Lowest Recorded Heating Fuel Prices, and Still Falling

January 28, 2016

Augusta, Maine – The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) conducted its weekly heating fuel price survey on Monday, January 25, 2015, and found the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $1.74 per gallon, down an additional three cents since last week. The average kerosene price declined five cents to $2.33 per gallon, and the average statewide propane price declined three cents, to $2.19 a gallon. This week’s average heating oil price is lower than any price recorded by the Energy Office. These prices reflect the current price of WTI (West Texas Intermediate) and Brent crude oil, both trading just above $30 a barrel http://www.bloomberg.com/energy The changes in current fuel pricing have changed pricing for different heating options. Below is a chart that contains costs for each fuel based on the heat content, current fuel prices, and selected heating system efficiencies.

Fuel Type Heat Content per unit of fuel (gallon, cord, kwh, therm, or ton) Current Price Fuel Price per Million Btu Heating Appliance Type/Efficiency Fuel Price per Million Btu (including heating system efficiency)
Heating oil 138,690 btu $1.74/gal $12.55 Furnace/boiler (78%) $16.08
Kerosene 135,000 btu $2.33/gal $17.26 Vented room heater (80%) $21.57
Natural Gas 100,000 btu $1.58/therm $15.80 Furnace/boiler (82%) $19.27
Propane 91,333 btu $2.19/gal $23.98 Furnace/boiler (78%) $30.74
Wood 22,000,000 btu $250/cord $11.36 Non-catalytic room heater (63%) $18.04
Wood Pellets 16,500,000 btu $258/ton $15.64 Room heater (78%) $20.05
Electricity (baseboard) 3,412 btu 13-18 cents/kwh $38.10 to $55.69 Baseboard/room heater (100%) $38.10 to $55.69
Electricity (cold climate heat pump) 3,412 btu 13-18 cents/kwh $38.10 to $55.69 Ductless room heater (300%) $12.70 to $18.56

The Energy Office has a calculator on its web site 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 . Efficiency Maine also has a calculator on its website that can help consumers evaluate their heating options http://www.efficiencymaine.com/at-home/home-energy-savings-program/heating-cost-comparison/

As of January 25, 2016

Heating Oil

Statewide

Southwest

Central

Eastern

Western

Northern

Average

1.74

1.71

1.77

1.72

1.68

1.88

High

2.00

1.99

2.00

1.94

1.93

1.90

Low

1.40

1.40

1.50

1.45

1.45

1.80

Kerosene

2.33

2.46

2.28

2.23

2.33

2.30

Propane

2.19

2.22

2.12

2.14

2.20

2.36

The price for heating oil is a statewide average; 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 highest heating oil price ($2.00) was found in one region in the state, and the lowest heating oil price ($1.40) was also found in one region. 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 generally pay a higher per gallon price. The table above provides current Maine cash prices in dollars rounded to the nearest penny.

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For Immediate Release

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