A 71% Increase in Fuel Oil: Why New Englanders Haven’t Turned Their Heat on Yet
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
It's one thing being a hearty New Englander and waiting til November to turn on the heat, but it's a whole other thing when you look at the cost of fuel.
Let's talk about heating costs, because it's a hot topic around the office and at home right now.
Heating oil just took a big leap to $5.27 per gallon, up 71% from one year ago at $3.08. If you look back 2 years ago to 2020, the price per gallon for heating oil was $2.04, according to ycharts.com. 2021 prices were up 64% from the previous year.
Let's look at New Hampshire, where the current price of home heating oil is $5.032 per gallon. Just one year ago, the price was $3.22. That's a 64% increase year over year.
Massachusetts is even worse, with heating oil costs up 72% year over year. The average cost is $5.33 per gallon, when it was $3.1 per gallon a year ago.
Heating oil, according to oilprice.com, has been mercurial for the past year.
If you look at newenglandoil.com, you can see the current price of oil or kerosene in any New England state, with comparisons between companies. It's a good resource, but doesn't help with the rising cost of heating a home.
Kerosene prices are higher than oil, with a range in Southern Maine of $6.99 to $7.99 per gallon.
Residential propane gas has gone up as well, but has been more stable in pricing than other heating options. Currently, the price of propane is $3.52 per gallon, which is 33% lower than the cost of oil.
The biggest problem is that wages have not increased at the same rate as fuel costs, nor any other cost, for that matter.
My solution was to wait to turn on the heat, buy an electric blanket for the bed, and bundle up with fleece while watching TV or reading at night, because it doesn't look like work compensation is going to equal inflation rates any time soon.