Current Heating Fuel Prices

The Governor's Energy Office (GEO) conducts a weekly survey of heating fuel prices during the heating season from the beginning of October to the end of March. During the rest of the year, the GEO releases a bi-weekly update.

Please Note: The price for the various heating fuels are statewide averages, and prices in a given geographic region of the state may be considerably higher or lower than this average. Also, the statewide average price for propane, like heating oil, is a spot price, not a pre-buy price. The spot price for propane is based on a use of at least 900 gallons a year. Households using propane just for cooking or hot water generally pay a higher per gallon price. The table listed in our weekly price survey provides current Maine cash prices in dollars rounded to the nearest penny.

The Energy Office has a calculator on its web site that allows consumers to obtain more detailed estimates of home heating costs, and the price impacts of various types of fuel, heating systems and heating appliances. Heating costs vary considerably from home to home. The home heating calculator can assist homeowners in finding the best heating option for their home, location, lifestyle, and budget. Home Heating Calculator

Despite Cold Temps This Week, Maine Heating Fuel Prices are the Lowest in Almost Two Years

November 14, 2019

Augusta, Maine – The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) conducted its weekly heating fuel price survey on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, and found the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $2.64 per gallon. Maine hasn’t seen prices this low for almost two years. The average statewide kerosene price was $3.21 per gallon, a price also not seen since December of 2017. This week’s average propane price of $2.45 per gallon (for heating customers) has not been this low since September of 2017. The table below shows average monthly prices October 2018; average heating season prices for the 2018-19 season, prices from October 2019, and this week’s prices. Overall, heating fuel prices this week are approximately 10% to almost 14% lower this week than they were in October last year.

Date

Maine Average Retail Heating Fuel Prices, per Gallon

Heating Oil

Kerosene

Propane¹

October 2018

$2.98

$3.56

$2.84

Average 2018-19

Heating season prices²

$2.90

$3.53

$2.87

October 2019 (avg.)

$2.65

$3.21

$2.44

November 12, 2019

$2.64

$3.21

$2.45

Percent decrease from October 2018 to November 4, 2019

11.4%

9.8%

13.7%

¹price is based on an annual consumption of 900 gallons

²heating season is October through March

Over the last few months, several market-influencing factors have affected the price of crude oil, which in turn impacts the retail price of delivered fuels (heating oil, kerosene, and propane). Crude oil prices now stand at between $57 (West Texas Intermediate, the North American benchmark price) and $62 (Brent, the European benchmark price) per barrel. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in its October 2019 Winter Fuels Outlook, forecasted crude prices (Brent) to be in the $59 per barrel range for the remainder of the 2019-20 heating season https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/special/winter/2019winterfuels.pdf . The EIA expects these lower crude prices to be offset somewhat by higher refinery margins, but, overall, heating fuel prices are expected to be slightly lower this year in the Northeast. Propane prices are expected to have the largest price declines over last year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasted colder temperatures in Maine this week and next https://www.eia.gov/special/heatingfuels/resources/Propane_Briefing.pdf ; however, NOAA’s overall winter forecast for the Northeast includes a higher probability of slightly warmer temperatures. These expected warmer temperatures, combined with lower heating fuel costs, means Mainers may be spending a little less to heat their homes this winter https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/tables/pdf/wf-table.pdf .

Below is a table of prices collected for various regions of the state.

Maine Retail Heating Fuel Prices, as of November 12, 2019

Heating Oil

Statewide

Southwest/ West- Central

Southeast/ Greater Portland

Central

East/ Downeast

Northern

Average

2.64

2.57

2.58

2.63

2.70

2.73

High

2.98

2.90

2.79

2.80

2.98

2.85

Low

2.38

2.40

2.40

2.40

2.38

2.56

Kerosene

3.21

3.10

3.20

3.22

3.26

3.24

Propane

2.45

2.64

2.53

2.32

2.48

2.27

The price for heating oil is a statewide average; prices in a single geographic region of the state may be considerably higher or lower than this average. This week, within the Energy Office sample, the highest heating oil price found was $2.98, and the lowest heating oil price found was $2.38. In addition, the statewide average price for propane is based on consumption of at least 900 gallons a year. Households using propane just for cooking or hot water generally pay a higher per-gallon price. The table above provides current Maine cash prices in dollars rounded to the nearest penny.

Based on this week’s prices, Mainers can estimate the cost of heating by using the table below. Prices between various heating fuels are listed, and these prices are converted to a common heating unit value (dollars per million Btu).

Comparison of Heating Fuel Prices, $ per Million Btu (11-12-19)

Fuel Price (in dollars)

Fuel Price (dollars per million Btu)

Cord Wood ($275/cord)

$12.50

Wood Pellets ($268/ton)

$16.24

Natural Gas ($1.20-$1.82/therm)¹

$12.01-$18.24

Heating Oil ($2.64 /gallon)

$19.04

Kerosene ($3.21/gallon)

$23.78

Propane ($2.45/gallon)

$26.82

Electricity - baseboard (15.7-18.5 cents/kwh)¹

$46.31-$54.22

¹price varies depending on location; natural gas and electricity delivery companies

operate only in selected areas of the state.

Fuel prices are only part of the calculation when determining which fuel will save you more money over the course of a heating season. The type of heating system and its efficiency are also important factors in determining final costs. For example, an energy efficient, cold climate heat pump uses electricity to provide heat, but does at a much lower cost than electric baseboard heating. Below is an estimate of the cost of electricity when considering the heat pump’s efficiency.

Electricity - air source heat pump (5.85-6.85 cents/kwh)

$17.15- $20.08 (per million Btu)

ductless, air source heat pump calculations courtesy of Efficiency Maine

The Energy Office has a calculator on its website that allows consumers to explore these fuel options further, as well as compare efficiencies of heating systems most closely matching their own system. Heating costs vary considerably from home to home. The home-heating calculator can assist homeowners in finding the best heating option for their home, location, lifestyle and budget http://www.maine.gov/energy/index.html .

Download Release (PDF)

For Immediate Release

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

View archived Heating Oil Prices