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Take steps to reduce your energy costs

Poughkeepsie, NY, February 25, 2012 With home heating oil prices reaching the highest levels in a decade, we recently received a letter from a resident who was concerned he may be overpaying for home heating oil. He felt helpless as there did not appear to be a way to find out what other people were paying or if there were possibly cheaper options out there.

The best way to determine if you are overpaying is to log onto the New York State Energy, Research and Development Authority website ( They break the state into various regions (we’re part of the Lower Hudson Valley Region) and track the average cost per gallon each month.

Comparing what you pay per gallon to the average will give you a good idea of where you stand. The website also has information on making your home more energy efficient and how to obtain a free home energy audit, which can shave even more money off your bill.

Once you have the average monthly cost for our area, you can call around and shop for the best price. Keep in mind that there are two different types of oil companies, full service and discount. Full service companies have a variety of services in addition to just fuel oil including budget payment plans, service contracts, automatic delivery, etc. Discount companies in most cases exclusively deliver oil, usually on a “cash only” basis. Be sure the company you decide on is a reputable company delivering high quality oil.

Ask for a discount
Some oil companies may offer a discount to senior citizens, people who pay within a certain period of time, large volume purchasers, prepaid customers or for a variety of other reasons. Make sure you ask each company about any discounts they offer. A budget plan or a fixed price plan may or may not be appropriate depending on your situation; weigh all of the pros and cons for each carefully.

Finally, the Home Energy Assistance Program can provide a one-time payment to the fuel supplier of low-income households. Eligibility is based on your monthly income and household size. For a household of one, your monthly income should not exceed $2,146. Two-person households have an income cut-off of $2,806. Contact our office for more information on how to apply by calling 845-486-2555.

energy costs

National Oilheat Research Alliance ECC is funded in part through the National Oilheat Research Alliance.