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One of the biggest benefits of being an Energy Co-op member is having the option to pre-buy your fuel oil for the upcoming winter. To determine if it is the right choice for you, here are the answers to some common questions:
What is a heating oil Pre-Buy Plan?
A pre-buy protection plan is a contract to purchase a set amount of heating oil upfront for the up-coming winter period when the price per gallon for heating oil tends to be lower than at any other time of year.
What affects the price of heating oil?
Many things such as world demand, geopolitical conflicts, and natural disasters can cause the price of heating oil to fluctuate up or down. When you purchase a prebuy price protection plan, you eliminate all that potential price volatility for the contract period.
How do I pay for a pre-buy program?
Since you pay in advance with a Pre-Buy Protection Price Plan, you won't have to deal with heating oil bills with every delivery. It makes budgeting over the winter easier, including the holidays and tax time, because you've already protected your budget against any spikes in winter heating oil costs.
What if I need more heating oil than I purchase on a pre-buy program?
If you end up needing more heating oil than you purchased, the Energy Co-op deliver it to you at our fair and transparent daily market rate.
What is the downside of prebuying my fuel?
There is always a possibility that the market for fuel oil will go down after you prepurchase. It generally does not happen because the price is usually lower in the spring and summer, but it certainly is a risk.
How did members who prebought the fuel oil make out last year?
Extremely well. In conjunction with the global covid pandemic, world demand for oil was down which brough the price of fuel oil down. So last year, we were able to offer our members a starting prebuy price of $1.89. As lockdowns eased throughout the world, demand for oil gradually increased the price of oil. Below is a graph showing how our retail rates changed over the year. On average our members saved about $.40 cents per gallon or $240.00 for the heating season.
How much can I save?
To be clear, there is always a possibility that prices will go down after you pre-buy, however last year, all members who signed up for heating oil pre-buy were able to save on the fuel cost. On average our members saved about $.40 cents per gallon or $240.00 for the heating season.
How do I sign up?
It's easy. If you are already ad Energy Co-op member, you can enroll through the account portal online. If you are not a member, fill out our membership application (the cost for membership is $12.00 per year) and then enroll.
Is there another way to get price protection?
Yes, there is. Starting in July Co-op members can sign up for our Smart Choice plan with monthly payments and a cap price. There's no large upfront payment. During the season, your price cannot go above our cap, but it will also drop if the market falls. So you're covered either way. For more information on the Smart Choice plan, click here.
As always if you have any questions, feel free to call us during business hours at 802-860-4090.