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April 14, 2017 1 COMMENTS

Here's how Maine fared in this year's heating season

With winter officially over, the Governor's Energy Office has released a comparison of average prices for heating oil and propane for the 2016-17 heating season and the previous six years. While up from last year, the office reported heating fuel prices remained much lower than they were from 2011-15.

The Governor's Energy Office reported an average per-gallon price of $2.17 for heating oil and $2.14 for propane this past winter — both significantly lower than the $3.67 for heating oil and $3.13 for propane reported for the winter of 2011-12.

Mainers experienced lower heating fuel prices than the rest of New England, the office reported. Average heating oil prices for the other states were: New Hampshire ($2.35); Vermont ($2.27); Massachusetts ($2.57); Connecticut ($2.66) and Rhode Island ($2.61). Average propane prices were: New Hampshire ($3.37); Vermont ($3.52); Massachusetts ($2.98); Connecticut ($2.86) and Rhode Island ($3.49).

In addition to slightly higher prices this winter, the office reported that heating demand (measured by heating degree days) was about 4.8% higher this year than last year's very mild winter. The 2016-17 heating season, on the other hand, was 12% milder than the 2013-14 and 2014-15 heating seasons.

Comments

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ralph@rturner.com

Freeport
04/18/17 AT 10:28 AM
This is good information and I agree with the decision to publish it in this format, but $/gallon can be deceptive as a comparison of the cost of energy. The published heat values for fuel vary but 138,500 btu/gal is a reasonable number for No. 2 fuel, and for LP gas 92,500 btu/gal is reasonable. Using the figures from this past year, $2.17/gal for No. 2 means that the energy cost is about $1.56/mbtu where mbtu is 100,000 btu; and $2.14 for propane is about $2.31/mbtu. So, No. 2 was much less expensive this past year. Readers should understand that the comparison of the cost of No. 2 vs LP gas energy is constantly changing. Although the figures for this year were better for No 2, a few years ago the energy cost of LP gas was better. Readers should also keep in mind that this is the energy value of the fuel that goes IN to your appliance. The usable energy that your appliance will deliver depends on its efficiency. Efficiencies of different types of appliances can vary from 75% to more than 90%, so it's important to take this into consideration. Your service technician should be able to tell you what your efficiency should be. It would be a great thing for Maine consumers if someone (Mainebiz?) could become a focal point for this kind of information on an historical basis. Thanks.

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