Data: EIA; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Here's one more way the pandemic is hitting people's finances: New federal projections show higher winter heating bills, and COVID-19 is partly to blame.

Driving the news: Households that heat with gas, electricity and propane are expected to pay more on average this winter, while heating oil users may see lower bills, per an Energy Information Administration outlook.

The big picture: "More people are working and attending school from home this year, which EIA expects will increase demand for space heating at any given temperature relative to past winters," the agency said.

  • NOAA also is forecasting that this winter will be colder than 2019–2020, which would increase home heating needs, the report states.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 15, 2020 - Economy & Business

Working from home is driving up power bills

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Residential electricity consumption rose 10% in the second quarter as the pandemic kept many people at home, new research shows.

Why it matters: The new paper from Tufts University economist Steve Cicala is another window onto how COVID-19 is shifting energy use patterns and creating financial hardship.

Dave Lawler, author of World
17 mins ago - World

Special report: Trump's hopes of nuclear deal with Putin come down to the wire

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A surprise offer from Vladimir Putin has the U.S. and Russia once again circling a potential pre-election nuclear deal.

The big picture: The last treaty constraining the U.S. and Russia, New START, is due to expire on Feb. 5, 2021, two weeks after the next U.S. presidential inauguration. For the first time since the height of the Cold War, the nuclear guardrails could come off.

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.