Save Money By Starting A Fuel Oil Coop

To save money on heating costs this winter, consider joining or starting a fuel oil co-op. What’s that?

When Barbara Troxell started one in 2004, she started by putting flyers in neighbors mailboxes. After getting about 14 people together, she started calling up dealers to see if they would offer a group rate discount. The group negotiated a $40 discount off a $179 annual plan, got downside price protection, with a pre-season boiler check included. Now the group is up to 50 people.Through collective buying power you can negotiate a better deal to buy in “bulk” than you can individually. For more info and tips on the nuts and bolts, check out this article.

How to Save Money by Starting a Fuel Oil Coop [Furnace Compare] (Photo: Getty)

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  1. HIV 2 Elway says:

    To save money on heating costs this winter, consider buying a sweater and wool socks.

    • Quilt says:

      @HIV 2 Elway Resurrected: Get a sweater and wool sock coop started, and you can save money by buying in bulk.

    • BrianDaBrain says:

      This seems like a great idea, shame my heat is electric. Bet, I’m also a solid proponent of blankets and sweatshirts/pants. My average thermostat temp in the winter doesn’t get too far above 65.

      • stranger than fiction says:

        @BrianDaBrain: It’s kinda tough to take a shower while wearing sweater/sweats/socks. I’ve often wondered how the low-thermostat proponents deal with winter hygiene–?? If it’s too cold for me to run around in a t-shirt and shorts, then naked and wet is pretty much out of the question.

  2. Quilt says:

    Start a sweater and wool sock coop. Then save money by buying in bulk.

  3. Quilt says:

    Woops. It didn’t seem to post the first time, but showed them both the second time. SORRY!

  4. battra92 says:

    Sounds like an interesting idea. Too bad things like that really don’t work too well around here.

  5. mazda3jdm says:

    Get those space blankets the astronauts use

  6. Baldyman1966 says:

    When I saw this headline I thought it said coup as in coup d’etat and I thought ‘American Foreign Policy getting a bit obvious these days’ :)

  7. tom2133 says:

    I’m guessing that this only works in places where you have a truck come and deliver heating oil? My condo uses individual metered natural gas lines, so I’m not sure that this would work “out west.”

  8. SuffolkHouse says:

    Jeepers! That’s communism!

  9. tiffanyrules says:

    Do you think this would work for gas, too? Gas prices are outrageous, and I’ve been stretching a tank as far as possible (see ebooks) and flirting with the gas station guy, but something like this would be awesome.

  10. Trai_Dep says:

    Don’t you think that’s a bit socialistic? Why do these people hate the Free Market so? And Freedom?
    First they pick on poor, innocent hard-working Oil Companies. Who’s next in line? Pharmaceutical companies? The Health Insurance guys?
    Stop this madness at once!

  11. nobodyman says:

    While I think this is a great idea and all, wasn’t she technically breaking the law by putting flyers in her neighbors mailboxes? There was a story here on consumerist a few days ago from somebody annoyed by solicitors doing this sort of thing.

  12. corey1981 says:

    “When Barbara Troxell started one in 2004, she started by putting flyers in neighbors mailboxes.”

    It’s a federal offense to put something into someones mailbox that did not go through the mail system, and be delivered by a USPS postal employee or carrier. The Post Office doesn’t call the cops, they call the FBI.

    I’ve called people who leave fliers in my mailbox and told them that. A couple of them said that the post office had alreday called because people were complaining.

    It drives me NUTS when people put stuff in my mailbox like that. Plus, you don’t know if someones out there stealing your mail either. I had to end up getting a locking mailbox because people (read kids) were walking down the street and opening mailboxes..

  13. timmus says:

    Woops. It didn’t seem to post the first time, but showed them both the second time. SORRY!

    I have that problem all the time on Consumerist… I wonder if anyone at Gawker is aware of the problem.

  14. techstar25 says:

    When I first read that title I thought it said “Fuel Oil Coup”, as in “sudden overthrow of the government by force”. Now that would be a much more useful how-to article.

  15. CSUSam says:

    The best way to lower fuel prices to stop oil speculation. Check out [www.stopoilspeculationnow.com] to see why oil is so expensive.

    • bctampa says:

      @CSUSam:
      Understandably you’ve been falsely persuaded by politically driven propaganda.

      “A report by government agencies – including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury and Energy Departments – found that speculative trades in oil contracts had little to no effect on the rise in prices over the last five years.” NY Times Editorial

      The quote I’ve provided above is just [ a summary of] one of the ubiquitous explanations available that explains in economic terms that speculation accounts for < 4% in the fluctuation in oil prices.

      I’m certain if you try there will be plenty of informative sources available to counter the hyperbole of the site you included in your post.