Heating Oil Prices Trending Upward

October 2, 2012

Augusta, Maine – The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) is conducting its weekly fuel price survey for this year’s heating season. On Tuesday, October 2, 2012, the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil is $3.68 per gallon, a 9 cent increase from our last price survey of August 29.

Heating oil price increases are tracking the increased crude oil prices that started to escalate this summer from a low of $79 per barrel in late June to a current high of $92 per barrel. Compared to natural gas on a heating value basis, Number 2 Fuel Oil is at $23 per million Btu vrs. Natural gas at $3.19 per million Btu While it’s difficult to predict where prices will go this heating season, in mid-October the US Energy Information Administration ( http://www.eia.gov/ ) publishes its winter fuels outlook report. According to a draft of that report, EIA is projecting that heating oil prices will be 4% lower this year compared to last year (US average October-March), while propane prices could be up to 19% lower. However, these projected price decreases could be offset by colder temperatures this heating season. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, September 2011) the winter 2012/13 heating season is forecasted to be 18% colder than last winter. The Governor’s Energy Office has a calculator on its web site that allows consumers to estimate home heating costs and price impacts of various energy sources, including propane, wood pellets and natural gas. (See: http://www.maine.gov/energy/index.html )

As of October 2, 2012


Heating Oil

Statewide

Southwest

Central

Eastern

Western

Northern

Average

3.68

3.62

3.69

3.73

3.63

3.84

High

3.86

3.75

3.80

3.86

3.70

3.85

Low

3.41

3.41

3.60

3.60

3.49

3.80

Kerosene

4.10

4.10

4.08

4.12

3.97

4.24

  Propane

2.64

 

 

 

 

 

It is important to note that the price for heating oil is a statewide average and that prices in a given geographic region of the state may be considerably higher or lower than the statewide average. Within the Energy Office sample, the lowest actual heating oil price of $3.40 per gallon can be found in the Southwest region. The highest price of $3.84 per gallon was reported in the Northern region. The statewide kerosene price average is $4.10 per gallon, up 9 cents from August. The statewide average for propane based on a use of 925 gallons a year continues to show a downward trend dropping to $2.64 per gallon, a 6 cent decline from August, and an 18 cent decline from June . The table above provides current Maine cash prices in dollars rounded to the nearest penny.

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For Immediate Release

Contact:
Kenneth Fletcher
(207) 624-7405
kenneth.c.fletcher@maine.gov