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Household energy bills in the US are expected to surge this winter because of higher fuel prices and a season that is expected to be colder than in 2021.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates households that heat their homes with natural gas to pay $931 in the October-March period, up 28 per cent from last winter.

Nearly half of all US households heat their homes with natural gas, the EIA said in its winter fuels outlook on Wednesday.

The EIA forecasts average natural gas consumption per household in the north-east, midwest and western regions of the US to increase by 4-5 per cent because of a colder than usual winter. Residential natural gas consumption in the south is expected to jump 7 per cent.

Henry Hub, the US gas benchmark, has increased 18 per cent from last year closing at $6.45 per million British thermal units (mmbtu) in New York on Wednesday.

Gas prices hit a 13-year high in April as Europe was forced to turn to American liquefied natural gas to satisfy demand after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

European demand could spike again this winter, after Russia shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which delivers gas to Europe, in September for “repairs”. That could cause US prices for gas to jump.

The 4 per cent of US households that use heating oil are expected to pay an estimated cost of $2,354 this winter — up 27 per cent on last year — with the EIA forecasting higher prices driven by elevated refining margins.

Households that heat their homes primarily with electricity are forecast spend 10 per cent more this winter at an estimated cost of $1,360.

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