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When it comes to heating your home, you already have plenty of methods to consider, but you also need to decide what company you’ll go with. There are many heating oil companies out there, so it’s just a matter of finding the best one for your home. To do that, you have to know how to choose a heating oil company.

Take a look below at what to consider when choosing a heating oil service provider — so you can make the best choice for you, your family, and your home.

10 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Heating Oil Provider

There’s a lot you should look for when choosing a fuel oil company. As you start your search, evaluate your needs and what you want from a service provider. Maybe you’re prioritizing economical deals or are searching for the best service in town. No matter your needs, use the list below to help when choosing a heating oil company.

1. Services for Your Location

The first step to choosing a heating oil company is making sure they service your location. This will be an easier step, but it’s an essential one to take. You don’t want to find a company that meets all your needs only to find out it won’t deliver to you. Some companies may serve a specific county, state, or a larger region between states.

You may want to select an oil company that covers a decent area. That ensures they have a large team of technicians and experts. It also means you could potentially move and still use their services if your new location isn’t too far away. As long as the company specializes in a particular region, it could be the right choice.

To choose the best heating oil company, look for a business that understands where you live. They should know what the weather is like to understand your heating needs, listen to customer feedback, and have a connection in the local area. You also need delivery technicians who know the area well so they arrive on time.

2. Quality Customer Service and Support

A heating oil service provider should care about its customers. Companies can show this in a variety of ways, but the most important is quality customer service and support. You don’t want to be left low on heating oil or with damaged equipment only to receive no answer from your provider. In addition to quality care for regular services, you will also want to look for a fuel provider that offers 24/7 support for emergencies.

Whenever you contact a heating oil company, you want a knowledgeable expert to provide attentive customer service. They’ll value your business and understand that heating services are essential, especially during colder seasons.

3. Pricing and Payment Plans

You’ll be paying for heating services at least every heating season, so it is essential to consider the pricing options. Your budget will help guide your decision as you’re choosing a heating oil service provider, but so will their payment plans. Find one that offers what you prioritize, whether that’s an economical or flexible choice.

If a fuel oil company offers different payment plans, it shows they understand the unique needs of their customers. That’s exactly what we do at Shipley Energy with these pricing options:

  • Market price: Reflects the current market price. This price structure delivers heating oil on a per-gallon basis.
  • Capped rates: Offer protection from rising costs if the price of heating oil goes up. You’ll save money if the price of heating oil goes down, and if it goes up, your rate won’t go past the cap. This price usually lasts for one heating season.

4. Upfront Fees

Reliable companies will communicate their fees as you look into their pricing plans. They may even be transparent about these fees on their sites. Either quality is important for a trustworthy heating oil company. You should also investigate these fees yourself based on your budget and other needs. You don’t want to be hit with hidden or confusing costs down the line. Search for all the costs a company will charge or ask about potential fees like:

  • A convenience fee: These added costs are often miscellaneous extras. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid surprise convenience fees. If you have to go with a company that charges them, look into what the costs or reasons could be. Try to pick a heating oil company that keeps these convenience fees low so you don’t have any excessive surprise charges later.
  • A tank maintenance fee: Whether you get charged this fee will depend on the individual company you go with since some waive it. Tank fees aren’t a red flag against a company since repair and maintenance are necessary. You can, however, compare companies and see what tank maintenance fees fit into your budget.
  • A delivery fee: Don’t be surprised if you see a delivery fee with your heating oil service provider. It costs a company to bring fuel to you. Some companies may waive this cost, though, and others are upfront about it. Prioritize either of those qualities based on your needs as you search.

5. Reliable Supply

You need a heating oil company that has a reliable source of fuel. You don’t want to be getting low on fuel oil only for your company to run out. As you’re choosing a fuel oil company, consider one that does what they can to keep a reliable supply for all their customers. At Shipley Energy, we work to offer our customers the best fuel supply by:

  • Monitoring the market: We buy in bulk when market prices are down, so we can provide lower prices and have a bulk supply to offer our customers.
  • Working with multiple suppliers: We shop around to find the best value for heating oil on the market, so we can pass the savings onto you. We also work with multiple suppliers to ensure we keep a constant supply for our customers.

6. Reliable Delivery

Reliable delivery services for your heating oil are essential. You don’t want to be left without heat during cold weather. While you could handle delivery requests yourself, you run the risk of forgetting to check heating oil levels and ordering more. That’s where automatic delivery could come in handy, but be careful about extra fees.

Other companies offer automatic delivery that seems convenient at first, but they slip in added costs. The price you pay with those heating oil service providers is then significantly higher. At Shipley Energy, we offer capped pricing plans for automatic delivery. You won’t have to worry about running out of oil or remembering to order it again.

