NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — If you filled your oil tank this season, your bill has likely doubled, but some heating oil companies are offering discounts.
The higher cost results in higher credit card fees for businesses. Bethany Fuel said it is paying thousands of dollars a month due to the 2.5% fee and is now offering up to eight cents off per gallon for customers who opt to pay by cash or check.
Karl Rainey, the owner of Bethany Fuel, said those credit card fees cost him between $3,000 and $4,000 a month.
“The customer gets a lower price, and I get to save some money in credit card fees so I love to offer a cash/check discount,” he said.
In 2020, heating oil in Connecticut was around $2 a gallon. Now, it’s near $5, making an average 150-gallon tank fill up has increase go from $300 to $750.
“What’s tough is a lot of people they usually filled up, can’t afford to fill it so they are getting the minimum delivery of 100 gallons,” Rainey said. “Therefore, I have to go back to the house more often, which makes my day a lot busier. It’s tough for a single guy operation.”
And those constant prices are costing his business. Rainey will give his customers a quote, they would pay in advance, then that same day, the price would increase multiple times when he came to re-fill his tanker truck at the terminal.
“It’s stressful with the prices,” he said. “Now with the volatility of the market, they are changing the price on us during the day. So we get a text from the terminal, 10:30 am price will go up 20 cents.”
The cooler temperatures this week does have business heating up. Bethany Fuel gets dozens of calls a day, at times delivering oil to 70 houses in a single day. Rainey said despite the volatility, he is ready for this business heating season.
According to the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, many of its members are also offering discounts that can help curb costs this winter.
“Offering discounts is nothing new in the home heating oil industry. Many of our full-service dealers offer a variety of programs every year to help offset the cost of fuel and help families stay warm. These discounts may include: cash payments, prompt payment, and for very large deliveries, for example. We also offer budget programs, which spread payments out over the year instead of just during the winter months. Some of our members also offer discounts for veterans. The best thing to do is to call your local home heating oil dealer to see what they have to offer. They will be more than willing to help you.”Chris Herb, president and CEO of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association