This is the last update from the Energy Information Agency for heating oil prices for the 2012-2013 season. Price updates will resume in October of 2013.
Home Heating Oil Quotes For the Week Ending March 18, 2013
|Weekly Residential Propane Prices||Heating Oil Prices|
|East Coast (PADD 1)|
|New England (PADD 1A)|
|Central Atlantic (PADD 1B)|
|District of Columbia||4.537||4.594||4.593||4.638|
|Lower Atlantic (PADD 1C)|
|Midwest (PADD 2)|
How do you find the cheapest home heating oil?
Everyone wants to save money. That is an obvious statement. But you would be surprised at how people continue to throw away money on their heating oil bills. Heating costs have been going up over the last few years, what have you done to lower your energy bills?
You would be surprised how many consumers don’t bother to compare home heating oil prices. They just grab the first name out of the phonebook or just stick with their supplier without every really seeing if they are getting the best heating oil prices.
If you are happy with your dealer, that’s great. But you still should check and compare them with other heating oil companies. You may be able to find a lower price.
Now when you do call around and compare prices, just don’t take the lowest quoted price per gallon. Some oil companies will quote a low per gallon price, but will then add on miscellaneous fees for an oil delivery that’s raises the price quite a bit. Always ask if there are additional fees like a delivery charge or a fuel surcharge for the delivery. An ethical oil dealer will be upfront with you with all of their charges.
Be sure to check out the oil supplier with your local Better Business Bureau. They can tell you if there are any complaints about the dealer. This will give you an idea of what type of operation they run.
Heating oil prices, which are paid for by consumers, may fluctuate over time by the area that a consumer lives in. In fact, prices may fluctuate across the country and the world for multiple reasons. Here are a couple reasons why they may fluctuate.
Demand of Heating Oil:
When prices for crude oil are stabilized, the prices for heating oil in the home may rise slightly in the wintertime because demand is highest. There are times that costs may rise rapidly to really high levels. A person who lives in the Northeast might consume 850 to 1,200 gallons of heating oil throughout the winter and use very little for the rest of the year.
Cost Fluctuations for Crude Oil:
Because oil is a large component of the prices of heating oil, the changes in the prices of crude oil can also change the price of heating oil. International supply and demand also affects the prices of crude oil and the supply is affected in part by the OPEC and several other things.
Competition of Local Markets:
Competition in the free market could also be substantial between an area that only has a few suppliers versus a place with a large number of them. Rural areas may have higher prices while those in urban areas may have lower prices.
Regional Operating Costs:
The costs are also determined by the higher costs of transporting the products to more remote locations. In addition to this, the price of doing business through dealers may vary depending on the area where the dealer is stationed. Wages and salaries, insurance, overhead, lease or rent, equipment, and benefits are also all factors of the cost of doing business. There also state and local fees.
What Is The Cause of Surges In Heating Oil Prices?
The price of home heating oil may change during a short period of time because if the dealers and consumers have enough oil in storage and if the temperatures fail to drop rapidly, the price might be fairly steady (assuming the price of crude oil do not fluctuate a lot). However, the quick change to more frigid weather will affect both supply and demand, thus allowing prices to shoot up higher.
This causes the available oil in storage to be used faster than it can be replaced. The refineries cannot normally keep up with this huge rise in demand during the winter months, thus increasing the prices to provide it.
Up in the Northeast, additional supplies may be imported from long distances, like the Gulf Coast or even European countries. This makes transportation more expensive and transportation may take up to two or three weeks. During the time that the resupply from other markets is taking place, the heating oil supply here in America drops down even further and buyers’ anxiety rises in trying to find oil in the short term. Thus, oil prices rise and sometimes they rise very sharply.
In addition to this, throughout the winter month’s prices of other heating fuels (such as kerosene, propane and other naturally occurring gases) may rise even more than the prices of heating oil. In this case, some consumers may switch over from using these traditional heating fuels to the heating oil. Thus, further raising the demand for heating oil.