5 Things to Consider When Comparing Home Heating Oil Prices in Wales
If you’re looking for great home heating oil prices, you want to make sure you all the facts. Use our Oil 4 Wales guide to make sure you considering all the factors.
Because Wales consists of mostly rural areas, there is a wide array of different and competitive providers, including national and local companies. While the competition gives you more buying power, it also can make it harder to know if you’re getting the best deal.
To get the best home heating oil prices, there are some facts you should consider and things you should look for when shopping.
From different pricing systems, service contracts, and questions to ask, we have the top five things to consider when comparing home heating oil providers. Keep reading to get the scoop.
There are three main types of pricing when it comes to home heating oil. These include locked-in pricing (fixed and capped), market (or retail) pricing, and pre-buy.
Locked-in pricing is the first that we’ll talk about. There are two types of locked-in pricing. You can get fixed locked-in pricing, known as a fixed rate. This means your price will stay the same throughout the year based on the market price. This is beneficial if the market price goes up because you will continue to pay the lower price.
Capped is the other type of locked-in pricing. Capped pricing sets a price cap on the highest price you pay, despite the market. If the going rate decreases, you will pay lower prices, but if the price increases above your cap, you won’t have to pay more than your capped price.
Locked-in pricing is often lower than market pricing. However, it requires a one-year contract. If you break your contract, you will have to pay fees of up to £500.
Paying the market price for home heating oil is simple. It means you get charged the current market rate the day you receive your oil. There is no contract involved. When the market rate increases, you pay more. When it decreases, you pay less.
Pre-buying your oil means you pay for the estimated amount of oil you will need for the entire year. The price is usually a bit lower than the current market pricing.
Pre-buy is nice because it’s a one-and-done deal. It involves a contract, which means that if the price of oil increases, you will have saved on your home heating oil prices.
2. Services and Perks
Another important thing to consider when shopping for home heating oil prices is the services included.
Full-service oil companies may require an annual contract, but they provide all the services you need for your home oil and peace of mind. This means automatic delivery, budget plans, 24-hour emergency service, free maintenance, and sometimes locked-in payment plans.
A full-service provider will also include an annual cleaning and tune-up to help keep your home heating system healthy and lower your heating bill by as much as 10%.
Even though full-service may seem more expensive at first, most offer discounts and promotions for things like referrals, prompt payments, senior clients, and large deliveries. Plus, you’ll save money and energy over time with the included maintenance and tune-ups.
The other option is to buy your home heating oil from a cash on delivery dealer (COD). COD dealers offer discounted products that you must pay for on the day of delivery.
While oil from CODs is cheaper, you are only paying for the heating oil. No additional services are included (no maintenance, budget plans, fixed rates, etc.). If something happens, you must pay for the repairs out of pocket.
3. Questions to Ask
There are a few important questions and factors to consider when you’re choosing a local oil provider.
First, you need to consider your needs. How old is your boiler and how much do you use it? If you have a 15-year old heating system or you use your boiler a lot during long, cold winters, then you’ll probably want a full-service provider to be safe.
Secondly, when shopping around the first thing to look for is certification. Are the company and the technicians fully certified, insured, and licensed? Are they established by the Better Business Bureau? What do the reviews say about them?
Next, when you’re calling around note whether you get a person on the line. If you’re getting a busy signal or voicemail or even an automated system, then don’t go with the company. Can you imagine your heating system breaking down or running out of oil in the middle of winter and you can’t get ahold of anyone? That would not be fun.
4. Oil Buying Cooperatives
Many cities or regions have oil buying cooperatives which use collective buying power to get better home heating oil prices. The oil providers benefit from having a large, dependable sale. So it’s a win-win for both sides and it creates a good and trustful relationship between buyer and seller.
Most oil buying coops offer free memberships and sometimes free service contracts. They are especially helpful in Wales because most oil providers require a minimum of 500 liters per order.
5. Assistance Programs
Heating assistance is available in Wales for homeowners who qualify. Typically, these programs are for lower-income households, older adults, and people with disabilities.
The main program to help with heating costs, repairs, and upgrades is the Warm Wales Home Assistance Scheme. The Warm Wales Home Assistance Scheme includes the Abred and Nest schemes provides funding to low-income households who need energy efficiency improvements and help with costs.
You can find out if you’re eligibility on their websites.
Put Your New Knowledge of Home Heating Oil Prices to Work
Now that you’ve got the inside scoop on things to consider when comparing home heating oil prices in Wales, you’re ready to find your oil provider.
The national oil company for wales, Oil4Wales, serves the south, west, north, mid-Wales, and Welsh borders. We make oil easy for home and business owners. Our clients can easily order their oil online, submit a maintenance request, and more.
Learn more about our home heating oil products and services here.