A Letter from Mike Hatzopoulos
May 7, 2021
Dear Customers and Staff:
First and foremost, thank you to all our customers for all your orders and support this winter, and for choosing Oppure Oil as your dealer of choice. I speak for us all when I say, we always try and do our best when filling your tanks and taking your orders. And, to my staff, thank you for your devotion. It is clear how committed you are when working remotely; we came together and did a mighty fine job.
Spring is finally upon us. For Oppure, like mother nature, spring is our sign of the new year. It is time for us to reflect on our past season, and refresh/renew in preparation for the next. Oppure faced some challenges this heating season, as we lost a truck in an accident. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and no oil had spilled. At that time, we were forced to temporarily increase our quoted delivery window. If you were affected by this short-lived change, thank you again for your patience and understanding. This accident was a first for Oppure, and our replacement truck is due to arrive this summer. (Please see our Service Area for up-to-date delivery timeframe windows.)
The last two winters have featured above-average temperatures and below-average snowfall, and prices have been rather low during this same time. This was mutually beneficial, as Oppure was able to deliver more quickly when there is less snow on the ground. Our staff can testify as to how difficult it is to catch up from a snow day. This past season we only had two snow days (Dec 6 and December 17, 2020) where we were unable to deliver. Over the next several months, meteorologists will be able to predict mother nature and determine, with relative accuracy, how cold or warm the Northeast will be compared to average seasons. Their findings and predictions will be completely transparent, unlike economists, speculators, and hedgers, who are not as forthcoming with their findings and predictions. What is certain is you all will need heating oil delivered, and we all know how expensive it is to heat your home in New England.
As I write this letter, lots of folks begin saving for next season’s heating bills, and you could be one of them. If you think about it, 90% of your entire heating costs are incurred in just 4 months, December thru March. Why not spread it out? If today, you started a budget account of $100 per month you would have $800 saved for next season. True that would not, for most of you, cover your entire heating cost. However, a dollar saved is a dollar earned. Some customers save more than $100 per month and others save less, its completely your choice. We offer monthly draws on the 10th, 20th, or 30th of each month or weekly drafts on Thursdays. The graph below shows how equal payments work. In this example, figures are based on an annual budget of $1,700 per year.
Give our office a call at 800-359-4802 and our office staff will be able to set up your account and answer questions, and present specific figures when they examine your personal delivery history screen. It is important to realize that by doing this you are not locked into any price or contract and your funds are completely refundable for any reason without any fees.
In closing, there have been a lot of questions regarding the use of biofuel. We are often asked, what is biofuel, and what percentage of biofuel are we delivering? Biofuel is a proprietary blend of biodiesel and traditional home heating oil. Biodiesel is derived from plants or animal fat and is typically made by chemically blending animal fat, soybean, or other vegetable oil with alcohol. ASTM D396 (American Society for Testing and Materials) recognizes blends of up to 5 percent as equivalent to pure petroleum heating oil. Blends of much higher levels, over 20% are sold in our area and blend percentages vary depending on the heating oil dealer. Those higher blends are not recommended and should be avoided. They can wreak havoc on your heating system and even cause your furnace to shut down. Just as bacon grease poured down your drain can cause clogged drainage pipes, biofuel in your oil tank clogs supply lines. Oppure Oil ONLY delivers un-blended traditional heating oil and at no point have we delivered otherwise.
Oppure Oil has been delivering home heating oil for eight years. Many of you have been with us the entire way, and you all have truly made my career dreams a reality, THANK YOU.
To all the wonderful mothers who are reached by this letter, Happy Mother’s Day, you’re more appreciated than words can describe.
With Kind Regards,
A Letter from Mike Hatzopoulos
Dear Customers and Staff,
Welcome to the start of a heating season, which is beginning similarly to last season’s end. Coronavirus cases are on the rapid rise, this time just as our winter gets underway. The coronavirus global pandemic has certainly taught me a lesson in self-sufficiency and the importance of being prepared among other things. Figuratively speaking, in the spring we were caught with our pants down, scrambling to find toilet paper, when now I am sure we all have some extra tucked away. In this letter, I will explain the implementation of improvements that we have been working on during the off season and how you all can assist us in making a safe fuel delivery to your home.
