November 19, 2018
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Fuel prices shoot up as Mainers fire up their furnaces

Don Eno | Fiddlehead Focus
Don Eno | Fiddlehead Focus
Mark Charette of Fort Kent delivers home heating oil to a Fort Kent resident, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, during the season’s first big snow event.

Shortly after this week’s cold snap had some Mainers turning up their thermostats early, the Governor’s Energy Office said Wednesday that average residential fuel prices per gallon already are creeping up this season.

The Energy Office’s weekly survey on Sept. 10 found that the average cash price for No. 2 heating oil statewide was $2.77 per gallon, up 7 cents over a month ago. Kerosene was up 5 cents to $3.26 per gallon. Propane prices have stayed steady at $2.69.

However, average residential heating fuel prices increased 12 percent for propane, 14.5 percent for kerosene and 24 percent for heating oil from September 2017 through August 2018.

Heating oil, as of Sept. 10, cost the most in northern Maine at $2.96 per gallon on average, as did kerosene at $3.54. Propane cost the most in southwestern Maine at $2.84 per gallon.

The rise in heating oil prices reflects the Energy Information Administration’s current short-term energy outlook. One month ago, the administration forecast crude oil prices would remain the same and decline a little in 2019. This week, however, that forecast changed to slightly higher prices for 2019, according to the state energy office.

That office said prices can vary over a heating season and with the type of heating system installed. It has a home heating calculator on its website for consumers to compare their heating system with efficiencies of other systems.

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