When it comes to heating your home, you have more options than just natural gas. Home heating oil is a viable alternative that can be cheaper than natural gas, depending on the provider you obtain the oil from and the type of contract that you have. Heating oil is purchased by the gallon, either by contract between yourself and a providing company, or by going through a local oil buying group.
Choose what type of heating oil provider to go with. There are three types available. A full-service provider requires a contract that locks you in for a specific time period at a discounted rate. They will also service your furnace once a year, which will save you money by making your furnace more efficient. A cash-on-delivery oil provider requires a payment immediately upon delivering your oil and does not offer any discounts or contracts. The third type of provider is a hybrid of the two. They offer discounts, repair services and short-term contracts, but you have the choice of which of their services you want.
Decide whether or not to go with a local heating oil group. Since such groups purchase large quantities of heating oil, they receive discounts on the price of each gallon. You will have to pay a nominal membership fee and sign a contract, but what you save per year will make up for the fee and then some.
Find a local heating assistance program by contacting your local county auditor's office. Each state has a Low Income Energy Assistance Program for elderly, disabled and low-income residents. They will help you qualify for a discounted price on heating oil.
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