Maine consortium locks in oil for next winter

Posted Dec. 26, 2008, at 9:27 a.m.

LEWISTON, Maine — Maine’s heating season is barely under way, but that’s not preventing some cities and towns from entering into heating oil contracts for next winter.

A consortium in the Lewiston-Auburn area already has locked in its oil contract for 2009-10 at $1.82 a gallon. That’s $1.63 cheaper than the current deal.

The consortium includes Lewiston and Auburn cities and schools, the towns of Minot and Poland, Androscoggin County and a school in Mechanic Falls.

Lewiston budget and purchasing director Norm Beauparlant said the consortium decided to lock in early for next winter because it didn’t think oil prices would get much cheaper than they are now.

Maine’s energy office says the statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $2.36 per gallon this week, down from a peak of $4.71 in July.