January 5th, 2017
With some forecasts predicting a very cold and bitter winter ahead, we present our seasonal heating oil update. We will be following this closely throughout the season.
We've used data based on the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which publishes price data weekly on home heating oil in 38 states by dollar per gallon before taxes. Unlike natural gas and electricity, home heating oil is provided by independent retailers.
The latest price for home heating oil nationwide is $2.63, up four cents from last week.
EIA's heating oil data is seasonal -- from October through March. Here's a look at the series since its inception in 1990.
Heating Oil Since 1990Heating Oil Since 1990
EIA breaks the data down into regions and sub-regions. Here we've overlayed the US average with the East Coast and Midwest regions. Notice that Midwest prices tend to be much lower than East coast prices and see more dramatic declines. Currently, the East Coast is seeing $2.64 while the Midwest is at $2.29.
Regional Heating OilRegional Heating Oil
Another figure the EIA tracks is the residential oil supply. The chart below shows the minimal changes in residential heating oil supply since 1982.
Heating Oil Supply ChangesHeating Oil Supply Changes
The next chart shows the New York Harbor (NYMEX:HO) spot prices going back to 1986.
NYMEX Heating Oil Spot PricesNYMEX Heating Oil Spot Prices