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Kevin Rooney
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Energy Communications Council Statement on EIA Winter Fuels Outlook

Washington, D.C., October 12, 2011 The following quotes about the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Winter Fuels Outlook include a general quote about the strength of heating oil supplies right now, two quotes responding to the highlights of the EIA's Outlook, and a quote about the impact of U.S. monetary policy on the price of oil and its distillates such as heating oil.


"We expect the heating oil supply to be plentiful for consumers during the 2011-2012 heating season. Drilling and domestic production are increasing, according to the Energy Information Administration’s most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook. Additionally, heating oil continues to become more versatile as more and more states transition to ultra-low sulfur fuel. These projections, coupled with what the U.S. Department of Energy predicts will be a fully stocked Heating Oil Reserve, suggest ample fuel supply throughout the winter months.” – John Huber, ECC chief spokesman and president of the National Oilheat Research Alliance

2. EIA expects U.S. consumers to spend 8 percent more on heating oil than they did last year.

"When it comes to winter heating prices, more and more customers are taking the heating oil industry’s advice on how to conserve energy and lower their heating oil bills. The EIA predicts further decreases in consumption this season. Federal and state incentive programs have also encouraged many consumers to weatherize their homes and replace older boilers and burners with new, high efficiency equipment. In addition to these developments, the heating oil industry embraces and encourages the use of alternative energy sources, like biofuels and solar powered water heating applications that continue to dramatically reduce the amount of fuel we consume. When consumption comes down, prices go down. And we continue to encourage consumers to speak with their heating oil suppliers about payment plans and programs specifically designed to ease the burden of increased fuel usage during the coldest winter months.” – Kevin Rooney, ECC primary spokesman and CEO of the Oil Heat Institute of Long Island

3. The EIA forecasts milder temperatures throughout much of the Nation this season.

"Weather, which the Energy Information Administration does its best to project, is a key factor in determining heating oil demand and prices. This season, the EIA predicts that temperatures will be, on average, 2% warmer than last year (last year was 5% warmer than the year before). In warmer weather, consumption goes down, and with this decreased demand comes lower prices. Hence, a warmer winter should mean lower heating bills for consumers. However, predicting with any precision the temperatures for a given season is nearly impossible. Therefore, conservation will continue to play an important role in keeping costs down." – Kevin Rooney, ECC primary spokesman and CEO of the Oil Heat Institute of Long Island


"The rise and fall of energy prices are subject to many variables, making forecasting very uncertain. According to the EIA and several other highly reputable sources, U.S. and European economic concerns continue to expose oil prices to significant volatility. When an economy whose stability strongly influences the price of product shows sign of distress, it triggers upsets and large-scale movement in the futures trading markets, and markets ultimately determine the price of oil and its distillates.” – John Huber, ECC chief spokesman and president of the National Oilheat Research Alliance

Heating oil prices and consumption vary significantly among U.S. states and regions. If you are writing about the winter heating outlook for a particular region or state, please contact the ECC member from your area.

Read the ECC’s news release on 15 Steps for a Leaner, Greener & Easier Way to Manage Your Oilheat Bill this Winter

National Oilheat Research Alliance ECC is funded in part through the National Oilheat Research Alliance.