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Taxes, Production, and Demand All Play Roles in Higher Prices

diesel fuel delivery vermont If the only motorized vehicle in your life is a standard passenger car, then you are likely only paying attention to the cost of unleaded gasoline. But, as pricy as gasoline is today, diesel fuel is even more expensive.

For large vehicle fleets, farms and other commercial ventures, the high price of diesel is an aggravating reality of life. Diesel has on-road and off-road uses that make it indispensable for many businesses.

But why is diesel generally priced higher than gasoline? To answer this, we first need to understand how the two fuels are different.

The Differences Between Diesel & Gasoline

Both gasoline and diesel are products derived from crude oil. The distillation process separates the different hydrocarbons that compose either gasoline or diesel. Here are some essential differences:

Functionally, diesel produces 10 to 20 percent more energy in combustion than gasoline. So, diesel engines get more mileage per gallon of diesel than gas engines.

So Why is Diesel More Expensive Per Gallon Than Gasoline?

There are three factors that contribute to diesel’s higher price point compared to gasoline:

  1. Increasing production costs originating from a 2014 Environmental Protection Agency standard. This regulation requires all diesel to limit its sulfur to 15 parts per million. This lowered diesel emissions significantly, but it also raised the expense of refining it.
  2. Higher taxes. The federal motor fuel excise tax is 18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline by 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel. States also impose higher taxes on diesel.
  3. Demand is always higher for diesel. Freighters, tractors, trains, forklifts, construction equipment — they all need diesel to run, and that demand does not wain. But one barrel of crude oil only produces about 11-12 gallons of diesel, compared to 19-20 for gasoline.

Dorr Oil and Propane Offers Local, Reliable Diesel Delivery Solutions

While there’s little that one individual fuel company can do to reverse the high taxes, refining costs, and demand driving up diesel prices (not to mention global conflicts, market speculation and OPEC cutting production) we CAN help make your diesel fueling easier!

Rather than losing work hours driving to the pump to pick up fuel, arrange on-site diesel delivery with Dorr Oil and Propane. In Barrington, Manchester, Stratton, and other communities in Southwestern Vermont, our diesel delivery team is trusted by companies, work sites, and farms alike. We also proudly provide diesel for generators at schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and other vital organizations.

Are you ready to arrange your next diesel delivery with the help of the Dorr team? Drop us a line today! We’ll give you a no-hassle quote to best fit your business’s distinct needs for this winter season and in the years still to come.

14 Ways to Prepare for the Winter Season Ahead

hvac ready for winter vermont Don’t wait until the first frost to get a jump on your seasonal to-do’s! Here are a few easy preparations you can take care of now to pave the way for a warm and comfortable winter:

