During last winter’s polar vortex, users and wholesalers of heating oil ran into challenges attempting to meet increased demand with constrained supply.
Last winter was one of extremes across the country; the east specifically, experienced above-average bouts of snowfalls with the northeastern region of the United States averaging the highest usage of home heating oil. New York State, which consumes roughly a third of that heating oil, recently passed new regulations for ultra-low sulfur heating oil, which is impacting supply and regulations in the region. Wholesalers may struggle to find the correct fuel specification for their region and incur additional costs which can be passed on to consumers.
Schneider Electric energy editor Brian Milne says that waiting out the home heating oil market in hopes of lower prices in January isn’t worth the risk. Schneider Electric meteorologists anticipate increased heavy snowfalls and coastal storms for the Eastern region this winter, and Milne believes that weather forecast in combination with supply/demand chain challenges means supply may be at a premium, and it’s worth being prepared with your full home heating oil supply before winter comes.