State Heating Oil and Propane Program tracks weekly costs of residential propane and No. 2 residential heating fuels
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 2, 2016) – The Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence today announced the state’s residential propane and residential No. 2 heating oil prices have remained consistently low this fall and are among the lowest nationwide. Warm weather along with steady crude oil prices are the main drivers for costs, reported by the U. S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Currently, residential propane prices in Kentucky average $1.52 per gallon, 27 percent lower than the national average of $2.07, and 48 percent lower than $2.93, the highest average price reported by six states in the New England region.
Kentucky and the Midwest region prices for No. 2 residential heating fuel also averaged lower this week at $2.07 per gallon. The national average price was $2.38 and $2.44 was the average prices reported in the Central Atlantic region.
Regional factors affecting heating fuel supplies play a significant role in determining price differences for customers in the Northeast and Midwest. Heating fuel prices are affected by the volume amount delivered, the method and frequency of delivery, and the location of the dealer relative to their supply location and the customer. These factors can vary widely given the size or infrastructure of a given state.
Kentucky is among 38 states and the District of Columbia with consumers of residential propane and heating oil fuels, to participate in the U.S. EIA State Heating Oil and Propane Program (SHOPP) “Winter Heating Fuels Telephone Survey”. Kentucky and 14 neighboring states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin, comprise the Midwest region.
Each week during the heating season, October through March, Kentucky’s Department for Energy Development and Independence collects prices of residential propane and No. 2 residential heating fuel from 49 randomly selected businesses across the state. Price data collected are transmitted to EIA for validation, aggregation, and publication and used to monitor the prices during the heating season. This information helps states monitor heating fuel markets, especially during cold winters and supply disruptions, such as the extreme weather of the North Polar Vortex in 2014. The rise of heating costs attributed to events such as this can have serious impacts on the cost of living for residents that rely on these fuels as their main source of heat.
While the majority of residents heat their homes with electricity and natural gas, five percent of Kentucky’s homes are heated with propane and heating fuel. Residential consumers of heating fuel can use SHOPP data to monitor the state average price to determine if it aligns with what they are paying. If consumers are concerned about prices, they may call other local suppliers or check with Kentucky’s state energy office: Department for Energy Development & Independence, 300 Sower Blvd., Frankfort, KY 40601 or telephone (502) 782-6965.
Detailed information is published weekly by the EIA Heating Oil and Propane Update (HOPU) http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/heatingoilpropane/