The heat is still on for spring

Jeff Tyler Feb 29, 2008


Bob Moon: And how does this play out here at home? This is the time of year that heating oil prices usually begin to fall. This year, though, they’re expected to keep on rising. On top of that, Marketplace’s Jeff Tyler reports it’s now looking like this spring could be colder than normal.

Jeff Tyler: Wholesale prices for heating oil are 50 percent higher compared to last year.

Severin Borenstein is director of the University of California Energy Institute:

Severin Borenstein: Heating oil prices have been rising over the last month, which is unusual for February. And that reflects the fact that oil prices have gone back up over the last month.

Heating oil consumers are feeling the pinch. In Hubbard, Ohio, Diana Shipton has used up almost all of her winter heating oil.

Diana Shipton: I can’t afford to fill it up again.

She keeps the heat down and wears sweaters inside. And as fate would have it, Shipton makes slightly too much to qualify for financial assistance.

Shipton: You’re poor enough not to be able to afford anything. But you’re too rich to get any help.

She bought fuel for the season last August, when prices were much lower. With heating oil prices now above $3 a gallon, Shipton can only hope for a warm spring.

I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

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