Oil and propane are often considered to be a commodity that households rely on during the cold Winter months. Depending on where you live there could be several to over 20 different options on where to source your fuel. So, should you shop your fuel delivery around each time you need a fill and go with the cheapest option? While price does play a part, there’s certainly more to consider.
Sure, there are plenty of propane and oil companies out there who can save you a few bucks here and there on price per gallon, but can they save you money throughout the year? There’s more ways to choose an oil company than just price per gallon.
Not all propane and oil companies are created equal.
When it comes to choosing a fuel company to serve your household, look for a company that offers fair prices and puts people ahead of profits. When companies treat their employees poorly, there is often high turnover, poor customer service, and mistakes happen. Family-owned businesses have often been in business for decades because they have figured out the balance between people and profits – treating customers and staff fairly.
What if you need payment options?
If you continually shop around your propane and oil, you’ll have to either provide cash, check, or a credit card before or at the time of the fill. You won’t be able to carry a balance or arrange any sort of payment plan if you don’t stick to one company. Two common payment options if you lock in with one specific fuel company are:
- Pre-Payment Plan– Lock-in a rate early in the season and pay a fixed price for a set number of gallons of fuel. If the price of fuel goes up, you’re protected by the lower, locked-in rate.
- Budget Plan– Avoid huge fuel bills in the winter! This plan allows you to spread your heating costs out over the course of 12 months. The Budget Plan starts in the summer. You pay the same amount into your account each month, prior to the heating season. The price of fuel is calculated at the time of delivery. You finish paying off the year in the following spring.
We need to check your equipment.
If you choose a fuel delivery company based on price, and it’s different each month, you may need to be home at the time of delivery so the driver can inspect your fuel tanks prior to filling them. Regardless of if it’s brand new, 5 years old, or 15 years old, it can fail at any time, and it’s important to make sure it’s reliable prior to pumping it full of hundreds of gallons of fuel.
Long term savings.
When you choose a dedicated fuel supplier, there are savings that add up over time that you don’t get when you change your supplier based on price per gallon with each fill. Once you are a regular, the delivery drivers get to know you and your equipment. You can enroll in automatic delivery, so you never run out and the company may even pick up on issues with your equipment if you seem to be using excessive amounts of oil or propane. You can also sign up for service plans, which include annual furnace/boiler maintenance to keep your equipment running in tip top shape.
There when you need them.
Should an emergency situation occur, if you are a dedicated customer with just one fuel company, you know you’ll be a priority. At Baribault Fuel, we offer emergency services 24/7 for our customers. If you aren’t a regular, you may have a hard time getting someone to service your equipment.
Heating your home shouldn’t be stressful, and there are plenty of oil and propane delivery companies out there, but it’s important to find the right one – fair pricing, knowledgeable service team, excellent customer service, and of course, reliable. If you have questions about how Baribault Fuel can help heat your home, give us a call! We offer competitive pricing and excellent service and reliability.