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

World Crude Prices Continue Falling with No End in Sight

December 17, 2014

Augusta, Maine – The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) conducted its weekly heating fuel price survey on Monday, December 15, 2014, and found the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $2.86 per gallon, another seven cents lower than last week. The average statewide price for kerosene, $3.46 per gallon, was also seven cents lower. Propane prices remain relatively the same, statewide; this week’s average was one cent lower than last week, at $2.77 per gallon (for heating customers). A year ago at this time, heating oil averaged $3.66 per gallon; kerosene, $4.06, and propane, $2.92. World crude oil prices have now fallen 45% in the last six months. Both Brent crude, the European benchmark, and West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the North American benchmark, traded below $60 a barrel yesterday, WTI for the lowest price (below $55) since the recession in 2009. According to Bloomberg, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, is determined to cope with a prolonged period of low oil prices in order to slow or reverse the rise in U.S. production http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-17/oil-trades-near-5-year-low-as-russia-mirrors-opec-output-policy.html . Saudi Arabia can extract its oil relatively inexpensively, while U.S. producers utilizing horizontal drilling techniques (fracking) have higher extraction costs. So it is a waiting game – OPEC is waiting until prices fall to the point when it is no longer economic for U.S. producers to expand production of shale oil. Unfortunately, this global price ‘war’ has its casualties – namely, countries such as Venezuela and Russia, who have relied on a higher oil price to maintain their economies.
Heating oil, a refined product from crude, and the heating fuel most relied upon by Mainers, has likewise taken a tumble in recent months. In late June, the average price of heating oil in Maine was $3.51; this week’s average price of $2.86 is 85 cents lower per gallon than last year’s heating season average price of $3.71. If one assumes an average heating season price of $2.86 per gallon, the average Maine household heating with oil (850 gallons) will save over $700 compared to last year.
Using this week’s average heating oil price ($2.86), and converting to a common heating unit value (million Btu), the price of fuel oil is $20.62. This compares with an equivalent heating unit value for natural gas of $20.30 (at $2.03/therm); propane, $30.33 (at $2.77/gallon); kerosene $25.63 (at $3.46/gallon); wood pellets, $15.33 (at $253/ton); cord wood, $12.95 (at $285/cord) and electricity, $46.89 (at 16 cents per kwh).

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 December 15, 2014


Heating Oil

Statewide

Southwest

Central

Eastern

Western

Northern

Average

2.93

2.78

2.96

2.83

2.82

3.01

High

3.20

3.20

3.15

3.10

3.10

3.10

Low

2.45

2.45

2.70

2.45

2.45

2.98

Kerosene

3.46

3.53

3.48

3.37

3.44

3.44

Propane

2.77

2.80

2.78

2.76

2.65

2.81

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 ($3.20) was found in one region in the state, and the lowest heating oil price ($2.45) was recorded in three regions. 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