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

Heating Fuel Prices Remain Flat Despite Lower Crude Prices

February 7, 2019

Augusta, Maine - The Governor's Energy Office (GEO) conducted its weekly heating fuel price survey on Monday, February 4, 2019, and found the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $2.90 per gallon, up three cents since early January. The average statewide kerosene price is up 5 cents from early January, now at $3.50 per gallon. The average propane price (for heating customers) has remained quite stable since the heating season began. This week's average heating price was $2.88 per gallon, essentially the same price observed since early November. The table below shows average prices since early November, and also displays the difference in prices between this heating season and 2017-18.

Date Maine Average Heating Fuel Prices,
per Gallon
Heating Oil Kerosene Propane
11/5/18 $3.01 $3.61 $2.89
11/13/18 $3.02 $3.61 $2.88
11/19/18 $3.01 $3.60 $2.89
11/26/18 $2.99 $3.58 $2.88
12/3/18 $2.97 $3.54 $2.88
12/10/18 $2.96 $3.55 $2.89
12/17/18 $2.96 $3.55 $2.89
12/26/18 $2.96 $3.55 $2.89
1/2/19 $2.88 $3.47 $2.88
1/7/19 $2.86 $3.45 $2.87
1/14/19 $2.89 $3.50 $2.87
1/22/19 $2.90 $3.50 $2.87
1/28/19 $2.90 $3.50 $2.87
2/4/19 $2.90 $3.50 $2.88
avg. 2017-18 heating
season price
$2.59 $3.22 $2.70

Crude oil prices dropped almost 40 percent from early October into December, and have since recovered slightly; prices are now approximately 30 percent lower than early October highs (approximately $53 [WTI] to $63 [Brent] per barrel). Despite this, heating oil prices have remained relatively flat over the last few weeks. Below is a summary of the historic wholesale and retail heating oil prices (as well as crude oil, gasoline, and diesel oil) from 2016 - 2018 as reported by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), as well as EIA's forecast of prices for 2019 - 2020.

Short Term Energy Outlook, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Liquid Fuels - Wholesale and Retail Prices, 2016-20201

Crude prices are a significant factor contributing to the final price of heating oil, but weather also impacts final retail prices. As discussed in a press release issued earlier in the season, Heating Degree Days (HDD), is a measure of heating demand (i.e., the higher the HDD, generally the higher the demand for fuel, which generally puts upward pressure on prices). The table below includes the heating degree days for each month of the heating season (through January), and also provides a summary of the heating season to date.

Heating Degree Days (HDD), Selected Locations in Maine, Oct 2018 through Jan 2019

City

HDD

Deviation from 30 Year Normal2

Deviation from last year

Season Deviation from 30 year Normal

Season Deviation from last year

OCTOBER

Colder (3-13%) than a normal October; much colder (46-53%) than Oct. 2017

Augusta

594

90

317

Bangor

614

80

318

Caribout

775

84

358

Houlton

789

106

364

Portland

539

16

263

NOVEMBER

Colder (6-16%) than a normal November; 8-12.5% colder than Nov. 2017

Augusta

964

158

115

Bangor

973

134

122

Caribou

1113

74

90

Houlton

1106

99

121

Portland

883

93

87

DECEMBER

Avg. to slightly warmer than a normal December; 5-14% warmer than Dec. 2017

Augusta

1099

2

-111

Bangor

1142

10

-135

Caribou

1359

3

-70

Houlton

1311

-11

-77

Portland

991

-46

-140

January

Avg. to slightly warmer than normal January; 3% warmer to 4.5% colder than Jan. 2018

Augusta

1418

8

44

Bangor

1433

-25

12

Caribou

1688

-31

44

Houlton

1651

-13

76

Portland

1289

-57

-46

SEASON TOTAL (through January)

Percent colder than Normal

Percent colder than last year

Augusta

4335

192

348

4.4%

8%

Bangor

4464

137

320

3%

7%

Caribou

5374

-85

414

-1%

7.7%

Houlton

5371

72

501

1%

9%

Portland

3929

-46

133

-1%

3.4%

1 Prices are national averages, but heating oil prices are heavily weighted toward New England prices, as most of the country's heating oil is consumed in the Northeast.
2 'Normal', means the average temperature over a thirty year period. This figure illustrates long term trends, as opposed to conclusions that may be drawn from a single year temperature aberration.

https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/cdus/degree_days/

October and November 2018 were significantly colder than the same months in 2017, as well as the 30- year normal temperatures calculated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for those months. December 2018, in contrast, was warmer than both December 2017 and normal December temperatures. January 2019 has been, overall, a rather mixed bag. Temperatures have ranged from slightly warmer to slightly colder, depending on location within the State. So goes the heating season in general. Depending on location, temperatures have ranged from approximately the 30-year normal to slightly (less than 5%) colder. However, compared to last year, this heating season has been colder overall.

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

Maine Retail Heating Fuel Prices, as of February 4, 2019


Heating Oil

Statewide

Southwest

Central

Eastern

Western

Northern

Average

2.90

2.92

2.93

2.87

2.89

2.89

High

3.35

3.35

3.35

3.35

3.35

3.00

Low

2.49

2.49

2.76

2.63

2.70

2.85

Kerosene

3.50

3.59

3.51

3.46

3.45

3.45

Propane

2.88

3.04

2.82

2.87

2.77

2.70

3 https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysismonitoring/cdus/degreedays/mctyhddy.txt

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 (February 4, 2019)

Fuel Price (in dollars) Fuel Price (dollars per million Btu)
Cord Wood ($275/cord) $12.50
Wood Pellets ($268/ton) $16.24
Natural Gas ($1.499-$2.127/therm) $14.99-$21.27
Heating Oil ($2.90/gallon) $20.91
Kerosene ($3.50/gallon) $25.93
Propane ($2.88/gallon) $31.53
Electricity - baseboard (15.8-18.5 cents/kwh) $46.31-$54.22
Electricity - air source heat pump (5.85-6.85 cents/kwh)** $17.15-$20.08
*price varies depending on location; natural gas and electricity delivery companies
service only selected areas of the state. **ductless, air source heat pump calculations courtesy of Efficiency Maine

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. 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 . Efficiency Maine also has a calculator on its website to help consumers evaluate their heating options http://www.efficiencymaine.com/at-home/home-energy-savings-program/heating-cost-comparison/ .

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 found was $3.35, and the lowest heating oil price found was $2.49. 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.

Download Release (PDF)

For Immediate Release

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

View archived Heating Oil Prices