Energy Communications Council

Press Releases

Back to Press Releases

For more information contact:
Kevin Rooney
[email protected]

Heating Oil Industry Gives Consumers Essential Tips on Winter Energy Conservation and Budgeting

Washington, D.C., October 19, 2009 Oilheat retailers in the Northeast are telling consumers that it’s not too late for them to save on winter heating costs by tuning up their heating oil systems and taking other simple, practical steps to conserve energy.

New oil furnaces are highly efficient, but an annual tuneup also keeps existing equipment functioning at top performance, according to the heating oil industry’s Energy Communications Council (ECC). Properly maintained boilers and furnaces can operate at higher temperatures, while burning less fuel, and thus reduce heating bills by up to 10 percent.

"Consumers can save on their heating costs, conserve energy, and help the environment when they tune up their heating systems before winter," ECC spokesman Kevin Rooney said. "There are also many easy and cost-effective ways to use less heating oil and lower other energy costs in the home or office," said Rooney, who directs consumers to the Web site for all kinds of useful information on how to stay warm and conserve energy all year round.

In addition to the ease of automatic delivery based on degree-day usage, consumers should also consider the financial benefits of a budget payment plan for their energy purchases that can spread out fuel oil costs at the same monthly level throughout the year.

"Many oilheat consumers across the country use budget billing because they like the convenience and certainty of having one heating expense figure to plug into their monthly home or business budget," Rooney said.


  • Get a heating system tuneup — it’ll ensure you get maximum performance from every drop of heating oil burned.
  • Open shades and drapes when the sun is out to let it help warm your home. Close them when the sun goes down.
  • Turn back the thermostat at night or when you are away from home; for every degree you lower your thermostat for 8 hours or more each day, you’ll save 2 percent on your heating bill.
  • Wrap your pipes to guard against heat loss and prevent them from freezing.
  • Stop drafts by eliminating any gaps between your door and the threshold on the floor. Use a bottom seal that can be attached to the bottom of the door – it should brush up against the floor to seal up the threshold.
  • Caulk or re-caulk exterior spaces between the windows and walls of your home.
  • Close your kitchen vent, fireplace damper and closet doors when not in use.
  • If you have central air conditioning, close your vent(s) to the outside.
  • Remove air conditioning window units, or cover them to keep cold air outside.
  • Keep radiators and registers free of dust for top efficiency.

  • Replace heating systems that are more than 20 years old.
  • Upgrade your oil furnace or boiler — modern versions can cut costs by as much as 15 percent.
  • Replace your furnace’s or boiler’s fuel economizer.
  • Make sure you have good insulation on exterior walls, ceilings with cold spaces above, and floors with cold spaces below.
  • Install or close storm windows. Consider new glass designed to decrease radiant heat loss without lowering visibility.

For more information regarding practical energy saving tips, contact your local heating oil dealer, your state or regional heating oil association, or visit

The ECC is comprised of the New England Fuel Institute, the Delaware Valley Fuel Dealers’ Association, the Empire State Petroleum Association, the Maine Energy Marketers 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., the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, and the Virginia Petroleum, Convenience, and Grocery Association, and is funded by NORA.

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