The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

What Is a Heating Degree Day?

Thermometer in the winter

Posted: January 14, 2018

If you get your fuel from P. Gagnon & Son via automatic propane delivery or automatic heating oil delivery, your fill-up schedule is based on an estimate that takes into account two key factors: your past fuel usage during a similar time period (or, if you have recently become a P. Gagnon customer, usage for a home your size in our service area), and the current weather.

For the former, the calculation is pretty straightforward; for the latter, we use a commonly accepted formula called a degree day.

The concept of a degree day is simple: every degree that the average daily temperature drops below 65 degrees in your area counts as one degree day; if the average temperature on any given day is 25 degrees, for example, that counts as 40 degree days. In average Maine-area heating season – which runs from October 1 to April 1 – we typically see about 7,000 heating degree days.

By looking at degree days and the other factors we discussed above, our propane and heating oil teams can create efficient and reliable delivery routes with a schedule designed to minimize or eliminate fuel run-outs for our automatic delivery customers. This reliability provides a significant advantage for you as a customer compared to Will Call service, which provides fuel deliveries on a first-available basis.

Automatic delivery also eliminates the need to monitor your fuel levels, since deliveries are scheduled automatically when your tank reaches about one-quarter full. This can really come in handy during particularly busy times of year (during the holiday season, for example), or during a sudden onset of cold weather, when you’re using fuel more quickly than you realize.

To learn more about automatic delivery, check out our Q&As on our heating oil and propane delivery pages – or just give us a call: we’re happy to fill you in before we fill you up.

For the easiest and most reliable propane and heating oil deliveries in our Maine service area, choose automatic delivery from P. Gagnon & Son. Contact us today to make the switch from Will Call!