Consumer Protection Chief, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, & Markets
As the nights grow colder, the Agency of Agriculture’s Consumer Protection Division is reminding Vermonters to takes steps to ensure they “get what they pay for” when heating their homes.
“With winter approaching, it’s important for Vermonters to know there are rules in place to govern transactions related to fuel and firewood,” according to Henry Marckres, Chief of the Consumer Protection Division of the Agency of Agriculture.
Whether you use fuel oil, kerosene, propane, or firewood, the Agency would like to share the following guidelines to help ensure the fuel you buy measures up:
Any delivery of heating fuel requires an invoice be left, unless an agreement has been reached previously between buyer and seller to invoice at a later date. When you receive a delivery of fuel oil, kerosene or propane, the invoice should include the following information: the name and address of the dealer, name and address of the customer, date of delivery, the type of fuel delivered, price per gallon and the gallons delivered. Propane deliveries should also state that the volume delivered was adjusted for temperature. The gallons delivered must be printed by the meter register mounted on the delivery vehicle. Consumer Protection specialists annually test these meters and registers to assure accuracy.
Firewood deliveries must also provide the customer with an invoice with the dealers name and address, customers name and address, date of delivery, number of cords delivered, price per cord and total price, and the type of wood (maple, etc.). Firewood must be sold by the cord, and terms such as “rack, facecord, or truckload” are illegal. A cord of firewood must equal 128 cubic feet. When you purchase firewood, the Agency recommends you pile it as soon as possible to determine if you have received the agreed upon amount.
If you have any questions on purchases of heating fuel, or if you feel that you have not received what you have paid for, contact the Consumer Protection Section of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets at 802-828-2426.