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Left in the Cold

One for the Record Books

This is past winter was one that was talked about at lengths, the mild start, the massive blizzards, frigged temperatures, and extreme market swings. What did that mean for you as a oil, propane, electric, and natural gas heating customer. Depending on where you fall, it meant a lot.

Here in the Northeast we have one of highest percentage of home owners that heat primarily with oil heat, about 40%. This number has been dropping over the years as natural gas has been reaching more and more city and town streets. The price of oil had also been at unfriendly levels and climbing for years, without an help in sight. Until the floor dropped out of the oil market around November or so of 2014. Thanks to the increase price of the barrel the American Shale drillers were able to flood the market while OPEC stayed at their level of producing oil.  After years of the barrel being at, around, and above $100, it steadily dropped to $50-60 in the span of six months.

In the Fall and the early part of Winter the Northeast never saw or felt too much cold weather, aside from the thanksgiving storm and some sub 40 degree days we were having a very mild winter. This helped to contribute to the dropping barrel as there was a reduced demand here in the US and much of the world while product was being produced at a similar level to what had been for years.  Then the weather changed all in one storm, a storm that lasted three days and brought record setting snow for much of the Northeast.

The January Blizzard of 2015 changed the rest of winter for the Northeast, our mild winter was no one thanks in large part to the large of amount of snow on the ground. The three plus feet of snow and the two plus feet of snow that followed helped to reduce the temperature of the region and lead to more snow storms that came week after week. This temperature drop and road conditions being below average even to New England standards, lead to many supply and delivery issues in the area.  

Oil trucks are not the smallest of vehicles and like other eight plus wheeled vehicles on the road require more width and clearance.  With driving conditions below average and weekly snow storms making deliveries this past winter became a longer process and in some cases almost impossible.  Smaller outfits had issues with the number trucks they had could put on the road. Others had issues with supply to then use for deliveries, while still advertising on sites that they could make deliveries. 

If you were left in the cold this past winter, it might be time to look into a new provider, one that was able to maintain deliveries throughout this past winter. Check reviews on sites like Google Maps/Plus, Yelp, BBB, and the like. Ask the tough questions while talking to a sales person, "Were you able to keep up last winter", "How many drivers do you have", "How many trucks do you have", "How big is your service department"?

It's sad to think that winter will be here sooner than you think and this wonderful summer weather will be over.

Santoro Oil, ckSmithSuperior

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