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What Influences the Prices of Heating Oil?

Understanding the Fuel Market and Current oil Prices

heating oil cost maine While heating oil prices are hitting uncomfortable highs, they will always fluctuate in some capacity. When prices are moderate and stable, most people are just glad their bills are kept lower. But when prices spike—like they have this year—consumers want to know what influences heating oil prices, and why they are what they are.

We know high heating costs are frustrating. And we know how important it is for you to have a dependable source for heating oil delivery that won’t break the bank. We will always do our best to keep prices fair and transparent, and we strive to deliver great value and ways to help manage costs even when prices aren’t as low as we’d like.

What Causes Oil Prices to Fluctuate?

There are four main factors that affect the price of heating oil.

  1. The cost of crude oil. Heating oil is derived from crude oil, which is why the price of crude oil has the largest impact on the price of heating oil. Because crude oil is a commodity—a raw material that can be bought or sold—its own price is driven by the laws of supply and demand. That means the global economy and any issues that affect the supply of crude oil will affect how much you pay to heat your home.

    For the past year, the war in Ukraine has played a role in contributing to global prices, but it’s not the whole story.

  2. Seasonal demand. Heating oil prices nearly always go up in winter when demand is high. On the other hand, in summer, heating oil prices are at their lowest. We do our best to secure supplies for the winter when prices are low so we can pass those savings on to you, particularly through our pre-buy and fixed price plans that are only available during the late summer and early fall seasons.
  3. Regional operating costs. Labor costs, transportation, and storage costs contribute to the price of heating oil just as they do for other businesses and industries. For example, when gasoline prices rise, we must pay more both to get heating oil supplies delivered to us, and to run the trucks that deliver to you.
  4. The weather. In addition to seasonal demand, the weather can play a big role in heating oil prices. When temperatures plunge, even in another part of the country, increased demand can drive prices up for everyone.

And, in areas like the northeast, supplies may be coming from much farther away, which takes longer and costs more. This increases anxiety about short-term supply and drives prices higher.

PitStop Can Help You Save on Your Oil Costs

If you use heating oil in your home, you already know it’s a great value. Clean-burning and efficient, it provides steady, reliable heat energy at an affordable price. And as a PitStop Propane and Fuels customer, you understand that value isn’t just about rock-bottom prices. Real value comes from dependability, quality fuels, convenience, and personal service.

We add value for our customers with free and convenient services like our free automatic delivery service which eliminates the need to monitor your tank levels. We even offer wireless tank monitoring that keeps you in the know about your fuel levels 24/7/365…accessible right through your smartphone!

We also offer plenty of options to help you manage costs no matter what happens with prices or how cold it gets. While enrollment in these plans is closed for the 2022-2023 heating season, mark your calendars for the upcoming summer when we’re able to offer them once more:

The Bottom Line for Getting the Best Oil Prices

When you’re looking for a heating oil provider for your home or business, you want a company that puts customers first. That inherently means offering fair, transparent pricing, but it also means offering true reliability, with products and services designed to make your life easier all the way around.

To learn more or become a PitStop customer, contact us today. We’d love to have you join our family of customers here in Southern Maine!