Leaders in New England are keeping a close eye on home heating fuel supplies. War and weather are posing a challenge ahead of this winter. Federal officials say heading into the winter, New England is 63% below the five-year average for heating oil supply. Heating oil and kerosene heat about half of Vermont’s homes. The rest are a combination of wood, natural gas or propane. Matt Cota of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association says the state may have a smaller supply but: “Are we going to have enough supply for the winter? The answer is an emphatic yes. What will the price be? No one can tell.” State leaders say there’s no indication of a shortage of propane and Vermont’s natural gas supply comes from Canada– that isn’t of concern. The price of heating oil is backward-dated, so the price of oil is more expensive today than it is in the winter when half of Vermont homes need it. In the coming months, the price of fuel is expected to fluctuate due to uncertainty about global fuel supplies due to the war in Ukraine. Cota says there’s no need to panic buy but he says now is a good time to work with your fuel dealer to lock in a pricing program. If home heating prices do increase this winter there are resources for Vermonters to keep their costs down– fuel assistance benefits through LIHEAP, utility assistance programs and resources for weatherizing your home.
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