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U.S. Heating Oil Trends

Last year, homeowners purchased a total of 3,486 million gallons of heating oil in America.

Short Term Trends

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 U.S., the average outside temperature was 4.0° F warmer than the prior winter's average outside temperature.

U.S. Average Winter Temperature

Heating SeasonAverage Temperature
Winter 2022 - 202346.2° F
Winter 2021 - 202242.2° F

U.S. Heating Oil Delivery Overview

5,476,024 households in America heat their homes with fuel oil. This makes oil delivery essential when thermometers drop as low as 42.5° F each winter.

4% of U.S. Households Rely On Heating Oil Delivery Each Winter

Total U.S. HouseholdsTotal U.S. Heating Oil Households

1,311 U.S. Oil Companies Go the Distance

With 3,486 million gallons of heating oil delivered to U.S. homeowners during the winter of 2023, the U.S. community relies on its 1,311 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. Then, the truck delivers the #2 heating oil to homes and businesses in America.

Oil Delivery FAQ's

How do oil delivery trucks work?

Oil delivery trucks use a three stage system: a pump, a meter, and a hose with a delivery nozzle. The pump, typically a gravity assisted transfer pump such as a Roper 3600, generates the fuel flow. The meter, such as the Liquid Controls "M-Series", measures the exact quantity of fuel that is dispensed into your tank. Meters are audited by your state's Weights and Measures inspectors to ensure accuracy. Finally, the fuel oil passes through a hose and into a delivery nozzle, such as the Scully Ball Valve Delivery nozzle.

Do oil delivery companies use tank gauges?

Very few oil delivery companies use tank gauges for four reasons:
  1. Oil tank gauges are expensive
  2. Oil tank gauges require battery replacement every year or two
  3. Oil tank gaugues require a wifi signal, and most home wifi routers do not reach down to the boiler room and
  4. The degree day oil consumption estimation method is typically accurate enough for oil companies to know when to refill your tank.
Oil delivery companies that do offer wifi oil tank gauges include:
  • Robison Energy
  • Bradigan
  • Combined Energy Services

Should I buy heating oil now or wait?

If you have less than a quarter tank of oil, you should buy oil now. Otherwise, wait until you are at that point so you can place a large order. If you order more than 150 gallons in one delivery, you are eligible for a volume discount. The only exception to that rule is if there is an extreme weather event on the horizon that may close streets for an extended period of time.

How many stops can a home oil delivery truck make a day?

A home oil delivery truck can make up 30 stops on a normal day. On the day before a major storm, a truck working around the clock can make up to 50 stops in a 24 hour period. In this case, drivers work in shifts.

How much do oil delivery drivers make?

Oil delivery drivers make between $20/hour and $35/hour depending on the individual driver's years of experience and the cost of living in the town.

How many gallons in a fuel oil delivery truck?

A fuel oil delivery truck carries between 2,500 and 4,500 gallons of #2 home heating oil.

How long is the hose on an oil delivery truck?

The hose on an oil delivery truck is typically 150 feet long.