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Old 08-30-2012, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Apex NC
547 posts, read 730,838 times
Reputation: 290

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Hi All,

We just bought a house and trying to figure out what is the best way to buy oil. The house is an 1100 sq. ft cape with fairly new windows downstairs. I'm trying to figure out what type of pricing plan I should buy for oil...I heard that automatic deliveries aren't the best (aka ripoffs) and it's better to pay as you go. What have you guys decided to do based on your situation. Any input is appreciated!
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:47 AM
 
3,385 posts, read 3,501,932 times
Reputation: 1697
The COD oil sellers are the cheapest, but you have to pay cash in full at the time of delivery. They also typically don't provide service. The full service companies are usually more expensive per gallon, but offer different pricing plans as well as service plans. We use a full service dealer, and they offer pre-buy (pay for a years worth of oil up front at discount to the current spot price), fixed price (lock in the current price and make monthly payments), and a cap plan (lock in max price you will pay per gallon for the year, but if the spot price at delivery is lower, the you get the lower price). The cap plan also charges a fee and you pay monthly like the fixed plan. You can also buy service plans for your furnace, ac, boiler, air handler etc. We went with the cap plan for piece of mind. I have a feeling we are going to have a winter like 2010.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
78,921 posts, read 66,023,178 times
Reputation: 14911
Default Oil Prices Options

Service plans with oil companies are a rip off. You end up paying more in the long run when you can just call a plumber and pay them for an hour or two to fix something. So forget that part of the equation.

Automatic deliveries are fine but not worth it in my opinion. They're good if you dont have 30 seconds a week to check your gauge.

I just call up Piro whenever I need a fill (once a year thanks to my wood stove). And I call my handy plumber if something is wrong. (I havent needed to call one in 4 years).

As for your question...

Variable can catch you with your pants down or can crown you the King.
Fixed can leave you peace of mind or have a heartache later
CAP is nice but its what you dont know thats not

With CAP program, The price you agree on at first will be higher than the market price. Oil companies get charged extra from insurance companies to offer the CAP protection so they in turn charge you the extra fee.

Good luck with your choice, I hope I helped in some way.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:51 AM
 
3,385 posts, read 3,501,932 times
Reputation: 1697
The service contracts are really not that expensive. $250/year and they gave me a year free, so its really $125. It covers the annual service and cleaning, and it covers emergency service calls. When we have called them, they have come same day or next day, even on weekends and holidays, no charge. You do have to agree to buy your oil from them during the term of the contract, so you can't shop around if you want to let the price float. But if you do a fixed or cap plan, you are locked into them for a year already, so it doesn't make a difference.

Cam mentioned his wood stove, and I think its really worth looking into. It can help cut down on your oil consumption. Friends of ours are able to heat their entire downstairs living area with one. There are upfront costs involved, but it should pay for itself in a couple of years. Its on my list of home improvements for 2013.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
78,921 posts, read 66,023,178 times
Reputation: 14911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike 75 View Post
Cam mentioned his wood stove, and I think its really worth looking into. It can help cut down on your oil consumption. Friends of ours are able to heat their entire downstairs living area with one. There are upfront costs involved, but it should pay for itself in a couple of years. Its on my list of home improvements for 2013.
Very cool.

My first year with a stove I spent $1500 on oil.

Wood Stove = $350
Flue/Parts = 400est.
Install = Free
Wood = Free

It paid for itself the first year and then some.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Lynn, MA
325 posts, read 455,291 times
Reputation: 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjnugget View Post
Hi All,

We just bought a house and trying to figure out what is the best way to buy oil. The house is an 1100 sq. ft cape with fairly new windows downstairs. I'm trying to figure out what type of pricing plan I should buy for oil...I heard that automatic deliveries aren't the best (aka ripoffs) and it's better to pay as you go. What have you guys decided to do based on your situation. Any input is appreciated!
If you're forced to buy oil, you could always look into pellet stoves. I love mine.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:56 AM
 
48 posts, read 87,387 times
Reputation: 24
It all depends on what your are comfortable with. For me, the cap price was the best option. I got a cap rate of 3.299 back in June, it cost me an extra 80 bucks (one time) for the cap price insurance and I am currently on the 12 month payment plan. If you don't use all of your agreed to oil for the season your money is returned to you at the end of the contract. To me its worth paying a little (at the time is was .05 p/gallon) to get the protection just in case the price drops during the season. But its totally what you are comfortable with.

I dont know anyone who repairs boilers so the service plan was a must have for me. I cost about 140 bucks for the year and included the annual tune-up, 24/7 servicing and up to $3,500 in repairs.

Im not a gambler so Id rather pay the extra (although not much) and rest easy.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Guilford, CT & NYC
168 posts, read 260,730 times
Reputation: 94
I am sorry for you and I'm not being mean. I am a gold trader (commodities) off the NYMEX. Thanks heaven I was able to switch to gas. You have to act like an oil trader. It is hard; some years fixing is good like the past several years. Other years such as 2008-09 floating was better when oil dropped to 66 a barrell. Try to watch the daily NYMX #2 home heating oil spot and try to figure which way it is going. Sorry.

Insulate your attic like hell and put alluminum bubble wrap around any basement walls not insulated. There is a company in CA Prodex that sells that stuff cheap.
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:01 PM
 
3,385 posts, read 3,501,932 times
Reputation: 1697
It's kinda hard to switch to nat gas when there isn't a line close by. And propane prices are more in line with oil than nat gas (although propane is a bit cheaper). Anyone switch from oil to propane? If so, how was he experience?
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