Why Is There Whistling During an Oil Delivery?

That’s Your Vent Alarm—and You Can Get a Rebate for Upgrading It!

oil delivery wisconsinIf your oil tank is located in your basement and you’re home when a driver makes his delivery, you’ll probably hear a whistling noise as your tank starts to fill up. But don’t worry. This is perfectly normal.

Besides the tank itself, your heating oil storage system includes important components like the fill pipe, vent pipe, and vent alarm.

What Happens During a Delivery

After the driver arrives, he connects the hose from his oil truck to the fill pipe and starts releasing the oil. As oil flows into the tank, the air is pushed back out. As the air goes through the vent alarm–located between your tank and vent pipe–it makes a whistling sound. When the whistling stops, the tank is just about full.

Since your basement tank is out of sight from the driver, the vent alarm prevents overfilling and the possibility of a spill. Safety codes do not allow your heating oil company to deliver your fuel if the vent alarm is not working.

If your vent alarm needs to be replaced, you may be eligible to receive a $300 rebate for installing a new one. This is the latest heating oil equipment rebate to become available through the WPMCA Rebate Program, with funding provided by the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA). Read more about Wisconsin rebates.

What You Should Know about Your Oil Piping

  • The vent pipe relieves the vacuum created when the oil burner pulls fuel from the tank.
  • The vent pipe should be at least 1.25 inches in diameter. A narrow diameter allows excessive pressure to build up inside the tank during filling, which can cause a tank rupture.
  • PVC piping does not meet NFPA safety codes and must be replaced because they are more likely to crack when tanks are being filled.
  • It is the homeowner’s responsibility to properly maintain fuel tanks and all associated piping.

Help Your Driver Make Safe Deliveries

Ice and snow can turn an already tough job into a potentially hazardous one. Maneuvering with a heavy hose while navigating slippery surfaces can be challenging; sometimes delivery drivers lose their footing and sustain injuries.

You can help the driver make safer deliveries by keeping the path to your oil tank clear of snow and ice and removing any nearby obstacles, such as fallen branches.

It is also important to shovel or plow your driveway and keep it free of ice. Safety codes prohibit your heating oil company from parking an oil truck on an incline unless it is perfectly dry.

Marking the edges of your driveway makes it easier for delivery drivers to navigate. Remember, just because you can get your car down your driveway doesn’t mean a 15-ton heating oil truck can make it, too.

If you have any questions about deliveries or your oil storage tank system, please reach out to your local heating oil company.

And if you’re thinking about replacing your oil storage tank, read about your options here.

New Study: Switching to 100% Biodiesel Could Save Lives

Research Sponsored by the Clean Fuels Alliance America

biodiesel wisconsinA new study has revealed that switching to 100% biodiesel could have a life-saving impact for residents in selected communities, with such benefits as decreased cancer risk, fewer premature deaths and reduced asthma attacks.

The research project, sponsored by the Clean Fuels Alliance America and supported by organizations like the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, sought to assess the public health benefits and potential economic savings of converting from petroleum-based diesel to B100 (100% biodiesel) in 13 sites and communities across the country. These locations were chosen because of their high rates of air pollution caused by petroleum diesel.

Biodiesel Startling Findings

Here are some of the startling findings about the potential results of using 100% biodiesel in place of all-petroleum diesel in these selected communities.

  • When Bioheat® fuel made from 100% biodiesel is used in place of petroleum heating oil, there was an 86% reduced cancer risk and 17,000 fewer lung problems.
  • Researchers found the communities surrounding the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach would avoid about $1.69 billion in health costs because of improved air quality.
  • In the 13 communities and sites studied, there would be 340 fewer premature deaths, 46,000 fewer lost workdays, and $3 billion in avoided health care costs.

“Saving lives by reducing the health impacts of transportation and home heating fuels is a priority, and biodiesel is widely available today to achieve that goal,” said Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the Clean Fuels Alliance America, formerly known as the National Biodiesel Board.

