To combat the high price of home heating oil, residents of New Hampshire can join a co-op group called The Fuel Club.
Last year, (2007-2008 heating season), the Fuel Club estimates it saved it's members an average of $1.00 per gallon of fuel.
The general idea is that there is strength in numbers, or more specifically, in "volume". By negotiating special pricing with select heating fuel suppliers, club members can usually do better than if they had shopped around and negotiated on their own.
While it is usually better to negotiate a fixed price for all the heating oil [a customer] will use in a calendar year, and to do so during the summer or early fall when prices are lower, the 2008-2009 heating season posed an unusual situation -- prices were very high, and falling. Customers who locked in during the summer or early fall, could end up paying more for heating oil than those who didn't.
The club negotiated "Fixed Margin" pricing for it's members, which allowed them to buy oil at a price that fluctuates with the market, but gives the oil supplier a set amount of profit per gallon.
Members can contract to buy up to 5000 gallons of fuel per member property, for a base membership fee of $30/yr, (plus $10 for each additional fuel tank, e.g. if customer has both oil for heat and propane for cooking, they would pay $40, businesses and other non-residential members pay approximately $55-$65/yr).
Membership is open to NH, ME and VT consumers.
For more information, contact:
The Fuel Club
PO Box 568
Claremont, NH 03743