Just as we see fluctuations in the price of gas at the pumps, we also experience fluctuations in heating oil prices. There are four main factors that can influence heating oil prices – seasonal demand, crude oil costs, local market competition and regional operating costs.
- Seasonal Demand – Even when all other factors that influence heating oil prices are steady, heating oil prices will tend to rise in the winter months, when the demand for them is highest. Those who wish to avoid the winter heating oil prices often arrange delivery to fill the tank earlier, such as late summer or fall.
- Crude Oil Costs – Heating oil prices generally follow crude oil prices, which fluctuate due to worldwide supply and demand. There are many factors involved in crude oil pricing, including the way supply can be influenced by OPEC and other factors.
- Local Markets – As with any commodity, heating oil prices are affected by competition in the local market. Factors such as how many suppliers or dealers are present and whether customers are in far-reaching remote or rural locations can hugely affect heating oil prices.
- Regional Operating Costs – Regional location also helps dictate heating oil prices in many different ways, including the costs of transportation and other costs of doing business in the area. For example, areas in which wages, benefits, insurance and other overhead costs are higher will equate to higher heating oil prices for customers.
Generally speaking, heating oil prices fluctuate in small increments; however, at times, there can be a rapid surge due to things that quickly and severely impact either supply or demand or both. Severe weather such as a blizzard or flooding can cause a surge in heating oil prices. The best way to safeguard against a surge is to keep your oil tank filled as full as possible and refill it when prices are most reasonable.
For more information about heating oil prices in Hickory NC, contact us at Bumgarner Oil. We have been servicing gas stations, commercial contracts, and residential homes since 1954. We’re a local oil company that you can trust!