Types of Heating Oil Boilers
Know What You Have & When to Replace It
There are two main types of boilers found in New Jersey homes: a steam boiler, most often found in older homes, and the modern, and more energy-efficient, hot water boiler. Steam boilers require special safety precautions because of the temperature of the steam (the water must be heated to 212°F). As a result, it is vitally important to follow a regular maintenance schedule.
Your boiler extracts heat from heating oil as it burns; this heats the water (or creates steam) that will run through the zones that are calling for heat. The heat is delivered through your radiators or baseboards.
The problem is that some heat (as much as 30% in some older boiler models) will be lost as exhaust, which means you are paying a lot of money for heat that will never reach your living space.
A more efficient version of the hot water boiler is the condensing boiler, which is designed to keep heat loss to a minimum. By recycling heat from the exhaust process – and by operating at lower temperatures overall – your condensing boiler can improve operating efficiency by 10-15% compared to a non-condensing boiler.
However, a condensing boiler is not practical for all homes. Plus, condensing boilers cost more to manufacture. Installing a condensing boiler correctly requires highly trained technicians who know how to capitalize on the efficiency benefits of these sophisticated heating systems.
Five Warning Signs
Like any piece of equipment, your boiler will eventually have to be replaced one day. Here are five signs that will help you determine if a replacement system is in order.
If your boiler’s age is close to 20 years old–or older–you’ll save money on your annual heating costs by replacing it with a new, more efficient system. New oil boilers heat your home using significantly less energy compared to older generation equipment.
- Signs of Corrosion
Just like your water heater, if you see outward signs of rust on your boiler, its time is running out. A professional inspection may also reveal damage to piping or other boiler components.
- Your Comfort Levels
Is your old boiler keeping you warm enough? A properly working oil boiler should keep you comfortable even on the coldest New Jersey nights, but a boiler’s operating performance diminishes with the passage of time.
- Your Heating costs Continue to Rise
Your boiler’s efficiency slowly degrades the older it gets. Lower efficiency means higher heating costs. Add in a higher number of repairs for an old system and this is another strong sign that you would do well to let go of your old oil boiler and upgrade to a new one.
- Diminished Hot Water Production
If you depend on your boiler to heat your domestic hot water—and you’re not getting as much hot water as before–this could be a sign of a leaking or corroded coil on the boiler, a warning of potential boiler failure.
Understanding Today’s Heating Oil Systems
The latest oil boilers (as well as furnaces) are small, smart and super-efficient and can save you 20% or more on your annual heating costs. There are many different equipment options to fit your budget and your local heating oil company has expertise in all types and models of oil heating equipment.
To see how you can save on heating costs with a new, high-efficiency system, reach out to your local heating oil service provider and they’ll be glad to crunch some numbers for you. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much you could actually save. Equipment rebates for new boilers are also available! Read more here.
Should I Stay with Heating Oil?
Factors to Consider Before You Convert
It’s no surprise that New Jerseyans who heat their home with oil may be thinking of converting to a different home heating fuel to escape the stress of paying giant heating oil delivery bills next winter. That’s a valid worry, especially if we don’t see relief soon from our current shockingly high fuel prices.
Just remember, however, that the problem of high prices is not limited to heating oil. All energy sources have been affected. But if history is a guide, we can expect to see heating oil prices drop pretty significantly in the not-too-distant future.
Oil Prices Rise and Fall—Sometimes Dramatically
During the Great Recession, crude oil prices dropped from a high of about $134 per barrel in June 2008 all the way to under $40 per barrel by February 2009.
While that may seem like a distant memory by now to many people, most of us clearly remember the shocking fall of crude oil prices during the early days of the pandemic.
In the Spring of 2020, when many of us were locked down and cooped up in our homes, crude oil prices had actually briefly fallen to negative $30 per barrel because demand for oil had hit rock bottom. Traders actually had to pay buyers to take oil! This was only a brief aberration, however, and since then, prices have been steadily rising as global demand went up before they skyrocketed due to the war in Ukraine. This sent shivers through the energy markets and beyond.
