Advertisement

As weather warms heating oil prices show little signs of decreasing

The Governor’s Energy Office tells us they typically stop reporting data on their website this time of year, but given the volatility, they are continuing their reports.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 6:08 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Maine (WABI) - While spring is typically a time when people fill up their tank for a cheaper rate, with heating oil hitting nearly $6 a gallon across the state, people are telling us they simply can’t afford it.

“I feel very strongly the solution is partially rooted in greater domestic energy production, The people I represent really have very little that they can do on this because it’s coming from supply and demand issues and liquid heating fuels; oil, gas, propane are commodities that are in demand around the world, and there’s reduced production and contraction by what is happening in Ukraine,” said Charlie Summers, President & CEO of the Maine Energy Marketers Association.

President of the Maine Energy Marketers Association Charlie Summers says his team is working with lawmakers to try and find solutions that drive prices down.

“Reach out to whether it’s the governor, state legislators, or our federal legislators and let them know what we’re seeing, and we need our leaders to step up and help us,” Summers said.

Jia Liu is a finance professor at Husson University.

She says she doesn’t expect prices to go down anytime soon.

“For consumers, we still need to be prepared for paying a high price on gasoline, on heating oil,” Liu said.

Liu says while looking at the increase, we need to look at the whole picture as well.

“The inflation rate is about 8% right now, and the wage increase is only 4.8%, less than 5%, which means we are actually losing our purchasing power. People are making less money,” Liu said.

The Governor’s Energy Office tells us they typically stop reporting data on their website this time of year, but given the volatility, they are continuing their reports.

Penquis says they’ve received over nine thousand applications for Low Income Heating Assistance and have helped nearly seven thousand access those benefits.

“If you have applied during this heating season and you find yourself at a quarter of a tank or less, or if you have a broken payment arrangement and a disconnect with electric, give us a call and we can try and get you some emergency funds,” said Lynn Lugdon, fuel program director at Penquis.

For people who are over the income cap, Penquis says their Good Neighbor program could help as well with around 100 gallons or more.

Summers recommends talking with your fuel provider.

“These are by and large generational businesses, people who have grown up in the business. They know their customers, and they understand the difficulties that everyone is facing because they’re facing it themselves as retailers,” Summers said.

Summers says they’re looking to next season with hesitation and hope that they can provide some stability to their customers.

Copyright 2022 WABI. All rights reserved.