Rising to the Test

Richard C. Bologna

Dear Friends,

As I write this, the coronavirus outbreak is accelerating. Four days ago, we were told to limit our gatherings to 500 people. That dropped to 50 two days ago. Yesterday it went to 10. By the time you receive this, the world no doubt will look very different.

So, I want to focus on some things that are more timeless. First, I want to acknowledge my incredible employees who are the foundation of our business. Early on they started taking precautions to reduce the chance of exposure for both our customers and other employees. They have been willing to continue going into customers’ homes to service their broken systems even as the feeling of risk has increased. Just like after Superstorm Sandy, or “Snowmageddon,” when much of the state was without power, they continue prove that when the going gets tough, they step up. I am incredibly proud of them.

Second, I want to thank our customers for all the precautions you’ve taken when interacting with our people. You have made it easier to take care of the work you need done in your home. We really appreciate it.

Finally, a thought about what we will take away from all this. Crisis exposes the fault lines in our society. The increased acrimony between people who disagree, the tendency to see things rigidly and avoid compromise, and the general lack of civility, all set the stage for failure when crisis requires us to come together. I fervently wish that this experience somehow brings out the better part of us, and leads our community, state and country to reset how we behave with each other.

I hope that you make it through this OK, and look forward to the time when this is all just a bad memory.

Richard C. Bologna

Big News in Bioheat®

Below, you can read the big news that’s happening with Bioheat® fuel as well as with the oil heat industry in general. We’re proud to say that we’ve always been ahead of the curve in terms of bio-blending, which has benefitted our customers tremendously.

We have been delivering B20 Bioheat® — 20% biodiesel and 80% ultra-low-sulfur fuel — since 2010. This ideal combination results in fewer emissions than electricity and natural gas.

Our next goal is to move up to a Superplus B30 Bioheat® blend, which will allow us to continue forging ahead in the exciting world of Bioheat®.

N.Y. Tax Credit Extended

Great news for our New York customers! The 20¢-per-gallon clean-fuel state tax credit has been extended until 2023. Because we use a B20 blend, our typical NY customer will save $200. That’s much more than other oil customers normally get. Go to WestmoreFuel.com/fuels and look for the NY Bioheat® tax instructions. You will see how you can get your credit.

Oil Heat’s Future: Net-Zero CO2 Emissions

Forward-thinking industry leaders have embraced an impressive vision for oil heat. They are driving the engines of progress and creating a brighter future for the industry — and for oil heat customers too. Stay with oil heat and enjoy the ride!

The Path to a Greener Future

More than 300 leaders from the heating oil industry unanimously passed a resolution to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050. This ambitious goal was established at the Northeast Industry Summit last September.

The resolution calls for:

  • A 15% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2023
  • A 40% reduction by 2030
  • Net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

Net-zero emissions will make heating oil a carbon-neutral energy source, with a carbon footprint of zero. The recently passed resolution means that is the expectation for the entire heating oil industry within 30 years.

Bioheat® Holds the Key

To achieve the targets adopted by the Northeast Industry Summit resolution, every heating oil retailer in the region must do its part to provide adequate blends of Bioheat with clean, ultra-low-sulfur fuel.

Bioheat is a gallon-for-gallon substitute for petroleum-based fuels, including the heating oil you use to keep your home warm. It’s a nontoxic, biodegradable, renewable fuel, produced from agricultural byproducts, including used cooking oil, animal fats, inedible corn oil, soybean oil and canola oil.

Bioheat reduces greenhouse gas emissions significantly — by 52% to 86% — and no modifications to your existing heating system are necessary.

What’s So Hot About Today’s Oil Furnaces and Boilers?

The combination of continually improving Bioheat® with increasingly efficient heating oil systems is the one-two punch that will help homeowners with oil heat save significant money on their energy bills at the same time that their homes are becoming carbon-neutral.

Today’s heating oil systems are incredibly efficient, and tomorrow’s systems will boast efficiency ratings of 95% or better. It’s truly a win-win situation.

Compared with 25 years ago, homeowners now need an average of 500 gallons less oil to heat their homes each year. That’s because new, high-efficiency heating systems feature enhanced technology and control capabilities to provide optimal comfort while decreasing your energy costs. Another popular feature of modern, high-efficiency heating systems is that they operate significantly more quietly than old heaters.

