Category Archives: Spring 2017

Spring Checklist: Five Things You Can Do Now

Here are five things you can do now that will make life a little easier later on.

✓ Enroll in our Level Payment Plan to spread out next winter’s fuel costs.

✓ Protect your oil tank from moisture buildup (which can lead to rust) with a summer fill-up.

✓ Sign up for automatic deliveries. You’ll eliminate the need to watch your tank and will avoid run-outs.

✓ Put your credit card on file with us or get credit approval to make easy payments.

✓ Upgrade your heating system now and save on fuel and repairs next winter. Equipment financing is offered through KeystoneHELP 

The Hidden Cost of Natural Gas

Natural Gas Spot Price Rise

Natural Gas spot prices continue on an upward rise.

Residents in one Cambria County community were shocked to learn that converting to natural gas comes at a high price.

According to a recent article posted by the Altoona Mirror, a homeowner in Gallitzin stated at an open forum with gas utility officials that he found a delivery charge of $350 tacked on to his last bill.**

In Gallitzin, residents who recently switched to natural gas pay a delivery rate of $7.14 per 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas — more than twice as much as their neighbors in Cresson.

The gas utility officials explained that these delivery rates needed to be imposed to cover the cost of expanding natural gas service into the town.

Imagine what you would think if we started charging you extra money just to put fuel the in your tank!

Of course, this is only one example of the hidden costs of converting to natural gas, which can also include:

  • up to $10,000 for a new natural gas boiler or furnace
  • up to $2,000 for a new chimney liner
  • up to $1,500 for oil tank removal

Add it all up and you could be on the hook for as much as $13,500 — before you even start paying for the gas. The local gas utility warned its customers that the Department of Energy is predicting that the average price of natural gas will increase 48% over the next two years.

If you need a new heating system, stay with oil heat. Upgrading to a high-efficiency oil heating system will cost a fraction of what a natural gas conversion would, and it will provide savings of 25% to 40% on annual heating costs.

**altoonamirror.com/news/local-news/2017/03/complaints-heat-up-at-gallitzin-natural-gas-meeting/

Heating Oil for a Sustainable Future

With every passing year, heating oil continues its evolution into a newer, cleaner and more efficient fuel. Knowing more about today’s oil heat will make you feel good about how you heat your home — now and well into the future.

Cleaner Than Ever

The oil heat industry continues to undergo a revolution that is significantly improving oil heat’s efficiency and cleanliness, thanks to vast reductions of sulfur levels.

Our country continues to make strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and heating oil is certainly doing its part.

Many states have instituted requirements to move heating oil to a low-sulfur blend; this fuel contains about 75% less sulfur than conventional heating oil.

As a result, every gallon of oil that gets put in your tank burns more cleanly, with lower emissions. You also benefit from better heating efficiency and easier maintenance, since low-sulfur oil creates fewer deposits on heat exchangers.

This is only the beginning. The quality of heating oil will get even better in the years ahead. And that’s good news for the environment!

In contrast, serious concerns are being raised about the aging infrastructure of natural gas pipelines, which are being strained to capacity, especially during extreme cold spells. Many of these old pipelines are also leaking methane — a damaging greenhouse gas — into the atmosphere.

And that’s bad news for the environment!

The Tanks You Get

They say you get better with age, but that’s not true of oil tanks. If your oil tank is more than 30 years old, we recommend replacing it.

While it’s true that oil tanks last many years, they eventually do give out. Life spans vary depending on the humidity, the thickness of the tank’s steel and more. And when tanks do fail, it’s hard to see it coming, because they can erode from the inside out.

Today’s oil tanks are light-years ahead of old models. The new generation of aboveground tanks are virtually leakproof and feature:

➤ sleek designs

➤ double-wall construction that includes an outer tank of corrosion-resistant galvanized steel

➤ a leak-detection system

➤ long-term warranties

If that’s not enough, the newest generation of aboveground tanks generally can be installed in small or unusually shaped spaces.

In short, today’s tanks provide peace of mind and convenience — in addition to all the other benefits of heating your home with oil!

Getting More Efficient all the Time

If your boiler or furnace is at least 15 years old, consider replacing your heating system soon; the performance and reliability of heating equipment typically deteriorates after 15 years (earlier if maintenance has been neglected).

At minimum, a new high-efficiency oil heating system should help you save up to 20% on your annual heating costs. Additionally, you will also have virtually eliminated the need for the expensive repairs and the escalating maintenance costs associated with an

aging system.

Just think, no more strange noises in the night. No more suddenly losing your heat because another worn-out part gave up the ghost. You will also be reducing your risk of having to deal with frozen pipes, and the ensuing water damage, caused by your old furnace conking out while you were away for the weekend.

Endless Hot Water for Less Money

Many of our customers now use their boilers not only to heat their homes, but to produce hot water for showers, hot tubs, washing machines, dishwashers — you name it. And they get it virtually free in the winter.

It’s called an indirect-fired water heater, and if you have a boiler, it can be a phenomenal option.

Anytime your boiler is heating your home, your indirect water heater works for free. It’s like having your cake and eating it, too.

A traditional stand-alone water heater has to use gas or electricity to keep that water hot. And that’s a huge waste of money.

If you have a gas or electric water heater that is 10 years old or older, start checking out your options today!

Anytime your boiler is heating your home, your indirect water heater works for free!

Oil heat is cleaner, greener and more economical than ever! The latest oil heating systems are small, smart and super-efficient. Plus, there are many different equipment options to fit your budget.

Buy Now and Pay Over Time

The Keystone Home Energy Loan Program (KeystoneHELP) provides qualifying Pennsylvania homeowners with low-cost loans for energy-saving improvements, including high-efficiency heating systems.

The program offers low-interest fixed-rate loans of up to $20,000 with terms of up to 10 years. The interest rate will never change, and KeystoneHELP offers longer terms than typical bank financing.

You can pay it off or make additional principal payments at any time; there’s no prepayment penalty.

Visit renewfinancial.com/product/keystonehelp to learn more.

What’s the outlook for oil prices?

Dear Friends,

While oil prices have crept up after reaching a 13-year low in early 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy is still forecasting that crude oil will remain in the $50- to $60-per-barrel range this year, barring any unforeseen events (especially in the volatile Middle East).

Dell M. CromieBecause heating oil, like gasoline and diesel fuel, is a “finished” product derived from crude oil, its price and crude oil’s are closely tied. Right now, the strong dollar and slow growth in global demand are helping keep costs down.

But the primary driver for these manageable prices is the giant increase in U.S. production. Our country is producing so much oil that we could become a net exporter of oil, rather than a net importer, within the next 10 years. That’s good news for the future of oil prices.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy recently projected that natural gas prices will rise 48% over the next two years — keep that in mind if you’ve been thinking of switching to natural gas.

The bottom line: The predictions that oil would be more expensive than natural gas are proving as yesterday as VHS tapes!

Warmly,

Dell M. Cromie, President