Our heating oil company mailed out their winter heating contracts. I appreciate that small, independent oil companies are in the unenviable position of delivering home heating oil to consumers, billing them for it and trying to collect the payments from them. I realize that they are at the mercy of the huge oil corporations, oil commodities markets, speculators, politics and international cartels. But the 2008-2009 lock-in price is over $4.50 a gallon! And the non-refundable downward price protection insurance fee has doubled and is up to 40 cents per gallon - pushing the price up to nearly $5.00 a gallon!
I know the recent drops in the price of a barrel of oil cannot and should not be construed as a trend, but Chuck and I are loathe to lock in. And we can’t imagine locking in without the downward price protection. So, I think this year we’re going to roll the dice and pay the cash price all winter - no guarantees, no up front insurance fees. It’s a risk. But this year the contract feels like too much of a high stakes gamble.
We already keep the thermostat set low; no higher than 62-64 F (16-17 C) during the day and no higher than 54 F (12 C) at night. The furnace has just been serviced, cleaned, tuned up and evaluated. We have our big down comforter we bought during the winter sale at IKEA and my Mom suggested nightcaps - fabric not alcoholic! Thanks Mom! She also said we should pack up the cats and move in with her for the winter! Ummm... thanks Mom! It’s nice to have options, but we’ll stay here and keep our fingers crossed for a mild winter and lower home heating oil prices - and a Democrat in the White House come January. That good news alone will warm the cockles of our hearts starting the day after the election in November!