Ocean County Press Release
Consumer Affairs Gives Tips on Keeping Fuel Bills Low
1/8/2014

TOMS RIVER – When winter weather causes temperatures to plummet, consumers can take some simple steps to keep fuel bills from skyrocketing.

Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari with the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs is recommending residents take some simple and inexpensive actions that can help keep fuel bills down.

"Everyone is watching their budgets and their expenses," Vicari said. "Heating your home in cold weather can carry a big price tag but conscientious consumers can reduce their costs while conserving energy."

Vicari, who serves as chairman of Consumer Affairs, notes that speaking to your oil heating dealer about a ‘cap' or fixed price protection programs can possibly reduce costs.

In addition, weatherizing your home by caulking and weather stripping windows and doors to seal out cold air can also help save energy.

Other suggestions include having your oil tank filled in late summer or early fall when prices are generally lower, obtaining a home energy audit to ensure that your furnace and appliances are running efficiently, and installing a programmable thermostat and reducing temperature settings on your thermostat, especially when you are not at home.

Homeowners who buy a variety of fuels to heat their homes can help ensure they receive what they pay for. When purchasing heating fuel or firewood, consumers should be aware of the following:
• Home heating oil is sold by volume in gallons.
• The seller must provide a "serialized" delivery ticket with the company's name and address printed on it; consumers name and address; delivery date; number of gallons delivered; grade of fuel delivered; and the signature of the person making the delivery.
• Firewood is sold by a "cord" which measures 128 cubic feet or a 4x4x8 space.
• The receipt should have the seller's name, address, telephone number, price paid, and the amount and kind of firewood purchased.

"If purchasing kerosene at a service station make sure the pump has a Weights and Measures inspection sticker on it," Vicari said. "The sticker indicates that the pump has passed its annual inspection."

If you have questions or concerns about being treated properly contact the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs at 732-929-2105 for more information or to file a complaint.

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