Some fuel dealers may offer budget payment plans, which spread heating costs more evenly over the year.
This arrangement permits:
- Better household budget planning
- More manageable heating bills
- A possible solution in situations where the fuel dealer may not be offering a pre-purchase plan, or if the householder cannot afford to pre-buy the fuel.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a budget plan work?
Will a budget plan save money on heating bills?
A typical arrangement may be similar to this:
- Customer agrees to pay the same specified amount each month for 10 or 11 months in a year to cover fuel costs. The price for the fuel is the price on day of delivery, not a pre-purchase set price.
- There may be a fee to enroll in the budget plan.
- In the final month or two of the budget agreement period, the payment is adjusted up or down to allow for any price changes during the budget agreement period, so that the total paid by the customer is equal to the total cost of the fuel purchased.
The purpose of a budget plan is not to save money but to make heating costs more manageable.
As with any such agreement, be sure to obtain, read and understand the contract. It is important to understand clearly what you and the fuel dealer are agreeing - and not agreeing - to do.
A final note on preparing for the next heating season:
The first item in planning for the next heating season should be to make your house as thermally efficient as possible and to be certain that your heating system is properly cleaned and tuned up. Proper heating system maintenance could save you up to 20% on heating fuel bills. For more information on lowering your heating bills, go to How to Winterize Your Home.