Home heating costs are expected to grow this winter because of projections of colder weather and people continuing to shelter at home due to the pandemic. But many could get a break in New England, which is heavily dependent on heating oil.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects a 10% decline in spending for home heating oil this winter while spending for propane is projected to grow 14%. There are projected increases of 6% for natural gas, and 7% for electricity.,

Many families were already struggling to pay utility bills because of the pandemic, so any increase is a concern, said Mark Wolfe of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association in Washington, D.C.

Oil prices remain depressed around the world, and nearly 20% of homes in the Northeast rely on oil furnaces for their primary heating source, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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