The Cost of Conversion
If you do decide to convert to another home heating fuel, be aware that the payback on energy savings could take much longer than you anticipate. That’s because the upfront cost to convert a heating fuel system alone can be expensive.
Plus, it really doesn’t benefit you to switch to a less efficient fuel when heating oil can keep you warm even on the coldest of nights. Read more.
Why Heating Oil Keeps Your Home Warm
Heating oil generates a very high number of Btu’s of heat energy per gallon, so it will warm your New Jersey home reliably—and more evenly.
Modern, efficient heating oil systems in well-insulated homes can help homeowners achieve the same amount of warmth while using much less fuel. This results in huge savings and reduces fuel consumption considerably.
And keep this in mind if you are ever on the fence when it comes to switching fuels. When it comes to efficiency, heating oil systems are no different than any other outdated heating system, regardless of the fuel used. Old furnaces and boilers can generate higher-than-necessary fuel bills, but they can be easily replaced with equipment that incorporates today’s new heating oil technology.
And with the availability of New Jersey heating oil equipment rebates, it is easier than ever to cut your fuel costs and save even more by upgrading to the best heating oil system available.
Transition to Bioheat® Fuel
Full-service heating oil companies in New Jersey and other states are embracing Bioheat fuel, mostly beginning with B5 blends (5% biodiesel) and increasing from there. Each increase in the percentage of Bioheat fuel in the blend results in even greater energy efficiency and lower emissions.
Heating oil companies in New Jersey, along with the entire industry, have committed to adopting even higher blends in the not-too-distant future. This includes achieving industry-wide blends of B20 by 2023, B50 by 2030, and a 100% Bioheat fuel by 2050, which will result in net-zero carbon emissions! Bioheat fuel is a big reason that homeowners in New Jersey can look forward to a long, comfortable and fuel-efficient future as heating oil customers.
Ways To Conserve Energy and Save Money
Tips for Saving Money on Heating & Cooling
With energy prices painfully high and overall inflation rates draining cash from our pockets every day, most New Jerseyans are trying to save money whenever and wherever they can. With that in mind, why not examine proven ways you can cut down on air conditioning expenses right now–and then create a plan to conserve on your heating costs next winter?
There are actually many small yet important energy conservation methods that can add up to impressive savings over time. Here is a closer look at some of the steps you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Be Diligent in Maintaining Your Heating Oil System
Regular maintenance is a vital money-saving investment for heating systems– not just because it can keep your equipment running safely and at peak efficiency, but also because four out of five heating system breakdowns are preventable if you follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. A tune-up allows your heating oil technician to fix minor issues before they become big problems (worn parts, etc.). Regular tune-ups can also help you conserve on heating fuel over the winter.
Maintenance Tasks You Can Handle on Your Own
If you have a forced-air system (one with vents rather than radiators or baseboards), the most important self-maintenance task you have is to check your air filters regularly, cleaning or changing them when needed. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines. Clogged filters rob your furnace of efficiency by making it overwork to keep you warm; that means higher heating bills and more wear and tear on your equipment. Note: the same principle about air filters applies if you have a central air conditioning system in your home.
If you have an older steam boiler, check the water gauge periodically. Low water levels are a leading cause of boiler shutdowns. Steam boilers should also be flushed when the water in the gauge looks rusty. If you have a modern hot water boiler, the boiler’s automatic filling system should maintain the proper water level.
Smart Programmable Thermostats Save Energy
When used correctly, a smart programmable thermostat will pay for itself in just a short time. If you choose a Wi-Fi thermostat, you can control your home’s temperature from your smartphone. In the winter, the optimal setting is 68°F when you’re at home. Dial it down toward the 60°F range when you’re asleep or out of the house. Don’t go too low or you’ll risk frozen pipes. The temperatures you ultimately choose will depend on factors like the outdoor temperature and your family’s comfort preferences. Remember, these are just guidelines.
