Written on: April 19, 2022 by ICM
The U.S. average residential heating oil price ended the 2021–2022 Winter heating season at $5.13 per gallon (gal), $2.26/gal higher than at the same time last year, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) “Heating Oil and Propane Update.” The U.S. average residential propane price ended the Winter heating season at $2.98/gal, which is $0.69 higher than the end of season value for last Winter.
Residential heating oil prices have increased by $1.95/gal since early October 2021. Most of the increase in residential heating oil prices this winter (October through March) occurred near the end of the season. Heating oil prices tend to follow crude oil prices, which increased sharply following Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine on February 24, EIA said.
U.S. inventories of distillate fuel oil (which includes diesel and heating oil) started the winter relatively low and ended the winter at the lowest level since March 2014. Distillate heating oil is the primary home heating fuel in 4.4% of U.S. homes and tends to be more common in the Northeast, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2019.
Propane is the primary home heating fuel in 4.8% of U.S. homes and tends to be more common in the Northeast and Midwest. Propane inventories in the East Coast and Midwest (defined by Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts) regions, which account for more than 70% of the households that are primarily heated with propane, started the winter heating season 7% below the previous Winter. Relatively warm weather led to less propane consumption for heating, and by the end of the winter season, propane inventories in the East Coast and Midwest were 1% more than the previous end-of-Winter level, EIA reported.