HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Federal energy officials say pipeline bottlenecks that drove up natural gas home heating prices in New England last winter could cause trouble when the weather again turns cold. At the same time, oil prices that once climbed to record territory continue to fall.
The wild card is the weather and how cold this winter will be. Federal officials say if temperatures plunge like last year, natural gas prices could soar 6 percent in the region, far higher than the forecast of 3.6 percent in the rest of the U.S. In contrast, weakening international demand and high domestic production are pushing down oil prices.
That’s good news in the Northeast, where 23 percent of households depend on oil for heat. In the rest of the country, 5 percent of households use heating oil.