congress moves to cut low-income heating assistance funds by at least 30 percent.
The EIA report forecasts an average heating oil cost of $3.71/gallon during the upcoming winter. If correct, this would exceed last year's average price by thirty-three cents per gallon and surpass the previous record high. The report also predicted that household heating bills will rise by eight percent in homes using oil heat, despite a one percent drop in fuel consumption.
Meanwhile, WMAZ reported on Thursday afternoon that Congress is expected to cut home heating assistance funding before winter officially arrives in December. President Obama has requested cutting the budget for this program to two and a half billion dollars, while the House and Senate appropriations committees have recommended reducing it to about $3.5 billion dollars.