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Cape & Islands Self-Reliance Corporation
Home Heating Oil Cooperative FAQs

 
Self Reliance’s Home Heating Oil Cooperative FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

What’s this oil thing?
Self Reliance has an oil cooperative program. We have negotiated, on behalf of our members, with a number of local oil dealers for a fixed profit margin over the wholesale price. The profit margin is always less than the profit margin charged to the general public.

The wholesale price fluctuates on a daily basis according to the market. The good news is that the price does go down as well as up! The fixed profit margin that is added to the wholesale price for members is less than what our participating oil dealers charge the general public.

Is the Self Reliance price a discount?
No, the Self Reliance price is not a discount off the retail price. The Self Reliance price is calculated by adding the daily wholesale price and the fixed profit margin we have negotiated. The difference between the retail price and the Self Reliance price fluctuates as the profit margin that the oil company makes on their retail price changes. A good reference is our monthly average price graph which shows the difference between the retail price and the Self Reliance price.

How can I get the Self Reliance price? Are there qualifications I must meet?
In order to take advantage of our pricing, you first need to become a member. Membership is open to everyone. The only guideline to becoming a member of the oil cooperative program is that you must live within the territory that we service (all of Cape Cod and most of southeastern Massachusetts – please call to see if your town is included in our service area).

How much is membership?
Membership is $40 a year unless you are over the age of 65 or a member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and then it is $20 a year. Membership is valid for one year from the date we receive it. Our membership application is available online at www.reliance.org. You can either complete the entire transaction online with a credit card or print the application and mail it in with a check.

How long does this process take?
Once we receive your completed application and membership dues it takes one to two business days to process everything. We notify the oil dealer that works with us in your area that you have joined and should receive the Self Reliance pricing. We also send you a welcome letter letting you know that we received your membership, processed it and notified the oil company of your new membership. This welcome letter will also contain the name and telephone number of the oil company that we work with in your area.

How do I order oil?
Once you receive the welcome letter it is up to you to call and set up your payment terms and delivery schedule with the oil company. Automatic delivery and will-call delivery are both available (no price difference). Please note that will-call delivery is a minimum of 100 or 150 gallons (depending on the company doing the delivery) or you will be charged a surcharge.

How do I know what the price is?
The daily cash price is available to our members by email. If you do not have access to the internet you can call our office at 508-563-6633.

The delivery ticket you receive when you have an oil delivery often lists the Self Reliance 20-day price (some list both the 20-day and cash prices). If you pay within five days, you are eligible for the Self Reliance cash price – for most of our dealers the cash price is $0.05 less than the 20-day rate. If you have any questions, please call us. We are happy to help you!

Can I have same day delivery?
Yes with most of our oil company partners, if you call first thing in the morning, you can have a same-day delivery. The exact cut-off time varies a bit with each company that we work with – we would be happy to tell you the time you need to call by for your specific company.

What about service?
All of the oil companies that we work with are full service companies with emergency service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All of the oil companies also offer service contracts. Service contracts are between you and the oil company, they are not part of the Self Reliance membership.

How about fixed pricing?
We do not offer fixed pricing. The Self Reliance price always fluctuates according to the wholesale market. Many of our participating oil dealers do offer fixed pricing but it is the same whether you are a member of Self Reliance or not. We do have a graph that shows our monthly average price versus the monthly average retail price.

Are you always the cheapest oil?
We can’t always promise to be the lowest priced oil. Sometimes a discount oil company will get a really cheap load of oil and be able to sell it for less than the Self Reliance price. However, we are always lower than what our participating oil companies are selling to the general public for.

Is this oil somehow different?
No – the oil in the truck is being delivered to both Self Reliance members and the oil company’s regular customers.

Am I locked into buying from you?
No – by joining you are able to access our pricing but you are not locked into buying from us. If you find a cheaper price somewhere else (and you are not on automatic delivery) – go for it!

I have two houses that need oil delivered, do I need more than one membership?
Yes, each membership covers one delivery address.

revised July 1, 2009

Other oil coops in the Northeast United States:

Massachusetts:
Center for Ecological Technology in the Berkshires:
Pittsfield office: 413-445-4556
Northampton office: 413-586-7350

Mass Energy Consumers Alliance:
Boston & surrounding cities and towns: 1-800-287-3950

Pioneer Valley Oil Coop in Amherst:
Springfield area: 413-545-0865

Oil Buying Network in Westborough:
Boston and the areas to the North and West 800-649-7473

Rhode Island:
HEAT USA, in Providence, Kent, Bristol and parts of Washington County. 800-660-4328

Connecticut:
HEAT USA, 800-660-4328
Citizen's Oil Co-op (heating oil and bioheat)
Pilgrim Oil Group (heating oil)

New Hampshire
LS Fuel Co-Op (heating oil and propane)
North Country Fuel Association (heating oil and propane)

New Jersey:
Pilgrim Oil Group (heating oil)
HEAT USA, 800-660-4328

 

New York
Citizen Action Fuel Group
(heating oil and kerosene)
Co-op Power (sustainable energy)
Energy Cooperative of New York (natural gas and electricity)
Galway Co-Op (propane)
NYPIRG Fuel Buyers Group (fuel oil and natural gas)
Pilgrim Oil Group (heating oil)
Washingtonville Fuel Corporation (heating oil)

Pennsylvania
The Energy Cooperative
(heating oil, bioheat, renewable electricity)

 

Vermont
Energy Co-Op of Vermont
(heating oil, kerosene and propane)
North Eastern Vermont Fuel Cooperative
(heating oil and propane)

Proudly making a difference in the following Cape Cod, Massachusetts towns and villages: Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Buzzards Bay, Centerville, Chatham, Cotuit, Craigville Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Hyannis, Hyannisport, Marstons Mills, Mashpee, Orleans, Osterville, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, Woods Hole, Yarmouth, Yarmouthport

Oil Cooperative also serves the following southeastern Massachusetts towns and cities: Abington, Acushnet, Assonet, Avon, Berkley, Braintree, Bridgewater, Brockton Brookline, Buzzards Bay, Canton, Carver, Cohasset, Dartmouth, Dedham, Dighton, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Fairhaven, Fall River, Foxboro, Freetown (Assonet) Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Humarock, Kingston, Lakeville, Manomet, ,Mansfield, Marion, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Middleboro, Milton, Needham New Bedford, Newton, Norfolk, North Carver, North Dartmouth, North Dighton, North Easton, Norton, Norwell, Norwood, Onset, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Quincy, Randolph Raynham, Rehoboth, Rochester, Rockland, Sagamore, Sagamore Beach, Scituate, Seekonk, Sharon, Somerset, South Carver, South Dartmouth, South Easton, Squantum (Quincy), Stoughton, Swansea, Taunton, Walpole, Wareham, West Bridgewater, Westport, Westport Point, Westwood, Weymouth, White Horse Beach (Manomet), Whitman
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Copyright©2008 Cape & Islands Self-Reliance Corporation
Physical address:
1396 Route 28A, Cataumet, MA 02534
Mailing address:
PO BOX 396, North Falmouth, MA 02556
Toll-Free: 888.808.0120 or 508.563.6633 Fax: 508.563.1123
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