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WGME: Heating oil prices through the roof, hitting new record high | WGME

They paid $800 a few weeks ago to top off their 275-gallon oil tank. Anyone who has to fill a tank right now would pay twice that.

WESTBROOK (WGME) -- Heating oil prices in Maine shot up last week to a new record high.

In October, the average heating oil price was $2.50 a gallon, but now, several companies are charging $6 a gallon.

Bucklin and his girlfriend are working Mainers with three young children.

They paid $800 a few weeks ago to top off their 275-gallon oil tank.

Anyone who has to fill a tank right now would pay twice that.

"We filled it just prior to the prices skyrocketing,” Bucklin said. “So we got lucky."

Also read: Maine eyes panel to help corral rising energy costs
Right now, the lowest price for Number 2 heating oil in southern Maine is $5.73 a gallon. The highest price is $6, as low-income and working-class families feel the pinch.

"Yeah, it went up a $1.50 in one week, just on the margins,” Shawn Desrochers, who owns three fuel delivery businesses, said. “They went crazy."

Heating oil prices in Maine shot up last week to a new record high. (WGME)

Desrochers’ fuel delivery businesses currently have the lowest prices in southern Maine.

"When we see the prices going up, we try to buy some prompts,” Desrochers said. “So that way we have enough to keep the customers going and keep the costs low."

He says many customers tell him they don't know what they're going to do if oil prices don't come back down.

Also read: Older Mainers on fixed incomes struggle to keep up with rising costs
“The cost is just too expensive," Desrochers said. "Hopefully there's a break in the pricing soon."

Thanks to emergency funding from the American Rescue Plan, 30,000 Mainers, already approved for energy assistance, got thousands of extra dollars in their accounts.

MaineHousing administers those LIHEAP funds and encourages Mainers to start applying now for energy assistance next winter.

"We're heading into that time of year where the phones die down a little bit. It doesn't mean the pricing isn't alarming, which it is. But the volatility of oil prices has always been there," MaineHousing Director Dan Brennan said.

"You don't really budget for $1,000 in heating oil, especially in Maine," Bucklin said.

Also read: Ask the I-Team: Why is heating oil more expensive than gasoline?
Bucklin says even if the heat is off, they still need hot water.

"It's the heat, the water, the showers,” Bucklin said. “You know, you still need heat."

Heating oil prices in Maine shot up last week to a new record high. (WGME)

Have questions about heating oil or propane, choosing the right vendor, or heating your home economically?
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Right now, the lowest price for Number 2 heating oil in southern Maine is $5.73 a gallon. The highest price is $6, as low-income and working-class families feel the pinch.

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Fuelwonk recommends comparing local vendor propane and heating oil prices before you make the decision to fill up your home tank - use our online comparison tool to find the best offers in your area.