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Kevin Rooney
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Safety & Savings Tips for Heating Oil Consumers

Washington, D.C., December 21, 2012 It’s been a month since Hurricane Sandy, but thousands of homes and businesses are still waiting for their heating equipment to be assessed, repaired or upgraded, and able to return to use. The Energy Communications Council (ECC) is emphasizing important safety tips for heating oil consumers to follow even weeks after a storm or flood – especially as we prepare for winter.

If you have not already, be sure to:

1. Look for any visible structural damage. If the tank has shifted, lines are bent or damaged, or you notice anything else unusual, contact your heating oil retailer immediately.
2. Damage to pumps, filters, and electronic controls is a significant problem caused by flooding. Heating oil appliances and equipment that were underwater for any period of time should be inspected by your professional technician before determining if the equipment can be put back into service.
3. If any part of your heating system sustained moderate to severe damage, you will likely need a professional technician to replace the equipment or components. Salt water can lead to devastating corrosion or foul the electronics in a unit, which can lead to major safety issues for your home or business.

The recent flooding caused damage to all different types of heating systems impacted by the storm, and these safety concerns are extremely important no matter what fuel or system you use.

For more information about recovery from Hurricane Sandy, visit And to learn about how the Oilheat industry has assisted people and organizations in need with the replacement of oil heating appliances over the past eight years, including during the continued aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, visit

5 simple steps for winter preparation:

It is anticipated that this winter will be colder than our last, however that does not mean your wallet needs to suffer. As consumers assess their needs after the storm, including whether to repair or upgrade to new appliances, the Energy Communications Council offers the following tips for keeping heating equipment running safely and efficiently while keeping costs low.

1. Pipe Insulation
Wrapping pipes with insulation or installing a foam sleeve will not only reduce heat loss, but will guard against the very costly problem of frozen and cracked water lines.

2. Caulking
Filling gaps around windows and doors will significantly reduce heat loss… without the considerable expense of replacing those same doors and windows.

3. Plastic Window Insulation
A plastic window insulation kit can also be purchased at almost any home improvement store. This thin, clear plastic sheeting adheres easily to any size window to provide an extra layer of protection against heat-loss.

4. Lower Thermostat Temperatures
Lowering your thermostat just a few degrees at night and during the day when the home is empty can really help homeowners save on their heating bill. Homeowners may wish to consider installing a programmable thermostat, which can be preset to lower the temperature when that family is sleeping or away from home, and raise it just before the family awakes or returns home.

5. Next Year - Budget Plans
One of the easiest ways for consumers to manage their money is to set up a budget payment plan in the spring, summer or fall – which spreads fuel costs across twelve months. A call to the local fuel supplier can help consumers decide what type of plan is right for them.

“The Energy Communications Council has been providing these tips for several years now, and it’s great to see more customers taking the heating oil industry’s advice on how to conserve energy and lower their heating oil bills,” said Kevin Rooney, the ECC’s primary spokesman and CEO of the Oil Heat Institute of Long Island. “Federal and state incentive programs have also encouraged many consumers to weatherize their homes and replace older boilers and burners with new, high efficiency equipment.”

Heating oil and heating systems continue to become increasingly efficient, burning nearly 95% cleaner than it did in 1970, and improvements in efficiency and efforts by retailers and their customers have reduced the average home’s consumption by approximately 30% since 2000.

For more information regarding safety tips, contact your local heating oil dealer, your state or regional heating oil association, or visit and

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