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 Oil Continues its Slide as Worldwide Oil Glut Continues

November 20, 2014

Augusta, Maine – The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) conducted its weekly heating fuel price survey on Monday, November 17, 2014, and found the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $3.06 per gallon, dropping another 3 cents this week. The average statewide price for kerosene, $3.62 per gallon, is also three cents lower than last week. Propane prices continue to remain stable; the statewide average price, $2.83 per gallon (for heating customers), is only one cent above last week’s price. A year ago at this time, heating oil averaged $3.53 per gallon; kerosene, $3.94, and propane, $2.76.

Speculation continues in energy markets regarding possible OPEC action to reduce its output http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-18/oil-drops-as-investors-weigh-likelihood-of-opec-cutback.html Brent crude, the European benchmark, has declined 29% this year, and is trading at between $78 and $79/barrel this week. WTI, the U.S. benchmark, also continues to decline in price; the per barrel price this week has been between $74 and $75. Analysts are divided on what action OPEC might take – to cut production in an attempt to drive prices higher, or – maintain production to keep its global market share in the face of the largest U.S. production in 30 years. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported last week that the U.S. is now producing 9 million barrels of oil a day, which has not happened since 1983. Some energy market analysts argue that a production cut would simply result in further expansions in U.S. shale oil production http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-18/shale-drillers-keep-output-high-despite-oil-price-decline.html

However, for the time being, the global market signals are for prices to continue their decline. This is, of course, more good news for the 64% of Maine families who heat their homes with oil. Prices are almost 50 cents a gallon less than this time last year, and almost 70 cents lower than the average price for the entire heating season. For a homeowner who uses 850 gallons, even 50 cents less a gallon means saving more than $400 over last winter.

Using this week’s average heating oil price ($3.06), and converting to a common heating unit value (million Btu), the price of fuel oil is $22.06. This compares with an equivalent heating unit value for natural gas of $18.82 (at $1.88/therm); propane, $30.99 (at $2.83/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).

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 17, 2014


Heating Oil

Statewide

Southwest

Central

Eastern

Western

Northern

Average

3.06

3.00

3.13

3.07

2.99

3.18

High

3.40

3.34

3.40

3.33

3.30

3.25

Low

2.70

2.70

2.90

2.74

2.70

3.15

Kerosene

3.62

3.69

3.61

3.59

3.59

3.58

Propane

2.83

2.84

2.77

2.79

2.99

2.78

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 ($2.70) was recorded in two 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