Maine Heating Oil Prices Decline Again; Prices at Lowest Level since Last Summer

April 11, 2013

Augusta, Maine – The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) conducted its weekly heating fuel price survey on Monday, April 8, 2013, and found the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil to be $3.58 per gallon, down another three cents from last week’s price survey, and 20 cents lower than the first week of March. The average kerosene price also fell four cents, to $4.03 per gallon. Propane prices rose slightly ($2.77 per gallon), averaging 2 cents per gallon higher than a week ago. The average heating oil price has not been this low since last August.

Current price declines reflect current US and worldwide conditions. Yesterday, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that US crude oil inventories are higher than any time since mid-1990. And, today, the International Energy Agency lowered its forecast for worldwide oil demand for the third month in a row. Both situations would cause downward pressure on oil prices. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-10/wti-oil-trades-near-one-week-high-u-s-crude-stockpiles-increase.html

Using this week’s average heating oil price ($3.58) and converting to a common heating unit value (million Btu), the price of fuel oil is $25.81. This compares with an equivalent heating unit value for natural gas of $17.00 (at $1.70/therm); propane, $30.33 (at $2.77/gallon); wood pellets, $14.79 (at $244/ton); cord wood, $10.50 (at $210/cord) and electricity, $43.96 (at 15 cents per kwh). The electricity cost is for traditional baseboard heat. Heat pumps, a recent technological advancement, are much more efficient, so total energy costs are lower than oil, kerosene, or propane.

The 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 . Efficiency Maine Trust also has an interesting chart homeowners can use to compare costs of specific heating options http://www.efficiencymaine.com/pace/compare-heating-options

As of April 8, 2013


Heating Oil

Statewide

Southwest

Central

Eastern

Western

Northern

Average

3.58

3.49

3.65

3.60

3.54

3.73

High

3.80

3.65

3.75

3.80

3.68

3.75

Low

3.26

3.26

3.44

3.26

3.26

3.64

Kerosene

4.03

3.97

4.12

4.03

3.96

4.13

  Propane

2.77

 

 

 

 

 

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. This week, within the Energy Office sample, the lowest heating oil price of $3.26 was found in three regions of the state, and the highest of $3.80, in only one region of the state. Also, the statewide average price for propane is based on a use of at least 900 gallons a year. Households using propane just for cooking or hot water may pay a higher per gallon price. 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