If you select automatic delivery with Shipley Energy, we use weather data and usage history to determine an automatic delivery schedule. We guarantee you won’t run out of oil on this plan. That means you get reliable delivery and no more emergency, last-minute delivery fees.

7. Tank Installation, Repair, and Protection

If you’re switching to oil from another heating method, you’ll need a heating oil tank. Select a company that offers installation services for your convenience. It shows that the provider has a team of experts and prioritizes your safety. A new tank should be designed to safely contain your heating fuel, even over decades of use. As you look for a heating oil company that offers tank installation options, look for:

  • An assortment of tanks to consider so you can find what you need for your home.
  • New heating tank models that have a smaller footprint and take up less space.
  • Installation services that are fast and efficient, whether it’s inside, outside, above ground, or below ground.

Don’t forget about repair services for the tank you get from a provider. Look for a company that offers protection programs and repair services for their heating oil tanks. You’ll need service from reliable and skilled technicians who can repair your heating equipment any time of day and any time of year. Look for coverage like:

  • protection plan that guards you against costly repairs due to breakdowns.
  • A lifetime protection plan to cover the cost of parts, labor, and equipment replacement.

If you’re using your own heating oil tanks, you’ll need to prioritize finding a company that lets you use your own. Talk with potential companies to see if you could use your own tank and if you’d be able to use their repair services with your tank.

8. Reviews and Long-Term Customers

When you’re choosing a fuel oil company, search for one whose customers have had a positive experience. Read reviews or testimonials to see what people are saying, or consider word of mouth. See who your neighbors, friends, and family members use for their heating needs.

It’s a good sign if a heating oil company has kept their customers for a long time as well. That means they offer quality service, and they also adapt as times change. New technologies, services, and market standards mean oil companies have to adjust to stay reliable.

9. Dedication to the Community

The fuel oil industry is a personal one. Companies serve specific areas and get to know their customers. A sign of the best heating oil companies is community involvement. It shows a personal connection to a company’s customers and the area beyond. Social responsibility is a big deciding factor for many customers in a variety of industries, not just heating oil. Most, if not all, the fuel oil companies you consider should give back in some way.

At Shipley Energy, for instance, we value the community we work and live in. Our associates give back to over 40 organizations in the area, dedicating thousands of hours to volunteering. We’ve extended our dedication and caring nature throughout the community, too. Providing heating systems for families in need through the “Warm Hearts, Warm Homes” campaign and donating necessities for hurricane relief efforts are just the beginning of our involvement.

10. Rewards Programs

A rewards program isn’t a necessity for choosing a heating oil company. It is, however, a nice perk that shows the service provider appreciates its customers. A heating oil rewards program can also save you money towards future products and services or on other purchases.

At Shipley Energy, we provide 3% back on our energy products and service with our rewards program. When you’re a Shipley Energy residential customer in good standing, you get points back for the money you spend each month. You can then use those points on Shipley Energy products or gift cards for our products or for your favorite retailers.

Why Switch to a Different Heating Oil Provider?

Maybe your current fuel oil company isn’t offering you the support you need. Perhaps you’d like to explore different pricing options and choose a heating oil company that’s flexible and reliable. Whatever the case, it’s time to switch oil providers. When you’re switching and choosing the best heating oil company, Shipley Energy is here for you. We bring our services, products, and expertise to areas throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the Northeast. At Shipley Energy, we offer our customers:

  • Availability: We want to be available to our customers whenever they need us. That’s why we offer a 24/7 emergency number and extended and weekend hours throughout the heating season, from November to January. We also have more technicians than anyone else in the region to assist you. It’s our goal to be there for you and meet your heating and energy needs.
  • Flexibility: We offer a variety of pricing plans and budgeting options. Whether you need an economical plan with automatic delivery pricing or ways to budget, we have what you’re looking for.
  • Experience: Our experienced technicians would be happy to help you while they deliver your fuel. For a small additional fee, they can perform preventative maintenance or HVAC repair. These value-added services save you time since you don’t have to schedule additional appointments.
  • Dependability: Most of our customers have trusted us for their energy needs for over 10 years. We’ve worked for decades to build a positive reputation and be dependable for our customers. We’re ready to become your long-term home comfort provider.
  • Quality assistance: When you’re a Shipley Energy customer, you’ll find that our customer service is unparalleled. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is always available to answer your questions, and our technicians are ready to keep your home comfortable and safe throughout the year.

Select Shipley Energy for Residential Heating Oil Services

Don’t get stuck wondering how to choose an oil company. Select Shipley Energy for your heating needs. We serve residents throughout the Northeast with our home energy services and equipment installation. Shipley Energy has been in business since 1929, and we’d be proud to be your choice for residential heating oil services. When you go with Shipley Energy, you get our dependable value and service backed by decades of experience.

Check our rates online or contact us today at (855) 909-9308 to learn more about our residential heating oil services.

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