How to Save on Heating Oil For Your Home

Heat your home with oil, without going broke. Here are several tips to help you save on your heating oil costs.

Comparison Shop

Filling Up Heating Oil Tank
Filling Up Heating Oil Tank. gmnicholas/E+/Getty Images

Just because you had the cheapest provider last year, doesn't mean you have the cheapest provider this year. Call around to compare oil prices; and if you find a better deal, go after it. Not sure whom to call? Do a web search for "heating oil supplier"and your city or state to find a list of companies in your area.

Tip: Before you switch companies, give your current provider a chance to match their competitor's price. If they're willing to deal, it'll mean less work for you.

Fill Up Off Season

Filling Heating Oil Tank
Filling Heating Oil Tank. Mario Tama /Staff/Getty Images News

Oil prices tend to go up with demand, so have your tank filled in the summer when everyone else is thinking about iced tea and air conditioning.

Join a Co-op

Heating Oil Delivery
Heating Oil Delivery. Timothy Fadek /Contributor/Sygma/Getty Images

Fork over $25-$30 for a membership to a fuel co-op to gain access to discounted oil rates, and you could shave as much as 20% off of your heating costs. How's that for a return on your investment?

Snag Every Discount that You're Eligible For

Customer Service Representative
Customer Service Representative. Yuri_Arcurs/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Call customer service, and ask them to run through all available discounts with you. If you hear anything that you qualify for (and aren't getting), work with them to get it set up.

Discounts to Ask About: special rates for large tanks/fills and senior citizens

Choose the Best Pricing Option for You

Price Changes
Price Changes. traffic_analyzer/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

Heating oil prices are constantly on the move. Choose a pricing plan that makes the most of those movements, and you could save big. Here's an overview of your pricing options:

Market Price- You pay whatever the going rate is on the day of delivery. There's no contract, and you have to schedule deliveries when you need them. This is a good option, if you only want to fill up when prices are low.

Fixed Price- You lock in a price for the year. It doesn't go up or down – even if the current rate moves up or down. This is a good option, if you think increases are likely, or you want to limit budget surprises.

Capped Price- You're protected from large increases (rates can't go past a certain level), and your prices can still go down, if the current price drop. This is a good option, if you think a price drop is likely.

Avoid Extra Fees

Woman Paying Bill
Woman Paying Bill. Peter Cade/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Don't let a bunch of hidden fees gobble up all your discounts. Each time you call to schedule a delivery, ask for a breakdown of your bill. If anything sounds excessive or unnecessary, question it.

Some Fees to Look Out For: delivery charges, fuel surcharges and premiums charged for deliveries made after hours, on weekends or during bad weather

Use Less Heating Oil

Drinking Cocoa
Drinking Cocoa. Fat Camera/E+/Getty Images

Using cheap oil is good, using less oil is better. Once you've done everything you can to reduce your oil costs, work to cut back on how much you're using. Here are some places to start:

  • have your furnace tuned up once a year to keep it working efficiently
  • conduct a home energy audit to identity spots that need more insulation, caulk or weatherstripping
  • use a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat to turn down the heat when you're not at home. 15 More Ways to Lower Your Heating Costs
  • Dress in layers and drink warm beverages, so you can turn the temperature down a few degrees, without even noticing. More Ways to Keep Warm (Without Turning Up the Heat)

Can't Afford to Buy the Heating Oil You Need?

Here's where to turn for help with your heating oil bill.