“These immediate and substantial emissions and health benefits can and should be an important part in any state, regional or national climate program as our nation moves toward decarbonization through advanced alternative fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel.”

The movement toward biodiesel ensures a greener, more sustainable future for everyone. Biofuels like biodiesel reduce carbon emissions, particulate matter, and other harmful outputs like sulfur oxide. It also supports Wisconsin’s economy. Biodiesel production adds 13% of the cash value of soybeans grown in the Badger State.

Heating Oil and a Net Zero Tomorrow

With all of this good news about the positive benefits of switching to 100% biodiesel, you might wonder where home heating oil stands. Don’t worry. Not only is today’s heating oil environmentally friendly but it’s also a vital part of America’s progress toward reaching net-zero carbon emissions.

Advanced heating fuels like Bioheat® fuel combine ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and biodiesel, composed of organic products like used cooking oil, tallow, fats, and algae. Produced in the United States it is one of the cleanest-burning energy sources.

Biodiesel is a gallon-for-gallon substitute for petroleum-based fuels. Widespread regional use of Bioheat fuel annually prevents more than 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of removing 320,000 vehicles from the road.

Plus, homes that heat with energy-efficient Bioheat fuel use less energy overall. Right now, and in the years ahead, you should feel great about heating your Wisconsin home with renewable heating oil!

Learn more about Bioheat fuel here.

Should I Repair or Replace My Home Heating System?

Guidelines to Help You Decide

heating system service wisconsinMuch like your car, regular preventive maintenance goes a long way in extending the lifespan of your heating oil equipment, whether it’s an oil furnace or oil boiler. But even the best-maintained heating equipment eventually wears out.

You will then reach a point where repairs will cost more than they’re worth since an old furnace or boiler will continue to have low fuel efficiency – along with poor performance and a greater chance for further breakdown.

How To Decide Whether To Fix Your Heater

So how do you determine whether to repair or replace your home heating oil system? Here are some guidelines.

  1. The age of your heating system – If your heating system is more than 15 years old, you should consider replacing it soon. It’s better to invest your money into a new high-efficiency system with the latest technology– which will lower your annual fuel costs– rather than putting your money into an aging system with worn parts prone to failure.
  2. Compare repair and replacement costs – A new oil furnace or oil-powered boiler represents a significant investment for your home. But repair costs can be high, too – and with a repair, you have to consider the possibility of the problem happening again in the future. Here’s a rule of thumb: if your heating system repair exceeds 50% of replacement costs – especially on an older unit – you should probably replace it.
  3. Consider system efficiency – Old heating systems burn more fuel because of their inefficiencies, which means you’ll get higher bills. An old heating unit could have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of less than 70%. A replacement model can be 85% efficient or higher.
  4. Consider Wisconsin heating oil equipment rebates – Current rebates for energy-efficient heating systems could save you hundreds of dollars on new equipment – perhaps enough to tip the scales in favor of replacement. Read more.

Ensure a Proper Installation

Once you have selected a new system, your heating oil service expert will install it the right way. This requires skilled technicians with specialized training. The bottom line: installing a new heating system will increase energy efficiency and save you money, as long as the boiler or furnace is sized and installed correctly.

Benefits

You can expect to reduce your annual fuel expenses by 20% or more—depending on the age and efficiency of your current system—not to mention virtually eliminating high repair bills, with a replacement system.

A new heating oil system is also a green choice. Emissions from an old system can be significantly reduced by upgrading to a high-efficiency heating oil system. Today’s heating oil systems are efficient and their emissions are negligible. Advances include systems with reduced fuel-firing rates. Plus, today’s greater use of Bioheat® fuel is reducing emissions even further.

Don’t wait until your heating system fails on the coldest day next winter! Start doing your research now.

Thinking of switching fuels? Please read this first.

Energy Saving Tips for Spring

Little Changes Can Add Up to Big Savings

home energy saving wisconsinThese days, everyone is scrambling to find ways to save money. With heating and cooling comprising about 60% of your total home energy expenses, it pays to examine ways you can conserve on your heat and air conditioning.

