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Mom's Talk: Oil Prices; Getting the Black Gold Delivered at a Great Price

We see weekly gas updates, but what about best pricing on home heating oil delivery.

A few chilly days and I start to worry that my thermostat will kick on prematurely. I shut it off for now, but know those cold, crisp fall nights with some frost are not too far away.  

For those who have home heating oil, this is the dreaded "end of contract time" of year. Some friends and I have been calling around, shopping for the best prices for home oil delivery. There are many companies out there and they provide you with options, service contracts, lock in rates and cap rates. So what do you do? How do you decide which plan works best for your home?

My rate of $2.69 ends October 1, so time is running out and prices change daily. After a call from my current provider offering me a "great" rate of $4 a gallon, I gasped in horror at her number and thought I need to survey my friends and see what is available. 

Some feel that a fee to lock in or an application fee are up for discussion as well. Choosing a fixed rate versus a cap rate, which was explained to me at length by a few company representatives, is as follows: a fixed rate will lock you in for the rate that is today's market rate and a cap rate is the daily rate, which may be lower but will cap at the locked rate plus per gallon fees. These average between .15-.25 a gallon, most are prepaid on seasonal gallon usage.  

Are you lost yet? This is why the decision can be so hard.

One year, being so confused over pricing, I opted to go "will call" or COD (cash on delivery) with a few local companies and take a chance that prices were reasonable.

Now  sit down, look at the options if you use heating oil and share with us in the comments section your best prices and offers in the area.  

I am sure that we can all use a little extra cash in our pockets this fall through spring, so why not try to get the best prices. So far I have a few from $3.44.9 to $3.74.9.  

Earl Richards September 21, 2011 at 10:10 AM
Get solar panels.
laurie merlo September 21, 2011 at 11:00 AM
I too am tired of having to"shop" oil prices every year! I think it is a game the oil companies play! The best prices I found was $3.519 Last year I paid $2.599
Rashomon September 21, 2011 at 02:16 PM
That would require sunlight - any other clever solutions we can try?
Diane Ryan September 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM
I feel the same way Laurie. So tired of the game of calling oil companies, comparing apples to oranges, and switching companies to get the new customer price for oil each year. Can't imagine the unrest in the Middle East will help prices...Hoping that the work we had done by an energy audit company will pay off with less oil needed. BTW, solar panels, even if we had enough sun here to make it worthwhile would take a very long time for payback if ever.
Alicia Craybas September 22, 2011 at 01:07 PM
Feedback from personal emails, has me considering not locking in and taking a chance with market pricing.....anyone have feedback on this decision?
Diane Ryan September 22, 2011 at 10:51 PM
What are people saying? And what been the trend Alicia? Are the prices going up or down? From last year it is up a lot, so I thin that we probably will lock in. All we have to do is get another hurricane, earthquake or unrest in the middle east and the price will go up more...I think the time of the price of oil going down to where it was in the past (even last year's price) has gone...

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