Home heating oil can be expensive with the cost eating away at your household budget. Although you have no control over the cost of crude oil that can send the price of home heating oil spiraling upward, there are different types of payment programs in which you can participate to help keep your heating bills manageable.
By pre-buying your heating oil before the heating season begins, you pay a set price for the amount of oil that you estimate you will use throughout the winter. Since you will be paying the current market price for heating oil on the day you sign the contract, you save money if oil prices rise throughout the winter. To benefit, you must be careful not to underestimate how much oil you will use during the heating season.
Factors That Contribute to Oil Usage
How much heating oil you use not only depends on the temperature outside, but also depends on how much oil you burned the previous winter, how old your furnace is, the size of your home, at what temperature you set the thermostat, and how well you have insulated your home. Although you can't estimate the exact amount, reviewing your billing statements from the last few winters can give you an idea of historic weather trends and your heating fuel consumption.
Signing up for a budget plan if you are an automatic delivery customer takes the uncertainty out of how much your oil bill will be with each tank fill. The dealer will give you a total estimated cost for the year based on your past annual oil consumption and current prices. That cost is divided into equal monthly payments – usually over a 10-month period.
Most dealers require that you sign up for a budget plan during the summer. Otherwise, you may have to make a couple of payments up front before you receive an oil delivery. If the heating season turns out to be unseasonably cold or warm, the dealer may adjust the budget rate at some point during the term of the agreement.
C.O.D. Discount Oil Dealers
C.O.D. (cash on delivery) dealers offer heating oil at discounted prices. The dealer will require that you pay in cash, by personal check, or with a credit card on the day the oil is delivered. Paying by credit card gives you 30 days to pay since you will owe the card company, but still gets you the C.O.D. discount on your home heating oil. Another advantage of buying C.O.D. heating oil is that you only have to buy as much as your budget can afford.
Oil Buying Cooperatives
In many areas, there are oil buying cooperatives that you can join to get a discount on the home heating oil you buy. Although some cooperatives charge a membership fee, others are free to join. Many offer you the option of choosing automatic or C.O.D. deliveries. Consumers benefit because dealers are guaranteed a high volume of customers and repeat business, which allows them to offer heating oil to members at reduced cost.
The rewards programs offered by some heating oil distributors are another way to save money on home heating costs. If you are a regular customer, you can earn points for every gallon of oil you buy, which you can then redeem for a discount on future heating oil purchases. With rewards programs, the more heating oil you buy, the more money you can save. Some dealers also give you additional reward points for bringing new customers their way.
For heating oil, contact a company such as Olympic Energy LLC.