There are actually many small yet important energy conservation methods that can add up to impressive savings. Let’s take a closer look at some of the steps you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

The key to saving energy and money is improving efficiency! And when it comes to improving the energy efficiency of your heating system, one of the best things you can do is schedule an annual heating system tune-up with your equipment service provider.

Tune-ups (sometimes called “system cleanings”) are typically recommended once a year. Not only do they ensure that your heating oil system is running properly, but this preventive maintenance will also ensure that the system is operating at peak efficiency. In fact, a tune-up can help reduce heating oil usage by up to 10%!

5 Tips for Saving Money on Heating and Cooling

  1. Check your air filter on your heating and cooling system on a regular basis. Be sure to change it if you see that it’s necessary to do so. Talk to your service provider if you need assistance in deciding whether you need a new filter. If you do, your technician can also talk you through the steps of replacing the filter.
  2. Look to your windows. Lock the hot air out and hold the cool air in this summer by sealing windows. You’ll save money in the long run with this step, which you can accomplish with caulk for nonmoving parts and weatherstripping for moveable joints.

    During the cold months, keep curtains and shades open in sun-exposed rooms to absorb all that free heat and solar energy during the day, then close them at night to keep it in at night. Do the reverse in the summer by closing curtains and shades during the day to block solar heat. Smart window treatments can help manage solar energy throughout the year.

  3. If you’re looking for an all-weather, year-round solution, install a smart programmable thermostat. Whether you’re away or just sleeping through the night, one of these devices will help you conserve energy and save on your bills. In fact, a smart programmable thermostat can cut up to 10% from your annual energy usage!

    In the spring and summer, the U.S. Energy Department recommends setting your central air conditioning system to 78°F when you’re at home. Program your A/C system to shut off 20-30 minutes before you leave home each day; return the temperature setting to normal comfort levels 20 to 30 minutes before you come home.

    In the winter, the optimal setting is 68°F when you’re at home. Dial it down toward the 60°F range when you’re asleep or out of the house. The temperatures you ultimately choose will depend on factors like the outdoor temperature and your family’s comfort preferences. Remember, these are just guidelines.

  4. Clear away any unnecessary items in front of your baseboards or vents. Whether there are pieces of furniture in the way, a too-thick rug, or assorted kids’ shoes and toys on the floor, you’ll want this area to be clear in order to make the most of your home’s energy usage. Finally, for safety’s sake, keep the area around your heating system as clean and clutter-free as possible. Never store anything flammable near your system.
  5. Install ceiling fans. Ceiling fans work for your home throughout the year. The circulating air helps keep you and your home cool in the summer. In the winter, reversing the direction of the blades will push down the warm air that’s trapped near the ceiling. That helps you use less heating oil while still keeping your home warm.

To learn about how you can positively impact your home’s energy efficiency through upgrades to systems like heating oil boilers and heating oil furnaces, please go here.

Why Did the Price of Oil Go Up So Fast?

Understanding the Energy Markets & Oil Price Fluctuations

oil prices wisconsinYou already know that the price you pay for heating oil in Wisconsin can change from year to year. But it’s been a long time since we have seen such a dramatic rise in heating oil prices, which seemed to happen in a blink of an eye—although prices have been trending upward for quite some time.

What Is Going On?

First, it’s important to point out that for the most part, the price of oil has been fairly stable since 2014. But there have been a lot of changes over the past year that have upended the markets.

Second, the market price of heating oil is always tied to a variety of factors that are constantly changing.

If you would like to view a long-term history of wholesale heating-oil prices in Wisconsin, please go here.

Russia Invades Ukraine

Global crude oil prices soared to their highest point in eight years after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. As you probably know all too well by now, as the price of crude oil goes, so goes gasoline, heating oil, and the many other products derived from it.

