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Cold winter, rising energy prices could hamper holiday shopping season
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With the winter months approaching, consumers may be forced to have to cut down on their holiday shopping as they prep for critical expenses such as heating their homes.
And this year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), paying for heat is going to take a sizable chunk out of some budgets.
With higher propane prices and slightly colder temperatures this winter compared to years past, the EIA projects that U.S. households that primarily rely on heating with propane will spend nearly 50% more during this heating season. While the Northeast and the South will spend 47% and 43% more, respectively, the Midwest, is projected to spend upwards of 69% more, according to the EIA.
The heating season, according to EIA, spans from October through March.
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The main contributor to this increase will be higher retail propane prices, which are being driven by low propane inventory levels coupled with high wholesale prices, according to the EIA.
At the same time, AccuWeather’s Senior Meteorologist Paul Pastelok projected that it will be a busy winter season nationwide, especially in the Northeast which may see an early arrival of winter weather.