Posted on June 11, 2012
On average, propane and heating oil prices have fallen in New England and Atlantic Canada by about 10% since January 1st, 2012. The primary driver of heating oil and propane prices is the price of crude oil, which has been falling since January 1st, 2012. Extreme weather, seasonal demand, supply disruptions and speculation can also affect short-term propane and heating oil prices. Therefore, to get an idea of where heating fuel prices could go, you have to understand where crude oil prices could go.
What drives the price of crude oil?
Crude oil prices are driven by real and anticipated supply and demand. An increase in supply or a decrease in demand leads to lower prices. A decrease in supply or an increase in demand leads to higher prices.
Why have crude oil prices dropped and where are they headed?
Crude prices have primarily dropped because of concerns over the economic growth rates of the United States, China and Europe. Slower economic growth leads to lower demand for oil, and therefore lower crude oil prices.
Global markets are impossible to predict since there are too many variables. Therefore, no one can accurately predict the price of crude oil – beware of people or companies that try to convince you they can predict crude oil prices.
What we can do is look at the events that could likely affect future crude oil prices:
|These events will likely lead to lower 2012 crude oil prices:||These events will likely lead to higher 2012 crude oil prices:
|• Lower predictions for the global economic growth and recovery, and therefore lower oil demand;|
• No resolution to the European debt crisis, and therefore a belief that Europe’s economies will continue to suffer;
• Conflicts in Africa and the Middle East get resolved in 2012 and oil supply increases (e.g. Yemen, Syria, Sudan and Iran).
|• Decrease in oil supply from African and Middle Eastern countries due to conflict or economic sanctions (e.g. Yemen, Syria, Sudan and Iran);
• Forecasts for global economic growth improve, particularly in the United States, China, or Europe;
• The European debt crisis is resolved in 2012 and Europe’s economies improve.
If it’s really important for your peace of mind to predict your budget for winter fuel bills, then you should consider one of our Price Protection Plans for our New England customers (currently open) or our Cap Pricing Program for our Atlantic Canada customers (open in the Fall). With these options, you’ll be able to budget for the upcoming heating season. If you would prefer to pay a market price or are absolutely convinced that heating oil or propane prices will fall from here, then you can choose our variable pricing option.
Over 150 community members and Irving Energy employees came together to give a little love to 4 locations in the Maritime Provinces. Eager participants raked, removed trash and weeds, painted and cleaned to help make each location look great.
The 4 areas visited by the Irving Energy Clean Team were selected by their local communities as areas that need a little love. Check out each of the 4 events in more detail below.
Thank you to all those who voted and participated!
Charlottetown, PEI – Hillsborough Bridge up to Weymouth St.
Over 25 Irving Energy employees and local residents participated in Clean Team event in Charlottetown, including Scott MacDonald from the City of Charlottetown. Participants helped make the area look great by picking up trash, raking and removing weeds.
Chipman, NB – Stewart-McLeod Park on the River
50 Irving Energy employees and local residents helped clean up Steward-McLeod Park on the River. Participants included Mayor Edward Farris and other town representatives.
Councillor Carol Boyd pointed out that the park is next to a large pickerel fish bed, and that the clean park will give more opportunity for people to come down, relax and do some fishing.
Janet Jardine, daughter of the late Blanche Dickinson, was also on site. About 11 years ago, Blanche took the initiative at age 73 to revitalize the park. She and her daughter Janet would often come to the park to rake and clean up. Janet said that when she saw all of the equipment and people working she got goose bumps. She knows that her mother was smiling down on everyone as they were working hard.
Bay Roberts, Newfoundland – Shoreline, The Coish
Despite some rain, over 20 Irving Energy employees and local residents attended the event in Bay Roberts. Participants enhanced an existing pathway along the waterfront and picked up trash.
Fraser Mercer from the town of Bay Roberts said that the work by the Irving Energy Clean team will help with the appearance of the area.
Windsor, Nova Scotia – The Historic Waterfront of Lake Pesaquid in Downtown Windsor
The Windsor event was postponed due to a thunderstorm, but over 60 Irving Energy employees, kids from the Pesaquid Canoe Club and local residents participated in this Clean Team event.
The weather for the rain date was fantastic, and the work ethic of all those who participated was second to none. The kids of the Pesaquid Canoe Club were particularly eager to lend a hand in painting the picnic tables.
Heather Donahue, Co-Chair of the Communities in Bloom Committee for the Windsor area, said that the event was an even bigger success than she had first imagined. Heather mentioned that there were lots hugs and high-fives at the end of the event, and that it was difficult saying goodbye to all her new friends.
Congratulations to Kira, of Crapaud, Prince Edward Island for being the grand prize winner of a $5,000 furnace in Irving Energy’s “Extreme Furnace Makeover” contest. Kira was selected at random from over 12,000 entries from New England and Atlantic Canada.
When asked how she felt about winning the grand prize of a new heating system for her Prince Edward Island home, she said “I’m so excited; this will relieve such a financial burden of buying a new furnace. It is excellent news!”
We are currently working with Kira to install her new propane furnace. Kira’s new furnace should help her save money on heating fuel costs next winter.
Kira’s original entry:
“I am a single parent and have an old home which is forced air and runs hot and cold (upstairs temp is 15C) I would like to be a more efficient consumer of energy and have a better furnace. I would lke to get a two stage gas furnace from Irving.”
Be sure to check back and see the 10 homeowners that won $500 off a new heating system. And, don’t forget to browse our Extreme Furnace Makeover Featured Entries.