A Yearly Snapshot
In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Energy Office monitors weekly propane and heating oil prices during the season and reports that information to the federal agency. Supply conditions are also assessed during the weekly calls to dealers in the state.
Factors that impact prices each season include: national and state inventory and import levels; refinery downtime; prices of crude oil and natural gas; the weather; the economy; and the political arena. Currently, Nebraska is one of 22 states collecting heating oil information ans one of 24 states collecting propane price data. Among the early findings of the analysis of the 2004/2005 heating season in Nebraska were:
Weather is Wildcard
Of the factors that impact prices, weather remains the key wildcard each winter. An analysis of the state’s heating degree days, indicates temperatures were warmer than normal.
Heating oil prices began the most recent heating season 3 to 4 cents higher than the previous two years. Prices at the end of the 2003/2004 heating season were below prices from a year ago while still considerably higher from prices of two years ago.