What Causes Changes in the Price of Heating Oil?

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If you’ve been relying on oil heat in your New Jersey home for more years than you can remember, you’re very familiar with the traditional ups and downs of heating oil prices.

But if you’re fairly new to living in an oil-heated home, these price bounces may be causing you concern, especially at the early part of the heating season when you’re about to arrange for a fuel delivery.

If that’s the case, you need to know that daily changes in the market price of heating oil are perfectly normal. That’s because the price of heating oil is the product of factors that are always changing. This makes it next to impossible to predict which way prices may go—not only from year to year, but day to day.

To give you some sense of how complicated the heating oil pricing equation can be, here’s a quick summary of some of the major factors that contribute to it.

Crude Oil

The price of crude oil is the most important heating oil pricing factor. Heating oil, gasoline, diesel and jet fuel are among the many products refined from crude oil. The problem here is that crude oil is a globally traded commodity, which means it is subject to many forces that drive its value up or down.

These forces can include destructive hurricanes that temporarily shut down major refineries. International crises can also have an effect on crude oil production. A recent “wild card” has been upcoming U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Although events like these may not actually lead to fuel shortages, prices around the country—including the prices of gasoline, diesel fuel and heating oil—can all rise based on speculation in the stock market about what could happen in the coming weeks and months. This is often referred to as the fear factor.

Winter weather and seasonal demand

U.S. heating oil prices are typically driven by homes in the Northeast, which consume about 90 percent of the heating oil used domestically. In a brutally cold or volatile winter, prices often rise. Also on a local level, operational costs (including overtime) and even competition between dealers can result in price variation.

How your New Jersey oil heat company can help

  • Your full-service oil heat company has perfected many ways to help you cut your energy bills dramatically while increasing your home comfort. Consider your New Jersey oil dealer your energy savings partner who takes pride in delivering service with a personal touch.
  • During the heating season, your New Jersey oil company will always maintain and ensure an ample supply of fuel to make sure you are warm and safe throughout winter.
  • Your local oil heat company can make life easier with automatic deliveries of fuel so you don’t have to worry about calling for deliveries or running out of fuel when you need it the most.
  • If your heating equipment needs service, your oil heat company will get to your home as soon as possible. The industry has built a stellar reputation for 24-7 response time.
  • Your oil heat company will be glad to spread your annual fuel bills into manageable monthly payments—at no extra cost.

Contact your full-service oil heat company in New Jersey to see all they can do for you.