According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US consumer energy expenditures over the past winter were US$ 14 billion (4.4%) higher than in the previous winter. Energy expenditures as a share of disposable income increased 0.1% from the winter of 2012 – 2013 to last winter.
Transportation fuels account for the largest contribution to consumer energy expenditures, followed by electricity, natural gas and heating oil and propane.
Transportation fuel expenses declined US$ 5.8 billion last winter, compared with the previous winter. Prolonged bad weather reduced driving and gasoline costs. The transportation fuel share declined from 58% in the winter of 2012 – 2013 to 54% last winter.
Electricity expenditures increased US$ 7.9 billion (10%) last winter compared with the previous winter. Electricity expenditures include expenses for utilities and are highest during the summer months when air conditioning boosts electricity demand. Nearly two thirds of the homes that use electricity as their main heating fuel are concentrated in the South, which has lower demand than other parts of the nation.
Natural gas expenditures increased by US$ 5.8 billion (16%) last winter compared with the previous winter. Natural gas expenditures, which typically peak in the first quarter of each year because of heating demand, also include the cost of using other natural gas appliances such as water heaters and clothes dryers.
Heating oil and propane expenditures were US$ 6.0 billion (27%) higher than the previous winter. Heating oil and propane make the smallest contribution to aggregate energy expenditures because they are used predominantly for space heating and are used to heat a relatively small number of homes.
Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.
Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/gas-processing/22052014/us_consumer_energy_spending_569/