The Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security’s weekly heating oil survey Monday, March 21, found the statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $3.66 per gallon, a 1-cent decrease from last week.

“While the small drop in heating oil prices was a welcome reprieve from the four-month increases Maine consumers have had to bear this winter, continuing conflict in Libya and the triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear shutdown in Japan could keep prices high,” said OEIS Director Ken Fletcher.

“Normally, heating oil prices drop in the spring and summer months while the driving season brings higher prices for gasoline. Increased demand for distillate fuels in Japan, along with geopolitical instability in the Middle East, may shift that balance and maintain high prices throughout the summer. Spring is a perfect time for homeowners and businesses to evaluate potential energy-efficiency and conservation measures and install improvements to confront high prices and prepare for next winter.”

The price for heating oil is a statewide average and prices in a given geographic region of the state may be higher or lower than the statewide average.

Within the OEIS sample, the lowest heating oil price of $3.50 per gallon was found in the southwest and western regions.

The highest price of $3.88 per gallon was found in the northern region.

The statewide kerosene price average was $4.07 per gallon.

The statewide average for propane based on annual usage of 925 gallons, was $3.04 per gallon.

The price of WTI crude oil, a major driver of refined petroleum product prices, including heating oil, was $102.79.