  1. Schedule a heating system tune-up. It ensures your system is running at peak efficiency—which can lower heating costs by as much as 10%. It also helps prevent breakdowns. Have a service contract with us? A tune-up is included in your plan!
  2. Don’t have a service contract? In addition to seasonal maintenance, you’ll enjoy priority service, plus 20% off repairs and diagnostics, no overtime fees, and more.
  3. Schedule fuel deliveries. Make sure you have a full supply of heating oil or propane, so you aren’t caught short—or left in the cold—when there’s an early cold snap.
  4. Sign up for automatic deliveries. This free service eliminates the need to call for deliveries and makes runouts a thing of the past.
  5. Keep fuel bills manageable. Call us for information on our monthly budget plan and other program options. Also, adding a wireless tank monitor to your home’s fuel tank can even better prevent a costly runout that could add to your monthly expenses.
  6. Check your oil-tank inspection records. If it’s been more than three years since your last inspection, give us a call. Our certified team of service technicians can assure your tank is in good health and ready for the seasons ahead.
  7. Get ready for the holidays. We make it easy for you to add cozy charm and ambiance with a propane-powered gas log set or fireplace insert. Enjoy all the benefits of a wood fire with none of the hassle or mess.
  8. Eliminate drafts. Unless you live in a brand-new home, it’s likely that as much as a third of the air in your home escapes via drafts around windows and doors. That’s like throwing money right out the window. A weekend of DIY projects such as sealing up drafts with caulking, weatherstripping, and expanding foam, can help save you 20% or more on home heating costs during the winter season.
  9. Test your carbon monoxide detectors. With windows shut tight and the heat on, winter is the most dangerous time when it comes to carbon monoxide poisoning. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and change batteries if needed. Smoke detector batteries too!
  10. Is your tank aboveground? Be sure the path to your fill pipe is free of debris and branches and remember to always clear a path (about a foot wide) after a snowfall so our team can access your tank(s) safely.
  11. Is your tank underground? Marking its location with a pole topped with a bright-colored flag or wide ribbon makes it visible over snowbanks and drifts.
  12. Master your programable thermostat. When used correctly, a programmable thermostat can help you lower your heating costs by 10% or more. To maximize your savings, follow these easy steps: When you’re at home and awake, set the thermostat to 68°. Lower temperature setting by 10° for the hours you’re asleep or out of the house.
  13. Turn down your water heater. Most water heaters have a default setting of 140° which is not only dangerous, it’s also inefficient. Reducing the temperature setting to 120° will meet all your hot water needs and save as much as 10% in heating costs. When you consider that heating water—for bathing, dishwashing, laundry, and more—accounts for close to 20% of your heating costs, you may want to talk to us about upgrading your water heater to a high-efficiency model that can help you save even more.
  14. Take advantage of solar power. We’re not talking about expensive solar panels. We’re talking about the free heat from the sun. Leaving curtains and blinds open during the day lets the sun warm your rooms. Closing them at night helps keep the heat in. It can warm your rooms enough that you can lower your thermostat and use your boiler or furnace less.

Need Heating Oil, Propane, or Heating System Services? Call Dorr!

The professionals at Dorr Oil & Propane have the knowledge, experience, and resources to answer all your questions about keeping your family warm while managing heating costs.

Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Prevent Unnecessary Runouts

propane tank monitor vermontOur customers in Manchester, Stratton, Sunderland, and nearby Southern Vermont communities love our easy automatic propane delivery service. It can be a great way to prevent running out of propane or heating oil! But automatic deliveries aren’t the best solution for everyone.

When your fuel patterns are inconsistent—whether it’s because you only use your house on weekends, or you run a rental property—you may use a lot of fuel one month and less at other times. That makes it hard to use our algorithm to best predict your needs. Even things like using a propane fireplace often can have an impact on your scheduling. That’s why the real-time accuracy of our wireless tank monitoring service is so great!

How Does a Tank Monitor Work?

Wireless tank monitors track the level of propane or heating oil in your tank in real-time and transmit your usage via wireless cellular technology. When the tank gauge reaches a pre-set level, the monitor alerts us—and you—directly via a wireless mobile app.

In addition to timely alerts, the app gives you even more control and insight. You can use it to easily track and adjust your monthly energy consumption which can help you save on energy costs.

Even if you don’t use it to improve energy efficiency, a tank monitor can save you the expense and hassle of fuel runouts and take the guesswork out of knowing when to order fuel—especially if you’re ordering propane for a second home.

What Happens When I Run Out of Propane or Heating Oil?

If you’ve never run out of propane, you don’t know what a hassle it can be. There’s the inconvenience, of course. There’s the cost of an emergency fill-up, plus a leak test for safety.

And, if you rely on propane for heat, you can add the potential for frozen pipes and the expense of that repair. If you lose heat and it’s cold enough, water in your pipes will start to freeze and expand, resulting in cracks or breaks. A tiny crack of just an eighth of an inch will leak more than 250 gallons of water a day and a burst pipe will release a real flood.

Even if your tank doesn’t hit completely empty, you’ll have problems. When propane levels get too low, air can get into your system, which can lead to expensive damage. In general, you shouldn’t let your tank’s propane level go below 20%.