Weatherize and Insulate
This is also a good time to caulk any air leaks around exterior doors and windows. While you’re at it, replace door weatherstripping that might have worn away.
In terms of insulation, most homes are under-insulated. Adding enough insulation to meet recommended R-values is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your home’s overall efficiency and comfort. Read the Energy Department’s Guide to Home Insulation.
Use the Sun’s Free Heat in the Winter
During the cold months, keep curtains and shades open in sun-exposed rooms to absorb all that free heat and energy during the day, then close them at night to keep the heat in at night. Do the reverse in the summer by closing curtains and shades during the day to block solar heat. Smart window treatments can help manage solar energy throughout the year.
Close Fireplace Damper, Keep Vents & Radiators Clear
An open fireplace damper is like an open window; close it when you are not using your wood-burning hearth. You should also move any furniture, drapery or rugs away from air vents, baseboards or radiators. This helps improve airflow and keeps heat circulating into rooms.
To learn about how you can make a big impact on your home’s energy efficiency through upgrades to systems like high-efficiency heating oil boilers and heating oil furnaces, please go here.
What’s Happening with Heating Oil Prices in NJ?
Understanding the Energy Markets and Oil Price Fluctuations
You already know that the price you pay for heating oil in New Jersey can change from year to year. But it’s been a long time since we have seen such a dramatic rise in heating oil prices—although it’s true that prices have been trending slowly upward for quite some time.
What Is Happening With Energy Prices?
First, it’s important know that for the most part, the price of oil has been fairly stable since 2014. But there have been a lot of changes over the past year that have upended the markets.
Second, the market price of heating oil is always tied to a variety of factors that are constantly changing.
If you would like to view a long-term history of heating-oil prices in New Jersey, please go here.
The War in Ukraine
Global crude oil prices soared to their highest point in eight years after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. As you probably know all too well by now, as the price of crude oil goes, so goes gasoline, heating oil, and the many other products derived from it.
Prior to this, energy prices in all sectors—oil, propane, natural gas and electricity—had been on a steady rise because global oil production hadn’t yet caught up with the pent-up demand that quickly followed the perceived end of the pandemic.
Even before the war in Ukraine further accelerated price increases, frenetic consumer spending–combined with persistent supply shortages–had sent inflation rates in our country to their highest level in 40 years. Economic experts say massive government spending over the past two years to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to the inflation rate.
Possibly the only good news in all of this is that this price spike occurred near the end of winter, instead of at the beginning. You can view a heating oil price update from the U.S Energy Information Administration by going here.
So how did we get here and where are we going now?
Lagging Oil Supply
As was noted before, global crude oil production hasn’t yet caught up with pent-up demand. So, why can’t we just “drill for more oil at home?”
It’s not that simple. First, even if the U.S. did drill for enough oil and keep it all here to gobble up for ourselves, that crude oil would still be tightly married to the global oil market—and beholden to whatever the world’s highest bidder is willing to pay for it.
This “solution” is also ignoring the fact that, right now, oil companies are feeling enormous pressure to give up fast growth in favor of steadier profits and stock-boosting finance moves, such as higher dividends, more share buybacks, and reduced debt. Read more about this here.
Investors have also been reading the tea leaves and realize that a zero-carbon emissions world is not too far off in our future. Big money is holding back on fossil fuel investments as legislators try to move the country toward more renewable energy. Investors instead are looking to sink their money into long-term, profitable opportunities in the burgeoning green energy field. By the way, the heating oil industry is making excellent progress with making our fuel more dependent on renewable energy, too. Read about the benefits awaiting us in the future with Bioheat® fuel.
Another factor influencing oil companies is the painful memory of the breathtaking fall of crude oil prices during the early days of the pandemic. In the Spring of 2020, crude oil prices fell all the way to negative $30 per barrel! Traders actually had to pay buyers to take oil! Since then, however, prices have been steadily rising before they exploded in late February after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Could they drop that far again? Well, by mid-March, crude oil prices had begun to fall–but quickly took a U-turn and went up again as the situation in Ukraine remained unstable and the call for boycotts of Russian energy products picked up steam.
