High crude oil prices are what’s behind a big spike in Maine heating costs.

The Governor’s Office of Energy released a report Friday that showed the current statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $2.94 per gallon – 13 percent higher since the end of December, when the state was plunged into an Arctic freeze, and 32 percent higher since the heating season began in October.

Compared to the same time last year, fuel prices are up 29 percent for heating oil, 20 percent for kerosene, and 13 percent higher for propane.

Citing a report from Bloomberg, the state noted that very high inventories of crude oil globally for the past three years kept prices in check. But those inventories have begun to dramatically decline in the past few months.

Prices for heating oil ranged from $3.19 a gallon to $2.54 per gallon in the state’s survey.

“Crude oil prices are now the highest they’ve been since 2014,” the energy office said.

But it reassured Mainers that although it will cost more to keep your home warm, there are sufficient supplies in New England of all three heating fuels.

Natural gas prices have also risen, to about $1.70 per therm. Nationally, demand for natural gas rose to a record level, largely due to the very cold temperatures across the country and increased exports, it said.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: