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

More of the Same (Good) News – Heating Fuel Costs Continue Declining

January 14, 2015

Augusta, Maine – The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) conducted its weekly heating fuel price survey on Monday, January 12, 2015, and found the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $2.63 per gallon, eight cents lower than last week. The average statewide price for kerosene, $3.24 per gallon, seven cents lower. Propane prices remained about the same, at $2.73 per gallon (for heating customers). A year ago at this time, heating oil averaged $3.81 per gallon; kerosene, $4.21, and propane, $3.17. Retail heating oil prices, statewide, are over 30% lower than a year ago.

The continued decline of world crude oil prices continues to make headlines. This week, both West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, the North American benchmark, and Brent crude, the European benchmark, are trading in the $45 range (for delivery in February). With worldwide crude oil production continuing to increase, prices continue their free-fall, reminiscent of the price declines during the ‘Great Recession’ of 2008-09. Below is a comparison of heating oil price declines during the 2008-09 heating season, and prices this heating season.

The price trends over the heating season appear very similar. In both cases, prices at the beginning of the season were high, then continued to steadily decline as the season progressed. According to energy analysts, it’s a classic case of supply overwhelming demand http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-13/oil-drops-from-5-1-2-year-low-as-u-s-supply-seen-adding-to-glut.html . Despite scaling back future exploration, current U.S. production will continue to increase over the next several months. OPEC has clearly indicated they have no intention of reducing their production. Eventually, higher priced production will fall off, and the excess supplies will decrease, but for the immediate future, Mainers will continue to enjoy low oil prices.

Using this week’s average heating oil price ($2.63), and converting to a common heating unit value (million Btu), the price of fuel oil is $18.96This compares with an equivalent heating unit value for natural gas of $19.50 (at $1.95/therm); propane, $29.89 (at $2.73/gallon); kerosene $24.00 (at $3.24/gallon); wood pellets, $15.33 (at $253/ton); cord wood, $12.95 (at $285/cord) and electricity, $46.89 (at 16 cents per kwh). For the first time in many years, on a strictly Btu (heat value) basis, heating oil costs less than natural gas (for residential customers).

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 January 12, 2015


Heating Oil

Statewide

Southwest

Central

Eastern

Western

Northern

Average

2.63

2.54

2.77

2.60

2.59

2.75

High

3.00

2.99

3.00

2.80

2.80

2.80

Low

2.25

2.25

2.57

2.30

2.25

2.73

Kerosene

3.24

3.34

3.31

3.12

3.20

3.15

Propane

2.73

2.75

2.77

2.62

2.77

2.73

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 ($3.00) was found in one region in the state, and the lowest heating oil price ($2.25) was also 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