December 09, 2019
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How a warmer winter and low heating oil prices could save you a bunch of money this year

Dan MacLeod | BDN
Dan MacLeod | BDN

Remember Christmas, when it was 54 degrees in Bangor?

It might feel like a world away, now that there’s a decent blanket of snow out there, but this winter has been forecast to be warmer than usual. Part of that is due to the so-called El Nino effect, which is caused by warmer temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and is expected to be stronger than usual this year.

That doesn’t make for great skiing, but it does mean one thing: If you heat your home with oil, you’re probably going to save a bunch of money this year.

“A household that spends $3,000 per year on heating oil will save $900 this year,” wrote Daniel Gross of Slate, citing the U.S.Energy Information Administration. “If you [spent] $6,000 last year, you’ll save about $1,800 this year.”

Part of that is because prices are just lower than usual, as the BDN’s Darren Fishell pointed out recently:

The average per-gallon price of No. 2 heating oil, used to heat more than 60 percent of homes in the state, fell about 15 cents since the beginning of December, hitting $1.83 per gallon in the latest survey completed Monday by the Governor’s Energy Office.

And since temperatures are warmer than average, the 64. 2 percent of Mainers who heat their homes with oil will likely save a decent amount of money this year.

Nationally, households are expected to spend an average of $459 less this winter, compared with the Hoth-like winter of 2014-2015. That’s due to 15 percent lower prices and an 11 percent drop in expected consumption, according to the EIA.

Featured article image by Gabor Degre | BDN



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