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FAQ


A: Your fuel purchase decisions should be based on your personal situation, and whichever options makes you feel most comfortable. Many people like the Smart Pay Program because it gives them the maximum peace of mind! It also makes your fuel bills easier to manage by spreading them evenly over 12 months.  With current pricing being very volatile, this program may make the most sense for homeowners.

Q: What is Smart Pay?


A: Currently open through August 31!  Your Oehlert Bros. Service Plan(s) may also be inlcuded in the SmartPay Program and paid for over 12 months!This combines the best of two worlds: Smart Pay lets you spread your fuel costs over 12 months to make your bills easier to manage.  There is a PRICE CAP on how high your fuel price can rise ($2.599) and you always pay the discounted cash price.  In addition, it includes downside protection. Anytime our daily market price drops between May 1 and April 30, you'll pay the lower price, guaranteed. There is a hedging fee charged to cover the cost of hedging insurance. This fee is $.30 per gallon and is paid by us to a hedging broker before the season starts.   back to top

Q: Am I guaranteed to save money with Smart Pay?


A: Not necessarily. If prices rise above your cap and stay there, this program could pay off for you in a big way. If prices go down you benefit as well, because you'll pay our daily market price, which will reflect this drop. Most people who choose Smart Pay select this option because it gives them peace of mind and is a win, win. It also allows them to lower their winter fuel bills by spreading them out over the entire year.

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Q: If prices go down, do I get the lower price?

A: Smart Pay Includes unlimited downside protection! This last winter, prices went down up to 90 cents per gallon! If your daily market price drops below your cap price, you will pay the lower of the two prices, guaranteed. The Prepay option also includes downside protection, but only up to 20c below your prepaid price.

 

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Q: What do you think will happen with fuel prices this year?


A: That's anyone's guess. As much as we wish we could predict whether prices will go up or down, it's just not possible.  With the SmartPay Program, you will always have the best, no matter what the situation.

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Q: What's the difference between prepay and price cap protection?


A: With the Prepay Program, you buy all of your fuel at a great price. Your price will not go up during the winter no matter what happens in the world oil markets. Our Prepay option also includes downside protection up to 20c if you sign up by June 26. This means that if prices fall below your prepaid price, you will receive your delivery at the regular delivery price but only up to 20c below your prepaid price. If prices continue to fall, you won't benefit from a further drop.

When you are enrolled in Smart Pay, your price is guaranteed not to rise above the set "cap price" no matter how much fuel prices rise. And because this program also includes downside protection, if prices go down, you'll benefit, because your price will drop, too. The hedging insurance fee provides this protection.  There is no limit on how low your price could go.

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Q: Can I still prepay for my fuel?

A: The Prepay Program will be open from June 1 through November 30. Price subject to change after June 26.                                              

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Q: What happens if I don't prepay for enough heating oil?


A: Once you have used all of your pre-bought fuel, you must pay the daily market price for any additional fuel you will need.

 

Q: How do you determine what the price cap will be?


A: Planning a price protection program is a year-round effort. We analyze trends, study the commodities market daily and do a lot of research so we can decide when the time is right to make our bulk fuel purchases. In this way we can structure a reliable, workable program, one you can count on for protection from unpredictable spikes in the price of fuel. It takes time and money to structure a price cap program correctly and not all the heating fuel dealers have the resources to do it, especially in the current market.

Q. Is the price cap the amount that I will pay all year?


A: No, Your cap price is the highest price you'll pay all year. The actual price you'll pay is our discounted cash price on the day you receive your deliveries.  If prices rise dramatically, you don't have to worry, because your fuel price will never rise above your cap price. Smart Pay also includes downside protection, if prices go down, your price will drop as well.

 
 

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Q. How do you figure my monthly Smart Pay payments?


A: To calculate your monthly budget payments, we use your fuel delivery record from last year to estimate the number of gallons you will LIKELY use during the next heating season. We multiply the number of gallons by the cap price per gallon. The appropriate hedging fee for your account is added to the total.  This total amount is then spread out into 12 equal monthly payments. Because all of our Smart Pay customers are paying in advance of their winter deliveries, we provide a bonus of receiving the discounted cash price for all deliveries!

 
 

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Q: Can my monthly Smart Pay payment change?


A: Yes, it can change, but it is unlikely.  The only reason we would need to change your monthly payment would be a significant change in estimated usage.  For example, if you built a new addition or children moved back home, this could cause a significant change in usage.

 

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Q: Are all fuel company price protection plan similar?

A: There are only two kinds of price protection; those that fix your price and those that set a ceiling on the price you will pay.  The latter features downside protection, which allows your price to drop if prices go down. But different companies back-up their programs in different ways. When you choose price protection, you are making a bet not just on what will happen to prices, but on the integrity and carefulness of your fuel company. As a local, family owned company in business for more than 65 years, we are cautious about price protection, which means that we have taken all necessary steps to protect your price.

Q: When do I need to sign up for a price cap?


A: Smart Pay begins on May 1st and is open through July 31. Keep in mind that the price of heating oil changes daily, so if you wait to enroll, we cannot guarantee that your cap price will be the same as it is today. Further, Smart Pay is a 12-month program, so you will be required to make catch-up payments should you enroll after May. We only buy a limited supply of price-protected fuel, and once this fuel is spoken for, we will no longer accept enrollments in the Smart Pay program. If you would rather prepay for your heating oil, you must do so by June 26th.

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Q: I’ve seen prices that are lower than yours. Why is that?


A: There are always going to be companies that charge more or less than we do (We tend to be right in the middle and provide a great value for our services). When comparing prices, it's important to compare apples to apples. First, does the fuel company offer full service, or do they just make fuel deliveries, leaving you to fend for yourself if your equipment breaks down or they can't secure more fuel? Companies like this rarely extend credit - COD only - and they don't guarantee the quality of their fuel.

Alternatively, are they a big full-service company advertising a special come-on rate? This is a game the "big boys" play. You "take the bait" and think you are going to lower your bills permanently, only to discover that your price gets jacked up really high as soon as the offer ends.

Do you really want to take chances with a company that doesn't have your back? When you do business with Oehlert Bros., you know that we stand behind our products, and that we will be there for you if anything ever goes wrong.

Questions to ask your heating oil supplier:

1. Is full service offered? i.e., 24Hr emergency Repair Service & Delivery, Professional Installations, Price Protection Programs.

2. Are credit terms provided?

3. How many years have they been in business?

4. Are they carrying at least $5,000,000 in liability insurance?

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Q: How can I lower my heating bill?

A: Smart Pay not only makes your fuel costs easier to manage, it also provides protection from fuel price volatility. With Smart Pay, you'll gain peace of  mind knowing that you'll never pay above a certain price, and if prices go down, your price will go down as well.

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Customer Testimonials
  • “Your budget plan program has given me peace of mind.  Good to know I won’t be stuck with giant heating bills in the middle of winter.”
    --Eve O.
  • “I’m really pleased with how well the price protection has worked out for me this year.  I saved hundreds of dollars when the price of oil went up.  I just wanted to let you know that I’m really glad I signed up.
    --Barbara B.

Oehlert Bros. Inc
TEL: (610) 572-2845