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Oct 27, 2023 2:49:17 PM by Lauren Mangano

Oil Heat Budget Program FAQ: Your Comprehensive Guide

As winter approaches, many households turn to oil heat to keep their homes warm and comfortable. While oil heat is an effective way to maintain a cozy atmosphere during the cold months, it can also be a significant expense. To help ease the financial burden of heating your home with oil, we offer an Oil Heat Budget Program. Although our Budget plan starts in the summer, it's important to start considering if this program is right for you. In this blog, we will answer some frequently asked questions about this program to help you better understand how they work and how they can benefit your household.
A Budget plan is one of many heating oil programs to choose from when it comes to your heating and budgeting needs. Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions to learn more about the Budget Program.

1. What is an Oil Heat Budget Program?


An Oil Heat Budget Program is a budgetary support program designed to make it easier for homeowners to manage the costs of heating their homes with oil. Typically, it involves spreading your annual heating costs into equal monthly payments, which can help you avoid the shock of high heating bills during the winter months.


Our Budget programs typically run for 11 months from the beginning of June through the end of April. May is a "break" month, which gives you a month without any payments and gives us time to recalculate your new Budget payment. 

2. How Does the Budget Program Work?

Payment estimation

ECI will estimate your annual heating costs and then divide this sum into equal monthly payments. We do this by taking your average annual gallons and multiplying this number by the current automatic delivery market price. We then divide this total by 11 months, as the program runs from June through April. This allows you to budget more effectively and maintain a steady, predictable expense for heating throughout the year.


Deliveries are automatic, meaning you do not have to worry about checking your tank levels and calling in for a delivery. Our advanced software tracks your oil levels and our oil department monitors your usage, ensuring that we make a delivery before your tank gets too low. With a standard Budget, your deliveries will always be at the current market price.


Monthly payments are also automatic, either from a bank account (EFT withdrawal) or a credit/debit card. Agreeing to automatic payments allows you to receive additional discounts on every gallon, further helping you save on heating costs.

3. Do I have to Sign a Contract for the Program?

At ECI, we do not require you to sign a contract to be a part of our Budget program. Our goal is to make the process as simple as possible, so you can enjoy home comfort without the stress. With that being said, we do send you an email or printout in the mail with all the details of your Budget plan so that you have it for your records. We also have detailed website pages and PDF documents that outline the program.
Finally, you do not need to sign up for a heater service contract to be a part of the Budget program. If you do choose to sign up for a heater service plan, we can roll the annual cost into your monthly budget payments.

4. Are There Eligibility Requirements for This Program?

On the same token as not requiring contracts, we do not perform credit checks to sign you up for the plan. If at any point a customer does not keep up with monthly payments, we do have the right to terminate the plan. Additionally, while there is no minimum gallon usage required, we do recommend that you use at least 600 gallons annually to sign up for the Budget program. If you don't use a ton of oil, the monthly payments may not be worth it. If you're unsure if a Budget plan is right for you, feel free to reach out to our office.

5. What are the Benefits of Participating in a  Budget Program?

Participating in an Oil Heat Budget Program offers several advantages:
  • Predictable Monthly Payments: By spreading out your heating costs, you can better manage your budget and avoid high winter bills.
  • Consistent Supply: Since you're making regular payments, you're less likely to run out of heating oil during the cold season.
  • Peace of Mind: You won't have to worry about unexpected spikes in your heating expenses.
6 Reasons To Sign Up For a Heating Oil Budget Plan

6. Can I Switch to an Oil Heat Budget Program Mid-Season?

In most cases, we ask that you sign up for the program at the beginning of the heating season, which starts in June for Budget programs. While many homeowners don't start looking into oil programs until it starts to get cold out, those interested in a Budget should stay on top of heating expenses throughout the year. The goal is to spread out your payments over a longer period, which is why the program starts in the summer. 

7. What Happens if I Use More or Less Oil Than I've Paid for in the Budget Plan?

If you use more oil than anticipated during the heating season, we will ask you to pay the remaining balance at the end of the season. However, we like to assess our customers' Budget plans each month to see if they are on track. If we see that your payments are too low compared to your usage, we will talk to you about raising the monthly payment.
On the other hand, if you've used less oil at the end of the season, the money will stay as a credit on your account for future deliveries. If you decide to renew your Budget, we will roll that credit into the new plan, thereby reducing your new monthly payment. 

8. Can I Leave the Program if I Change My Mind?

While many companies charge early cancellation fees for exiting an Oil Heat Budget Program, ECI prides itself in doing just the opposite. You can cancel a Budget plan at any time for any reason and receive a full refund of the credit on your account, if applicable. This gives you peace of mind knowing that you change your mind at any point without repercussions. We also do not charge credit card fees or any delivery fees. 

9. Can I Cap My Oil Price if I'm in the Budget Program?

ECI offers a second version of the Budget Program, which is the Price Cap Budget Program. Automatic deliveries with a standard Budget are always at the market price. With a Price Cap Budget, we offer a price ceiling to protect you from volatile oil prices. This means that your price-per-gallon would never go above the predetermined ceiling; but if market prices decrease, your price will also decrease.
A standard nominal monthly protection fee guarantees you'll never pay a higher price per gallon, even if market prices rise. This monthly fee is typically around $25 and is built into your regular monthly Budget payments. If you are on a Price Cap Budget, additional automatic payment discounts do not apply.

10. How Can I Sign up for an Oil Heat Budget Program?

To enroll in an Oil Heat Budget Program, give us a call or fill out the contact form below. We will guide you through the signup process, assess your heating needs, and explain the terms and conditions.Contact ECI Comfort
Oil Heat Budget Programs can be a valuable tool for managing your heating expenses and maintaining a warm, comfortable home during the winter. By enrolling in one of these programs, you can enjoy predictable monthly payments and peace of mind, ensuring that your family stays cozy without breaking the bank. 

If you live in the Delaware Valley/Greater Philadelphia area and would like to find comfort within your home, visit our website or give us a call at 215 - 245 - 3200 to learn more.

This entry was posted in Heating, Bucks County, Fuel Oil, FAQs

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