Prior to this, energy prices in all sectors—oil, propane, natural gas, and electricity—had been on a steady rise because global oil production hadn’t yet caught up with the pent-up demand that quickly followed the perceived end of the pandemic.

Even before the war in Ukraine further accelerated price increases, frenetic consumer spending–combined with persistent supply shortages–had sent inflation rates in our country to their highest level in 40 years.
 
The only good news is that this shocking price spike occurred near the end of winter, instead of the beginning. You can view a heating oil price update from the U.S Energy Information Administration by going here.

So how did we get here and where are we going now?

Lagging Oil Supply

As was noted before, global crude oil production hasn’t yet caught up with pent-up demand. Unfortunately, a simplified and misinformed solution to the production shortfall that’s regularly offered up by some pundits and politicians in the U.S. is that “we just have to drill for more oil at home.”

First, even if the U.S. did drill for enough oil and keep it all here to gobble up for ourselves, that crude oil would still be tightly married to the global oil market—and beholden to whatever the world’s highest bidder is willing to pay for it.

This “solution” is also ignoring the fact that right now, oil companies are feeling enormous pressure to give up fast growth in favor of steadier profits and stock-boosting finance moves, such as higher dividends, more share buybacks and reduced debt. Read more about this here.

Investors have also been reading the tea leaves, and realize that a zero-carbon emissions world is not too far off in our future. Big money is holding back on fossil fuel investments as legislators try to move the country toward more renewable energy. Investors instead are looking to sink their money into long-term, profitable opportunities in the burgeoning green energy field.  By the way, the heating oil industry is making excellent progress with making our fuel more dependent on renewable energy too. Read about the benefits awaiting us in the future with Bioheat® fuel.

Another factor influencing oil companies is the memory of the breathtaking fall of crude oil prices during the early days of the pandemic. In the Spring of 2020, crude oil prices fell all the way to negative $30 per barrel! Traders had to pay buyers to take oil! Since then, however, prices have been steadily rising before they exploded in late February after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Could they drop that far again? Well, by mid-March, crude oil prices had begun to fall–but quickly took a U-turn and went up again as the situation in Ukraine remained unstable and the call for boycotts of Russian energy products picked up steam.

To say that we are currently in the midst of an extremely volatile energy market could be viewed as an understatement.

How Your Wisconsin Heating-Oil Company Can Help

Your full-service heating-oil company has perfected many ways to help you cut your heating costs dramatically while increasing your home comfort. Consider your Wisconsin heating-oil company your energy-saving partner, one that takes pride in delivering service with a personal touch.

During our long heating season in Wisconsin, your full-service heating-oil company will always maintain and ensure an ample supply of fuel to make sure you stay warm and safe.

Your local heating-oil company may be able to make life easier with automatic deliveries of fuel so that you don’t have to worry about calling for deliveries or running out of fuel when you need it the most.

To take away any worries about the normal ebb and flow of oil prices, contact your heating-oil company. Many companies offer programs designed to save you money and keep your heating bills manageable—no matter what happens with world oil prices or heating-oil prices in Wisconsin.

Rest assured, your Wisconsin heating oil supplier will do everything possible to ensure they can make deliveries—no matter the cost or difficulty they face.

What Comes Next with Oil Prices?

We don’t know where things will go from here, but if history is a guide, we can expect to see prices drop pretty significantly in the not-too-distant future. If you would like to read the U.S. Department of Energy’s short-term energy outlook, please go here.

Nothing will make your local Wisconsin heating oil company happier than when prices return to normal.  Until then, trust your heating oil supplier to look out for you and let’s hope that—regardless of what happens with energy prices—we will soon be living in a more peaceful world.

Buses in Madison To Run On Biodiesel

Clean Fuels Alliance America Invests in Wisconsin

clean fuel options wisconsinClean-burning, super-efficient biodiesel is hitting the roads in our state’s capital! The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board and Clean Fuels Alliance America (formerly known as the National Biodiesel Board), have invested funds to introduce 20 fleet service buses in Madison that will run on renewable biodiesel fuel.

