Fuel plans allow our customers to lock in prices for the coming season, and eliminate the worry of increasing and volatile fuel oil prices. [We think that this is particularly relevant given the recent geo-political uncertainty in the Middle East, and the uncertainty associated with the Coronovirus .] The fuel plan is a voluntary agreement between our customers and Cromwell Energy to buy heating oil at a set price. The price of this oil is then guaranteed (for the gallons purchased) and cannot be raised above the locked-in price.
Our customers may also purchase “price protection” (called a Cap Plan). Price protection is like insurance, in that you are “covered” if the price of oil goes below your locked-in price. If oil prices decline during the contract season, the customer will pay the new, lower price for their oil. Price protection (the Cap Plan) is recommended, so that you know you will always pay the lower price. Note: The gallons that you purchase under the fuel plan are an estimate of your gallons for the year. The actual number of gallons you use will be contingent on the weather, and any changes in how warm you like to keep your home. At the end of the plan year, customers will typically either have a credit on their account (if they use fewer gallons), or owe something for their overage.
Cromwell Energy offers three options for their fuel plans:
A. Cap Plan – Budget
The customers pay for their agreed upon number of gallons over an 12-month payment period, with the plan running from June through May. Price protection is automatically included in the budget option. The majority of our customers opt for the budget option, as it provides a stable payment mechanism over the course of the year.
B. Cap Plan – Pre-Pay
Under the Cap Pre-Pay plan, the customer pre-pays for the full number of gallons purchased, with price protection included. [Note: Pre-pay plans may not be purchased from November 1st – March 30th per State of Connecticut law. Budget plans may be purchased year-round.] There is usually a five cent discount per gallon on the price for the pre-pay Cap option.
C. Fixed Plan – Pre-Pay
The customer pays for all of their contracted gallons up front, but price protection is not included, so you will always pay the same price for your covered gallons (regardless of whether the price of heating oil goes up or down throughout the year). There is no budget option for the Fixed pricing plan. [Note: Pre-pay plans may not be purchased from November 1st – March 30th per State of Connecticut law. Budget plans may be purchased year-round.]
The FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Sheet at the bottom of the page provides a more detailed description of how the fuel plan works (just click on the red box ). Please feel free to call our office if you have any additional questions!
A. “Regular” Budget Plans
Budget plans are 12-month payment plans created to allow our customers to split their estimated yearly heating oil costs into 12 easy installments. Cromwell Energy provides our customers with an estimate of the number of gallons they will use, and the estimated price of those gallons. These estimates (and budget payments) may be revised as oil prices and usage may vary during the course of the year. Regular budget customers are on “automatic delivery”, meaning Cromwell Energy will monitor your usage, and deliver to your home on a regularly scheduled basis.
B. Variable / Daily Market Rate
Regular automatic delivery clients pay the current, daily retail price for heating oil, and are offered a ten cent discount for paying within ten days of the delivery date. Will call customers must purchase 150 gallons (or more) to qualify for the ten cent discount. Under either the automatic delivery or will call option, Cromwell Energy will always be respectful of your property and deliver on a timely manner at a fair price.
Many customers ask us what the “best” option is for buying heating oil. We think the Cap Budget plan is the best option because it ensures that your price of oil will not go above a set price, and it spreads your costs throughout the heating season. Predicting (future) oil prices is notoriously difficult, and even the market “experts” are often wrong. That said, we want our customers to choose the best plan for them, based on their specific needs, so we never try to “sell” one buying option over another. Whatever plan you choose, know that Cromwell Energy will always deliver your heating oil safely, efficiently, and at a fair price.