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):

3. Propane: $2,386

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    A propane truck from Berwick Gas Sales, based in Berwick, Pa., is parked at the edge of a gas station in this March 2012 file photo. Nationally, the use of propane is falling because other home-heating options are cheaper.
    Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/File
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Although it’s a relatively clean fuel, propane is expensive and has been losing popularity for years. In the winter of 2006-07, some 6.5 million homes used it for primary heat; this winter, that number is down to 5.6 million, according to EIA estimates. The cost varies a lot by region. In the Midwest, heating a home with propane costs an average of only $1,534. In Maine, propane is replacing oil because it's cheaper to use.

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