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Mar 21, 2024 2:40:51 PM by Lauren Mangano

Oil Heat Prepay Program FAQ: Your Comprehensive Guide

Many Pennsylvania homeowners rely on oil heat to keep them warm throughout the winter. While oil heat is effective in providing comfort during the chilly months, it can also come with a hefty price tag. To alleviate the financial strain of heating your home with oil, we offer our Oil Heat Prepay Program. In this blog, we will answer some frequently asked questions about this program to help you better understand how it works and how it can benefit your household.
A Prepay 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 Prepay Program.

1. What is an Oil Heat Prepay Program?


A heating oil Prepay program with a locked-in price allows customers to purchase their heating oil in advance at a set price per gallon. This means that regardless of fluctuations in the market, you are guaranteed to pay the agreed-upon price for the duration of the contract.


Our Prepay programs typically run from September through April, which is the peak heating season. 

2. How Does the Prepay Program Work?

Payment estimation

Customers estimate their annual heating oil consumption and prepay for the anticipated amount upfront based on the lock-in price. The price per gallon is determined at the time of enrollment and remains fixed throughout the prepay period (September through April). 


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 standard automatic delivery, your deliveries would always be at the current market price, whereas with a Prepay program, your deliveries are always at the fixed price.


After your one-time payment before the Prepay period begins, you do not have to worry about paying for oil throughout the heating season. Should you use more oil than anticipated, you can opt to purchase more (see number seven for details). 

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 Prepay 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 Prepay plan so that you have it for your records. We also have detailed website pages and PDF documents that outline the program.
Additionally, we do not require you to sign up for a heater service contract to be a part of the Prepay program. 

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. 
We do require you to purchase at least 500 gallons for the Prepay program. This requirement ensures that customers are committing to a sufficient volume of oil to justify locking in the price. If you are interested in the program but don't need that much oil, our office staff would be happy to work with you and see what option is best.

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

  • Protection against rising prices: The primary benefit is protection against market volatility. With a locked-in price, you won't be affected by sudden price spikes, ensuring budget predictability and peace of mind. Additionally, if prices rise during the Prepay period, you'll save money compared to purchasing oil at the current market rate.
  • Consistent oil supply: By purchasing oil in advance, you eliminate the worry of running out of budget for winter fuel purchases.
  • Peace of mind: Automatic delivery ensures you never run out of oil, as we monitor your usage and come out to fill your tank throughout the season.

6. Can I Switch to an Oil Heat Prepay 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 September for Prepay programs. The goal is to pay for your oil ahead of time, which is why the program starts before the temperatures really start to drop.

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

If you use more oil than anticipated during the Prepay period, you'll need to purchase additional gallons at the prevailing market rate as you need it. Or, you can opt to purchase another X number of gallons (minimum 500) at the fixed rate.
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. It's important to note that the credit on your account will no longer be valid at the fixed rate once the Prepay period ends in April. This means that after April, your oil will be delivered at the market price, regardless of whether it's higher or lower than the previous fixed rate. If you decide to renew your Prepay plan, we will roll that credit into the new plan, thereby reducing your new upfront payment. 

8. Can I Cancel the Program if I Change My Mind or Move?

While many companies charge early cancellation fees for exiting an Oil Heat Prepay program, ECI prides itself in doing just the opposite. You can cancel a Prepay 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. Are There Any Risks Associated With a Prepay Program?

While a Pepay program with a locked-in price offers stability and potential savings, there are inherent risks, such as changes in oil consumption or unforeseen circumstances that may impact your ability to utilize the prepaid gallons fully. Additionally, if market prices drop significantly, you won't benefit from the lower rates.

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

To enroll in an Oil Heat Prepay 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
The suitability of a Prepay program depends on your individual heating needs, budgetary constraints, and risk tolerance. If you prioritize stability and want to shield yourself from market fluctuations, a prepay program with a locked-in price could be a wise choice. However, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.

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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