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

High Heating Costs to be Addressed in State Energy Plan

July 22, 2014

Augusta, Maine – The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) conducted its weekly heating fuel price survey on Monday, July 21, 2014, and found the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $3.46 per gallon, a drop of five cents from earlier this month. The average statewide price for kerosene also decreased five cents in the last month, to $3.93 per gallon. Propane prices dropped one cent in the last month, making the average price for propane (for heating customers) $2.82 per gallon. Last year at this time, heating oil averaged $3.42 per gallon; kerosene, $3.82, and propane, $2.63.

The Governor’s Energy Office, Maine’s state energy office, is mandated by statute to create and update its comprehensive energy plan, a blueprint for the state’s energy future. Beginning this week, the GEO is seeking public input about the state’s energy future. As the plan update develops, a primary area of ongoing concern is the enormous financial burden placed upon Maine citizens each winter simply to heat their homes. Currently, Maine is the most petroleum dependent state for home heating, spending more on residential petroleum per capita than any state in the United States. Maine also has the largest percent of its population heating with heating oil than any other state. This combination leaves the state vulnerable to volatile prices, a problem that worsens as the temperatures drop.

Shown below are the top seven states in residential petroleum use per capita, and percent of population living in homes that use heating oil for home heating. It is important to note that Maine is leader for both categories.

The graph above shows an average of the three primary energy costs faced by Mainers each year. This data is based on average prices and average consumption figures provided by the Energy Information Administration. According to the EIA, the average Mainer who uses heating oil will find that on a per monthly basis, home heating is their most significant energy expenditure.

These high costs are the reason heating fuels will play a major role in shaping the Comprehensive State Energy Plan. The Governor’s Energy Office will be developing energy policy recommendations that will work for the state both economically and environmentally. The Energy Office is seeking public input on the plan through Friday, August 15, 2014. Please send electronic comments to Lisa Smith, Senior Planner with the GEO: lisa.j.smith@maine.gov. Written comments can also be mailed to: Governor’s Energy Office, 62 State House Station, Augusta, Maine, 04333-0062; Attn: Comprehensive Plan Update. The Energy Office also welcomes meeting with the public on development of the plan.

Using this week’s average heating oil price ($3.46) and converting to a common heating unit value (million Btu), the price of fuel oil is $24.95. This compares with an equivalent heating unit value for natural gas of $14.77 (at $1.48/therm); propane, $30.88 (at $2.82/gallon); kerosene $29.11 (at $3.93/gallon); wood pellets, $14.67 (at $242/ton); cord wood, $11.36 (at $250/cord) and electricity, $43.96 (at 15 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 July 21, 2014


Heating Oil

Statewide

Southwest

Central

Eastern

Western

Northern

Average

3.46

3.42

3.50

3.49

3.42

3.56

High

3.87

3.87

3.80

3.60

3.60

3.60

Low

3.15

3.15

3.30

3.19

3.15

3.42

Kerosene

3.93

3.91

3.96

3.95

3.90

3.96

Propane

2.82

2.91

2.89

2.77

2.77

2.69

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 ($3.87) was found in one region in the state, and the lowest heating oil price ($3.15) 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