The buses are retrofitted to start their engines with standard diesel, then switch over to biodiesel once the engine warms. What’s most exciting about these vehicles is that they will burn B100 fuel, or 100 percent biodiesel with no petroleum-based component.

It’s all part of a push in Madison to incorporate organic fuels into buses and ambulances. Since 2018, these initiatives have prevented over five million pounds of carbon emissions.

This is a win-win for Wisconsin. It ensures a greener, more sustainable future for everyone. Biofuels like biodiesel reduce carbon emissions, particulate matter and other harmful outputs like sulfur oxide. It also supports Wisconsin’s economy. Biodiesel production adds 13% of the cash value of soybeans grown in the Badger State. So, the next time you see a bus in Madison, it might be burning 100% renewable fuel!

Biodiesel Production Grows

Today, more than 125 production plants around the country make biodiesel. The United States biodiesel industry produces about three billion gallons of biodiesel now.

Increased production isn’t just about achieving a cleaner environment. It’s about building a stronger economy too. The biodiesel industry supports nearly 60,000 jobs and generates billions of dollars in GDP, household income and tax revenues.

Heating Oil and a Net Zero Tomorrow

While we’re on the subject of renewable fuels for the future, you might wonder about where home heating oil stands. Don’t worry. Not only is today’s heating oil environmentally friendly, it’s also a vital part of America’s movement toward net-zero carbon emissions.

Advanced heating fuels like Bioheat® fuel combine ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and biodiesel, composed of organic products like used cooking oil, tallow, fats and algae. Produced in the United States it is one of the cleanest-burning energy sources.

Biodiesel is a gallon-for-gallon substitute for petroleum-based fuels. Widespread regional use of Bioheat annually prevents more than 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of removing 320,000 vehicles from the road.

Plus, homes that heat with energy-efficient Bioheat fuel use less energy overall. Right now, and in the years ahead, you should feel great about heating your Wisconsin home with renewable heating oil!

You can read more about Bioheat fuel here.

Why People in Wisconsin Like Their Oilheat

Here Are 10 Reasons

oilheat wisconsinFolks in Wisconsin who live in a home that is kept warm by heating oil appreciate all of the benefits they get.

For example, the flame inside the heating oil system burns hotter than other types of systems. As a result, homeowners often report that their homes are warmer with a more evenly distributed heat when compared to their friends and neighbors who depend on other heating fuels to stay warm.

Heating oil consumers also know they have multiple choices about the company that delivers their oil. They have the freedom to select a company that best fits their needs and budget.

Wisconsin’s heating oil marketers are fiercely competitive, surviving on slim margins to provide quality products and services to their customers. It’s this ultra-competitive landscape that works to the customer’s benefit, ensuring the best possible prices and the highest quality of service and support.

Here are 10 more reasons why heating oil is a great way to go.

  1. The latest oil storage tanks are virtually leakproof. They’re constructed with corrosion-resistant galvanized steel and include a leak-detection system in case of emergencies.
  2. The development of ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and renewable Bioheat® fuel makes it possible for heating oil companies to deliver always-improving versions of heating oil.
  3. Contrary to what many people believe, heating oil will not burn in its liquid state and will not explode. In fact, if you were to drop a lit match into heating oil, the flame would go right out.
  4. Modern oil burners emit near-zero levels of pollution; heating with oil today means no odors, soot, or other residue in your home.
  5. Heating oil is very low risk when it comes to concerns about carbon monoxide. While malfunctions are rare, it’s worth noting that when they do occur, it’s usually due to a lack of maintenance. And if an issue happens to come up, the boiler or furnace will, in most cases, be shut off by the unit’s safety devices.
  6. Just a single gallon of heating oil provides an average of five hours of heat. Almost 140,000 Btu’s of heating energy are generated from every gallon of oil burned
  7. In a well-insulated home, an efficient, modern heating oil system can burn up to 40% less fuel than much older systems.
  8. When you upgrade your heating oil system to a more efficient one, you could be eligible for rebates.
  9. You’ll see a drop in your bill once you have an upgraded heating oil system that incorporates the latest fuel-efficient technology.
  10. Your heating oil company will always have an ample supply of fuel for your Wisconsin home. There are no worries about aging infrastructure interfering with the supply of heating energy to your home.

