I’ve been in this business for a long time, and I don’t recall a period as brutal as the cold snap New England endured from mid-December to mid-January.
For the most part, we were able to take care of every customer in need. That’s because we have a steady supply of fuel, and we invest in the kind of trucks and technology that are essential in tough winters. But even more important, we have fabulous employees.
Our drivers and technicians were true heroes, working long hours seven days a week, in frigid conditions, to take care of people. Our office team manned phone lines that were 300% busier than normal. The number of overtime hours spent was higher than ever before, a testament to the commitment our employees made.
During this period, we were inundated by calls from people whose regular companies had left them in the lurch. In several cases, dealers — particularly the discount suppliers — stopped answering phones altogether. Unfortunately for these folks, we always prioritize our existing customers first.
I know that there were probably some anxious moments for you, too. I can’t tell you how much it meant to all of us that you were understanding, particularly when you sent a kind note or gave us a good review on Facebook or Google. When people are knocking themselves out, it helps to feel appreciated.
Thank you for being amazing customers. Please take a look in this newsletter for some suggestions that can make next year much easier. And like you, I’m sure, I’m looking forward to some warm weather.
This past January was the coldest in years. On one of those bitter days, we delivered a week’s worth of fuel in a single 24-hour stretch. Here are a few more facts:
increase in the number of deliveries
the number of customer calls
increase in overtime hours
increase in service and repair calls
Surveys have shown that while propane and heating oil customers have exceptionally high levels of satisfaction with the service they receive, most don’t realize all the ways their home fuel can enhance their comfort and save them money.
Technology has brought great improvements in efficiency that have reduced annual fuel consumption by as much as 40%, saving oil heat consumers a lot of money on fuel. And because new systems burn cleanly and don’t need as much fuel, they do not pose a hazard to the environment.
Additionally, sulfur levels have been reduced dramatically, improving heating system efficiency and cleanliness and reducing emissions. This reformulated fuel also eliminates the source of most equipment breakdowns. The advent of heating oil with low sulfur content has paved the way for the next generation of compact, super-efficient boilers and furnaces.
Many gallons of heating oil now include Bioheat®, a blend of heating oil and renewable materials like vegetable oils. Because Bioheat integrates seamlessly with all heating oil systems, no changes to your heating system are necessary!
According to a comprehensive report conducted by Brookhaven National Laboratory and presented to Congress by the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA), biofuel blends containing 20% or more Bioheat produce lower greenhouse gas emissions than natural gas!
CLEANER than electricity
Because propane is nontoxic and doesn’t pose a threat to soil and water, (above or below ground), it is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The average propane-powered home reduces carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 30% compared with all-electric homes.
Direct use of propane for space heating, water heating, cooking and drying clothes reduces greenhouse gas emissions up to 50%.
MORE EFFICIENT than electricity
Propane is more efficient than electricity when evaluating the total energy consumed (this includes the energy used in the extraction, production, processing and transportation of the fuel to the point of use).
Most high-efficiency propane furnaces feature two-stage gas burners and variable-speed motors to deliver all the warm air you need. That’s why, on the coldest of nights, propane-heated homes are much warmer than those that rely solely on electric heat.
Oil heat is efficient and more economical than ever! The latest oil heating systems are small, smart and super-efficient and can save you, on average, about 30% on your annual heating costs. Here are six more quick points about oil heat efficiency.
Don’t sweat through another hot, humid summer in Massachusetts! If your A/C system isn’t keeping your home cool and comfortable when the mercury rises, it’s time to consider replacing it.
Here’s another problem: The R-22 refrigerant used in older home air conditioning systems is getting scarce — and becoming more expensive. In less than two years, R-22 will no longer be manufactured at all. It could cost you a small fortune to add more R-22 if you develop a leak.
Right now, if your central A/C equipment is at least 12 years old, you may qualify for a $750 rebate from Mass Save when you install a new, high-efficiency cooling system.
Our family of employees is growing. The word must be getting around, because many new customers have joined us. To provide you with service, quality and value, guaranteed, we’ve hired some great people recently. They underwent their baptism of fire this past winter, and came through with flying colors! Help us welcome them.
Eric Delgado, service technician; Luc Bedard, delivery driver; and Bryant Lanctot, service technician
We’re always looking for ways to serve you better. Sometimes that means big changes you can see. Other times, we do things internally to improve the way we operate.
Right now, we’re working on upgrades to our computer system that will ensure more accurate forecasting and more timely deliveries. Fuel statements will have a new look, too. We hope you’ll agree that they’re much easier to read and understand.
Soon our drivers and technicians will all be equipped with tablets for easy access to your account history without having to call the office.
We’re also making our online customer portal easier to use. There will be a change in the log-in process, but we’ll make it as painless as possible.
We think the biggest thing you’ll notice is that doing business with us will be easier than ever!
You can now download our app (available for IOS and Android) to have 24-hour access to your account, so you can pay bills, look up information and schedule service when it’s convenient for you. Just search for Pioneer Oil and Propane in the App store or Google Play Store to get started.