Dear Friends,

We are firmly committed to green energy solutions that not only enhance comfort and convenience for our customers, but also save money over the long term while protecting the environment.

That’s why we are the only heating oil company on the North Fork that delivers natural heating oil with a B20 biofuel blend. Other companies at best use only a 2% or 3% blend of biodiesel. Because of our higher blend, the B20 Bioheat® we deliver burns more cleanly than natural gas! Our natural heating oil not only helps the environment; it helps your wallet too.

Clean-burning Bioheat improves heating system efficiency, extends equipment life and reduces service calls. 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 qualifies for a $150 tax rebate every year.

We recently mailed out your 2015 annual usage statement listing all of your deliveries by date and gallons delivered. For your convenience, we have a tax-credit claim form and instructions on our website, which you can download and print. Just click the links for “Heating” then “Natural Heating Oil.”

Feel free to call us if you have any questions about this tax credit. It’s just another way you benefit from the Burt’s Difference.

Martin Romanelli

We are always striving to serve you better, and work hard to exceed your expectations every day. That’s why we were thrilled that Burt’s Reliable won the Platinum award for heating oil providers in Dan’s Papers’ Best of the Best awards for the North Fork. Besides being the number one rated heating oil company, we earned second place for plumbing companies.

Thank you to all of you who voted for us!

In our last newsletter, we invited you to complete a customer satisfaction survey. Everyone who returned a survey was entered into a drawing to win a new Microsoft Surface 3. Congratulations to our winner, Marilyn W., of Southold!

Thank you to everyone who sent back a survey. We read every comment, and treat any criticism as an opportunity to improve the way we serve you.

We are happy to report that most of you think we are doing a great job!

“I’ve been a Burt’s Reliable customer for 35 years; such great service that when we wanted to add central air conditioning, we called Burt’s… they added a humidifi er too! Burt’s provides prompt, expert service for everything…from initial phone call to the completion of service. Burt’s is truly reliable and comes with a smile as well.”
— Helen M., Laurel

“I am grateful for your services. Without Burt’s, we would struggle to manage our heating costs each year. Thank you!”
— Pamela B., Southold

Turn it up or leave it alone? Shut it off? Switch to another fuel to save money?

Figuring out how to lower your energy bills while staying comfortable can be confusing, especially when it’s hard to separate truth from myth.

Take Our Quiz FIRST:

Answer the following questions with either “truth” or “myth” and then read the articles to see how much you know.

  1. Heating oil should never be stored inside a home.
  2. Natural gas is a more efficient heating fuel than heating oil.
  3. Your home heats up faster when you turn the thermostat up high.
  4. A new heating system always increases energy efficiency and saves money.

1. How Safe Are You?

The recent Oilheat Consumer Research Study revealed that many people, particularly younger ones, have huge misconceptions about the safety of heating with oil.

The fact is, oil-heated homes are incredibly safe! Here’s why.

No explosions. Contrary to what many people believe, heating oil cannot explode. The oil that’s stored in a tank is as likely to explode as the water in a swimming pool. That’s how safe it is to store heating oil in your basement or outside your home.

No fire hazard. Heating oil cannot burn in its liquid state. Before combustion can occur, heating oil must first be vaporized and turned into a fine mist by the burner at temperatures above 140°.

No dangerous surprises. Oil heat poses a very low risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If an oil burner malfunctions (most often due to a lack of maintenance), the safety devices in the unit will typically shut the furnace off. Other heating sources—like natural gas—usually do not afford a homeowner this protection.

Bottom line: It’s a myth that heating oil cannot be safely stored inside a home.

2. What’s More Efficient?

Most people who have owned an oil-heated home will tell you that “cozy comfort” is one of the best benefits of oil heat. When temperatures drop to the single digits, as they did last winter, people really appreciate their oil-heated homes. What’s the secret? Efficiency!

Oil packs a wallop of heating energy, providing comfort and efficiency. For every gallon of oil burned, nearly 140,000 Btu’s of heat are produced. That’s the equivalent of about 70,000 60-watt lightbulbs. That’s why heating oil consumers get about 40% more for their heating dollar than the folks who heat their homes with natural gas.