Read more about the benefits of heating oil.

What to Do If You’re Leaving Home

10 Energy Saving Tips When Going Away

vacation checklist wisconsin

If you’ll be leaving the winter wonderland of Wisconsin and spending time in a warmer climate for a while, here are 10 steps you can take to protect your home from frozen pipes and other damage.

A Vacation Checklist for Your Home

  1. Don’t turn off your heating system! Keep it running on the heat setting and don’t lower it below 60° F to help prevent pipes from freezing. You may want to adjust the thermostat setting a little higher if temperatures are forecasted to be especially frigid while your home is vacant.
  2. Invest in a Wi-Fi smart thermostat. This lets you manage heating (and cooling) remotely from your smartphone; it also sends you low-temperature alerts.
  3. Keep kitchen cabinet doors open to keep heat flowing to uninsulated pipes there.
  4. Make sure all windows and doors are closed and sealed. Close shutters and check locks on all windows and doors.
  5. Shut off the main water valve. The best way to prevent frozen pipes is to make sure there’s no water in them in the first place. Open up all your faucets to prevent pressure buildup from the little bit of water that remains in your pipes.
  6. If you haven’t done this already, you should locate your outdoor watering systems’ valves and turn them to the closed position. Then, drain any water left in the system. With no water left in the lines, you can be confident that ice will not collect. Several cost-effective items can reduce your risk of freezing pipes, including frost-free spigots and outdoor valve covers. These products are available at most home improvement retailers.
  7. Unplug appliances to protect them from power surges (which are common when power is restored after an outage) and reduce the risk of fire. You’ll also cut your energy bills by reducing the energy drawn from what are known as “vampire” appliances. Those are the ones that draw electric current even when they’re turned off. These include computers and computer-related equipment (modems, routers, etc.), cable or satellite TV boxes and surround sound systems.
  8. Close the flue on your wood fireplace. This will prevent snow, rain or animals from getting into your home. It will also prevent heat from escaping.
  9. Have someone check your home on a regular basis. That person can contact you if there’s a problem and give your heating oil company or HVAC professional access to fix a heating problem.
  10. If you get automatic heating oil deliveries, let your heating oil supplier know so they can revise their delivery plan accordingly.

If you think your furnace or boiler is not working properly, please reach out to your full-service heating oil dealer so they can put your mind at rest before you leave home.

Lost Your Heat? How To Troubleshoot The Problem

What To Check If You Lose Your Heat

heating repair wisconsinHere in Wisconsin, we’re used to navigating through extremely cold winters. But when we arrive at home, we expect to feel warm. Unfortunately, there are times when your heat may go out and you’re forced to deal with an uncomfortable, stressful situation.

First, stay calm and carry on. If you’ve lost your heat, you may be able to solve the problem by yourself.

Before calling for professional service, try these steps to see if you can get your furnace or boiler to start generating heat again. Often, the problem is a simple one that you can fix on your own.

Check Your Fuel Tank Level

You should always check your heating oil tank regularly—especially in the middle of a cold snap. You should call for a delivery before your fuel level gets too low. The benchmark for getting more heating oil is when your oil tank reaches about one-quarter full.

Check If Power Switches Are Turned On

If you find that power switches for your heating system have been turned off by mistake, simply turn the electrical switches back to the “on” position and your problem may be solved.

Generally, there is a power switch located on the side of the heating system or on a wall nearby. In addition, farther away, there should be an emergency switch with a red cover plate that is labeled. People will sometimes turn this switch off by mistake, thinking it is the power switch for a light.

Look For A Blown Fuse Or Tripped Circuit Breaker

If the power switches are not the problem, check your circuit breakers or fuse box to see if the circuit switches are still in the “on” position—or check to see if a fuse has blown out.

