Since Russia invaded Ukraine late last month, we’ve seen oil prices surge. The price spike was made worse by panic-buying that ensued. Dealers were left with angry customers, and homeowners were left with less money for groceries if they got a heating oil delivery in recent weeks.
Fortunately, there is good news today: heating oil prices are down about 12% since last week. So what can you do to save money when prices skyrocket?
Buy Heating Oil On Your Own Terms
Buying heating oil as needed or on a “will-call” basis on a site like FuelSnap typically saves you $0.50 per gallon compared to automatic delivery. When prices spike like this, that savings can jump up to $1 or more per gallon. We even saw some folks on automatic delivery paying $2 more per gallon than they would have paid on our site!
The main reason for this is that the full-service dealers need to take into account a lot of their customers not being able to pay on time. They have to increase their margins on their automatic delivery stops or they may run into cash flow issues themselves. If an oil dealer does not pay the oil terminal (where they fill the trucks) on time, then they can’t continue to deliver heating oil.
Because orders on a site like ours are paid for in advance, there is less risk to the dealers of not getting paid, and they can therefore accept a smaller margin.
Bottom Line: Will-Call customers save even more per gallon when prices skyrocket.
Take Control of Your Heating Oil Usage
Another way to save on heating oil is to really understand your usage. You can do that with a device like the Smart Oil Gauge. The Smart Oil Gauge is a WiFi oil tank gauge that will tell you exactly how much is in your tank, how much you’re burning each day, and even a countdown of how many days until you’ll need to reorder. With this intel, many of us were able to ride out these past two weeks without ordering oil. Folks who were able to do so and fill up this week rather than last week will save over $200 on a tank of oil as we’ve seen oil prices drop significantly.
An added benefit of a Smart Oil Gauge is it will send you text and email alerts when you’re low and it’s time to order oil, ensuring you won’t run out in the middle of the night.
As you get low on oil, you can always check local oil prices right in the app. You can see what kind of discount you get depending on how much you order too.
Bottom Line: Understanding your usage will help you know when to order, and could save you hundreds of dollars on a tank of heating oil.
These Tips Saved Me Over $200 This Month
When oil prices skyrocketed two weeks ago, folks with Smart Oil Gauges did one of two things: they either ordered oil immediately to get out in front of the increase; or they turned the heat down and rode out the spike. I did the latter, and just had 100 gallons delivered this week, at a price that was over $2 less than the peak.
Folks on Automatic Delivery were not so lucky. Not only could they not request a delivery to preempt the rise, they also could not prevent a delivery while prices were high. One friend paid $6.24 a gallon, while prices on FuelSnap in his town were only $4.20 that day!
Hope these tips help you consider how to manage your heating oil moving forward. In the meantime, Spring is just around the corner, so hopefully we can all cut down on our usage soon.