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

Homeowners have a variety of home heating fuels to choose from. Heating oil is the most popular choice in Cumberland County, used by 344,285 or 59.84% of homes. The 2nd most popular choice for Cumberland County homeowners is propane, used by 74,720 homes (12.99%). The remaining homes are heated with electricity (53,649), wood (50,553), natural gas (46,832), and other fuels (16,018).

Cumberland County Primary Home Heating Fuel Popularity by Number of Households

FuelCumberland County Households % of Households
Heating Oil344,28559.84%
Propane74,72012.99%
Electricity53,6499.33%
Wood50,5538.79%
Natural Gas46,8328.14%
Other Fuels10,7761.87%
No Fuel2,2210.39%
Solar1,7620.31%
Coal1,2590.22%

Heating oil (59.84)

Propane (12.99)

Electricity (9.33)

Wood (8.79)

Natural gas (8.14)

Other fuels (1.87)

No fuel (0.39)

Solar (0.31)

Coal (0.22)

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

Heating oil has become less popular in Cumberland County. In the 8 years since 2014, the number of heating oil homes fell from 368,680 to 344,285, a 6.62% drop.

Cumberland County Heating Oil Households (2011 - 2022)

YearHeating Oil Households
2011399,528
2012389,712
2013378,400
2014368,680
2015359,172
2016350,786
2017345,775
2018344,793
2019344,403
2020348,823
2021345,156
2022344,285

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

Between 2014 and today, the number of homes using propane as the primary space heating fuel rose from 42,849 to 74,720.

Between 2014 and today, the number of homes using natural gas as the primary space heating fuel rose from 30,124 to 46,832.

Electricity use for home heating in Cumberland County

Electric space heating systems are becoming more popular in Cumberland County. Since 2014, the number of homes heating with electricity rose from 26,483 to 53,649, a 102.58% increase.

Solar use for home heating in Cumberland 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, 1,762 homes in Cumberland County are heated with active solar arrays. This is a 298.64% increase from 2014, when only 442 homes had installed active solar heating.

Cumberland County Heating Oil Trends

Last year, Cumberland County homeowners purchased a total of 48 million gallons of heating oil.

Short Term Trends

Cumberland 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 Cumberland County, the average outside temperature was 15.0° F warmer than the prior winter's average outside temperature.

Cumberland County Average Winter Temperature

Heating SeasonAverage Temperature
Winter 2022 - 202339.5° F
Winter 2021 - 202224.5° F

Cumberland County Homeowner’s Guide to Selecting an Oil Company

For Cumberland County homeowners heating with oil, selecting which of the 88 heating oil companies that serve Cumberland 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 153 “full-service” oil companies that serve Cumberland County. Full service companies such as Vic and Sons Fuel Co or Atlantic Heating Co 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 Cumberland 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 Cumberland County include Lampron Energy and Maine Heating and Cooling.

Cumberland County Heating Oil Company Fast Facts

Heating Oil Companies Serving Cumberland County: 88 companies

Average Number Of Cumberland County Homes Served Per Company: 759 homes

Average Gallons Delivered per Cumberland County Oil Company: 544,776 gallons per year

Cumberland County Heating Oil Delivery Overview

66,837 households in Cumberland County heat their homes with fuel oil. This makes oil delivery essential when Cumberland County thermometers drop as low as 42.5° F each winter.

51% of Cumberland County Households Rely On Heating Oil Delivery Each Winter

Cumberland County HouseholdsCumberland County Heating Oil Households
129,07166,837

1,228 Cumberland County Oil Companies Go the Distance

With 48 million gallons of heating oil delivered to Cumberland County homeowners during the winter of 2023, the Cumberland County community relies on its 1,228 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 Cumberland County, two of the closest terminals are Gulf in So. Portland, ME and Sprague in So. Portland, ME. Then, the truck delivers the #2 heating oil to homes and businesses in Cumberland County.

More Cumberland County HVAC Resources