Managing Oil Costs, Usage, and Creating a Budget

When it comes to surprises, either you love them or hate them. But when it comes to a surprise home heating oil charge, everyone hates them. For most homeowners, having to pay for heating oil in the late fall isn’t exactly a surprise, but it’s definitely not something that they look forward to. Depending on the cost of oil at the time, however, the final payment could very well be a surprise. So how can Maryland homeowners prepare and budget for a significant home heating oil bill?

Burch Oil Has a Solution

Since 1928, Burch Oil has been providing Maryland residents with quality, personalized service. Our family-owned company will always put customers first and we are dedicated to keeping homes warm through the winter. We understand how challenging finances can be, so we offer our EZ-pay budget plan and a price protection plan to help homeowners better prepare for filling up their tank.

What is Normal in Maryland?

Understanding how to create an oil budget plan for your home starts with taking a look at your home’s heating needs. The Burch Oil team would love to personally assess your oil-burning furnace and appliances to help you create a EZ-pay budget plan based on your specific needs, but until that’s possible, we’ll have to look at Maryland averages.

Let’s Crunch Some Numbers

The average furnace will use between 0.8 and 1.7 gallons of heating oil per hour while in use. This is quite a range since it depends on the time of year, the time of day, the efficiency of the furnace, what temperature your thermostat is set at, and the weather conditions at the time. There may also be appliances in your home that use heating oil all year round, such as a water heater. It is important to consider these appliances when calculating your annual usage.

Let’s say your furnace is using 1.3 gallons of heating oil per hour. Maryland temperatures can get considerably low from late fall to early spring, so there’s a good chance your furnace is running nearly all of the time from October through March.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average cost of heating oil in Maryland for December, 2019 was $3.56 per gallon. We could look closely at how much money you’re spending each hour on heating costs, but what it really comes down to is how much it will take to fill your propane tank, right?

Determine Your Own Averages

The longer you live in a house and use the same appliances, the more information you’ll have to determine monthly and annual heating oil use and create an oil budget plan. If you have lived in a home for longer than a year, look at the quantities used over each month. Add up the 12 months’ worth of usage and divide by 12. This will give you an average heating oil cost per month. As time goes by, you’ll be able to calculate annual heating costs.

How Long Will a Tank Last?

The size of the Oil tank you need typically depends on the size of your house, how warm you keep it during the winter, and how often you use certain appliances. Burch Oil offers 275, 300, 500, and 1000 gallon oil tanks. Depending on your needs many of these tanks can be installed either above ground, below ground, or even inside your home to reduce moisture build up.

Burch Oil Solutions

With so many factors involved, it’s nearly impossible to predict how much you will need to save throughout the summer in order to pay for heating oil in the winter. After several decades in the oil delivery industry, we understand how frustrating this can be for homeowners, especially when they are living on a tight budget. That’s why we have our EZ-pay budget plan and a price protection plan to help our customers budget.

Price Protection Plan

Determining how much you’re spending on home heating oil is obviously dictated by the cost of oil at the time. But the cost of oil fluctuates depending on the world markets. Currently, the average price per gallon is $3.55, but this cost has been on the rise for years. With Burch Oil and our price protection plan, you don’t need to worry about market fluctuations and changes in prices. In fact, there’s only good news when you sign up for heating oil delivery with Burch Oil.

When the market prices increase, regardless of how high, you will pay the same amount per gallon every time you fill up your tank. When the market prices decrease, your price will also come down! You can look forward to consistent home heating oil costs every time colder months roll around.

If you have questions about our oil price protection plan, such as how a price cap is determined and how you can save money with a price cap, visit our FAQ page. Or, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Burch Oil team with any other questions you may have.

Sign Up For an Oil Budget Plan

To help homeowners budget for when it is time to fill up their Oil tank, Burch Oil also offers an EZ-pay budget plan, which splits your annual bill into 12 even payments. Instead of paying a single, significant chunk per delivery, you can easily create a budget that includes 12 smaller payments. This takes the surprise out of having to heat your home every winter.

So, instead of the $1,780 bill that you would have to pay all at once when you fill up your tank, divide that by 12 and you’ll only have to pay $148 each month. This is a much more manageable, predictable number, making it easier to save throughout the year and heat your home during the five months of colder Maryland temperatures.

The team at Burch Oil understands how frustrating budgeting for heating oil can be, so we provide our clients with options to make it easier. With an oil price cap and EZ-pay budget plan, you can reliably fill your tank each fall and heat your home so it’s warm and cozy during the winter.

If you have any questions about our oil budget plan, get in touch with Burch Oil today.