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,
April 1, 2020
Dear Customers and Staff,
In order to slow the spread, Oppure Oil has initiated a “Near Zero Contact Policy” until May 4, 2020, following the social distancing guidelines laid out by our government agencies local, state, and federal. On March 23, 2020 we notified customers about the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic and what changes and recommendations Oppure Oil was implementing to keep our staff and customers socially distant and safe. Conveniently, our business practices lend a hand to support such a policy, as Oppure Oil does not need to enter customers’ homes in order to provide our service.
Moving forward, at least until May 4, 2020, we will not be leaving metered delivery tickets at the customer’s door. All delivery tickets will be returned to the office. Leaving a delivery ticket onsite requires our drivers to handle your doorknob, thus creating the possibility of spreading the virus. Upon request a PDF copy of your delivery ticket will be emailed to you. Requests should be sent to email@example.com with a subject line of “PDF Ticket Request.” You can expect to receive it within three business days.
We love our cash customers, however the simple nature of handling cash creates a breech in social distancing guidelines. We can no longer accept cash payments being handed to drivers. We are requiring, until social distancing guidelines subside, that all cash payments be left for the driver in a non-licked envelope, or preferably in a plastic zip lock bag. Cash customers will have to identify, upon ordering, approximately how many gallons will be delivered. Our office staff can assist you as to how many gallons you can expect based on your tank gauge reading when you order a fill up. Upon ordering, let our office staff know where the cash will be left outdoors. Our driver will deliver the number of gallons covered by the amount of cash you have left. Delivery tickets for cash customers will automatically be e-mailed or mailed within three business days.
Our office staff needs to be extra vigilant during this time to double check delivery addresses, phone numbers, and email address, to ensure that the order is as accurate as possible for our drivers. Please help assist us in updating our records by confirming contact phone numbers and/or e mail address.
Our drivers are on the front lines. Drivers should keep trucks off driveways when possible to maintain social distancing. We request that you do not come outside to meet or engage the driver in conversation.
Heating oil delivery will continue on-time without interruption. We are continuing to accept minimum orders of 100 gallons until further notice. Please be assured that we continue to work hard to provide you this essential service. We continue to welcome new customers and continue with our growth and service goals.
As we finish the 2019-2020 heating season and welcome spring, we are all facing a very serious pandemic. As the world is hunkering down, we are learning how to adapt our schedules and common practices, and figuring out how to continue forward to achieve our goals, both professional and personal. Remember the “Apex” is the battle. The Apex is predicted to arrive sometime within the next 7-21 days. Try to calibrate yourselves and your expectations for the long haul. Practice cooperation, flexibility, communication, kindness, national unity, personal safety and do it now. Do not underestimate this virus as not one person is immune.
If I reach someone who already has been infected with Covid-19. My deepest and sincerest wishes for your speedy and full recovery. I commend you for your strength in isolation. The only thing I can promise is I and my staff will work intensely to deliver your heating oil as we always have.
With Kind Regards,
- You’ll get the same great daily price as all of our other customers.
- There are no contracts or fees. Think of it as a savings account here, dedicated to your heating oil needs.
- You decide when and how much to pre-pay each month.
- You can request a refund at any time at no cost.
- You’ll be upgraded to automatic delivery, which means you’ll earn a double entry into our Annual Heating Oil Giveaway with every delivery.
- You can log into your account on our website anytime, night or day, and check to see when your next estimated delivery will be.
- You’ll get oil when you need it without stressing out about whether you can afford it.
- You can use the coupon below to save an additional $30 on your next three deliveries!
During the winter, we see many customers remove snow and ice from the fill pipe but not the vent pipe… but did you know it is more important to keep the vent pipe clear? Although we certainly appreciate snow, ice and plants cleared from the fill pipe, we urge our customers to please take the time to do the same with your vent pipe.
Under normal operation (when we are not filling) your vent is designed to relieve the vacuum created from your oil burner pulling oil from the tank. A blocked vent pipe can cause a no heat call.
Besides snow, ice and plants, another blockage culprit can be insects setting up shop inside your vent. If we suspect a vent blockage, we will notify you and we recommend having the problem fixed right away using one of our neighborhood service providers.
A few facts about the vent piping:
- The vent piping must be same size diameter or greater size diameter than the fill pipe.
- The vent piping must be run and terminate above the fill pipe.
- Vent pipes shall be installed as to drain toward one tank without sags or traps in which liquid can collect.
- Vent pipes shall terminate outside of buildings at a point not less than two feet measured vertically or horizontally from any building opening.
- Outer ends of vent pipes shall terminate in a weatherproof vent cap or fitting or be provided with a weatherproof hood.
