Washington -- The U.S. Energy Information Administration said heating bills are expected to rise 3 percent this year over last year, depending somewhat on Mother Nature.
In the South, heating bills from October through March could drop, as winter is expected to be milder than last year in southern states, the agency said in a statement.
In the Northeast, don't forget your overcoat. "Expected colder weather than last winter … will also contribute to more fuel use," the EIA predicted.
EIA Administrator Richard Newell said to expect "the average household spending $986 October through March … an increase of $24 from last winter."