Massachusetts - most energy related industry, government and news agencies are predicting the same thing; home heating oil prices, (in the New England region), will be fairly much the same as they were last year overall.
While prices in September remain low, (average $2.37/gallon from full service oil dealers), many feel the global economic recession is near it's low, and that if consumer demand and in-turn manufacturing and transportation increase -- it may lead to increased demand for petroleum products which could drive home heating oil prices higher later this winter, (early 2010).
The 2008-2009 heating season ranged from a high average of over $4.00/gallon in August then falling to roughly $2.40/gallon in December, and ending the northeast heating season at $2.18/gallon in March. Consumers who bought early, or locked in at high prices suffered as others who watched and waited bought oil at lower and lower prices throughout the winter of 2008 and spring of 2009.
If you're not on a heating oil program, be sure to have your furnace / boiler inspected and cleaned annually to be sure it's running as efficiently as possible. A dirty or clogged oil burner can waste oil, and can back-up dangerous fumes into your home.
Many heating oil dealers offer new customers incentives to sign up with them which includes an oil heater inspection, oil burner cleaning and tune-up, new filters, etc.. if you're currently a "COD", "will call", or "cash customer", it can't hurt to check out the offers.