The Energy Department said earlier this week that the cost to heat our homes this winter will be sharply higher than last winter. 

 

Expect costs for natural gas, propane, heating oil, and electricity to all be sharply higher.

Last winter's warmer than average temperatures and lower demand resulted in the lowest heating costs in over twenty years.

Here is the Energy Department forecast for average household heating bills from October through March:

Natural Gas: Northeast is forecast to see a 29 percent rise for an annual cost of $889.

Heating Oil: 38 percent increase with the average household spending $378 more this year.

Electricity: Up 5 percent with the average household spending an about an additional $50 this winter.

Propane: The forecast for the Northeast calls for an average increase of $346, or 21 percent, to $1,991.

Wood and Wood Pellets: The Energy Dept. didn't offer a cost forecast.