Price hikes on tap for 2006: Heating costs: 20% to 40% more
Warm temperatures stuck around longer than usual this fall, but not long enough to eliminate what are anticipated to be the biggest increases in heating costs in five years.
On average, if you use natural gas to heat your home, you can expect to spend $281 (or about 38 percent) more than you did last year, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration. If heating oil is what keeps you warm, you'll pay about $255 (or 21.3 percent) more, while propane-generated heat will run you $167 (or 15.2 percent) more on average.
If you use electric heat, you'll pay $46 (or 6.5 percent) more.
But, the EIA notes, what you eventually pay will depend on local weather conditions, the size and efficiency of your home and heating equipment, not to mention who wins the thermostat wars at night