Blog

The Night the Lights Went Out in Texas

On the evening of Sunday, Feb. 14, as the sun went down over the great state of Texas, so did outside temperatures. As the temperatures continued to fall that evening and on into the early morning hours of Monday, Feb. 15, at around 2 a.m., electric generators in Texas began to fall victim to the low temperatures, and lights began ...

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Hedging and History

We often will use technical analysis in our discussions with clients to help them make decisions on both short-window hedging and long-term hedging as they look toward the next heating season, writes Richard Larkin, founder of Hedge Solutions. Then he asks, What is technical analysis, exactly? And he explains: In short, it is a discipline that traders employ to help ...

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Social Media: Helping or Hurting Your Business?

Shane Sweet asks: Who has the ball on your company social media accounts? As I pen this in mid-January, over the past few days and in numerous discussions with industry folks, everyone seems to be a bit disturbed about the current divisiveness among Americans, and to my surprise, this level of concern seems to be equally shared by those who ...

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AEC Calls Electric Vehicle Mandates Wrongheaded

An executive order issued by California Gov. Gavin Newsom bans sales of new fossil-fueled vehicles by 2035. It is no surprise that this executive order emanated from California. Incentives — tax credits and rebates — failed to get the desired results, so the state turns to mandates to impose its will on citizens. Even with $12,000 in state and federal ...

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‘Fred’ is Threatened: Competition Turns Ugly

Everyone has competition, and how the competition deals with one another, or conducts themselves “out in the open,” speaks volumes. In early November I was chatting with the gent who delivers fuel to my home in Vermont about the competitive dynamic between local fuel companies. I commented that the fuel industry is relatively small, particularly here in Vermont where we ...

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What to Do After a ‘Carding’ Attack

In recent months utility companies, including fuel marketers, have increasingly become targets of carding attacks. In the August 2020 issue of Fuel Oil News, we explored how to identify and protect your business against this type of fraud. Below are the steps you should take if you find yourself a victim. As a refresher, carding is an automated bot used ...

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What’s it Worth to Save Our Industry?

The heating oil industry is in the fight of its life. We are in danger of continuing to lose market share to other energy sources while under threat of being legislated out of business. As an industry we have recognized many of our shortcomings. We know that for our descendants, we want them to live on a cleaner greener planet ...

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The Pros and Cons of Fees

Convenience fees and surcharges might be right for your business, but do seek expert advice before making a decision, advises Marci Gagnon of Qualpay: Over the past few years, there has been a lot of conversation within the energy industry about charging customers surcharges and convenience fees to reduce the cost of credit card acceptance. As with credit card payments ...

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PMAA Becomes EMA: Energy Marketers of America

Energy Marketers of America is the new name of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America. Rob Underwood, president of the association, talked with columnist Shane Sweet, who filed this report. The name change is “reflective of the group’s growing portfolio of affordable, efficient, and environmentally friendly liquid fuels and other alternative energy sources that are helping to reduce emissions while ...

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NEFI’s New Mission

What drove the New England Fuel Institute to become the National Energy & Fuels Institute? Former NEFI CEO Shane Sweet talked with current NEFI CEO Sean Cota to find out. Here, Sweet details the twists and turns that led to the Institute’s new name and new mission. SUN TZU IS REPORTED to have said something along the lines of, ‘Don’t ...

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