Homes in the Northeastern states, which includes PA, draw their heat from furnaces or boilers that run on heating oil, with Stroudsburg not being an exception. There are several oil distributors who directly deliver fuel to individual homes in Stroudsburg on a regular basis, depending on their heating needs and consumption patterns.
It is a known fact that 6% of all American homes majorly rely on heating oil; Stroudsburg and other towns of the Northeast accounting for 80 % of that overall figure. Winter temperatures and global oil prices, demand and availability, transportation costs and several other factors are the usual determinants of the price of oil in the town. However, local oil distributors offer special discounts and unique pricing options to make the costs more affordable to the households as well as commercial and business establishments in Stroudsburg.
Demand for oil in the chilly Northeastern states tends to drive the oil prices across the country. New York, for instance, has experienced an 8% hike in oil costs when compared to the previous year as the prices were set slightly above $4 per gallon.
Heating oil is one of the many distillates or byproducts that are produced by distilling petroleum crude. Refineries in the Northeast and along the East coast are the primary source of oil for Stroudsburg and other localities in the region. However, a string of recent refinery closures in and around PA have sparked the fear of rise in prices, given the fact that these refineries will not be able to chip in to meet the demand this winter. If these refineries do not find any takers, they may also be razed off, further adding to the shortage of oil in the region.
Oil costs have been quite stable this winter, partly because of the mild winter temperatures that continue to prevail. Average heating costs this winter were predicted to be about $2326. While winter temperatures were higher than normal, seasonal oil prices continue to rule high.
Heating oil prices are ranging safely below $4 a gallon and costs may go up depending on oil exports and imports, reserves maintained, and government regulations on greener fuel.
Recent laws require homes and businesses in NY to switch to greener fuels that are ultra low on sulphur emissions to make pollution levels bearable. Forced regulations tend to increase the demand for select fuel-oils, making them costlier in the process.
How To Manage Home Heating Costs More Effectively?
Home heating oil for Stoudsburg winters is an essential expense, which if planned well may be justified. Apart from keeping the oil furnaces and boilers in working condition and caulking up homes to insulate them better, residents are aware of the price-protection plans offered by most of Stoudsburg oil firms and distributors. Price-protection and pre-buy options are somewhat similar to oil futures, securing the needed supply in advance for a fixed price. However, there are risks to be considered.
Let us look at a few payment options offered by local companies that deliver heating oil Stoudsburg.
Oil is delivered at the current market price. This option is favorable only if the oil prices are known to be stable, which probably is a very ideal condition. However, it is useful for only those who may not be able buy the fuel in bulk. Each bill when paid within a stipulated time may also qualify for a discount.
Price-protection offers a supply of oil throughout the heating season for a cap price per gallon. If the market price at anytime ducks below the capped price, the price benefit is passed on to the customer. Further price-protection also allows the total bill amount to be paid in monthly installments over 10-12 month time frame so that heating costs are spread out and, hence, more affordable. This option usually allows customers to protect select number of gallons against price rise. Any consumption beyond the capped volume is charged at the market price. The option comes with an additional fee for being able to avail the flexible price benefit.
Few oil delivery firms allow customers to maintain the fee in their bank accounts, allowing it to earn interest in the meanwhile.
Pre-buy is somewhat similar to a oil future transaction, with customers being able to estimate their heating oil needs for the cold season and purchase the supply in advance for an upfront payment. The drawback here is the affordability and the volatility of oil prices in real time.
Not everyone can afford to pay-up heating bills for the entire winter. This too will work out only if one is sure of oil price escalation in the given time frame. Otherwise, pre-buy option may result in overpaying for the oil supply. It is important to check for a competitive below-market pricing when deciding pre-buy heating oil in Stoudsburg.
Pre-buy options are risky in terms of both speculation of oil prices and the credibility of the oil distributor. It is important to sign-up with experienced distributors familiar with the oil sector and pricing trends for the supply of oil, especially when investing a bulk amount in the pre-buy option.
Pennsylvania has seen several incidents of oil delivery firms go either bankrupt or the owner skipping town loaded with the cash amassed via the pre-buy purchase option. Those affected by A&B Fuel heating oil scam may not be compensated for the loss. Given the uncertain economic conditions and rising oil prices, several other such firms may follow suit primarily because they themselves may not be able to keep pace with the rising costs.
However, several local oil delivery firms continue to deliver oil in Stroudsburg and neighboring areas. They cater not only to homes, but also service the fuel oil needs of commercial, business and industrial establishments in the area. Few of these companies also offer emergency burner services.
Taking adequate precautions to insulate homes, sprucing up the heaters, opting for oil delivery from a reputed local oil distribution firm and choosing the right payment scheme based on careful study or expert advice may still make heating oil Stroudsburg affordable, despite fluctuations in global oil prices.