What drives today’s energy prices?
There are many factors that cause energy prices (crude oil, natural gas, electricity, coal, propane, etc.) to rise and fall. These include:
- levels of inventory
- severe weather
- the state of the economy
- world events that may affect energy production
All of these factors contribute to the normal trend of ups and downs in the energy markets. But “speculation” has been the primary catalyst fueling the extremes we have seen in recent years. Speculators from giant banks, hedge funds and even pension funds “bet” on which way the markets will move, hoping to make money from their investments.
Unfortunately, everyone gets caught in the whipsaw effect of increased costs and uncertainty. It hits homeowners in the wallet and has other ripple effects. For fuel dealers like us, the cost of hedging programs (which help stabilize prices for our customers) has gone up dramatically because of volatility in the energy markets.
Like you, we would want nothing better than to see oil prices stabilize and stay at lower levels.
There are many ways you can minimize your winter heating bills and maximize your comfort.
- Remember that efficiency beats switching fuels. The Consumer Energy Council of America says switching fuels is a “costly and long-term gamble”; you can lose thousands in conversion and installation costs. To reduce your fuel bills, the best solution is to invest in efficiency.
- Make sure your system is operating at peak efficiency by having a professional tune-up. It can help you save 5-10% on your annual fuel bills.
- Evaluate your home’s insulation. You can save 25% or more by properly insulating ceilings, and by sealing, caulking and weather-stripping your windows and doors.
At Wilson Oil and Propane, we appreciate your business, and we will continue to do everything possible to give you the best value for your hard-earned money.