The market for home heating oil is an enigma for most consumers. There seems to be no rhyme or reason why prices fluctuate, and an inability to pinpoint who controls the market. Don’t feel bad, even the experts in the commodities markets are often incorrect about predicting oil price trends!
Ten years ago the wholesale oil market was easier to gauge, and prices were “controlled” by a few major players (particularly in the Middle East/OPEC). Now prices are influenced greatly by economic indicators, particularly in the emerging markets of China and India. Commodity traders also use oil to hedge against other products and currencies.
So where does that leave the consumer? The best option for buying home heating oil is to lock-in prices with buy-ahead contracts. “Capped” contracts eliminate the variability inherent in heating oil pricing (by protecting against up and down markets), and allow the customer to budget their payments throughout the year. The key to buying these contracts is to use a reputable home heating oil dealer – one that protects all of their gallons with futures contracts. [At Cromwell Energy we cover every gallon we sell; you will never have to worry about your prepaid purchases.]
This heating season was a perfect example of why a Cap contract is the ideal purchasing method. Prices at the start of the season were below the Cap price, but more importantly, the majority of the winter saw prices much higher than the Cap (40-50 cents). Customers on a lock-in contract saved hundreds of dollars last season. So take the “worry out of winter”, set up a budget payment plan, and know that Cromwell Energy will be there 24/7 to ensure your warmth!
Visit our website at cromwellenergy.com to learn more about lock-in fuel plans, and how you can save money on next year’s heating expenses.