Frequently Asked Questions
Timely oil delivery and reliable service represent the core business at Needham Energy and we take our responsibilities to our customers very seriously.
We strive to help you, the customer, understand oil pricing and price fluctuations, oil services, maintenance agreements and why they are important, what to do if you run out of oil and how we can help make sure you don’t.
Your comfort and safety and that of your family is our primary concern and we assure you we stay on top of industry trends, oil quality and quantity, equipment and new technologies and customer and emergency services.
We hope we’ll have you as a customer for a long time!
1. How do you know when I need an oil delivery?
Needham Energy has invested in state of the art technology and sophisticated computer software that allows us to accurately predict oil delivery schedules. Computerized Degree Day Forecasting tracks the daily weather and coordinates that information with information on your individual usage characteristics, like size of your house, age of equipment, insulation, how your hot water is heated, etc. We calculate a “K” factor or usage factor that suits your requirements, so we can ensure you will never have to deal with the inconvenience of running out of oil again.
2. My heating system is old. How can I find out if it’s working efficiently and what’s involved to update or replace it?
There are various reasons why a heating or cooling system may not be working to its fullest capacity. These factors include:
- Size of your current equipment. If the size of the heating or cooling system is not matched with the size of the home, this can lead to inefficiency. Needham Energy technicians can calculate the proper heat gain/loss for your home size and recommend what will work more effectively.
- Ducts and air flow rates should be checked by our technicians and if problems are fixable, you may be able to avoid a new system.
- Our technicians can test whether your heating or cooling system is properly charged and may be able to make adjustments in levels that could solve your problems.
- Testing will calculate whether air flow is too high or too low within your heating and cooling systems. Our technicians may be able to make adjustments for optimal performance.
If your system is found to be unsuitable or inefficient, Needham Energy will provide a full evaluation with recommendations and can install the system that will be best for your home. Please call us for a no-obligation review of your existing equipment and suggesting for improving upon it. Keeping your systems working efficiently saves you money in the long run as well as making more efficient use of oil.
3. Do you offer easy payment options for oil deliveries?
For customers with good credit standing, we offer many payment options. Many customers prefer working with a budget payment option. For budget plans, we estimate your usage and oil costs and suggest a monthly budget amount so you’ll can spread the heavy months throughout the year. If there is an amount due or credit due you, we will balance the account at the end of each hearing or cooling year. Also, Needham Energy offers a convenient automatic credit card option. Upon delivery/service, we can automatically charge the credit card on file, saving you time and postage. We accept MasterCard and Visa. For security purposes, please call us at 781-453-9500 to set up this option.
4. What is a “locked in” rate and what are the pros and cons?
A lock-in rate is a contracted, fixed rate. We pre-purchase oil for you at that rate and all your oil deliveries through the following spring will be at that contracted rate, regardless of whether oil prices go up or down. You may save by locking in or you may pay more. We normally offer a lock-in rate if customers ask for it or if we believe it will save our customers money throughout the season based on our best guess. That said, we have no control over oil prices nationally and internationally and the decision will be yours entirely and you will be asked to sign a contract for the rate lock.
5. What parts do you cover in your oil service contract?
Our top rated Service Contract covers parts specified in the contract and labor costs associated with those part repairs, 24 hour emergency service, and the annual Tune Up and Cleaning of your oil burner. Also, as a service agreement customer you will receive discounted labor rates on installation or service on other HVAC equipment as well as preferential appointment scheduling for non emergency service and installations. Please click here to link to our full Service Agreement
6. What tax credits are available for new heating or air conditioning systems?
State and federal governments have instituted some tax credits for installation of new systems and upgrades to improve energy conservation. Please check with your tax advisor for the current rules and then call us to help you take advantage of these potential tax credits.
7. How can I reduce my heating and air conditioning costs?
- Install a programmable thermostat
- Lower your thermostat while you are at work or at night while you are asleep
- Make sure your radiators and vents are clear so that the heat can circulate with less effort
- Open the shades during the day and let natural sunlight warm up the rooms during the day
- If you have registers, vacuum them regularly and be sure nothing is blocking them
- Seal any air leaks
- Lower your hot water temperature
- Replace air filters regularly
- Have a professional annually maintain and clean your system
- Keep shades down to block the warm sun
- Replace air filters regularly
- Service the cooling equipment yearly to ensure efficiency
- Consider a whole house or attic fan which will eliminate hot hair during the day while bringing in cool air at night
- Raise your thermostat setting
- Clean the coils of your central air conditioner to eliminate dust and dirt
8. Can I pay by credit card automatically?
Needham Energy offers a convenient automatic credit card option. Upon delivery/service, we can automatically charge the credit card on file, saving you time and postage. We accept MasterCard and Visa. For security purposes, please call us at 781-453-9500 to set up this option.
9. Can I pay my bills on line?
Not at the present time. Please let us know if this is a service you believe is important to you.
10. Why is air quality so important?
Because newer homes are more airtight, the air we breathe is not as pure and fresh as it once was. What’s missing is the air exchange that used to carry away many indoor pollutants such as carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, cool-weather moisture, outgases from building materials and cleaning compounds. Even though we do not know everything about indoor pollutants we do know that ventilation and air exchange allows for a healthier environment.
11. What are Biofuels and why do we need them?
Biofuels are substitutes for liquid petroleum fuels (such as heating oil) that are derived from renewable organic matter such as corn, soy, switchgrass, agricultural waste, wood, and waste vegetable oil. Massachusetts law requires a minimum percentage of biofuel as component of all diesel fuel and home heating fuel sold in the Commonwealth, starting at 2 percent in 2010 and ramping up to 5 percent by 2013. Biofuels, while better for the environment over the long haul, normally are a bit more costly than the traditional petroleum-based fuels. Needham Energy, as always, is on the cutting edge of technology and is already working on relationships with biofuel companies to provide legally appropriate fuel to your home.
12. Why is Needham Energy my best choice?
We are locally owned and operated. We aren’t going anywhere or planning to sell to a conglomerate. We know the region and know what’s important to our customers in this region. We work hard to keep our heating oil prices competitive or lower than other companies and we pride ourselves on having some of the best-trained technicians anywhere. Keeping your system in tip-top condition, having 24/365 service you can count on and a company behind it that is solid and family-friendly, keeps your family warm or cool year-round. We guarantee it!
13. What determines the price of oil?
Heating oil is traded on the commodities market just like natural gas and electricity, and is very similar to how the stock market works. Price swings are very common and the uncertainty of where the price is headed at any time is a reality. The price of oil is influenced by many factors, most of which are out of our control, including market conditions, supply and demand, weather trends, world affairs, etc. Needham Energy is constantly studying the commodity market to offer our customers the best price possible. Continual research and analysis of pricing trends enables competitive oil prices…always.