If you have any questions about your vent pipe, call us and we may be able to provide answers or send you to one of our trusty Neighborhood Service Providers for a repair job.
Did you know your oil tank gauge is a very important device? Massachusetts oil burner code requires that a tank gauge be installed. This is a very simple device but do not attempt to change out your gauge by yourself. Without the proper training, you could end up damaging the new gauge you just purchased… or even worse, an improperly installed tank gauge could cause a leak the next time the tank is filled.
Tank gauges usually read in 1/8 increments and very rarely read completely full after the tank is filled. This is due to manufacturers’ piping instructions when installing a device called a vent alarm. Some gauges are combination vent alarm and tank gauge while others are just a tank gauge.
As a will-call customer, you are responsible to monitor your tank gauge and order oil manually, allowing sufficient time for delivery (see ‘Service Area’ for delivery expectation dates). All gauges are not the most accurate, thus we recommending ordering oil prior to your gauge getting below ¼ full. This will allow plenty of time for us to get there and disregard any gauge error that may or may not be occurring. For our automatic customers, the gauge is much less important since we will be coming automatically and filling your tank to make sure you will never run out of oil.
Did you know that you can buy an electronic tank gauge? These handy devices have the range of a standard cordless phone and the receiver can be placed in a handy space perhaps in the kitchen thus eliminating the need to go the basement and check your tank gauge. You can contact one of our neighborhood service providers for more information.
The heating oil distribution chain is very simple. Large tanker ships pull into our harbors to offload their products. Prior to their arrival in our ports, our vendors (e.g., Exxon/Mobil, Gulf, Irving, Global, Sprague, ALPrime, etc) bid on the quantity they need to sell to their customers. From this part of the process alone, it’s easy to conclude that all heating oil is the same, because one tanker ship can sell to any supplier and it’s always going to be the same oil.
From our harbors, the oil is pumped into large storage tanks and distributed throughout the country. Large tank trucks pull the product from the harbors and bring it to inland storage tanks. Oil companies who operate near the harbors often pay less for their oil because they require less transportation.
In our area, we purchase our oil from the inland storage tanks, which is also where we fill our trucks. We have a variety of vendors to choose from and often switch it up. Somedays we load from ALPrime, and other days we load from a different vendor; it’s just a matter of who we are paying for the product. The oil from different vendors is not even separated in different tanks. It’s just like putting gasoline in your car – you don’t have to worry about mixing the same grade of gasoline from two different gas stations. This is how all of the other companies in our area operate as well, and when it comes time to load up the delivery trucks they are often waiting in the same lines as us.
Many of our higher priced competitors are lying about Oppure Oil, telling people that our oil is a lower quality because our prices are lower than theirs. Don’t believe them! These are just scare tactics being used in an attempt to invent a reason not to buy from us.
Some of our competitors even go as far as saying we add water to our oil! Let’s explore that statement for a minute. Water is heavier than oil and we all know the saying water and oil do not mix. So when you combine those two liquids, the oil floats above the water. Our trucks hold 3,000 gallons of oil and draw oil from the bottom of the tank. If we were to add, say, 100 gallons of water to our tank, this would mean that the first person we delivered to would receive all 100 gallons of the water.
There are no such thing as premium grades of heating oil like you see at the gas pumps. To understand the facts, as to why our oil costs less, visit our ‘How We Do It’ page.
Wow! Our customers really did save money with Oppure this past winter!
This past year Oppure Oil’s average price was $2.59 per gallon, while the average price statewide was $2.87 per gallon. That is just under 10% savings! Since one month out of a year equals 8% this means our customers are saving an amount equal to one-month of oil. That’s a free month!
With that kind of savings, why would you buy home heating oil from any other company? If you are not happy with Oppure Oil you can always go back to your old oil dealer and pay more.
Oppure Oil offers:
• The lowest prices in North Central Massachusetts;
• No contract automatic delivery service;
• Entry into our annual Heating Oil Giveaway, every time you get a delivery;
• Easy online ordering and access to your account information through our Heating Oil Gateway.
Thanks for doing business with us,
Mike Hatzopoulos, Owner
Oppure Oil, LLC
Due to the extremely cold temperatures, New Englanders are burning more home heating oil, a lot quicker than in previous winters.
We want to remind you to order oil before your tank goes below a quarter full.
The deep snow and extreme cold, combined with increased demand, has slowed us down a bit. While we can sometimes get there sooner, we have temporarily extended our guaranteed delivery time to within 5 days for our on-demand customers.
If you are signed up for our Automatic Delivery service, you will never run out of oil. You are in our system and on our schedule. If you have not signed up for Automatic Delivery, we encourage you to do so. You pay the same
low price, and you can rest assured that your tank will have oil in it no matter how cold it gets.
Click here to learn more about Automatic Delivery.