Dear Friends,

Last winter was one of the coldest we’ve experienced in a long time. Unlike many companies, we always have members of our service team on call to ensure that we can respond to every customer who needs deliveries or repairs. That’s the kind of service our business was built on; it’s what we call the Burt’s Difference.

The type of product we deliver is another important difference. No other heating oil company in our area delivers natural heating oil with a B20 biofuel blend. This is the cleanest-burning fuel oil available; it not only helps the environment; it helps your wallet, too.

New York State encourages the use of this fuel — to the point where they provide a 20¢-per-gallon credit on your state income taxes. As a result, our average customer will qualify for a $150 tax rebate.

Make sure you keep all of your fuel receipts so you can claim this credit when you fi le your state taxes next year. For your convenience, by the end of this year, we will have added the tax-credit claim form on our website, which you can download and print.

As always, we are committed to your comfort and peace of mind — and we thank you for your trust and loyalty to us. Call us anytime you need our help.

You’re important to us!

Martin Romanelli

Saving a few bucks always seems like a great idea. Most of the time it is, but there are times when this approach causes a lot of aggravation.

Consider the story of one of our longtime customers from Greenport. She left us after 20 years because another company gave her a lower rate on her heating oil.

“It wasn’t worth it,” she told us. “I didn’t get the kind of service I used to get from Burt’s, especially when I needed a repair. There was just no comparison.”

We’re happy to say this customer has now rejoined us, and she looks forward to getting the type of “be-right-over” service she has received from us for so long.

At Burt’s Reliable, we always try to strike the right balance between giving you the value of fair prices and providing responsive, professional service. That’s the way three generations of the Romanelli family have been doing business on Long Island for 90 years.

Total U.S. crude oil production next year is on track to reach 9.3 million barrels per day—the highest level since 1972! The United States is now the biggest oil producer in the world, overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia. Crude oil output will continue to surge and will top 13.1 million barrels a day by 2019.

While this represents a giant leap toward our country’s goal of greater energy independence, it remains to be seen how oil prices will play out in the years ahead due to unpredictable factors including:

  • severe weather
  • the state of the economy
  • world events affecting energy production

One More Uncertainty

Speculation also injects price uncertainty. Speculators from giant banks, hedge funds and elsewhere place bets on which way the energy markets will move, hoping to make money from their investments. With unrest in the Middle East reaching the boiling point recently, speculators are especially jittery, which opens the door to future price volatility.

Unfortunately, everyone gets caught in the whipsaw effect of increased costs and uncertainty. It hits you—and us—in the wallet and has many other consequences.

Like you, we hope to see oil prices stay at lower levels in the future. With domestic oil production levels surging strongly, there is a better chance that this might happen.

Thanks in large part to the big boost in domestic supply, oil prices are expected to remain at levels that are similar to, if not slightly lower than last heating season—barring any unexpected world events.

Sources: Energy Information Administration, Short Term Energy Outlook, July 2014; International Energy Agency.

Heating Oil Picks Up the Slack for Natural Gas

High demand brought on by last winter’s bitter cold forced many utility companies to cut off their “interruptible” customers—businesses that use a lot of natural gas—and switch over to a more secure fuel source: heating oil!

Here’s one striking example: in New York City alone last winter, at least eight million gallons of heating oil were diverted to make up for the natural gas shortage. This type of situation is not unusual; it happens year after year whenever there is a prolonged cold snap.

Once again, oil heat proved to be safer, more reliable and more efficient than natural gas. There’s nothing like bitter cold winters to prove that over and over again!

As more power plants convert from coal to natural gas and older gas pipelines continue to deteriorate, an adequate supply of natural gas is becoming a major concern.

Leaky gas pipelines are also costing people money! Gas that doesn’t reach the customer is considered lost or unaccounted for, although it is still paid for by the gas customer. Imagine if we charged you for oil that was “lost”!

By sticking with oil heat, and upgrading to high-efficiency, clean-burning oil heating equipment, you can reduce emissions, save energy and keep your heating bills reasonable. And by doing this, you’ll still have us on your side, always willing to go out of our way to keep you warm and safe.

Can any gas company make the same claim—and then back it up?


5 Ways We Look After You

  1. Always there for you.

    Our staff is ready to respond with fast service whenever you need us. We always have enough drivers and trucks, and our vehicles are maintained properly, so we can get to you no matter what the weather conditions are.

  2. Training and more training.

    We invest in ongoing and extensive training for our employees. This ensures that when we do work for you, we get the job done right the first time. Our training program also provides accurate information and a courteous response from our office staff.

  3. Honest and fair pricing.

    Some oil dealers will get you to sign a contract with them and then start stepping up your price, hoping you won’t notice. We never play that type of game!

  4. Convenient payment options.

    We understand that heating bills can be a big burden, so we offer flexible payment options for qualified customers to lighten the load for you during winter.

  5. Secure fuel supply.

    We have never been without fuel, so we are always able to take care of our customers.

You may have heard the recent news that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new regulations to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal plants by up to 30% by 2030.

Less well known is another plan that outlines both regulatory and voluntary actions that federal agencies would undertake to reduce methane emissions, which are more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide emissions (methane is the main component of natural gas).

This strategy targets industries creating the largest percentage of domestic methane emissions, with the top three polluters being agriculture (farm animals), natural gas systems and landfills.

While there is no practical way to control emissions from farm animals, some landfills have been installing wells and vents to capture methane.

We can only hope that the natural gas industry makes similar progress in addressing an environmental problem that affects us all.

The best way to prevent fuel run-outs is with our automatic delivery program! You don’t have to call us because we know just when to deliver your oil. Our computer system tracks your fuel use patterns and monitors outdoor temperatures.

Some people ask if automatic delivery costs more than just calling for their fuel. The answer is a definite no. First, this service is free. Plus, you don’t pay any more for your fuel than if you had called for a delivery.

If you haven’t done so already, call us to request automatic delivery this heating season. For even more convenience, combine automatic delivery with our EZ Pay program. You won’t have to worry about calling for your fuel and you can make one low monthly payment, no matter how cold it gets or how much fuel you use.

When you have a great experience at a restaurant or see a movie you loved, you tell a friend. So if you love the service and value you get from Burt’s Reliable, why not tell a friend about us?

For every friend that becomes a Burt’s Reliable customer, we will credit your account $50.*

It’s easy! Just call us or click Contact Us; then click Refer a Friend, fill out the form and email it to us.

While you are here, why not open a Burt’s Reliable online account? You can pay your bill, review your account history and keep track of your fuel use. Just click the My Account button on our homepage, and then click Register.

*Conditions apply. Contact us for details.

Q: I keep hearing about smart thermostats; how do they work?

A: One example of a smart thermostat is the Ecobee. It lets you adjust the temperature of your home remotely using your smartphone or computer. Once you have the thermostat installed and register it online, you will be able to access it from anywhere, thanks to a personalized web portal. (We can install this thermostat for you.)

The Ecobee can also send you an email or text alert about a drastic temperature change — and possible equipment failure. Some models even let you know when it’s time to change filters or schedule maintenance for your heating or cooling system.

Many of our “snow birds” use this type of thermostat because of the peace of mind it provides. Please contact us if you would like to learn more.

Burt’s service team can winterize your summer home to avoid frozen pipes. Call us for details or contact us here.