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Kevin Rooney
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Heating Oil Industry Offers Tips to Consumers for Dealing With Cold and Snowy Weather

Washington, D.C., December 20, 2010 With the National Weather Service forecasting heavy snow and cold temperatures for the Northeast, the heating oil industry’s Energy Communications Council (ECC) is letting its consumers know they can take simple steps to stay warm and safe during inclement winter weather.

“The top priority for oilheat retailers is keeping their customers warm,” ECC Spokesman Kevin Rooney said. “The last thing any driver wants is to be unable to deliver oil to a home or business because of a lack of access to the tank and fill pipe. Let’s work together against the snow and cold by ensuring that delivery trucks and drivers have safe, easy access to tanks.”

• Make sure your heating system and appliances are running efficiently. Have a qualified service technician annually inspect and service your appliances and oilheat system. This will ensure that your appliances are running as efficiently as possible, conserving fuel and saving dollars.

• Keep heating vents clear of snow and ice, and make sure that carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are installed in your home. If a vent is obstructed, an appliance may malfunction and create a dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide.

• Make sure you have an adequate heating oil supply. During and after a winter storm, roads may be inaccessible for delivery. It is recommended that you establish a regular delivery schedule with your propane retailer.

• Consider automatic delivery, which allows retailers to use computerized systems signaling them when tank volumes are low and need to be refilled.

• If consumers have an in-ground tank, they should ensure that fill pipes are clearly marked and readily accessible for oilheat delivery drivers. A thin wire stake with a colored flag next to fill pipes usually works well. The marker should be higher than the average snow cover depth for your location.

• If oilheat tanks are located behind their home or business, consumers should ensure that fence gates can be opened and there is a clear path for deliveries. A hundred foot heating oil hose can weigh more than 100 lbs. So please help to make the driver’s job as easy as possible.

• For above-ground outdoor tanks, large amounts of snow or ice sliding from roofs may damage heating fuel lines. Consumers should try to safely clear snow or ice buildup from the areas above the fuel lines.

• For a permanent solution, many oilheat retailers sell weatherproof enclosures for outdoor tanks to protect them from snow and ice.

• After a winter storm passes and it is safe to do so, check the entire area for damage to your oilheat tank. Immediately call your local heating oil dealer if any hazards exist. Do not attempt repairs yourself.

The ECC is comprised of the New England Fuel Institute, the Delaware Valley Fuel Dealers’ Association, the Empire State Petroleum Association, the Massachusetts Oilheat Council, the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey, Oil Heat Comfort of Long Island, the New York Oil Heating Association, Inc., and the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, and is funded by NORA.


National Oilheat Research Alliance ECC is funded in part through the National Oilheat Research Alliance.