The price of natural gas, the fuel that supplies 70 percent of the nation's heat, is relatively low for the second year in a row, and falling. Also, forecasters predict a warmer winter across much of the country - especially in the Southeast, which suffered through a historically cold winter last year.
The situation looks different, however, for those who rely on heating oil, and residents of the Pacific Northwest. Unlike natural gas, crude oil prices have risen sharply from their recession lows, pushing up the price of heating oil 16 percent over last year. And forecasters are predicting a cold and snowy winter in the Northwest.