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January 11, 2019

Warm December a factor in declining heating fuel prices

Statewide average cash prices for No. 2 heating oil, kerosene and propane all dropped this week, according to the latest report from the Governor’s Energy Office.

According to the energy office’s weekly survey, which was conducted on Jan. 7, the average price for heating oil was $2.86 per gallon, down 9 cents in the last three weeks. The average statewide price also dropped 9 cents and now stands at $3.45 per gallon. The average propane price dipped slightly to $2.87 per gallon, which is just a penny or two below the average price that has held steady for propane heating customers since late October.

Even so, those average prices are still above the average per-gallon prices of $2.59 for heating oil, $3.22 for kerosene and $2.70 for propane recorded for the 2017-2018 heating season.

This week’s report also shows that heating degree days — a measure of heating demand — were significantly higher in October and November compared to last year. The two months also were higher than the 30-year normal calculated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — with October being approximately 50% colder than a year ago.

In contrast, December was warmer than last year and very close to the 30-year average, the energy office reported.

“Higher demand often results in higher prices, and lower demand, the opposite,” the energy office stated, adding that with the warm December, retail prices have begun to decline.

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