In the Lehigh Valley, consisting of both Lehigh and Northampton counties, 78,536 homes are heated by natural gas, 77,688 are heated by oil, while 74,405 homes use electricity. Oil is still a main heating source in the Valley, although it is down from ten years ago, when over 84,000 homes were heated by oil and only 60,000 used gas..
Due to the extreme snowy conditions and cold weather temperature this winter, heating oil prices have reached an all time high. Before January, winter prices for home heating oil was at $3.50 per gallon, and were not expected to rise in the Lehigh Valley.
However, the January snow and lingering cold temperature has caused an increase in demand for all types of home heating; natural gas, propane, oil, and electricity. The dwindling supply of home heating oil has caused prices to rise to as much as $4 per gallon-- an all time high for the Lehigh Valley.
If cold weather and snow persists through the remainder of the month and into March, we could see prices increase even higher for not only heating oil, but all types of heating sources.