And if you use heating oil, letting your tank run completely empty may result in emergency delivery fees!

Better Manage Your Fuel Usage with a Tank Monitor from Dorr!

A wireless tank monitor is easy to install, and we can have you ready to go in a matter of minutes!

Contact us today to find out more about the benefits of wireless tank monitoring and how we can get you set up—100% hassle-free.

Download Dorr Oil and Propane’s New Mobile App Today!

fuel app vermontOur commitment to providing great service never stops. That’s why we’re excited to introduce the new Fuel Genie mobile app! You’re going to love how it makes all kinds of tasks and requests easier, from ordering heating oil and propane to checking and paying account balances—even reviewing past service records!

The best part is that it’s super easy to get started—all you need is your Dorr Oil and Propane account number and an email address. Just search for Fuel Genie in the Apple App Store or Google Play and download the easy-to-use app.

When you’re ready, click on “Account Login” and follow the prompts to set up your account. P.S. Don’t forget to save your password!

Check out all the things you can do once you’ve registered for an online account and downloaded the app:

Try it, You’ll Like It!

The Fuel Genie app and our online account portal are just the newest ways we’ve developed to help you streamline your to-do list, eliminate paper clutter, and reduce the stress of ordering fuel and paying bills. It goes together with other great services and benefits we offer, such as our budget friendly payment options, automatic delivery service, wireless tank monitoring, and more!

Of course, we’re always here for you and are happy to take your calls. But using the customer portal or app means you can access your account and request deliveries any time that’s convenient for you.

Login and create your online account today, then, make sure to download the Fuel Genie app to discover all the great benefits for yourself!

Learn the Pros and Cons of Going Tankless

water heater installation vermontWhile fuel and energy costs remain higher than in recent years past, it’s worth looking for ways to better improve your energy efficiency here and now. Adjusting your thermostats and combining errands to save gas are smart ways to lower your everyday costs. Alternatively, you might also think about replacing old, inefficient appliances and systems to achieve savings over the long term. So, if you have a traditional tank-style water heater that’s hitting the ten-year mark, you may be seeing higher energy bills or a lack of performance.

Consider that between bathing and showering, washing dishes, laundry, cleaning, and other tasks, the typical American household uses between 60 and 65 gallons of hot water a day. It makes sense to look for peak efficiency when it comes to heating water, as those costs can add up fast.

Now, any new water heater will likely be more efficient than older technology, but for super efficiency and savings, you should also weigh your options and consider going tankless.

The Benefit of a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless propane water heaters—also known as on-demand water heaters—instantly heat water when you need it, rather than keeping a large tank hot all the time. Imagine having virtually unlimited hot water, all while seeing lower fuel bills. With a high-efficiency tankless water heater, it’s possible!

In addition to whole-house models, smaller versions can be installed where they are needed to generate hot water for an addition or for a spa tub, for example.

The Pros of Going Tankless

  1. Unlimited hot water: Traditional tank heaters can run out of hot water if you use a lot at once. Tankless water heaters use an electric pilot and a hot propane flame to heat water instantly on-demand. Since there’s no tank, so it can’t hit empty.
  2. Savings: Tankless water heaters save energy by instantly heating water when you need it, rather than keeping a large tank hot all the time. All that efficiency means you’ll also save money by lowering your energy costs…in some cases by as much as 40%. And we can help you take advantage of generous rebates from Rinnai, too!
  3. Flexibility: With no storage tank component, a tankless water heater is small—even whole-house sizes take considerably less room than a 55-gallon tank. Most are about the size of a suitcase. It can also be wall-mounted, which means a tankless water heater can be placed just about anywhere in the house, including closets and crawl spaces.
  4. Longer equipment life: The primary culprit in the limited lifespan of a conventional water heater is the corrosive water stored in its tank. Because it doesn’t store water, a tankless water heater will typically last 18 to 20 years.

Are There Downsides to Tankless Water Heaters?

