Home heating oil costs soaring to near-record highs

While prices at the pump continue to fall, home heating oil has been trending in the opposite direction. 

The current national average for heating oil prices is just over $5 a gallon, more than twice what it was in the winter of 2015/2016, when a gallon of heating oil was just $2.06. 

"I got my first heating bill, and it was up probably 30%," one man told FOX 5 NY.

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Experts say the spike in costs has to do with colder-than-expected winter weather, refinery closures, and a global oil supply crunch.

"With an impending European Union ban on the purchase of Russian sourced diesel, we’ll see a scramble for alternative supply which on a worldwide basis will continue to have a tight market for diesel fuel," said home heating expert Andy Lipow, President of Lipow Oil Associates.  

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects heating a home with natural gas will cost an extra 25% this winter, and heating with electricity will run 11% higher. However, the steepest hike will be on heating oil, which is expected to be 45% more expensive - impacting roughly 5 million households, mostly in the Northeast.

Bills are expected to be higher than in year’s past and experts believe it will stay that way for the next 6-12 months. But the good news they  say is that it looks like heating oil prices have peaked.