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

Crude Oil Prices Fluctuate Slightly as OPEC November Meeting Approaches

November 25, 2014

Augusta, Maine - The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) conducted its weekly heating fuel price survey on Monday, November 24, 2014, and found the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $3.03 per gallon, dropping another 3 cents this week. The average statewide price for kerosene, $3.62 per gallon, was unchanged since last week. Propane prices have also remained steady, declining just a cent from last week, to $2.82 per gallon (for heating customers). A year ago at this time, heating oil averaged $3.56 per gallon; kerosene, $3.96, and propane, $2.77.

For some years, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has been able to set the global price for oil by controlling the level of production. Since 2011, OPEC had been benefitting from prices averaging $108 a barrel http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-23/opec-easy-decision-days-seen-over-by-former-qatari-oil-minister.html . However, increased production by the United States, combined with relatively flat demand worldwide, has resulted in a 30% price decline since June. And U.S. output is forecasted to grow further still, to levels not seen since 1970.

Since early summer, OPEC has watched prices slide as it attempted to maintain its share of the global market. However, on November 27th, the OPEC members are scheduled to meet to decide on possible cuts in production. Speculation abounds regarding the outcome; oil-market analysts are perfectly divided on the issue. The price of crude oil has fluctuated somewhat as a result of the uncertainty. Should OPEC cut production, non-OPEC nations, including the U.S., Norway, Mexico, and Russia, may simply fill that void. So, even if OPEC decides to place limits on production, the long term price effect is uncertain.

Using this week’s average heating oil price ($3.03), and converting to a common heating unit value (million Btu), the price of fuel oil is $21.85. This compares with an equivalent heating unit value for natural gas of $18.82 (at $1.88/therm); propane, $30.88 (at $2.82/gallon); kerosene $26.81 (at $3.62/gallon); wood pellets, $15.33 (at $253/ton); cord wood, $11.36 (at $250/cord) and electricity, $46.89 (at 16 cents per kwh). The price of #2 heating oil, on a btu basis, is now approaching the current price of delivered natural gas in Maine.

These fuel-only prices do not take into account the type of heating system, nor its efficiency. For example, the electricity cost is for traditional baseboard heat. Other electric heating technologies, such as heat pumps and electric thermal storage (ETS), may offer consumers energy savings. Cold climate heat pumps, a recent technological advancement, are much more efficient than baseboard electric heat, so total energy costs are lower than many other types of heating fuels. ETS offers savings by utilizing off-peak electric rates, available in many areas of the state.

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 http://www.maine.gov/energy/index.html

As of November 24, 2014


Heating Oil

Statewide

Southwest

Central

Eastern

Western

Northern

Average

3.03

2.96

3.09

3.06

2.98

3.15

High

3.40

3.34

3.40

3.30

3.30

3.20

Low

2.66

2.66

2.80

2.74

2.70

3.10

Kerosene

3.62

3.69

3.60

3.59

3.59

3.57

Propane

2.82

2.82

2.77

2.77

2.98

2.79

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 highest heating oil price ($3.40) was found in one region in the state, and the lowest heating oil price ($2.66) was also recorded 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.

Download Release (PDF)

For Immediate Release

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

View archived Heating Oil Prices