Heat your home with oil, without going broke. Here are several tips to help you save on your heating oil costs.
01 of 07
Just because you had the cheapest provider last year, doesn't mean you have the cheapest provider this year. Call around to compare oil prices, and if you find a better deal, go after it. Not sure whom to call? Do a web search for "heating oil supplier" and your city or state to find a list of companies in your area.
Tip: Before you switch companies, give your current provider a chance to match their competitor's price. If they're willing to deal, it'll mean less work for you.
02 of 07
03 of 07
Join a Co-op
Fork over $25-$30 for a membership to a fuel co-op to gain access to discounted oil rates, and you could shave as much as 20 percent off of your heating costs. How's that for a return on your investment?
04 of 07
Snag Every Discount
Call customer service and ask them to run through all the available discounts with you. If you hear anything that you qualify for (and aren't getting), work with them to get it set up.
Common discounts: special rates for large tanks/fills and senior citizens.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Choose the Best Pricing Option for You
Heating oil prices are constantly on the move. Choose a pricing plan that makes the most of those movements, and you could save big. Here's an overview of your pricing options:
Market price: You pay whatever the going rate is on the day of delivery. There's no contract, and you have to schedule deliveries when you need them. This is a good option if you only want to fill up when prices are low.
Fixed price: You lock in a price for the year. It doesn't go up or down—even if the current rate moves up or down. This is a good option if you think increases are likely, or you want to limit budget surprises.
Capped price: You're protected from large increases (rates can't go past a certain level), and your prices can still go down if the current price drops. This is a good option if you think a price drop is likely.
06 of 07
Avoid Extra Fees
Don't let a bunch of hidden fees gobble up all your discounts. Each time you call to schedule a delivery, ask for a breakdown of your bill. If anything sounds excessive or unnecessary, question it.
Common fees: delivery charges, fuel surcharges, and premiums charged for deliveries made after hours, on weekends, or during bad weather.
07 of 07
Use Less Heating Oil
Using cheap oil is good, using less oil is better. Once you've done everything you can to reduce your oil costs, work to cut back on how much you're using. Here are some places to start:
- Have your furnace tuned up once a year to keep it working efficiently.
- Conduct a home energy audit to identify spots that need more insulation, caulk, or weatherstripping.
- Use a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat to turn down the heat when you're not at home.
- Dress in layers and drink warm beverages, so you can turn the temperature down a few degrees, without even noticing.
There are programs you can turn to for assistance if you still can't afford to buy the heating oil you need with these cost-cutting measures.