PRICES: After the Chill Comes the Bitter Bill

It is like paying for punishment. After suffering through weeks of numbing winterkill, Americans are now receiving the highest fuel bills in the history of staying warm. Nationally, heating bills are expected to be up an average of 45% over last year if cold weather continues, a still stiff 35% if temperatures moderate. The average U.S. household will spend $270 to $290 for the October-March season, v. $200 last year, and the total national home-heating bill could rise to $ 19 billion by the time March goes —or does not go—out like...

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