Although they save you money in the long run, tankless water heaters are typically a bit more expensive to buy and install. In addition, they require a little maintenance, particularly if you have hard water.

Deposits and minerals can reduce performance and efficiency if you don’t flush the tank at least once a year and clean the filters.

Sticking with a Traditional Tank Water Heater

A traditional tank-style water heater is inexpensive to replace but costs a lot more to run. And it can’t really deliver enough hot water for more than two or three showers in a row, assuming no one is washing dishes or using hot water for anything else.

If your home has a basement, space may not be an issue. But if you don’t have a basement, that big tank uses a lot of valuable real estate in your home.

Whether you decide to stick with a traditional tank-style water heater or update with a highly efficient tankless model, don’t wait for your current water heater to fail to replace it! Like other essential equipment in your home, such as your refrigerator, you don’t want to go long without it—especially in winter.

Ready to explore the benefits of a tankless water heater for your southwestern Vermont home? The pros at Dorr Oil and Propane can help you choose the best option for your needs and install it efficiently. Plus, we offer great service and maintenance plans to protect your investment! Enjoy energy efficiency and all the hot water you need with a new water heater. Contact us today to get started or for a FREE estimate.

Dorr’s Limited-Time Options are Designed to Help!

fuel cost solutions vermontEven as the pandemic seems to be waning, ongoing supply chain issues and geopolitical conflict have each contributed to higher energy prices across the board—not just for the oil and propane to fuel your home, but also at the gas pump and at the grocery store. While we can’t control fuel prices at-large, we’re always looking for ways to help you keep costs manageable.

What we can tell you that customers who were enrolled in one of our propane price protection plans were well protected from the worst of this past winter’s price spikes.

Available Propane Price Protection Plans

We know every budget is different, but we have three smart payment options to help you keep costs under control. Get the details and find out which plan is right for you:

  1. Our Monthly Budget Plan: This plan is always our most popular, even when fuel costs are low. Why is that? It’s because it can potentially cut your winter bills nearly in half! We use an average based on your past propane (or heating oil and kerosene, too!) usage to spread your costs evenly throughout the course of the year so it’s easier for you to budget your expenses. You’ll avoid unexpected high invoices, no matter how cold it gets or how much fuel you use.

    If we have a particularly harsh winter or prices spike, we’ll help adjust your payments, so you don’t get hit with a large balance in the early summer. Likewise, if it’s a mild winter, we can adjust and reduce your payments. The point is to help you save all while avoiding big fluctuations.

  2. Our Propane Pre-Buy Program: With this plan, you’ll purchase your all your necessary propane gallons for the year at the start of the season. This lets you take advantage of lower off-season pricing and eliminates the worry about the price of fuel going up mid-winter. Your price is locked in until you use up your pre-purchased amount of fuel, or after April 30, whichever comes first.

    Ready to enroll? Click here to get started.

  3. Fixed Price Plan: Our Fixed Price Program for propane is exactly what it sounds like! We agree on a fixed price ahead of the heating season and you’re locked in at that price. No matter what happens with fuel prices, your price won’t go over the fixed amount.

    Ready to enroll? Click here to get started.

Letting the pros at Dorr Oil and Propane handle all your heating oil, kerosene, and propane needs is a smart choice. No matter what happens with prices next winter, our propane price protection plans are designed to help you keep costs manageable.

If you’d like to sign up for a plan, now is the time to enroll! Contact us to learn about all the ways we can help you save.

Why Is It So Important?

net zero emissions vermontThere are a lot of terms that get used when talking about clean energy and climate change-focused goals. One of them is achieving “Net Zero Emissions”. But what does that mean? In short, it’s about hitting a balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere.

For example, you’ll hear that a certain measure to reduce carbon emissions (or “carbon footprint”) will be the equivalent of taking some number of gasoline-powered cars off the road. Switching to electric vehicles is a great way to take those cars off the road, but electric vehicles aren’t a perfect solution for everyone yet.