To say that we are currently in the midst of an extremely volatile energy market could be viewed as an understatement.
How Your New Jersey Heating-Oil Company Can Help
When prices spike like this, people tend to think that their local heating oil company makes more money. In fact, the opposite is true. Customers cut back on fuel use and they have trouble paying their bills. Meanwhile, heating oil companies have to pay their suppliers within a few days at much higher levels. Supply chain issues remain a big challenge to overcome. It’s an awful mess for everyone.
Although your local heating oil company cannot control world energy prices, they do have some ways to make things a little easier. Consider your New Jersey heating-oil company your energy-saving partner, one that takes pride in delivering service with a personal touch.
During the heating season in New Jersey, your full-service heating-oil company will always maintain and ensure an ample supply of fuel to make sure you stay warm and safe.
Your local heating-oil company may be able to make life easier with automatic deliveries of fuel so that you don’t have to worry about calling for deliveries or running out of fuel when you need it the most.
To take away any worries about the normal ebb and flow of oil prices, contact your heating-oil company. Many companies offer programs designed to save you money and keep your heating bills manageable—no matter what happens with world oil prices or heating-oil prices in New Jersey.
Rest assured, your New Jersey heating oil supplier will do everything possible to ensure that they can make deliveries—no matter the cost or difficulty they face.
What Comes Next with Oil Prices?
We don’t know where things will go from here, but if history is a guide, we can expect to see prices drop pretty significantly in the not-too-distant future. If you would like to read the U.S. Department of Energy’s short-term energy outlook, please go here.
Nothing will make your local New Jersey heating oil company happier than when prices return to normal. Until then, trust your heating oil supplier to look out for you and let’s hope that—regardless of what happens with energy prices—we will soon be living in a more peaceful world.
The Bioheat® Fuel Path to the Future
It’s One of the Cleanest Burning Heating Sources for Your Home
In much of the country, heating oil has been reformulated with Bioheat® fuel, which consists of ultra-low sulfur heating oil that’s blended with renewable biodiesel. Bioheat fuel blends represent the future of heating oil in our country, and New Jersey is one of the leaders in making this clean-burning fuel available to heating oil consumers in the Garden State.
The most refined grade of heating oil available, Bioheat fuel is one of the cleanest burning heating sources for your home. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions significantly and no changes to your existing heating oil system are necessary.
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
Here’s why the use of Bioheat fuel is a game-changer in terms of reducing carbon emissions.
- Bioheat fuel mixes low-carbon renewable liquids like biodiesel with conventional heating oil.
- Biodiesel is a gallon-for gallon substitute for petroleum-based fuels, which have a higher carbon intensity.
- By 2030, it’s estimated that biodiesel will displace 529 million gallons of heating oil.
- Wide-spread use of Bioheat fuel in the Northeast annually avoids more than 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
- 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions is equivalent to removing 320,000 vehicles from the road—-or the equivalent of the emissions from the annual energy use in 180,000 homes.
Why Biodiesel Is Carbon Neutral
The biodiesel blend in Bioheat fuel is composed of various organic products, including vegetable oils, animal fats and even algae. New studies have also shown the viability of using various grasses for the production of biofuel.
Biodiesel is considered a biogenic fuel that eliminates carbon output. By contrast, when traditional fossil fuels that do not contain biodiesel are burned, they take carbon that was stored in soil and put 100% of that carbon into the atmosphere.
The combustion of biofuels and other biogenic energy sources recycles carbon-dioxide emissions through renewable plant materials and other biomass feedstocks. That’s why you’ll keep hearing a lot about net-zero carbon emissions in the years ahead.
Biodiesel Production Grows
Today, more than 125 production plants around the country make biodiesel. The United States biodiesel industry produces about three billion gallons of biodiesel now.
Increased production isn’t just about achieving a cleaner environment. It’s about building a stronger economy too.
The biodiesel industry supports nearly 60,000 jobs and generates billions of dollars in GDP, household income and tax revenues. And that number will grow in the years ahead.
