Answer Desk: Why are home heating oil prices not dropping like gasoline prices have?

ANSWER DESK: Home heating prices
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 7:44 PM EDT
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(WFSB) – Eyewitness News is digging into home heating prices.

As temperatures turn colder, we turn up the heat and pay the price.

The cost of home heating oil went up big time during the pandemic. It’s come down a bit but isn’t falling the way gasoline prices have.

Eyewitness News got answers about why.

Gasoline prices have come down considerably from the record levels we faced during the pandemic, but home heating oil has only dropped a small fraction.

Why is that? Well for one thing, it’s not the same product.

Diesel fuel and home heating oil are the same, and Europe’s need for diesel fuel has spiked due to the war in Ukraine.

“In Europe half the cars are diesel. Maybe 10-percent of the cars in the US are diesel. There was already a heavy demand. When the war in Ukraine broke out, a lot of Europe was in New York Harbor buying barrels of oil barges,” said Steve Sack, an oil wholesaler.

We’re dealing with worldwide competition, and that brings into effect a lot of logistics.

Connecticut heating oil companies like Tuxis-Ohr’s have been trying to stock up during the summer buying the cheaper price, in an effort to protect customers as much as possible from higher winter prices.

“We are hoping to build some inventory, and if the weather helps out and stays warm hopefully this will be fine,” said Katie Childs with Tuxis-Ohr’s Fuel.

No one, even those immersed in the industry, has the answers.

“I have no idea, nobody knows, it’s publicly traded so we go along for the ride. If you can tell me how cold it will be, or what Putin will do, there are so many factors, that swing this up and down,” Steve said.

It can be mind numbing to follow the price and demand for oil worldwide.

The experts’ best advice is make sure all the little things are done to your home to keep the heat in and reduce the number of times you need an oil delivery.