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By Kaitlin Mulhere
October 14, 2016
Jonathan Newton—The Washington Post/Getty Images

Winter is coming and it’s bringing with it an extra heavy hit to your wallet this year.

Thanks to higher fuel prices and a bitter winter forecast, the U.S. Energy Information Administration says average household winter heating expenses will increase this year.

The administration predicts homes that using primarily natural gas will spend an average of $116 (or 22%) more this winter compared to last year. Prices for natural gas are expected to be at the highest level since 2010-11. Homes that rely mainly on heating oil will spend an average of $378 (or 38%) more this winter than last, as retail prices for heating oil are 15% higher.

Part of the reason you’ll spend more on heating costs this winter is that you spent relatively little last winter, which was unusually warm, resulting in the lowest demand in 25 years, according to the report.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting temperatures that are 17% colder in the Northeast and Midwest and 18% colder in the South this winter. But even those lower temperatures would be about 3% warmer than the average of the five winters preceding 2015-16.

Of course, how much you spend on heat depends on your local weather, the size of your home, and how energy efficient it is. To keep from busting your budget, read our advice on ways to save on heating bills.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

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