Q: What is a price cap program?
Q: What are you recommending to your customers this year?
Q: Should I enroll in a price cap now or wait?
Q: Is there a deadline to sign up?
Q: Am I guaranteed to save money with a price cap program?
Q: What do you think will happen with fuel prices this year?
Q: How do you determine what the price cap will be?
Q. Is the cap price the amount that I will pay all year?
Q. Why is there a fee for the price cap?
Q: Why has the cost of a price cap increased?
Q: Are all the fuel company price protection plans similar?
Q: I see some companies say the have "free" price caps. How can they do that?
Q: How do you figure my monthly EZ Pay payments?
Q. Can my monthly payment amount change?
A: Our price cap program combines the best of two worlds: EZ Pay lets you spread your fuel costs out over 12 months to make your bills easier to manage. This program places a price cap on how high your fuel price can rise, and because it includes downside protection, anytime our daily market price drops below the cap, you’ll pay the lower price, guaranteed. Our suppliers charge us a fee for this price “insurance,” a fee we pass along to our customers who choose this option. We do not make any money on this fee; the amount we charge you is our cost.
A: Your fuel decisions should be based on your personal situation, and whichever option makes you feel most comfortable. Many people like the price cap program because it gives them peace of mind. No matter which option you choose, you should definitely enroll in the EZ Pay program, because it makes your fuel bills easier to manage by spreading them evenly over 12 months.
A: If you decide that a cap provides the kind of protection that is right for you, there really is no reason to wait. If prices rise higher than they are today, you are protected. And if prices fall, you get the benefit of the lower price.
A: There is no specific deadline date for enrollment. However, there is a limit on how long we can accept enrollments. It is based on supply and demand. We only buy a limited supply of price-protected fuel, and once this fuel is spoken for, we will no longer accept enrollments into the program.
A: Not necessarily. If prices rise above your cap and stay there, this program could pay off for you in a big way. If prices go down, you benefit as well because you'll pay our daily market price, which will reflect this drop. But if prices remain stable or only go above the cap briefly, you won't recover your "cap fee." Most people who choose our price cap program select this option because it gives them peace of mind. They don't have to worry if the fuel markets become volatile.
A: That's anyone's guess. As much as we wish we could predict whether prices will go up or down, it's just not possible.
A: Planning a price protection program is a year-round effort. We analyze trends, study the commodities market daily and do a lot of research so we can decide when the time is right to make our bulk fuel pruchases. Only in this way we can structure a reliable workable program, one you can count on for protection from unpredictable spikes in the price of fuel. It takes time and money to structure a price cap program correctly, and not all heating fuel dealers have the resources to do it, especially in the current market. The cap price itself depends on the wholesale price we pay, plus an allowance to cover our costs, such as insurance, vehicle maintenance and employee wages.
A: No. Your cap price is the highest price you'll pay all year. The actual price you'll pay is our daily market price on the day you receive your deliveries. If prices rise dramatically, you don't have to worry because your fuel price will never rise above your cap price. Because our price cap program also includes downside protection, if prices go down, your price will drop as well.
A: As you might expect, our suppliers charge us a premium for offering the "insurance" that allows us to keep your fuel price from skyrocketing and also give us the flexibility to lower your price should market prices fall. We pass this expense along to our customers who select the price cap program. We do not make any money on this fee - and we also don't cut corners like some companies do. We protect your fuel the right way.
A: In the past, there was much less volatility in the fuel markets and the cost of a price cap program was quite low. That's why we offered it to our customers at no cost. However, now that the energy markets have become so unpredictable and volatile, the cost of price cap "insurance" has become much greater.
Beware Phony Companies
The following links tell us how some companies shut their doors and gone bankrupt with their customers' money after offering some very attractive pre-buy rates
A: There are only two kinds of price protection: those that fix your price and those that set a ceiling on your price and also allow your price to drop if market prices go down. However, different companies back up their programs in different ways. When you choose to purchase price protection, you are making a bet not only on what will happen to prices, but on the integrity and carefulness of your fuel company. As a local family-owned business for more than 70 years, we are cautious about price protection, which means that we have taken all necessary steps to protect your price and to follow through on our promises.
A: The fact is they can't. What these companies do is build the cost of the cap into their price per gallon, either that or they don't purchase enough price "insurance" from their suppliers. As a result, when prices drop, they can't lower their price to keep up. In some years, companies who claimed to have price protection were charging as much as 60 cents per gallon more than we were. If you choose our price cap program, you can rest assured that your price is protected, no matter what happens with the fuel markets.
A: To calculate your monthly EZ Pay payments, we use your fuel delivery record from last year to estimate the number of gallons you will LIKELY use during the next heating season. We multiply the number of gallons by an estimated price per gallon. This amount is spread out into 12 equal monthly payments.
A: Yes, it can change. If our estimate of your fuel costs is too high or too low, we will make an adjustment to reflect current prices and your actual fuel use. If you have a cap, your price cannot rise above your cap price, so you would be protected from a dramatic increase. If prices fall and stay lower, your monthly payment would be adjusted downward. If you are not enrolled in EZ Pay and you are paying the daily market price, your monthly payment could theoretically increase or decrease.