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To Lock or Not to Lock
October 17, 2012

Oil Prices: Up Or Down

Every fall a certain number of oil customers wrestle with the decision whether to lock in their oil price or to remain on the daily market rate. While we would love to look into our crystal ball and tell them exactly what is going to happen, the truth is we don’t know. It used to be that oil prices were fairly predictable most of the time – higher prices when the demand was high, lower prices when the demand was low. Now, unfortunately, prices change for seemingly unrelated reasons, some of which have nothing to do with predictable supply and demand.

We read everything we can and we consult with experts on an ongoing basis but we truly cannot tell anyone with 100% certainty what will happen next week, next month or next year.  What we CAN do is give you the information we have and options, allowing you the freedom to make your own choice. Fixed price and capped price rates are available in the Customer Care Center of our website twenty-four hours a day for your convenience.

How Heating Oil Contracts Work

Some years there is a lot of talk about locking in a price. We neither encourage nor require our customers to do so. There is always a certain amount of risk.  If you lock in and oil prices go up, you win. You save money. If you lock in and prices go down, you lose. Locking in could cost you money. Each time a customer signs a locked or capped price contract with Kerivan-Lane, we order that oil from our suppliers (as is required by law) and we have a legal contract with them. Kerivan-Lane cannot “get out of” the oil contracts we sign with our oil suppliers and, because of this, we require our customers to fulfill their contractual obligations to us as well.

Another (Better) Way To Save

The more people know about locked prices and their inherent risk, the less likely they are to choose it. Statistics show if a customer locks in a rate five years in a row, it is likely that they will lose money at least two out of the five years. So, the question is  “Are you feeling lucky?”  Most of our customers still choose the daily market rate and do their best to conserve energy by properly maintaining their heating equipment and completing a free energy audit with Mass Save at least once every ten years to point out areas in the home that need improvement. After all, less oil burned means more money saved. Sounds like a win-win to me.

For information about today’s oil prices or to select a heating oil plan that works best for you call Kerivan-Lane at 781-444-0279 or contact us here.