Oppure’s business practices remain the same, with the goal of providing you all, with truly outstanding customer service, by delivering straight #2 heating oil, with ZERO biofuel additive, safely, kindly, affordably and on time. We now carry a fuel additive primarily recommended for outdoor tanks, which retails for $12 per bottle, and treats a full 275-gallon oil tank. We continue to improve our web and mobile platforms making ordering fuel more convenient, and we have updated our office computers and monitors this season, designed to improve telephone hold wait times. We added a generator to our main office giving us the ability to get up and running during power outages and have added another oil truck to our fleet bringing the number up to four. We also have expanded our delivery area into Southern New Hampshire, adding five additional towns to our service area. Welcome Fitzwilliam, Rindge, New Ipswich, Greenville and Mason New Hampshire.
Last season we were 97% reliable by promptly delivering within our original quoted time frame window, and this season we will continue to strive for improvement. Such reliability is continuingly difficult to achieve considering that we deliver in the worst weather New England has to offer, and during the least amount of daylight. During the heating season, it is not un-common to see a delivery vehicle backing into your driveway before sunrise, after sunset, or even on holidays and Sundays.
We ALL must protect ourselves as much as possible from Coronavirus. In my last letter I instructed our staff to be extra vigilant, double checking our database for current contact information and most importantly accurate delivery instructions. By doing so lessens the likelihood of contact between driver and customer during these trying times. There are also things you, as the customer, can do to assist us in making a safe fuel oil delivery to your home. The single most important thing you can do is to check your tank often and order fuel before you reach ¼ tank of oil. This way when that nor’easter comes rolling around your family would not be threatened with a potential 24 to 48-hour delivery delay. Again, we are exceptionally reliable and normally we arrive much sooner than our quoted delivery windows but remember these are not ‘normal’ times. Prior to Coronavirus all of us, many times, reported to work when not feeling well, even with flu-like symptoms. Today, for obvious reasons, we can no longer do this. This is just one example as to why checking your tank and ordering early is top priority. Keep in mind that Oppure Oil will only staff the best of truck drivers, and if one of us determines that making a delivery is unsafe due to things like, icy or snow covered roads or driveways, poor vent alarms or safeties, and unsafe or leaking fuel storage tanks, deliveries will be flagged as undeliverable. If this is to occur, I personally will see to it that the situation is thoroughly explained to you, and we will work with you on finding a solution to complete your delivery promptly and safely. We are encouraging our customers to not greet our drivers during the delivery in order to stop the spread of the virus.
For our cash customers, we will do our best to provide you with accurate delivery windows. However, it is important to note that Oppure Oil is digitally dispatched and deliveries often occur same day, so please refrain from ordering until cash is in hand and you have the means to accept the delivery. It would be best, if possible, to leave cash outdoors in a safe hidden location in a plastic zip lock bag. Our drivers will collect it and mark the amount of cash you left on your delivery ticket. Oppure Oil cannot afford one of our staff members to contract Coronavirus, thus our office will remain closed to the public for cash payments and or any other business. If Coronavirus continues to worsen, we may be forced to re-initiate our ‘near zero contact policy’ which would require drivers to return all delivery slips to our main office.
In summary, please check your tanks often and order when no lower than ¼ tank. Promptly clean-up freshly fallen snow particularly if your delivery requires our trucks to enter your driveway, and use sand or ice melt if needed. Have your systems cleaned and checked often, therefore running as efficiently as possible, while checking the fuel oil storage tank for leaks, and properly working safeties and piping. Practice social distancing during deliveries by not greeting the driver. Cash customers only order when money is in hand and you are available for delivery. An important reminder to our customers, Oppure Oil does not provide furnace starts or primes. Drivers are strictly instructed to only enter a customer’s home, for the single reason of checking fuel oil storage tanks if deemed necessary. Drivers will be wearing proper PPE including a mask and we ask that you and your family members do the same.
In closing, all of us here at Oppure Oil Thank You for all your orders. We truly are thankful for each one. We all wish you a happy and safe holiday season. Please be kind to one another. Know that we are stronger together. Hopefully as we emerge from winter, the threat of the virus will also be waning.
With Kind Regards,