EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – While the cost of home heating oil has been a concern that has only intensified since last summer, now the government is worried about the supply.
On Friday we were lucky, the sun was out and temperatures hit the mid-50s. But soon people will be turning up their heat and those who use oil not only have to plan for about sky-high prices but dwindling supply. The US Energy Information Administration has reported that heating oil reserves are 63% below the five-year average here in the northeast.
Luckily, oil companies here in the pioneer valley are not feeling the pinch, it’s more the fluctuating price that’s an issue. Marty Topor, the owner of Central Oil Company stated, “I am not experiencing any difficulties with home heating oil. Heating oil is bouncing around like you wouldn’t believe, the other day it went up 26 cents in one day, and some days we get two and three price increases.”
So while the supply of home heating oil may not be a concern, lawmakers are worried that the money from the federal government may not be enough to fill the coffers of the federal fuel assistance programs. $38 million in emergency funding for extra heating help through the Low Income ENERGY Assistance Program has been funded to Baystate Medical Center this year from the Biden administration.
Congressman Richard Neal said, “I think that the $38 million that has been allocated so far, is likely not to be enough. I think we are looking at some seismic changes in terms of energy development production and renewables, and we want to make sure that people who live in New England, particularly here in western and central Massachusetts, can have a safe warm winter.”