Best ways to negotiate savings in home heating oil

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Nina Pineda has 7 On Your Side.

Prices have plunged to near 10 year lows in home heating oil. But if you're "locked in" can you break a contract? And where can you find the best prices? We have some fast and easy tips on how to capitalize on hot heating oil prices.

Patti Stillwagon saved a bundle. The Levittown homeowner simply asked her oil provider to match a competitor's price.

Even though she was on the last month of a year long contract, (locked in for $3.16/gallon), her oil company, Petro, allowed their long time customer to break her fixed rate-contract, giving her the rock bottom matching price of just $1.99 per gallon.

Savings on the last fill up of her contract? $234.

And her new contract locks in in at a lower price, she was at $3.16 per gallon, now she's locked in for the next year at a great price, just $2.09/gallon.

She saved on her own by shopping around in Westchester County where legislators made it easy for consumers.

That's where they compile an online price list of each oil company.

Whether you choose a fixed or variable oil contract Westchester County Board Chair Michael Koplowski says the tracker, updated weekly with current spot oil prices, arms people with power.

Koplowski sayhs he got backlash from some companies who want the tracker taken down. But other oil guys are for it.

"I think consumers should know what's really out there with full service companies and be able to feel it out," said fuel merchant Eddie Plitnick. He says his company, Plitnick Home Fuel and Service Co., will match any long term service provider price.

But you have to ask, in Patti's case the question paid off. She says she'll save around $900 next year over the price from her previous year.

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