Heating Oil Prices Hold Steady Despite Increased Worldwide Demand Forecasts

December 3, 2012

Augusta, Maine – The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) is conducting its weekly fuel price survey for this year’s heating season. On Monday, December 3, 2012, the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil is $3.67 per gallon, unchanged from last week’s price survey, and similar to the cost of heating oil one year ago. Prices for propane in quantities used for heating are down two cents from last week, remaining much lower than this time a year ago.

According to the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, the price of crude oil selling on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed to $89.61 a barrel, up approximately 0.8%. Forecasts for worldwide demand increased due to stronger-than-expected Chinese manufacturing activity. This forecast, coupled with fiscal cliff concerns and a weaker US dollar, are factors contributing to the price increase.
http://www.marketwatch.com/Story/story/print?guid=F5E708E4-3D37-11E2-903F-002128040CF6

Using this week’s average heating oil price and converting to a common heating unit value (million Btu), the price of fuel oil is at $26.46. This compares with an equivalent heating unit value for natural gas of $17.00 (at $1.70/therm); propane, $30.00 (at $2.74gallon); wood pellets, $14.48 (at $239/ton); and cord wood, $10.50 (at $210/cord). GEO has a calculator on its web site that allows consumers to estimate home heating costs and price impacts of various energy sources. See http://www.maine.gov/energy/index.html

As of December 3, 2012


Heating Oil

Statewide

Southwest

Central

Eastern

Western

Northern

Average

3.67

3.61

3.73

3.67

3.61

3.78

High

3.85

3.80

3.85

3.85

3.78

3.80

Low

3.38

3.38

3.57

3.38

3.38

3.75

Kerosene

4.12

4.10

4.18

4.10

4.07

4.18

  Propane

2.74

 

 

 

 

 

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 this average. Within the Energy Office sample, the lowest actual heating oil price of $3.38 per gallon was recorded in three regions of the state. The highest price of $3.85 per gallon was reported in two regions. The statewide kerosene price average is $4.12 per gallon, also unchanged from last week. The statewide average for propane based on a use of at least 900 gallons a year is $2.74 per gallon. The table above provides current Maine cash prices in dollars rounded to the nearest penny.

Efficiency Maine links Maine homeowners and businesses with qualified, certified contractors who provide access to energy improvement options. For program details call 866-376-2463 or visit www.efficiencymaine.com.

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For Immediate Release

Contact:
Lisa Smith
(207) 624-7445
lisa.j.smith@maine.gov