Expect higher energy bills this winter, analysts say. Here’s why.

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  • We’ve enjoyed lower gasoline and oil prices recently, but that may not last.
  • Energy prices could rise this winter, making heating your home or filling your car costlier.
  • Energy costs will depend on how things shape up with Europe’s energy crisis, among other things.

One of the few things to cheer about in Tuesday’s consumer inflation report was the decline in gasoline and oil prices, but it’s probably too early to claim victory.  

Many people, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, warn of possible price spikes that could send shivers through Americans this winter when they see their heating bills or pump gasoline. 

“This winter, the European Union will cease, for the most part, buying Russian oil, and in addition, they will ban the provision of services that enable Russia to ship oil by tanker,” Yellen said in a CNN interview on Sunday. “It is possible that could cause a spike in oil prices.” 

But there are other factors, too, that could make this winter more expensive. President Joe Biden’s 1-million-barrels-a-day oil release from the country’s emergency reserves is set to end in October, Europe’s energy crisis is expected to hit hardest during the cold winter months, and the largest oil-producing countries could cut production, other analysts noted. 

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Which fuels will cost more? 

Prices of oil and natural gas have room to rise, which consumers would feel at the pump and at home, analysts say. 

Oil makes up about half the price of a gallon of gasoline, and diesel fuel for vehicles like trucks and heating oil for homes are distilled from oil. Most U.S. residential sector and commercial sector heating oil consumption occurs in the New England and the mid-Atlantic regions. 

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