Find out more about Bioheat fuel.
Why People in New Jersey Like Their Oilheat
There are so many benefits to living in an oil-heated home. Here is a prime example: the flame inside the heating oil system burns hotter than other types of systems. As a result, homeowners who use heating oil often report that their homes are warmer with a more evenly distributed heat.
Plus, you have so much choice about the company that delivers your oil and services your equipment. This way, you can select a company that best fits your needs and your budget.
New Jersey’s heating oil companies are fiercely competitive, surviving on slim margins to provide quality products and services to their customers. It’s this ultra-competitive landscape that works to the customer’s benefit, ensuring the best possible prices and the highest quality of service and support.
10 Reasons To Love Oilheat
Here are 10 more reasons why heating oil is a great way to go.
- The latest oil storage tanks are virtually leakproof. They’re constructed with corrosion-resistant galvanized steel and include a leak-detection system in case of emergencies.
- The development of ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and renewable Bioheat® fuel makes it possible for heating oil companies to deliver always-improving versions of heating oil.
- Contrary to what many people believe, heating oil will not burn in its liquid state and will not explode. In fact, if you were to drop a lit match into heating oil, the flame would go right out. Read more.
- Modern oil burners emit near-zero levels of pollution; heating with oil today means no odors, soot, or other residue in your home.
- Heating oil is very low risk when it comes to concerns about carbon monoxide. While malfunctions are rare, it’s worth noting that when they do occur, it’s usually due to a lack of maintenance. And if an issue happens to come up, the oil boiler or oil furnace will, in most cases, be shut off by the unit’s safety devices.
- Just a single gallon of heating oil provides an average of five hours of heat. Almost 140,000 Btu’s of heating energy are generated from every gallon of oil burned
- In a well-insulated home, an efficient, modern heating oil system can burn up to 40% less fuel than much older systems.
- When you upgrade your heating oil system to a more efficient one, you could be eligible for rebates.
- You’ll see a drop in your bill once you have an upgraded heating oil system that incorporates the latest fuel-efficient technology.
- Your heating oil company will always have an ample supply of fuel for your New Jersey home. There are no worries about aging infrastructure interfering with the supply of heating energy to your home.
Learn more about the benefits of Oilheat in New Jersey.
Reducing Carbon Emissions with Bioheat® Fuel
The Fight to Ease the Impact of Climate Change
The heating oil industry in New Jersey is strongly committed to helping to ease the impact of climate change with the delivery of Bioheat® fuel — a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil and biofuels made from renewable sources.
Bioheat fuel is a pathway to reducing carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) related to greenhouse gases. The goal is to transition by 2030 to a B50 blend –50% biofuel and 50% heating oil. This blend is called B50 Bioheat SuperPlus™ and it’s expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in homes by 40%.
The B50 blend of Bioheat fuel will also continue to improve system efficiency and will push us closer to realizing a carbon-neutral future by 2050. The B50 blend is not an end goal, but rather a step on the journey to a completely renewable liquid heating fuel. In the coming years, we will be within reach of a fully renewable product–B100 Bioheat fuel.
Why Bioheat Fuel Produces Fewer Emissions
Bioheat fuel is a blend of biodiesel (biofuel) and traditional petroleum-based heating oil. Biodiesel, which is made from vegetable oils or animal fats, is considered a biogenic fuel that reduces carbon output 100%. That’s because the combustion of biofuels and other biogenic energy sources actually recycle carbon dioxide emissions through renewable plant materials and other biomass feedstocks. That’s why you’ll be hearing a lot about net-zero carbon emissions in the years ahead.
Other Bioheat Fuel Benefits
Renewable, clean, cutting-edge and energy-efficient, Bioheat fuel requires no modification of your present heating oil system. Bioheat fuel is produced in the United States, so it supports local farmers, local industries and local economies. Consumers who use Bioheat fuel also benefit from:
- a clean burn: Bioheat fuel is one of the cleanest-burning energy sources for your home or business.
