Fuel Oil News

Fuel Oil News July 2016

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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16 JULY 2016 | FUEL OIL NEWS | www.fueloilnews.com furnace for burner lockout can also detect if there's a flood in the basement." Many fuel oil companies also sell off-road and on-road diesel and gasoline, and Wesroc systems can monitor those fuels as well, Smith said. For more information visit http://www.wesrocproducts.net PAYGO Paygo, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is a company with a unique approach developed by Philip Baratz, the company's CEO and CEO of Angus Energy. It aims to allow oil or propane dealer to bill a customer monthly for fuel usage as is the case with a utility. "I'm excited about the possibilities that Paygo offers for add- ing and retaining customers, and enhancing our positioning in the market place," noted Steve Goldman, CEO, Star Gas/ Petro while promoting the program. "It's the kind of innovative approach that could really resonate with today's new breed of fuel customers." Paygo was designed to function within the frame- work of a dealer's systems and pricing strategies. It keeps track of all the deliver- ies and how much is left from each batch of fuel, and feeds that back into the back office system. Monthly fuel estimates are made either using readings from a Paygo "Gremlin" tank monitor or degree-day estimates. True-ups occur with each delivery. Only automatic delivery customers are allowed on Paygo. The dealer sends a statement at the end of each month that shows the estimated fuel the customer used that month, at the price it was originally delivered. True-ups happen with each delivery. Fuel is billed on a FIFO basis. Payment is due according to regular credit terms, from the statement date. For more information visit www.paygofuel.com SKYBITZ TANK MONITORING The SkyBitz Tank Monitoring system collects fuel levels and other data that fuel oil marketers can use to make sure that they're refilling tanks in the most cost-efficient manner, said Tom Keane, vice president of sales for Telular Corp. in Atlanta, Ga., and his colleague Carl Whitmire, marketing manager. Telular is the parent company of SkyBitz. The tank monitoring sys- tem delivers low-fuel alerts, sending messages that a deliv- ery is needed. Installation of the SkyBitz hardware takes "under five minutes," Kean said. Data on the fuel level travels from inside tank through the SkyBitz hardware, and through a cellular network to the SkyBitz data center, then to users' computers, websites, smart phones or tablets. D a t a c a n b e u s e d t o h e l p improve routing, among other things. "If you're delivering more product less often, that automati- cally makes you more efficient, particularly when you're talking about trucks that get four or five miles a gallon," Whitmire said. In this era of "Big Data," Keane added, "There are a lot of things that the system monitors" beyond the fuel level in tanks. For example, the SkyBitz system uses an algorithm to predict rate of con- sumption of fuel in a specific tank or group of tanks in a specific neighborhood, Keane said. The system includes GPS to show tank locations, and it also can monitor and communicate temperature of the fuel. The system delivers information to users via an app, a web portal or by sending SMS text messages. If the strength of the battery in the hardware device begins to wane, the system sends an alert. In most cases a battery lasts approximately three years, though it could last longer, Whitmire said. Users can play a role in managing battery life by program- ming the intervals at which the device sends data via cellular-based communications. "The fewer times the system calls out the longer the battery lasts," Whitmire said. SkyBitz Tank Monitoring is the new name of TankLink. The SkyBitz Tank Monitoring website, and the online portal where users access data, perform analyses and generate reports are also being rebranded. For more information visit www.skybitz.com/ tankmonitoring TANK UTILITY Tank Utility, based in Boston, Mass., markets a tank monitoring system incorporating smart meters and cloud-based software designed to enable propane and fuel oil marketers to improve delivery efficiency and engage customers. The monitoring device, installed on a propane tank, works with the float gauge to monitor the fuel level in percentage terms, said Amos Epstein, a co-founder and the CEO of Tank Utility. For moni- t o r i n g f u e l o i l tanks, the com- pany sells a kit that includes a "very accurate" float gauge that works with the monitoring device, Epstein said. "Our sensor reads off of that float gauge that we install in an oil tank or that already comes in a propane tank, and it reads the gauge TANK MONITORING

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