In New England, low heating oil prices buy some time

AP News
Posted: Oct 18, 2015 9:15 AM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Lower heating oil prices this winter will mean a windfall in New England. But officials worry that low prices could lead to complacency.

Oil prices cratered late last winter, and the trend is expected to continue this year, putting more money in the pocket books of heating oil users and smoothing over price spikes caused by inadequate natural gas pipeline capacity in New England.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says lower energy prices and a warmer winter forecast will mean savings of 25 percent for heating oil users over last winter.

Tim Schneider is Maine's public advocate. He says low oil prices are making it challenging for residential natural gas providers to draw new customers.