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Heating, Gas Prices To Rise This Winter: National Energy Board

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WINTER GAS HEATING COSTS
Heating and gas costs are expected to rise for Canadians this winter. (Alamy) | Alamy

CALGARY - Canadians should expect to pay more at the pumps and to heat their homes this winter as demand is expected to outstrip supply for all of the energy sources, the National Energy Board warned Wednesday.

The NEB's latest Winter Energy Outlook says Canadians should expect unleaded gasoline to average between $1.20 and $1.40 per litre.

"As a result of U.S. refinery outages in the autumn, including the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and low inventories in the U.S., Canadians can expect to pay slightly more for their gasoline this winter," it said.

The NEB expects crude prices to be between US$85 and US$95 a barrel.

Aside from paying more to fill up this winter, the NEB believes consumers will also pay more to heat their homes.

Despite abundant supply, a seasonally normal winter weather forecast and a slow growing North American economy, natural gas prices are expected to be higher this winter as demand grows, it said.

Prices are expected to range between $2.75 and $3.25 per gigajoule.

Natural gas prices hit a 10-year-low this spring as production increases in the U.S. and an unseasonably warm winter last year resulted in a supply glut. In response to the low prices, demand increased from the U.S. power generation sector and that brought demand and supply into balance by the middle of the year.

Heating oil prices are also expected to rise as refinery outages in the U.S. have reduced inventories, the NEB said. The average heating oil price in Canada, including taxes, is expected to average between $1.15 and $1.35 per litre this winter.

The National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada's energy industry. Its purpose is to regulate pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public interest.

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