In contrast, old heating systems were built with thick metal components that do a poor job of transferring heat. Unfortunately, many of these systems are still in use today, and people who use them pay a lot more to heat their home.

Despite this potential for big savings, many people don’t bother to update their heating system until something major goes wrong. They don’t realize that a new, high-efficiency system could actually pay for itself in a fairly short time.

To see how much you can save with a new, high-efficiency system, reach out to us and we’ll be glad to crunch some numbers for you. We think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Give Yourself Some (Tax) Credit

To encourage homeowners to invest in high-efficiency systems, Congress recently extended a tax credit program for energy-efficient home improvements. The tax credit is not only valid through Dec. 31, 2020, but is retroactive to Dec. 31, 2017. This means that if you installed a qualifying system in the past two years, you can still apply.

The tax credit varies. In some cases, it can be 10% of the total cost, up to $500 for home improvements like windows, doors and new insulation. In other cases, the credit is limited to a specific amount.

In the case of a high-efficiency oil furnace or oil boiler, you can qualify for a $150 federal tax credit.

One thing to keep in mind is that this must be for an existing home that is your primary residence. The credits do not apply to new construction or rentals.

If you’ve been putting off making those home improvements or purchasing that new comfort system, 2020 is the perfect time to take action. Not only will you enjoy some bonus money in tax credits, but the energy-efficient improvements will save you money on your energy bills, year after year.

To learn more, go to EnergyStar.gov and click the button for tax credits under “Energy Efficiency,” toward the top of the home page. And please call us for other savings incentives that may be available when you replace your old equipment.

Rest Easy With Us

There are so many products on the market today that the process of selecting a new heating system can be quite confusing to the average homeowner.

We’re here to help. We want to be certain that you are happy with your decision. After all, when we’re finished installing your new system, it will have an impact on your home’s comfort and your energy usage (and savings) for many years!

Old-fashioned quality workmanship from us — combined with first-rate, highly efficient equipment that has been customized for your home — will give you years of trouble-free operation while reducing energy consumption. Count on us to deliver an energy-efficient heating system that maximizes your comfort and minimizes your energy usage.

Contact us today to get started.

Ask the Expert

Q: Should I wait until fall to get a heating tune-up?

A: No — don’t wait. It’s always better to get your tune-up done in the spring or summer. We never want to disappoint you, but when you wait until fall to schedule your tune-up, we may have a hard time giving you a convenient slot. Once the cold weather sets in, we sometimes have to cancel appointments due to a wave of emergency no-heat calls.

Q: If I get a tune-up done now, will it wear off?

A: Tune-ups don’t wear off! Once you get your tune-up, your system will be ready to go. By doing it now, we can identify small problems and correct any issues before they become big concerns.

Make Life Easier

Here are three ways to make fuel payments a breeze:

  1. AutoPay. Make payments automatically from your bank account or via credit card.
  2. EvenPay. Have your fuel costs averaged out for 11 months. Starting in August, you’ll have regular, predictable payments every month.
  3. E-billing. Reduce paper clutter and keep all your statements and payment records in one secure digital space.

Give us a call or go to WestmoreFuel.com to request enrollment for these programs.

This Customer Loves Her System 2000

System 2000

When her old furnace gave out, two years ago, Barbara from Port Chester called on us to figure out the best heating option for her home. We recommended — and installed — the System 2000 high-efficiency oil boiler.

“It was artwork and amazing to look at,” she says. “Westmore had to fit it into the space that was available to them.”

Barbara has been impressed with the quietness of the unit as well as with the improved level of heat she’s receiving throughout her home.

Barbara has been a devoted Westmore customer for 15 years.

Why I Picked Westmore

After about a year with Westmore, our service plan member Frank Cernigliaro describes himself as a happy customer.

Although Frank had been with another a heating oil company “for the better part of 16 years,” he was not entirely happy and realized he could do better.

“I started looking for new options and picked Westmore,” he says. “They are a local company, and my father-in-law has used them for years. He’s always been happy with their service.