As the weather warms up in New England, we are happily turning down the thermostat, putting away the snow shovel, and pulling out the grill. The last thing we want to think about is next winter, but now is the perfect time to plan ahead and budget for your heating bills!
May to October is referred to as “plan season” – when customers can sign up for a home heating budget plan with their service provider. Signing up for a budget plan is a good way to spread out your heating costs into predictable monthly payments, making these bills more like a regular utility.
Budget plans offer several different ways to pay your home heating fuel costs, as opposed to paying for each delivery separately. If you’ve never been on a plan before, we encourage you to explore which plans your provider offers and determine which, if any, are right for you.
Types of plans include:
- Ceiling or Cap Plans
These plans set a per gallon cap price regardless of market prices. If prices fall below the cap price, you pay the lower price. If they rise, you never pay more than the cap price. There is usually a fee for this level of price protection. These plans allow you to spread your estimated costs equally over the plan year, providing you predictable monthly payment amounts.
- Equal Payment Plans
Estimated annual heating costs are spread out in equal payments over the plan year, but per gallon prices are not capped and will fluctuate to reflect the market price.
- Fixed Price Plans
These plans provide the option to pre-pay for a set number of gallons at a fixed price, which will not change during the plan year. For each delivery, you’ll pay the same fixed price per gallon for the number of gallons purchased—regardless of whether prices go up or down.
Per gallon price is only one factor to consider when scoping out plans. You should also be aware of any additional costs associated with a plan, such as a price protection fee. Plans are about convenience and predictability, not necessarily about lower overall heating bills.
Supply and service should also be considered. Is your provider able to guarantee fuel supply throughout the winter, regardless of unexpected cold snaps? Is your provider known for exemplary customer service?
Dead River Company offers a range of payment options to fit your lifestyle and to help make budgeting easier. Each of our plans comes with the convenience and peace of mind of automatic delivery so you don’t have to monitor your fuel gauge or call us for a delivery. Take a few minutes now to check out our payment plans or call your local office. We can answer all of your questions – leaving you plenty of time to fire up the grill.