New technologies have dramatically increased the efficiency of heating with oil. Because of these advances, homeowners who heat with oil typically use 50% fewer gallons of oil per year than in the 1970s—700 gallons now versus 1,400 gallons back then.*

Bottom line: It’s a myth that natural gas is a more efficient heating fuel than heating oil.

*Source: National Oilheat Research Alliance

3. Let’s Crank up the Heat!

Have you done this before? It’s a super-cold winter evening and you arrive at a home that feels chilly. You immediately stride to your thermostat and move the temperature setting as high as it will go. You smile as you hear the burner kick on. Now, you think, the house is going to get warm really fast. But is that the truth…or a myth?

The fact is, your furnace or boiler doesn’t work like a car—there is no gas pedal to step on to make it go faster. Your system will produce heat at the same rate regardless of whether your thermostat is set to 68° or 85°. Setting the thermostat higher just makes your system work longer and burn more fuel.

TIP: For better temperature control, trade in your old digital or manual thermostat for a wireless remote smart thermostat. After you register it online, you can access it from any location and adjust temperatures for both comfort and savings.

Bottom line: It’s a myth that your home heats up faster when you turn the thermostat all the way up.

4. Get What You Pay For

It seems logical. Your old, 50% efficient boiler has reached the end of the line and you replace it with a new oil boiler with an 85% efficiency rating. With such a big boost in energy efficiency, all you have to do now is sit back and count all the money you will save on heat for years to come. This is true—under one important condition: Your new boiler needs to be sized and installed correctly.

Sizing it up. Sizing refers to how much Btu power the system has. If a contractor installs something too powerful (oversized), it will give you more heat than you need, wasting energy and money. But if the system doesn’t have enough power (undersized), your home will not feel comfortable; you will also spend more on fuel because the boiler will keep turning on.

To determine how much power your home’s heating system needs, we do tests to figure out how much heat your home loses in the winter.

Installing it right. Once we select a properly sized system, we install it the right way. This requires skilled technicians with specialized training. The biggest mistake people make when they purchase new equipment is choosing the wrong contractor. Some contractors will be glad to sell you equipment at a low price—but won’t be available if it doesn’t work properly. Or you may encounter a salesman who wants to sell you “the latest thing”—but won’t tell you about design flaws that cause the system to work poorly.

Bottom line: Installing a new heating system will increase energy efficiency and save you money as long as the boiler or furnace is sized and installed correctly.

Our drivers are trained to put safety first — and heating oil storage systems are designed to protect against problems such as overfilling and spills.

But there are certain safety codes that must be followed so we can ensure safe deliveries to your home. One of the most important codes involves your fill and vent pipes. Older piping made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) must be replaced because this plastic piping becomes brittle during winter conditions, making it more likely to crack when a tank is being filled.

This is such an important issue that many insurance companies are now enforcing a no-fill mandate for tanks with PVC piping.

If this is an issue for you, we can easily resolve it by upgrading your plastic piping to more durable iron or copper piping. If you have any questions or concerns about your oil storage system, please feel free to call or email us.

Some of you have already asked us to install the Ecobee Smart Si model thermostat, which lets you manage your heating and cooling remotely from your smartphone or computer. You can also receive low temperature alerts when you’re away, a feature that many of our “snow birds” really appreciate.

Recently, a new model, the Ecobee3, was introduced, featuring tiny sensors that let you track temperature and motion in every room of your house. By using an Apple HomeKit, you can integrate the Ecobee3 with all the other systems in your home — from temperature to lighting and locks — to give you total control.

Contact us today for more information.

Why spend money on repairs to keep your older equipment running? Now is a great time to invest in a new heating system. On average, you can save up to 25% on annual heating costs after you install a new system.

We can answer all your questions and also help you take advantage of current rebates through the Long Island Energy and Safety Rebate program.

This program provides rebates for the installation of higher efficiency oil-fueled heating equipment in new and existing properties in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Burt’s will submit documentation so you can get a rebate check, including $300 for a qualifying boiler, furnace or water heater, and $200 for an aboveground oil tank.

Only a limited amount of funds has been allocated to us for this program so it’s first come, first served! Please contact us right away if you are interested in this program.