- improved system operation: Bioheat fuel, blended with ultra-low-sulfur heating oil, eliminates the source of most equipment problems, which means a reduction in system maintenance issues.
Bioheat Is More Efficient
The proliferation of Bioheat fuel has led to the development of heating oil systems that are smarter, more efficient and cleaner burning. Today’s new systems can save you 30% or more compared with old, outdated heating oil systems.
Full-service heating oil dealers are embracing Bioheat fuel, beginning with B5 blends (5% biodiesel) and increasing from there. Each increase in the percentage of biodiesel in the blend results in even greater energy efficiency and lower emissions.
What Do I Do if I Lose My Heat?
Follow These Tips Before Calling for Service
While there are many types of situations that can cause your heat to stop working, there are some problems that occur a lot. Fortunately, these are easy and inexpensive to fix—or to avoid altogether.
If your heat stops working and you’ve confirmed that there isn’t a power outage in your neighborhood, your next step should be to check for a tripped circuit breaker or see if the power switches to your boiler or furnace have been accidentally turned off
If you find that power switches for your heating system have been turned off by mistake, simply turn the electrical switches back to the “on” position and your problem may be solved. If only all solutions were that easy!
There is a power switch located on the side of the heating system or on a wall nearby. In addition, farther away, often at the top of the basement stairs, there is an emergency switch with a red cover plate that is labeled. People will sometimes turn this switch off by mistake, thinking it is the power switch for the basement light.
If your power switches are not the problem, check your circuit breaker box to see if all circuit switches are still in the “on” position. Flipping the proper switch to on again may be all you need to get your system running again.
However, please keep this in mind: a circuit breaker rarely ever trips for no reason. If this happens once and never happens again, it may be just a fluke. But if this happens more than once, arrange for professional heating oil service from your local heating oil provider.
Many instances of heating systems not working can be traced to the thermostat, whose job it is to send a signal to your boiler or furnace to call for heat. But this signal may be interrupted if the wiring of the thermostat has begun to deteriorate. A build-up of dust inside your thermostat is another common reason why your thermostat is not operating correctly. Another thing to look for are weak batteries in the thermostat.
Lack of Maintenance
If you have a warm-air furnace, change or clean the filter on a regular basis during the heating season. Dust and dirt are the natural enemies of your furnace; a dirty filter compromises efficiency and can even cause your furnace to shut down.
If you have a steam boiler, check the water gauge periodically. Low water levels are a leading cause for boiler shutdowns. Steam boilers should also be “flushed” when the water in the gauge looks rusty. Talk with your heating oil service provider if you’re not familiar with this procedure.
If you have a hot water boiler, the boiler’s automatic filling system, controlled by the pressure-reducing valve, should maintain the proper water level at the correct pressure.
Of course, you should always schedule preventive maintenance from a heating oil professional so you don’t have to worry about your furnace or boiler breaking down during the winter. Annual service will also improve efficiency, helping you to conserve fuel.
No Heating Fuel
If you call to order your fuel, make sure to check your heating oil tank regularly—especially in the middle of a cold snap. You should call when your oil tank is about one-quarter full.
To save time and worry, ask your heating oil supplier about automatic delivery. This will lower the chances of running out of fuel.
Read about the benefits of working with a full-service New Jersey heating oil company here.
What Is That Whistling Sound During an Oil Delivery?
If your oil tank is located in your basement and you’re home when a driver makes his delivery, you’ll probably hear a whistling noise as your tank starts to fill up. But don’t worry. This is perfectly normal.
Besides the tank itself, your heating oil storage system includes important components like the fill pipe, vent pipe and vent alarm.
What Happens During A Delivery
After the driver arrives, he connects the hose from his oil truck to the fill pipe and starts releasing the oil. As oil flows into the tank, air is pushed back out. As the air goes through the vent alarm–located between your tank and vent pipe–it makes a whistling sound. When the whistling stops, the tank is just about full.
