Budgeting is smart. And you’re smart, right? We think you are.
Price Protection Plans are a simple way to get your budgeting for home heating fuel off on the right foot. We know, we know – it’s “supposedly” still winter here in Maine, but there isn’t a better time to start planning for next season then now. Prices are low – and who doesn’t like low prices?!?! Smart people LOVE low prices!
Even smart people like you and me can get confused by all the budgeting options that we offer. So, I thought I would answer some commonly asked questions that might help you feel like the super smart person that you are and help you make a decision about what Price Protection Plan is right for you. Here goes:
What Is EasyPay?
EasyPAY lets you spread the cost of your heating fuel over a number of months. (If you get in early, we can spread the payments for as many as 13 months!) With this type of plan, you receive a $0.05 per gallon discount on the market price of fuel the day that it is delivered.
What Is EasyCap?
EasyCAP spreads the cost of your heating fuel over a number of months but also has a small CAP fee factored in. CAP fees are sometimes called “downside protection” – it means that you pay a small fee to ensure that you never pay more than the price you have locked in at, no matter what happens to the price over the course of the season. However, if the price drops lower than the price you locked in at, you pay the lower price.
Why Is There A Fee For EasyCap?
Our suppliers charge us a fee for the “downside protection” that we then pass along to our customers who choose the EasyCAP option. Think of it as insurance – the fuel you have contracted with us will be there for you when you need it, at or below the price we contracted for.
How Does AFC Figure Out My Monthly Payment?
As much as I don’t love math, this one is pretty simple: we estimate the number of gallons we think you will use for next season (based on the number of gallons used in the past), multiply it by the price per gallon that we have contracted for you, then divide it by the number of months to spread your payments over.
A few important things to note:
- If you have a credit balance on your account from last year, we can roll that into this years budget to further reduce your monthly payment
- If you sign up for EasyCAP, we will add the CAP fee into the calculation
- Your heating system should be tuned up every year to ensure it’s running at peak efficiency. AFC offers a wide range of Comfort Agreements with benefits that include a annual tune up. We can roll that cost into your monthly payment, too
Can My Monthly Payment Change?
Sure can – but mostly for good reasons! If we have estimated your fuel usage too high, we can always make a mid-season payment adjustment to make sure you don’t have a big credit on your account at the end of the season (although, if you do get a big credit, we can roll it into next years price protection plan or issue you a refund). If you love cold weather and we have a great big, snowy, cold winter, then we may need to adjust your payment to make sure you don’t end the season in the hole. Good news – we take an average usage from the last few years to try to avoid needing to do this.
What Is A PreBuy?
PreBUY is for you if you want to pay for your fuel upfront – one shebang! Pay now (at a great rate) and get your gallons delivered throughout the season, when you need them.
What’s The Catch?
The catch is, we don’t have a magic crystal ball that can tell us how the weather is going to be next year, or what is going to happen with the price or what numbers to pick for the next big PowerBall drawing. What we can do is chat with you and tell you about all the options we offer and let you make the choice that is best for you and your home.
If you’ve made up your mind about which Price Protection Plan is right for you, let us know! We will get you all signed up. If you’ve got more questions, give us a call – (207)623-3851 – or stop by one of our offices – 4 Northern Ave, Augusta, ME or 121 Mutton Lane, Clinton, ME – We’d love to chat.