Nova Scotia

Cape Breton senior questions high cost of home heating oil

Seventy-nine-year-old Pauline Wadden can't understand why the cost of her home heating oil hasn't seen the big drop in price like other oil products.

The price of oil is down on world markets, but senior says she's not seeing a corresponding drop on her bill

Seventy-nine-year-old Pauline Wadden can't understand why the price of her home heating oil hasn't seen the big drop like other oil products. 

The value of oil on world markets has plummeted in the last several weeks, and since August the price of gasoline in Cape Breton has dropped 20 cents a litre.  

"If they can afford to put the gas prices down, why can't they afford to put the oil heating down?" Wadden says.

She lives in a modest bungalow in Catalone. Even though she's on a payment plan, she's still dishing out more than $200 a month to heat her home with oil.

Wadden says so far she hasn't seen any drop in her payments.

She says it would be a big help if home heating oil took a big drop in price like gasoline.

"I think if people were to take their time and go and visit the people they serve for oil and see. I mean people with big families, some of them are freezing, I know that," Wadden says. 

But home heating oil prices have dropped and people should be seeing the savings, says Dave Collins, the vice-president of Wilson Fuel.

"Prices are down by over 10 cents a litre from the peak and poised to go even farther down as inventories clear out," he says. "So I think they have come down just as much."

However, he says sales tax causes some confusion when comparing home heating fuel to gasoline prices. 

Home heating fuel is quoted without sales tax added, and the price seems higher when the final bill arrives, he says. The price at the pump already includes tax.

Collins expects people will see more savings in the coming weeks as home heating oil continues to drop in price. 

"You'll probably start to see prices generally get down below a buck here, eventually here in the not to distant future, which will be a big relief for a lot of people."