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2012-2013 Winter Heating Costs for Older and Low-Income Households


This report analyzes data from the 2005 and 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Surveys and the January 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook. It examines heating-related energy consumption and expenditures among consumers age 65 and older based on income, heating fuel used, and geographic location.

Our latest analysis shows that winter heating costs continue to be higher for older households for winter 2012-13 due mainly to lower temperatures and marginally higher heating costs. Heating costs continue to be higher for households heating with fuel oil than for those heating with natural gas or electricity.

Winter heating costs are likely to be a greater burden on older low-income households than on similarly aged higher-income households, even though low-income households tend to use less heating fuel than other groups. This report will be updated monthly through March 2013 as new data are released.