The government expects most households to pay more for heat this winter, although heating oil users will see their bills drop slightly.
Homes using natural gas for heat, about half of the nation, will see costs rise about 13 percent from a year ago to an average of $679. That's still about $25 lower than the average for the winters of 2007 through 2012.
For heating oil customers, there is good news and bad news in the government's annual outlook for heating costs. Their average bill should drop 2 percent, to $2.046. But that's still the second highest average on record, behind last year's $2,092.
Homes relying on electricity for heat, about 38 percent of the U.S., will likely pay about 2 percent more for heat, or about $18.