The need to decarbonize our energy sources is important, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making all homes and businesses convert to electric-powered heating systems is a bit misguided. Until there’s a reliable and affordable way to get all our energy from renewable sources like the sun and wind, we need to use a mix of the greenest options available.

Here are three big reasons why the smart solution is a balanced solution:

1. Electricity Costs You More

Why switch to a less efficient heating fuel when there are safe and clean-burning fuels to help keep your home and family comfortable, even on the coldest nights?

It costs more to heat your home with electricity. Electric heat takes much longer to reach a comfortable temperature. Additionally, it can struggle to maintain it when temperatures are frigid for sustained amounts of time—which is the description of a Vermont winter. Electric heat pumps become less able to keep your home warm the lower the temperature goes, as they rely on outdoor air. In fact, many homes with electric heat pumps also need to have oil- or gas-fired furnaces or boilers as a backup to keep the home safely warm.

Because they must work harder, electric heating systems will drive up your energy usage, which in turn drives up your utility bill. That’s without factoring in the cost to convert to electric heating systems, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars in itself!

2. Propane is Cleaner and Greener

One of the selling points of electricity is that it has “zero” emissions. However, did you know that the generation of electricity is the second-largest creator of greenhouse gases in the United States? That’s because most of our electricity supply is generated by coal-fired power plants. Only the transportation sector creates more greenhouse gases. More than 63% of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gas.

Propane, on the other hand, is much more clean-burning, with nearly zero emissions created from its usage. Propane is a non-toxic, non-poisonous fuel that burns cleaner than other fuels. Additionally, propane will not create an environmental hazard if spilled.

Now, there’s an even “greener” type of propane. Renewable propane is made from sustainable sources—most commonly animal fats and vegetable oils. Much like other biofuels, it has a very small carbon footprint and requires no new or special equipment.

3. Clean Energy for Everyone

Everyone should have access to clean energy, but utility programs that promote rooftop solar power, electric vehicles, and home energy storage are largely inaccessible to low-income households. Achieving net-zero emissions is important, but we’ll only get there if everyone has access to cleaner-burning fuels.

The cost of electrification is too high—and while using electricity may be clean, generating all that electricity to meet the increased demand is not. With a balanced approach and a mix of clean energy sources, everyone can get to net zero, not just those with deeper pockets.

There are a range of factors to consider when choosing the energy source for your home heating and appliances, including cost, efficiency, dependability, and more. Thinking about making the switch to propane? You can feel comfortable knowing propane-powered appliances and equipment will not only create efficiency, but they’ll also keep your house running while helping the environment.

For more information about clean, versatile, and reliable propane for your home or business in southern Vermont, contact the pros at Dorr Oil and Propane today.

9 Great Reasons To Add It to Your To-do List!

heating service vermontYardwork, clearing the gutters, cleaning the grill. As the days get longer, and the weather gets warmer, those are the chores most likely to be moving to the top of your list. Chances are you’re not giving much thought to your boiler or furnace, other than those last few chilly nights when you might need to turn it up just a little.

Benefits of Spring System Tune-ups

Once the sun starts shining, the last thing on your mind is your heating system tune-up. But we’ve got some great reasons that you should schedule it in the spring or early summer months:

