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What Causes Heating Oil Prices to Go Up?

What Causes Heating Oil Prices to Go Up?

Many Factors Have Caused All Energy Prices to Rise

oil price changes new jerseyHeating oil prices in New Jersey—and everywhere else—will always ebb and flow because many factors come into play. Everything from the weather to geopolitics can influence the markets and the cost of all energy, including heating oil. And, as you may have guessed, the COVID-19 pandemic has also influenced where energy prices stand today.

You can view a history of heating oil prices in New Jersey here.

Supply and demand will always affect price, but almost as often, we see big hedge funds trade commodities contracts based on what might happen in the energy markets, which can dramatically push prices up and down regardless of supply or demand. This is commonly known as the fear factor.

The Energy Price Surge of 2021

Once again, we’re seeing heating oil and other energy prices surge across the board. This is not uncommon in the energy markets, which are prone to volatility, but higher prices hurt just the same—especially on top of a still-lingering pandemic.

To better understand what’s driving higher heating oil prices in particular, we have to look at what’s happening with crude oil to make a firm connection. Gasoline and heating oil, both of which are refined from crude oil, have both risen more than a dollar more per gallon vs. a year ago. As the price of crude oil goes, in most cases, so goes gasoline, heating oil and many other products derived from it.

In October, the price of crude oil climbed above $80 per barrel, a benchmark that hadn’t been reached in seven years. But these price increases don’t end with heating and gasoline. Natural gas prices have skyrocketed more than 150%. Similar to what’s happening with crude oil, demand has bounced back but gas supply remains constricted.

Like a falling domino, higher natural gas prices have resulted in price hikes for wholesale electricity because of our heavy reliance on natural gas-fired power plants.

In its Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects crude oil prices to remain in the $80 range until the end of the year. The good news is that in 2022, the EIA believes lagging supply will finally overtake demand. This should lead to a drop in global crude oil prices.

COVID-19 and Its Influence on Prices

COVID-19 has played a large role in the current state of the market. Demand for oil sunk to deep depths as more countries went into lockdown in 2020. Global supply became diminished as producers responded by scaling back oil input. Now, with the wide availability of vaccines in most countries, people are traveling again and businesses have opened up. But global supply hasn’t caught up with all of this increased demand. When you match low supply with high demand, prices go up. Of course, this is true for many other commodities, not just for heating fuel.

J.W. Pierson Will Always Be Ready to Help You

Rest assured, we will do everything possible to ensure we can make deliveries—no matter the cost or difficulty we face.

When it comes to saving you money, we do our best for you on several fronts. Our pricing for heating oil, kerosene and commercial diesel fuel is competitive, so you know you’re getting a good deal.

We also help you save energy and money with high-efficiency heating and cooling  equipment. We don’t just install the most energy-efficient equipment, we maintain it so it runs at peak energy efficiency. We offer financing and can help you secure all available rebates. And we can give you a FREE assessment of your heating or cooling system to help you get the most bang for your energy buck.

We’re also passionate about reducing carbon emissions. We deliver a superior form of heating oil that blends biofuels with ultra-low sulfur heating oil. This combination requires no changes to your current system, but delivers outstanding benefits.

If you think you’ll have trouble keeping up with heating costs this winter, please reach out to us and let us know. We’ll work with you to find a solution. There are also programs to help eligible families get assistance with their heating payments.