Heating Oil Hike

By: Kelly Creswell Email
By: Kelly Creswell Email

Shivering Valley residents may also cringe when they turn up their heat. Along with extremely low temperatures, record-high oil prices are forcing people to act a little more conservatively with their heaters this winter.

For some residents in Harrisonburg, it's that time of the year to fill up on oil for the winter, but those oil prices are making some look for ways to save. One resident, Walter Sellers, is finding ways to cut down on his heating bills.

With temperatures hitting extreme lows overnight, Rockingham Petroleum fielded calls with people asking to fill up, but this time, they were just asking for the minimum delivery because that's all they can afford right now.

"I mean, most of them are prepared for it," says Gary Huffman, who works for Rockingham Petroleum. "They're not totally shocked. Some of them are because they don't really realize at $3 a gallon how fast it can add up."

Increased demand around the world, a devalued dollar and unregulated futures traded on the global commodities markets are just some of the reasons why prices hit $3.19 a gallon for heating oil Thursday.

"Most of them are concerned about the price but they say 'Oh well, we need the oil'.' So they have to pay it," says Huffman. "They've adjusted. They know it's coming."

Adjusted is an understatement for some residents.

"It's thirty out here, 60 in the house. It feels good," says Sellers who always keeps the temperature at 60 degrees.

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