A Look Back...
Propane and Heating Oil Prices Soared
Since 2002, the Nebraska Energy Office has participated in the State Heating Oil and Propane Program, a residential price survey. The survey for this heating season began on October 4, 2004, and concluded March 14, 2005.
Each year, the Energy Information Administration provides the Energy Office with a list of residential propane and heating oil distributors in Nebraska. Survey results were transmitted back to the Energy Information Administration which compiled, processed, and aggregated for each state's reported data, weighted and stratified against other data streams, to estimate each state's average price. The Nebraska Energy Office publishes the data in these reports: Average Residential Propane Prices, Average Wholesale Propane Prices, Average Residential Heating Oil Prices, and Average Wholesale Heating Oil Prices. The Energy Information Administration publishes the data in the following reports: Residential Propane Prices by Region and State, Wholesale Propane Prices by Region and State, Residential Heating Oil Prices by Region and State, and Wholesale Heating Oil Prices by Region and State.
Residential Heating Oil Prices Volatile
Heating oil prices began the 2004-2005 heating season 51 to 55 cents – about 50 percent – higher than the previous three years.
The average charge price for delivery of No. 2 heating oil, excluding taxes and cash discounts, in Nebraska for the 2004-2005 heating season was $1.63 per gallon. The season average leaped 49 cents higher than last season's average of $1.14 and was 44 cents more than the four-year average of $1.19 per gallon. The average price in October from 2001 to 2004 was $1.24. October of this season showed a huge leap in price from last October going from $1.15 to $1.70.
Residential Propane Prices
The 2004-2005 heating season began with a propane price that was 23 cents higher than last year, 44 cents higher than two years, and 34 cents higher than three years ago. High crude oil and natural gas prices were major factors in this price increase. Although prices were much higher during the 2004-2005 heating season from prior seasons, prices were relatively stable throughout the winter due to the mild weather.
After increasing 15 cents in the first four weeks of the season, the average price of propane remained relatively flat, or stable, while dropping a cent or two each week. The season high of $1.31 per gallon occurred on the fourth Monday of October. The price increase was due to snowy weather and the expectation of winter temperatures. From that point on, the average propane price began moving downward closing out the heating season at $1.22 per gallon.
The average charge price for delivery of consumer grade propane, excluding taxes and cash discounts, in Nebraska for the 2004-2005 heating season was $1.24 per gallon. This was 27 cents higher than last season's average of $0.97 and 29 cents more than the four-year average of $0.95 per gallon. The average price for propane in October from 2001 to 2004 was $0.93. The last two seasons have shown huge leaps in price from one October to the next.
The Whys of Price Fluctuations
During the 2004/2005 heating season, Nebraska's propane prices were stable while heating oil prices leaped up, coasted down, and then fired back up. Various factors made an impact:
At the end of the survey period, the Energy office produces the State Heating Oil and Propane Program Annual Report. If you need additional information or have questions, please contact Doris Jansky, 402-471-3538.