Heating Oil

As winter arrives, many Vermonters are probably going to be shivering – indoors. The state wants to weatherize 80,000 homes, a quarter of them owned or occupied by people with low incomes, by 2020.

But that goal is behind schedule, even though some new money is coming in.

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It looks like there’s a solution in sight in the saga of Fred Fuller Oil and Propane.

The Hudson-based company filed for bankruptcy a week ago. Now, the state says there’s a buyer - Rymes Propane & Oil – and that the buyer will honor customers’ pre-buy oil contracts.

I spoke with New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster about this tentative agreement.

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Officials at the state attorney general office say they’re receiving phone calls from concerned Fred Fuller customers after the company filed for bankruptcy Monday.

The Hudson-based oil company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, giving it protection from creditors as it reorganizes.

Senior Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti says customers calling are still receiving their oil, but are worried about what happens moving forward.

 

A New Hampshire home heating oil company that faced customer delivery delays earlier this year has sued FairPoint Communications over a phone outage that happened at the same time.

Fred Fuller Oil said a combination of extreme weather conditions, a huge increase in oil and propane demand and an overload and temporary crash of the company phone system led to problems during the winter. The state said it had to step in after receiving complaints from residents, setting up a phone number.

House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on changing when fuel dealers can contract with customers to buy fuel in advance.

The bill is in response to disruptions in home heating oil deliveries this winter by one of New Hampshire's largest fuel companies. The bill prohibits dealers from advertising or soliciting earlier than May 1 for consumers to enter into contracts for the upcoming fuel season. Currently, the contracts can't be offered before Jan. 1.

Consumers could sign contracts before May 1 at their request.