Choosing a Home Fuel Oil Company: Important Factors to Consider

If you are a first-time homeowner, you’ll quickly find that maintaining a well-run home is more mental effort and energy than might have been expected. One of the main services to keep on top of is your heating, and if you need home fuel oil, it will be important to find the right supplier for you.

There are likely dozens of names in your phone book to choose from, but these tips will help you decide on who to hire.

Decide on What Type of Fuel Oil Company You Want

There are two types of fuel oil services to know more about. Full-service companies sell fuel oil and also offer a range of services including maintenance of boilers, furnaces, etc. In contrast, a discount heating oil company will only deliver oil and offer not other services outside of fuel oil supply.

Pricing

To make sure you are getting a fair price on your fuel oil, a company’s price should be compared to an industry index. For example, the Oil Heat Institute of New York is an industry group that tracks daily average prices, based on information published in The Journal of Commerce.

Service Agreements

A service agreement is a contract offered by a fuel oil company to provide oil and service for a window of time to their customer. Likewise, the consumer is committed to purchasing oil from the company in good faith to the contract. Service agreements will normally be available for emergency service requests and regular maintenance.

Items Excluded from Service Agreements

Buyer beware: service agreements generally do not include parts or labor for things such as flood, water damage, frozen pipes, and the like. Unless specified, fuel oil services will also not be responsible for plumbing or electrical work.

Discounts

Many fuel oil companies in your area will offer discounts on their oil. Be mindful that discounts are usually offered for: customers who purchase large volumes, seniors and other fixed-income groups, and customers who automatically pay their bills within a window period, such as 10 days from delivery or receipt of an invoice.

Installment Plans

To make things simpler and easier, a heating oil company will allow customers to pay in 12 equal monthly payments based upon what their usage was the year before. Some companies will even pay interest on any positive credit balance that a customer accrues during the year.

Fixed and Capped Prices

In order to work with customers who worry about volatile oil prices over the course of the year, some companies offer a fixed price program at a set price, before the heating season. This fixed-price remains stable throughout the heating season, regardless of what happens to the oil’s market price on the open market. A similar system is a capping program that sets a cap on the price per gallon charged during the season.

Know Before You Flow

Remember, that at the end of the day the customer may be right, but it’s also being proactive that helps them get the best results with a fuel oil company. It never hurts to ask neighbors for referrals and reviews and check online reviews, as well! To research for more helpful tips like this, check out the rest of our site!