Since your basement tank is out of sight from the driver, the vent alarm prevents overfilling and the possibility of a spill. Safety codes do not allow your heating oil company to deliver your fuel if the vent alarm is not working.
A Few More Things To Know About Your Oil Piping
- The vent pipe also relieves the vacuum created when the oil burner pulls fuel from the tank.
- The vent pipe should be at least 1.25 inches in diameter. A narrow diameter allows excessive pressure to build up inside the tank during filling, which can cause a tank rupture.
- PVC piping does not meet NFPA safety codes and must be replaced because they are more likely to crack when tanks are being filled.
- It is the homeowner’s responsibility to properly maintain fuel tanks and all associated piping.
Helping Your Driver Make Safe Deliveries
Ice and snow can turn an already tough job into a potentially hazardous one. Maneuvering with a heavy hose while navigating slippery surfaces can be challenging; sometimes delivery drivers lose their footing and sustain injuries.
You can help the driver make safer deliveries by keeping the path to your oil tank clear of snow and ice and removing any nearby obstacles, such as fallen branches.
It is also important to shovel or plow your driveway and keep it free of ice. Safety codes prohibit your heating oil company from parking an oil truck on an incline unless it is perfectly dry.
Marking the edges of your driveway makes it easier for delivery drivers to navigate. Remember, just because you can get your car down your driveway doesn’t mean a 15-ton heating oil truck can make it too.
If you have any questions about deliveries or your oil storage tank system, please reach out to your heating oil company.
If you’re thinking about replacing your oil storage tank, read about your options here.
Heating Oil Prices in New Jersey
What Has Caused this Temporary Price Rise?
Once again, we’re seeing heating oil and other energy prices surge across the board. This is not uncommon in the sometimes volatile energy markets, but it hurts just the same—especially on top of a still-lingering pandemic. Your local heating company knows how painful that can be for their customers. But it’s painful for your local New Jersey supplier as well. We’ll explain that later.
Why Is This Happening?
Considering the long-range forecast for winter, it seems like we’re in for a bumpy ride over the next few months. Demand for heating fuel is expected to be higher this winter, based on forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Because of a colder-than-normal winter, the agency predicts that the average amount of heating degree days will be 3% higher than the winter of 2020-21.
To get a better handle on what’s driving higher energy prices, we have to look at what’s happening with crude oil to make a 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, so goes gasoline, heating oil and many other products derived from it.
Looking Back–and Ahead
In October, the price of crude oil climbed above $80 per barrel, a benchmark that hadn’t been reached in seven years.
It’s worth noting, however, that crude oil prices have been much higher in the past. The price of a barrel of crude actually topped $100 a few times during 2011-2013. By the Fall of 2014, though, prices began falling fast and eventually reached the $40-$50 per barrel range. Prices hit a rock bottom of $15 per barrel during the early stages of the pandemic in April 2020. Since then, however, prices have been steadily rising.
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. In 2022, the EIA believes lagging supply will finally overtake demand.
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. 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.
New Jersey Heating Oil Companies Are on Your Side
People sometimes misunderstand how negatively higher prices impact local fuel dealers. Heating oil companies don’t make more money when prices rise like this—they actually make less.
Think of it this way: it’s like when the cost of coffee, milk or orange juice rises. It’s not the local grocery store that is profiting. (That’s left to the Wall Street investors). Heating oil customers have a harder time paying their bills. They reduce expenditures. Heating oil companies may need to tap into their lines of credit more. Phones light up with questions from customers. So the sooner energy prices drop, the happier your heating oil company will be.
In the meantime, please reach out your heating oil supplier to find out ways they may be able to help you reduce your energy costs, or handle payments more easily. And if you are worried about keeping up with your heating oil costs, please pick up the phone and call them. They can generally work with you if you reach out before you fall behind.
Rest assured, your heating oil supplier will do everything possible to ensure they can make deliveries—no matter the cost or difficulty they face.
Your New Jersey heating oil company appreciates your understanding during this difficult time. Let’s all get through this winter warm and safe and hope for better days—and lower prices—next spring.