As the weather warms up in Midcoast Maine, we’ve turned down the thermostat and dusted off the grill as we look forward to warmer days ahead. The last thing we want to think about is next winter, but now is the perfect time to plan ahead and budget for next winter’s heating bills.
The Advantage of a Price Protection Plan
June – August is referred to as “Plan or Contract Season” – this is a time when customers can sign up for a home heating budget plan with their energy provider. Signing up for a budget plan is a great way to spread out your heating costs into predictable monthly payments, making heating bills more like a regular utility.
Find a Plan that’s Right for You
Price Protection Plans offer several different ways to pay your home heating fuel costs, as opposed to paying for each delivery separately. If you’ve never been on a plan before, we encourage you to compare which plans your provider offers and determine which one is right for you.
Pre Pay & Fixed Price Plans
These plans provide the option to pre-pay for a set number of gallons at a fixed price, which will NOT change during the plan year.
How it works:
- For each delivery, you’ll pay the same fixed price per gallon for the number of gallons purchased—regardless of whether prices go up or down. You will know the exact price you paid for the year, and you will never have to worry about running out of product.
Per-gallon price is only one factor to consider when scoping out plans. You should also inquire about any additional costs associated with a plan, such as a price protection fee, delivery fee, Hazmat fee etc. The Plans are about predictability, convenience and peace of mind.
Equal Payment Plans
Estimated annual heating costs are spread out in equal payments over the plan year to reduce high monthly winter bills. Some energy providers offer both fixed and capped budget plans.
Service, Supply & Customer Satisfaction
Service and reliable supply should always be considered when signing-up for a Price Protection Plan.
Some things to consider:
- Is your provider able to guarantee fuel supply throughout the winter, regardless of unexpected cold snaps and/or market volatility?
- Is your provider known for exceptional customer service?
Checking out a company‘s Google reviews and customer testimonials should provide answers to both of these service-related questions.
Cap or Downside Protection Plans
These plans set a per-gallon cap price regardless of market prices. (Downside protection can usually be added to most Fixed Price/Pre-Buy Plans).
How they work:
- If prices fall below the cap price, you pay the lower price.
- If they rise, you never pay more than the cap price.
There is usually a fee for this level of price protection.
Colby & Gale offers a range of options to fit your lifestyle and to help make budgeting easier. Each of our plans comes with the convenience and peace of mind of automatic delivery so you are not responsible for monitoring your fuel gauge or calling for a delivery.
Take a few minutes now to compare our payment plans or call our main office in Damariscotta at 207-563-3414. Our Customer Service team will be more than happy answer all of your questions – leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the Maine summer and fire up the grill!
2021 Colby & Gale Inc.