Pre-buying oil may not be best option

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Pre-buying heating oil for the winter may not be the best choice this year.

In the past, customers who pre-bought heating oil at locked-in prices during the summer usually got a good deal.

But this year, the wholesale price of home heating oil went up by $1 per gallon in May – the month most oil dealers set their pre-buy prices. Matt Cota, executive director of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, says the confusing market made it hard for dealers to set a fair price.

He says only about 20 percent of Vermont distributors are offering pre-buy plans with prices ranging from $3.99 to $4.49 a gallon.

But now it appears that oil prices are falling, so those pre-buy deals may not be the smartest option.

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