On October 5, OPEC announced it was slashing production by two million barrels a day. Within just three days, our suppliers increased the cost of heating oil by 70 cents per gallon. That’s right, 70 cents per gallon.
This is not just impacting heating oil. Expect natural gas, electricity, gasoline and propane to move higher too. Of course, this is not simply about supply and demand. We’ve learned that when prices move this far this fast, you can always see the impact of Wall Street firms that jump to take advantage of the momentum to make a quick buck. (Or should we say millions of bucks?) It frustrates the heck out of us.
Of course, things can turn around just as quickly. We saw prices spike in spring only to drop by over a dollar in summer. There are just too many variables to know where things will go from here.
Here are a few things to bear in mind:
- We hate high prices and volatility just as much as you do. It hurts our customers, hurts our company, and makes planning very difficult.
- This year, supply issues could become problematic. While we have excellent relationships with our suppliers, it is imperative that you go on (or stay on) automatic delivery. This way, if we go on “allocation” from suppliers, have drivers out sick because of COVID, or face severe weather, we can manage capacity better and keep you warm.
- Don’t be surprised by big bills. If you’d like to know how much you used last year so you can project this year’s bills more accurately, call us. This is going to be painful, but it will be helpful to be able to plan for it.
- If you are having trouble keeping up with your payments, it is critical that you call us as soon as you realize there’s an issue. We can work with you but only if you communicate with us early.
I will try to keep you informed as events unfold. There are many things we can’t control, but we will always prioritize our existing customers over new ones. We will go the extra mile to keep you safe and warm. And we will be there when you need us.