The use of home heating oil to stave off the winter cold may seem like an outdated – even archaic – system since the most common methods for heating a home by far these days are either natural gas or electricity. However, there are still some 5.5 million households throughout the U.S. that utilize home heating oil. The vast majority of the homes that still use some form of heating oil are clustered throughout the Northeast, from New Jersey and north through all the New England states. Surprisingly, with new technologies that both improve efficiency, while also improving environmental impacts, thousands of new houses are built every year using home heating oil technology.
Rising fuel costs call for innovative payment methods
There are definite benefits to the use of heating oil but one drawback at the moment is inflation and the rapidly rising cost of fuel. For heating oil suppliers, that does mean larger tickets as many homeowners will buy heating oil in bulk, hoping to cover their heating needs throughout the winter and early spring. With the higher prices, the ability to securely and confidently accept checks can be a win-win for both supplier and homeowner, and CrossCheck has just the services to cover any contingencies.
According to news reports, heating oil prices are expected to increase by 43 percent before winter is over. That is actually slightly less than the 48 percent increase anticipated for natural gas. For the approximately 18 percent of homes in the Northeast that use heating oil as their main source of warming during winter months, buying enough fuel will be crucial, especially as cold temperatures are expected to continue for some time yet.
Benefits of heating oil, including greener energy
There are definite benefits to heating oil. Not only is it one of the cleanest combustion sources – according to the EPA – but newer technologies have greatly improved efficiency. Since the fuel is not explosive, it is also safer (heating oil will only ignite when used with an advanced system with an oil burner or furnace). With new fuel mixes that include varying percentages of biofuel, the oil not only burns cleaner but it also greatly reduces maintenance periods
A typical, 2,000 s.f. house will often have about a 275-gallon tank. During an average winter in the Northeast, that should last a homeowner about five weeks. Heating oil prices have ranged from $3.4 to $3.9 per gallon since early January. With a 275-gallon tank – which only has an actual capacity of storing about 230 gallons of oil – that comes out to a one-time fuel purchase of just over $800. That can easily increase as many homeowners have an extra storage tank somewhere on the property that can hold as much as 500 gallons or more.
Secure heat for customers — and payment for you — with CrossCheck
At crucial times of the year, homeowners may not want to – or be able to – put that amount on a credit or debit card, preferring to write a check. With CrossCheck’s Check Guarantee service, heating oil suppliers can rest assured that the personal check will be guaranteed. Furthermore, our Multiple Check premium can be an ideal addendum to the service as it can help the customer who can write several checks – to be deposited at agreed-upon intervals – rather than hope their checking account can cover the whole amount up-front. For instance, they can write two checks to coincide with the next couple paydays, likely alleviating stress to their checkbooks just as prices keep rising and temperatures stay cold.