For Immediate Release - April 06, 2005

Winter Heating Oil Spot Checks Yield Fines

Stats Validate Most Costly Heating Oil Season on Record

Inspectors with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation's Division of Standards handed out over $3,300 in fines this past winter for violations of the state's laws for fuel delivery. Inspections of over three hundred fuel delivery trucks and nearly 1,700 delivery tickets between late October 2004 and mid-March 2005 yielded forty-one citations.

The state randomly checks heating oil delivery tickets to ensure that the price per gallon printed on tickets match the number of gallons registered on a truck's meter. Inspectors actively look for fraudulent delivery practices in which pre-printed delivery tickets reflect greater amounts of heating oil delivered than was actually received by the customer. All delivery truck-metering systems are tested and certified annually for accuracy. Once tested, security seals are affixed to meters to prevent tampering. The largest fine issued in this season's sweep was $500.00 to Star Oil of New Bedford after inspectors confiscated a pre-printed delivery ticket in a delivery driver's possession (see page 2).

"This was the most expensive winter to date for heating oil, making it all the more critical for our inspectors to spot check throughout the season to ensure consumers are getting exactly what they pay for," said Consumer Affairs Director Beth Lindstrom.

Consumers with reason to believe they received a short-measured heating oil delivery should contact the Division of Standards at (617) 727-3480.

The Division of Energy Resources will summarize heating oil and propane prices for the 2004-2005 heating season in a report to be issued in May. As of March 25 th, the final weekly survey for the winter season, the statewide average price for home heating oil was a record $2.14 per gallon. For the season, the average price per gallon was $1.97, approximately fifty cents higher per gallon than the previous winter. The record price of $2.14 per gallon has since been eclipsed in the first bi-weekly survey for the spring, reaching $2.22 per gallon for the current week of April 3-9.

Company

City/Town

Fine Amt

Violation

Sav-Mor Oil Company

Pittsfield

Improperly Sealed Meter (Warning)

H.L. Fuel Company, Inc.

West Lebanon

$ 35.00

Unsealed Meter

Country Oil

Bernardston

No Price per Gallon (Warning)

Marr Oil Heat Co., Inc.

Worcester

Out of Date Seal (Warning)

Arrow Oil

Southwick

$ 50.00

Broken Seal

Frasco Fuel Oil

W. Springfield

$ 100.00

Broken Seal

Arrow Oil Inc.

Southwick

$ 100.00

Broken Seal

Jeff's Oil

Wakefield

$ 100.00

Not Sealed

Cox Oil

Lowell

No Current Seal (Warning)

Ginn Oil Co./Gain Oil (Reading)

Woburn

$ 100.00

Unsealed Meter

Bob's Oil Co.

Melrose

No Current Seal (Warning)

Lyon's Fuel

Arlington

$ 100.00

Unsealed Meter

Lyon's Fuel

Chelsea

$ 375.00

Unsealed Meter

DeBross

New Bedford

No Current Seal (Warning)

Viking Oil

Winthrop

$ 450.00

Unsealed Meter

Genove Oil Co., Inc.

Waltham

No Current Seal (Warning)

Petro-Atlas

Westwood

No Current Seal (Warning)

Zamagni Oil Co.

Quincy

No Current Seal (Warning)

G.W. Condon

Randolph

No Current Seal (Warning)

Energy USA

Taunton

No Current Seal (Warning)

Ferri Oil Service

Walpole

$ 187.50

No Price per Gallon on 5 tickets

Ruggiero Bros. Heating Oil

Stoughton

No Current Seal (Warning)

Cleveland Fuel Co., Inc.

Walpole

No Current Seal (Warning)

Koczera Oil

Rochester

No Current Seal (Warning)

A1 Discount Oil

N. Dartmouth

No Price per Gallon (Warning)

Star Oil

New Bedford

$ 100.00

Unsealed Meter

Sinclaire Heating Oil

Walpole

$ 100.00

Unsealed Meter

Cronin Oil

Norfolk

$ 100.00

Unsealed Meter

Debross Oil Company

New Bedford

$ 100.00

Unsealed Meter

Star Oil

New Bedford

$ 100.00

Unsealed Meter

Pintos Fuel

Milford

$ 100.00

Unsealed Meter

Trautwein Oil

Milford

No Current Seal (Warning)

Star Oil

New Bedford

$ 500.00

Fraudulent Delivery Ticket

American Discount Fuel

Holliston

No Price per Gallon (Warning)

Holliston Oil

Holliston

No Price per Gallon (Warning)

Petro

Woonsocket

$ 100.00

No Current Seal

Superior Oil

Millbury

No Current Seal (Warning)

Goulart Oil

Dighton

$ 100.00

Unsealed Meter

Arrow Oil

Taunton

$ 100.00

Unsealed Meter

Scudder Fuel

Brockton

$ 375.00

Unsealed Meter

Admiral Oil

Lynnfield

No Current Seal (Warning)

$3,372.50