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Propane vs. Natural Gas vs. Heating Oil: Worcester County Home Heating Fuel Comparison

Homeowners have a variety of home heating fuels to choose from. Natural gas is the most popular choice in Worcester County, used by 1,462,335 or 52.38% of homes. The 2nd most popular choice for Worcester County homeowners is heating oil, used by 663,749 homes (23.78%). The remaining homes are heated with electricity (490,395), propane (123,474), wood (34,021), and other fuels (50,956).

Worcester County Primary Home Heating Fuel Popularity by Number of Households

FuelWorcester County Households % of Households
Natural Gas1.4M52.38%
Heating Oil663,74923.78%
Electricity490,39517.57%
Propane123,4744.42%
Wood34,0211.22%
Other Fuels24,6550.88%
No Fuel19,2830.69%
Solar5,4650.20%
Coal1,5530.06%

Natural gas (52.38)

Heating oil (23.78)

Electricity (17.57)

Propane (4.42)

Wood (1.22)

Other fuels (0.88)

No fuel (0.69)

Solar (0.20)

Coal (0.06)

#2 Heating Oil (Fuel Oil) Use in Worcester County

Heating oil has become less popular in Worcester County. In the 9 years since 2013, the number of heating oil homes fell from 798,470 to 663,749, a 16.87% drop.

Worcester County Heating Oil Households (2011 - 2022)

YearHeating Oil Households
2011851,319
2012827,983
2013798,470
2014770,791
2015746,949
2016723,433
2017707,835
2018690,486
2019678,224
2020667,484
2021662,876
2022663,749

Propane vs. Natural Gas use for home heating in Worcester County

Between 2013 and today, the number of homes using propane as the primary space heating fuel rose from 69,678 to 123,474.

Between 2013 and today, the number of homes using natural gas as the primary space heating fuel rose from 1,241,379 to 1,462,335.

Electricity use for home heating in Worcester County

Electric space heating systems are becoming more popular in Worcester County. Since 2013, the number of homes heating with electricity rose from 353,733 to 490,395, a 38.63% increase.

Solar use for home heating in Worcester County

Solar is the most environmentally friendly of all space heating fuels. With an “active” solar heating system, liquid is circulated between solar panels on a home’s roof and a heat energy storage tank in the basement.

Currently, 5,465 homes in Worcester County are heated with active solar arrays. This is a 512.67% increase from 2013, when only 892 homes had installed active solar heating.

Worcester County Heating Oil Trends

Last year, Worcester County homeowners purchased a total of 118 million gallons of heating oil.

Short Term Trends

Worcester County’s overall heating oil use varies from year to year, primarily depending on how cold each winter is. As the temperature outside gets colder, homes’ heating systems need to burn more and more oil to keep homes warm. Last winter in Worcester County, the average outside temperature was 5.3° F warmer than the prior winter's average outside temperature.

Worcester County Average Winter Temperature

Heating SeasonAverage Temperature
Winter 2022 - 202342.7° F
Winter 2021 - 202237.4° F

Worcester County Homeowner’s Guide to Selecting an Oil Company

For Worcester County homeowners heating with oil, selecting which of the 322 heating oil companies that serve Worcester County is an important decision.

Full Service Oil Companies: Homeowners willing to pay a premium for a “set-it-and-forget-it” heating system choose one of the 1266 “full-service” oil companies that serve Worcester County. Full service companies such as Al's Oil Service or RiteWay Heating Cooling & Plumbing Inc offer automatic fuel delivery and furnace repair under a single roof.

Discount Oil Companies: Also known by the names “COD Fuel Companies” or “Cash Heating Oil Companies”, these companies are for the budget-conscious Worcester County homeowner. In return for better prices, you monitor the oil level in your tank and place an order when you run low on oil. Examples of cash heating oil companies that serve Worcester County include Peak Heating/Air Conditioning, Inc and ACCURATE MEDICAL COOLING.

Worcester County Heating Oil Company Fast Facts

Heating Oil Companies Serving Worcester County: 322 companies

Average Number Of Worcester County Homes Served Per Company: 417 homes

Average Gallons Delivered per Worcester County Oil Company: 366,258 gallons per year

Worcester County Heating Oil Delivery Overview

134,474 households in Worcester County heat their homes with fuel oil. This makes oil delivery essential when Worcester County thermometers drop as low as 42.5° F each winter.

39% of Worcester County Households Rely On Heating Oil Delivery Each Winter

Worcester County HouseholdsWorcester County Heating Oil Households
340,798134,474

6,231 Worcester County Oil Companies Go the Distance

With 118 million gallons of heating oil delivered to Worcester County homeowners during the winter of 2023, the Worcester County community relies on its 6,231 oil companies to keep warm.

Oil delivery is a two step process: First, an oil truck picks up oil at the nearest bulk fuel terminal. In the case of Worcester County, two of the closest terminals are Sti in Springfield, MA and Sprague in Springfield, MA. Then, the truck delivers the #2 heating oil to homes and businesses in Worcester County.

More Worcester County HVAC Resources