"The Energy Information Administration (EIA), in its 'Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook' (STEWFO) for the 2013-2014 winter heating season, projects that American consumers should expect to see heating expenditures that on average will be somewhat higher than last winter. Average expenditures for those heating with natural gas are projected to increase by 13.4%, while those heating with electricity are projected to see an increase in expenditures of about 2.1%. These two fuels serve as the heating source for about 89% of all U.S. household heating. Propane and home heating oil consumers are also projected to see increased and decreased expenditures, respectively. […] While the price of natural gas is expected to increase, the price of oil has been relatively high over the past year. If the price of oil spikes for an extended amount of time, or if the price of natural gas increases more than projected, heating costs might be expected to rise above projected levels for many consumers. Lower prices could reduce seasonal heating expenditures. Uncertainty exists with respect to the status of funding for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the key federal program assisting low-income households with heating expenditures."
CRS Report for Congress, R42090