Fuel Oil News

Fuel Oil News April 2015

The home heating oil industry has a long and proud history, and Fuel Oil News has been there supporting it since 1935. It is an industry that has faced many challenges during that time. In its 77th year, Fuel Oil News is doing more than just holding

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these funds be used to incentivize fuel switching. Our industry has been a strong supporter of the fuel assistance pro- gram since it was created by Congress in 1981. Full funding is essential in meeting the home energy needs of our nation's most vulnerable citizens, including elderly Americans, disabled veterans and active-duty military fami- lies. Therefore, we commend you for the robust request of $4.5 billion for Fiscal Year 2016, which includes $3.19 billion in state formula grants and an additional $1.13 billion in contingency funds to be used during extreme weather events and other emergencies. You should also be applauded for your renewed focus on home efficiency as a means of reducing long term energy costs for low income households. Our industry has been a leader in this regard. Investments in more efficient technol- ogy, fuel quality and the education of consumers and service technicians into safety and conservation has reduced annual consumption from an average of 1,700 gallons to 700 gallons per home over the last 40 years. Since the year 2000 alone, oilheat efficiency has improved by about 30 percent per home. We believe even further progress can be made and we are eager to partner with you in this shared goal. We are concerned, however, with your recommendation that states use LIHEAP funds to encourage homeown- ers to switch from oil and propane to so- called "less expensive" fuels. The budget would require states to set aside 10 to 40 percent of their formula grants for pro- grams designed to reduce energy costs among low income households. It would also provide $200 million in support of state partnerships with utilities and local community-based organizations. "Fuel switching" was listed as a long-term cost savings strategy on which these pro- grams and partnerships should focus. Your proposal that LIHEAP funds be used to promote fuel switching ignores recent changes in the home heating mar- ket and the efficiency and environmental gains made by our industry. Consider for example that today's heating oil: Provides direct, personalized service to consumers. Our more than 6,000 mostly small, family-owned and oper- ated businesses employ approximately 42,000 people. Is competitively priced. Average res- idential heating oil prices are the lowest in five years and have declined nearly 40 percent since last winter alone. Is efficient and renewable. Our industry has worked closely with states to lower the sulfur content of heating oil. This has dramatically improved air qual- ity and cut home heating bills. Is helping to address climate change. A full lifecycle analysis of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions has found ultra-low sulfur heating oil to have a lower global warming potential than natural gas. Utilizes a modern, safe and secure infrastructure. Since 1974, our bulk stor- age facilities have been required to com- ply with federal Spill Prevention, Control & Countermeasure regulations. A federal policy to encourage fuel switching would undermine these accomplishments and economic reali- ties. Such a policy is also cost prohibitive and risky. While the average cost of con- verting a home from oil to natural gas is approximately $10,000, in some cases the total cost can exceed $18,000. Most Americans cannot afford to gamble like that—especially not low income fam- ilies—and the Administration should not be in the business of encouraging such risks. For many Americans, the fuel that keeps their family warm is a personal choice based on safety and reliabili- ty. Rather than make such decisions for them, the Administration should encourage states to focus on fuel neutral solutions that result in proven savings for low income households. We stand ready to work together on cost-effective and fuel neutral solutions to reduce energy costs for low income households and are prepared to meet with you to discuss these issues further. Read the complete letter to the presi- dent online at www.fueloilnews.com. Calendar of Events APRIL, 2015 2015 NPGA Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo April 11- 13 Georgia World Congress Center Atlanta, GA Contact: Kristin White 202-466-7200 kwhite@npga.org MAY, 2015 PMAA Washington Conference and Day on the Hill May 6-8 Washington Marriott at Metro Center Washington, D.C. 22nd Annual F.W. Webb Vermont Expo May 7 Champlain Valley Exposition 105 Pearl Street, Essex Junction, VT 05452 AREE Tradeshow May 12-14 Trump Taj Mahal Atlantic City, NJ 973-467-1400 info@areetradeshow.com OESP Convention and Trade Show May 17-21 Hershey Lodge & Convention Center Hershey, PA jgarber@thinkoesp.org JUNE, 2015 UNYEA Annual Meeting/Golf Outing June 1 Verona New York Contact Tom Peters, Executive Secretary 518-280-6645 NEFI Energy Expo DCU Center Worcester, MA 617-924-1000 christine@nefi.com DAtELINE BrEAKiNG NEWS 4 APRIL 2015 | FUEL OIL NEWS | www.fueloilnews.com

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