February has been the coldest month of recent years. It is no coincidence that heating oil prices are highest during this month as well. Demand is highest when temperatures are coldest. With the Hudson River having frozen solid several of the last few years, supply has been difficult to obtain for many companies. This only inflates the price even more. Be sure to ask your current provider if they have access to a terminal outside the immediate area in case these frozen conditions continue. If they don’t, have a backup company in mind, or switch to another company altogether. Jurassic Fuels does have this access. Throw in the fact that all heating oil providers operate at their highest profit margin per gallon throughout this time period and it all adds up to a steep heating bill for consumers in February.
The fear of February prices is why many consumers are tempted by lock in/cap pricing. Those two options are money winners for oil companies. If they’re winners for the companies, then they’re losers for the consumers.
The one and only way to combat February is to avoid it if possible. Do not buy oil in February and sometimes March as well unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, then buy your company’s minimum amount of gallons so that you’re buying as few gallons as possible while the prices are highest. For consumers who have 275 and 330 gallon tanks with no other sources of heat, it is important for you to fill your tanks around mid-late January before prices rise too much. Then use as much of that oil as you possibly can before ordering again. Your next delivery should then be your company’s minimum. That minimum gallon order should take you into the spring or even summer, depending on possible usage for hot water, when prices are much more consumer friendly. At that point, you can order another minimum delivery or fill your tank depending if the prices are to your liking.
This strategy won’t decrease the amount of oil you consume but it will decrease the amount of oil you buy when the price is at its highest which will save you hundreds of dollars annually. Possibly $1000+ when compared to lock in/cap pricing. Many people will ask us at Jurassic Fuels why we would educate people about this February strategy when it potentially will cost us revenue. Our response is that, although we do want to make as much money as possible, there are different ways of doing that. Our way is to be a truly consumer friendly company. Sadly in this day and age, that is becoming nearly impossible to find regardless of which industry we speak. We want to educate each customer as best we can so that they spend as little as possible. This makes our customers happy, they become repeat customers, and enables us to sleep at night knowing we’ve done all we can to keep as much of our customers’ money in their own pockets. If you’re not already a customer of ours and your current oil provider isn’t doing that for you, then call Jurassic Fuels, the company with a conscience.