Home Heating Oil Remains Steady, High

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Knoxville (WVLT) - Gas prices might be on their way down, but that's not the case for fuels like kerosene and diesel that people use to heat their homes.

John and Geraldine Slessinger have lived in this house for almost 50 years and every year they heat their home with oil.

"That's what was back in those days, that's what people used, that or wood, we decided to use oil," says Geraldine Slessinger.

And they buy it from GT Oil Company in Loudon. Manager Sam Lynn says the Slessingers are only one of a few left who do, most consumers have turned to natural gas.

"Back years ago we used to sell close to a million gallons a year, but now, it's, we'd do good to sell a whole lot less than that now," says Lynn.

When Lynn started 40 years ago, it cost about 15 cents a gallon to heat a home with oil, now, for 100 gallons a month, people are paying close to $200.

He says it looks like prices will stay at about $2.50 a gallon again this year, so he's telling people to wait to buy their oil.

"If the market comes down then they would be better off just hold up a little bit cause right now the diesel fuel is economical as anything going," says Lynn.

Last year was the most expensive year for the Slessingers. They paid almost $300 for 125 gallons of oil, but they make ends meet to pay the bill.

"If you've got some extra money, you save that extra money for your oil, that's all you have to do," says Slessinger. "We're not gonna get rid of our stove so we've got it ready for when we start to order the oil when it gets cold."

And even though it looks like prices will stay about the same this year, they'll still get their oil delivered from Loudon.

"We're gonna order it, whatever it is we'll pay it and get it," Slessinger says.

Lynn says if this winter is a real bad season, people will get fuel like kerosene and diesel to heat their homes because many people use it as back up heat.