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How to keep your costs in check with record high fuel prices?

*This post was originally published on October 25th, 2021

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These are challenging times for building owners and managers. The cost increase, in what seems like everything, has trickled into fuel costs at a bad time. Many of you could soon see oil bills at $3.00 per gallon.  Winter gas could cost 50% or more than last year. To give you some financial perspective, we have outlined possible per-unit costs at current fuel prices below:

Oil buildings: Most buildings use roughly 500 gallons of oil per apartment, therefore, an approximate annual budget per apartment could be $1,500.

Natural gas: Most buildings use roughly 650 therms per apartment, therefore, an approximate budget per apartment could be $850.

Prices may increase even further. Below are our detailed recommendations to combat these increased costs.

  1. Control your Oil and Dual Fuel buildings: Most of you have taken advantage of our no-cost rebate program for Con Ed and Nation Grid firm gas buildings (which still have a few slots left!).  If you have any remaining oil or dual fuel properties, we would be happy to get you a proposal.  Even without a rebate, the return on investment may be only a few months with current fuel prices.  Existing clients will also get preferred pricing so let us know before it gets cold!
  2. Check your settings with your customer success manager: Low oil and gas prices of the past few years may have prompted some increased settings to avoid complaints.  A 1-degree increase in setpoint can alter your fuel bill by up to 6-8%, so it is important to keep them in line without sacrificing tenant comfort.  Please email your customer success manager or email if you would like to review your current settings at each property.  If you have non-Runwise controls, we recommend you do the same with your other control providers ASAP.
  3. Consider fixing some of your fuel costs: Even with current high pricing, futures contracts can give you lower and more stable prices for fuel in 1-2 year fixed price contracts.  We do not sell or consult on commodities and recommend you reach out to your current energy provider to review these options. If you go this route, focusing on that price gives you budget certainty, which is most important (don't play the market to try and buy the dip!).