Cheapest way to heat your home? Four fuels compared.

Not all home heating fuels are created equal. Here's what it would cost to heat the average home in the Northeast with oil, natural gas, electricity, and propane, as forecast by the Energy Information Administration (EIA):

2. Electricity: $1,315

Chuck Burton/AP/File
In this February 2012 photo, a Duke Energy employee works on power lines in Charlotte, N.C. Electric heat is a popular choice for heating homes, mostly because it's inexpensive.

The use of electric heat is on the rise, even in the frosty Northeast. Cost is a main draw, although some homeowners complain that electric heat isn’t as efficient as other fuels. Nationally, about a third of US homes rely on electricity as their primary heating source.

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