According to government forecasts higher heating costs are ahead for the upcoming winter months, which are considered October 1, 2013 through March 3, 2014. The four ways to heat your home are natural gas, heating oil, electricity, and propane. Natural gas is slated to be the cheapest overall this year, costing homeowners about $679, which is about 13% higher than last year. Next cheapest would be electric heat which would cost homeowners about $909 which is only a 2% hike from last year. The estimated cost for propane is much higher than electricity at $1,666. Finally, oil will be the most expensive fuel again this winter, with an estimated cost of $2,046, which surprisingly is a 2% decrease from last years’ highest recorded prices. Oil prices have risen 35% from 2008-2009. Heating oil could fluctuate dramatically due to high demand of specialty fuels around the world, especially if the winter turns out to be colder than expected. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), 42% of home energy costs go to heating and cooling. National Grid has been offering programs on converting your system from oil to gas, as well as insulation incentives to help weatherproof your home, keeping the heat you pay for in you home.