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Latest Update on Energy Prices

Dear Customers,

On October 5, OPEC announced it would slash production by two million barrels a day. Within just three days, our suppliers increased the cost of heating oil by 70 cents per gallon. That’s right, 70 cents per gallon. It has now increased by over a dollar, as of this writing.

This is not just impacting heating oil. Expect natural gas, electricity gasoline, and propane to move higher. Of course, this is not simply about supply and demand. We’ve learned that when prices move this far, this fast, you can always see the impact of Wall Street firms that jump in to take advantage of the momentum to make a quick buck (or should we say millions of bucks.) It frustrates the heck out of us.

Of course, things can turn around just as quickly. We saw prices spike in spring only to plummet by more than a dollar in summer. There are just too many variables to know where things will go from here.

Right now, our phones are ringing off the hook, and hold times are longer than usual. Remember, you can submit a customer service request via the “contact” page on our website, as well as pay bills and look up account information.

A few things to bear in mind:

  • We hate high prices and volatility just as much as you do. It hurts our customers, hurts our company, and makes planning very difficult.
  • This year supply issues could become problematic. While we have excellent relationships with our suppliers, it is imperative that you go on (or stay on) automatic delivery. This way, if we go on “allocation” from suppliers, have drivers out sick because of COVID or face severe weather, we can manage capacity better and keep you warm.
  • Don’t be surprised by big bills. If you’d like to know how much you used last year, so you can project this year’s bills more accurately, call us. This is going to be painful, but it will be helpful to be able to plan for it.
  • If you are having trouble keeping up with your payments, it is critical that you call us as soon as you realize there’s an issue. We can work with you, but only if you communicate with us early.
  • I will try to keep you informed as events unfold. There are many things we can’t control. But we will always prioritize serving our existing customers over adding new ones. We will go the extra mile to keep you safe and warm. And we will be there when you need us.

    Sincerely,

    Erinn Woodcock, Owner


    Shocking spike in fuel prices

    March 8, 2022

    Dear Valued Customer,

    Unsurprisingly, we’ve been getting many calls around two connected issues- the surge in fuel prices and supply concerns. People are astounded by how much prices have risen, and how fast. So are we. They are also concerned that there will be interruptions in supply that will cause them to run out of fuel.

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine shocked the energy markets, sending crude oil up over $120 per barrel.

    To give you a sense of this of how this affects your heating oil price, on March 2, we received notice at night from our suppliers that their prices were going up 20 cents the next day. Then, on March 3, they went up three more times- a total of 60 cents in just 24 hours. Prices have continued to surge daily- a total of $1.25 in one week. Normally, they might change 5 cents in a week.

    What’s coming next
    We don’t know where things will go from here. One thing we can tell you is that we hate this as much as you do. Some people are under the misconception that when prices rise, we make more money. The opposite is true. People cut back usage. They have trouble paying their bills and our receivables skyrocket. Meanwhile, we must pay our suppliers in just 10 days. We must borrow much more from the bank. It is an awful mess for everyone.

    One thing you can count on is that we will not let you run out. We have been in business 150 years (that’s not a typo!) and have very strong relationships with suppliers and financial institutions. We are already getting calls from customers who are with other companies who can’t say the same, and who are unable to get deliveries for 20 days out. You don’t have to worry about that with us.

    If you are having trouble paying your bill talk to us before it becomes a problem. Many times, we can work out something to give you more time, especially if you’ve been with us a while. We can also set you up on a monthly payment plan.

    Nothing will make us happier than when prices start dropping. Until then, trust us to look out for you and pray for the people of Ukraine.

    Sincerely,

    Erinn Woodcock, Owner