  1. The benefits of your tune-up won’t wear off over the summer. Once the tune-up is done, it’s ready for when you turn the heat on again in the fall.
  2. It’s a jumpstart on your fall chores—which is kind of great when you think how busy that time of year can ultimately be.
  3. You’ll get your choice of appointments. In the fall, everyone is in a rush, and convenient appointment times fill up fast.
  4. Your system will be in prime shape and ready to go at the first unexpected cold snap in the fall.
  5. Your equipment will run when you need it most. It’s not the average winter temperatures that strain your equipment. It’s the stretch of single-digit days and polar vortexes that force your heating system to work extra hard to heat your home. Routine maintenance catches heating system problems in their early stages, helping you avoid inconvenient equipment breakdowns and the potentially costly repairs that come with them. 
  6. A well-maintained heating system runs more efficiently, burning less fuel to keep you comfortable. That translates into savings on your fuel bills—often as much as 10 percent.
  7. Your equipment will last longer. Regular maintenance can add years to the life of your furnace or boiler. Neglected heating equipment will need to be replaced earlier than expected—a big expense that can be avoided with seasonal tune-ups.
  8. For most people, a good warranty is a key consideration with a major purchase like a heating system. Why jeopardize that coverage? Most heating equipment warranties require routine professional service as a precondition; skip your tune-up and your manufacturer could be voided, leaving you to pay out of pocket for the expense. 
  9. If you have a forced-air heating system, a well-maintained furnace will help keep air moving while also controlling household humidity—two significant contributors to healthy indoor air quality. 

Service Plans Help Prepare for the Future

Speaking of out-of-pocket expenses, consider one of our service plans. Our service plans are so much more than a seasonal tune-up. They can really help you save when you do need a repair! Our Premium Service plan covers parts and labor for most repairs, and our Basic plan provides discounts on parts and labor. All our plans include priority emergency service. Because according to Murphy’s Law, if something can go wrong, it will—and usually at the worst time. These emergencies won’t wait until the weather clears or normal business hours resume, and neither will we.

Why wait? Contact Dorr Oil and Propane today to get on the schedule for your heating equipment tune-up and be ready for fall season that lies ahead.

Heating Oil Tanks Are Built To Last, but Still Need TLC

oil tank problems vermontYou probably haven’t thought about your oil tank in a while. As long as it’s not empty, it shouldn’t even cross your mind. And that’s fine! Heating oil tanks are built to last quite a long time. But that doesn’t absolve you from checking in to make sure it’s operating as it should. Eventually, maintenance will be necessary, and over the course of a few decades, they’ll need to be outright replaced.

So, what kind of lifespan can you expect from your oil tank? The honest answer is “it depends.” Age, maintenance, and construction are just a few of the factors that influence how long your oil tank will last. The good news is that modern heating oil storage tanks have come a long way, offering decades or virtually leak-proof performance compared to older types.

Is it time to replace your oil tank?

  1. Age. If your tank is less than 15 years old, you’re likely okay for a few more years. If you don’t know when it was installed, and your home was built before 2000, it’s probably time to begin proactively planning to swap it out.
  2. Construction. Older tanks are made of steel and can be of single- or double-walled construction. In addition, the steel can be different gauges or thicknesses. Thicker, double walls are better. Also, the location of the connector valve can make a difference. Connectors at the bottom of the tank—instead of the side—last longer on average. Newer tanks are made from plastic and fiberglass and are designed to last 50 years or more.

    Steel tanks are still available today, but they are built to a much higher standard than in the past. Using alternative construction materials such as fiberglass and polyethylene for the inner lining of double-walled tanks make them virtually leak-proof.

  3. Maintenance. If you leave your tank empty- or near-empty over the summer, condensation can begin to build up inside. That can then lead to rust. Sediment at the bottom of the tank can also result in corrosion. All that damage happens from the inside out, so if you see rust or seepage on the outside of your tank, you need to act fast to avoid a costly leak and spill. Consider having a professional inspection every year. Dorr Oil and Propane can help with exactly this!
  4. Telltale Signs. Check the paint on the underside of the tank. Blistering in the paint is a sign the tank is compromised. Condensation on the outside of the tank, even after a delivery, is also a warning sign.

The bottom line is that a new heating oil tank costs far less than the expense of an oil spill or cleanup. If you think it’s time to replace your tank, contact Dorr Oil and Propane today to learn more about expert oil tank replacement, installation, and removal in Southern Vermont, including Manchester, Stratton, Sunderland, Dorset, and nearby communities.

We want to acknowledge the recent, alarming surge in energy prices. This is difficult for everyone and we want you to know we are here to help any way we can. If you need assistance or have any questions please contact us to discuss the best solution.