Heating costs to rise this winter as cold returns

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Home heating

(AP image)

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans will pay more to heat their homes this winter as they feel something they didn’t feel much of last year: cold.

The Energy Department said Wednesday that heating bills will rise 15 percent for natural gas customers and 19 percent for heating oil customers as temperatures come closer to normal. Last winter was the warmest on record.

Fuel prices will be relatively stable, but customers will have to use more to keep warm than they did a year ago.

Heating oil customers, though, are expected to pay the highest heating oil prices and the biggest overall heating bills ever, an average of $2,494. That’s 20 percent more than last year.

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