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 Prices Continue Falling; Now at 2011 Levels

October 22, 2014

Augusta, Maine – The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) conducted its weekly heating fuel price survey on Monday, October 20, 2014, and found the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $3.23 per gallon, dropping another 4 cents this week. This statewide average price is the lowest heating season price recorded by the Energy Office since January of 2011. The average statewide price for kerosene, $3.78 per gallon, is also five cents a gallon less than last week. Propane prices have remained fairly steady; the statewide average price dropped two cents to $2.84 per gallon (for heating customers). A year ago, in late October, heating oil averaged $3.54 per gallon; kerosene, $3.95, and propane, $2.67.

The price for Brent crude oil (the international benchmark) continues to fall, with no immediate plans by Saudi Arabia (the world’s largest exporter) to decrease production http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-20/brent-oil-falls-as-opec-seen-waiting-to-take-action.html . Last week, Brent crude traded for the lowest price since late 2010. Flat worldwide demand and increased production both in the US and abroad, has resulted in price declines of 23 percent this year. West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US price benchmark, also declined 16 percent this year. The Brent-WTI spread has also narrowed; both crude prices are now within a few dollars of each other.

What does this mean for Mainers’ energy costs? Historically, heating oil prices are at their lowest in midsummer, then begin climbing with the onset of the heating season. Exactly the opposite has occurred this year; the statewide average for heating oil has dropped almost 30 cents a gallon over the last three months. If prices were to remain at this level for the season, the average Maine household heating with oil (e.g., 850 gallons per year) would save more than $400 over last year. However, prices are volatile, and a decision by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to cut production may make this a temporary reprieve.

Using this week’s average heating oil price ($3.23), and converting to a common heating unit value (million Btu), the price of fuel oil is $23.29. This compares with an equivalent heating unit value for natural gas of $15.23 (at $1.52/therm); propane, $31.09 (at $2.84/gallon); kerosene $28.37 (at $3.78/gallon); wood pellets, $15.21(at $251/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 October 20, 2014


Heating Oil

Statewide

Southwest

Central

Eastern

Western

Northern

Average

3.23

3.16

3.31

3.23

3.17

3.38

High

3.59

3.59

3.50

3.40

3.35

3.50

Low

2.80

2.80

3.00

2.85

2.80

3.30

Kerosene

3.78

3.83

3.78

3.75

3.76

3.76

Propane

2.84

2.88

2.75

2.81

3.01

2.72

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 ($3.59) was found in one region in the state, and the lowest heating oil price ($2.80) 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