Thermostat Trouble

Many instances of heating systems not working can be traced to the thermostat, whose job it is to send a signal to your boiler or furnace to call for heat. But this signal may be interrupted if the wiring of the thermostat has begun to deteriorate.

A build-up of dust inside your thermostat is another common reason why your thermostat is not operating correctly. Another thing to look for are the batteries in the thermostat. The simplest solution may be this one: confirm that your thermostat is set above room temperature.

If you still haven’t found the problem, push the reset button on your oil burner—but not more than once or you may flood the system with oil. That can lead to an expensive repair.

If you can’t get heat after all this, it’s finally time to call in an oilheat professional.

Please contact your oilheat company if you have any concerns about staying safe and warm as we all buckle up for another Wisconsin winter.

What Is the Current Price of Heating Oil?

Understanding the Latest Energy Price Surge

home fuel prices wisconsinIf you’ve depended on heating oil to heat your home for a while, you know only too well that the price you pay for heating oil in Wisconsin can change from year to year. Why does that happen?

First, it’s notable that on the whole, the price of oil has been fairly stable over most of the last seven years. But there have been a lot of changes since last year that have upended the markets, with the leading disrupter being the COVID-19 pandemic.

Second, the market price of heating oil is always tied to a variety of factors that are constantly changing.

If you would like to view a long-term history of wholesale heating-oil prices in Wisconsin, please go here.

To see the U.S. Department of Energy’s outlook for crude-oil prices, please go here.

Factors That Affect Heating Oil Prices in Wisconsin

To give you some sense of how complicated the heating-oil-pricing equation can be, here’s a quick look at some of the major factors that contribute to it.

The Price of Crude Oil

The price of crude oil is the most important factor in the pricing of heating oil. Like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, heating oil is one of the many products refined from crude oil. The problem here is that crude oil is a globally traded commodity, which means that it is subject to many forces that drive its value up or down.

These forces can include:

  • destructive hurricanes or winter storms that temporarily shut down major refineries
  • international crises that can affect crude-oil production
  • supply and demand

COVID-19 Has Played a Large Role

Last year, demand for oil sunk to deep depths as more countries went into lockdown after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Global supply became diminished as producers responded by scaling back oil input. Now, with the wide availability of vaccines in most countries, people are traveling again and businesses have opened up.

But global supply hasn’t caught up with all of this increased demand. When you match low supply with high demand, prices go up. Of course, this is true for many other commodities, not just for heating fuel. We’re seeing this right now across the board with increased costs for consumer goods because of the many tangles in the global supply chain, which again, can be traced back to the pandemic.

But there is a silver lining in all of this. In its Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects crude oil prices to remain in the $80-per-barrel range until the end of the year. The good news is that in 2022, the EIA believes lagging supply will finally overtake demand. This should lead to a drop in global crude oil prices, with lower heating oil prices expected to follow.

How Your Wisconsin Heating-Oil Company Can Help

Your full-service heating-oil company has perfected many ways to help you cut your heating costs dramatically while increasing your home comfort. Consider your Wisconsin heating-oil company your energy-saving partner, one that takes pride in delivering service with a personal touch.

During our long heating season in Wisconsin, your full-service heating-oil company will always maintain and ensure an ample supply of fuel to make sure you stay warm and safe.

Your local heating-oil company may be able to make life easier with automatic deliveries of fuel so that you don’t have to worry about calling for deliveries or running out of fuel when you need it the most.

To take away any worries about the normal ebb and flow of oil prices, contact your heating-oil company. Many companies offer programs designed to save you money and keep your heating bills manageable—no matter what happens with world oil prices or heating-oil prices in Wisconsin.

Rest assured, your Wisconsin heating oil supplier will do everything possible to ensure they can make deliveries—no matter the cost or difficulty they face.

Let’s all get through this winter warm and safe and hope for better days—and lower prices—next spring.