A few tips for getting the fuel you paid for

VERMONT — As the nights grow colder, the Agency of Agriculture’s Consumer Protection Division reminds Vermonters to take steps to ensure they “get what they pay for” when heating their homes.
“With winter approaching, it’s important for Vermonters to know there are rules in place to govern transactions related to both fuel and firewood,” said Henry Marckres, chief of the Consumer Protection Division of the Agency of Agriculture.
Whether you use fuel oil, kerosene, propane or firewood, the agency would like to share the following guidelines to help ensure the fuel you purchase measures up:
Any delivery of heating fuel requires an invoice be left, unless an agreement has been reached previously between buyer and seller to invoice at a later date. When you receive a delivery of fuel oil, kerosene or propane, the invoice should include the following information: Name and address of the dealer, name and address of the customer, date of delivery, type of fuel delivered, price per gallon, total gallons delivered and total price.
Propane deliveries should also state that the volume delivered was adjusted for temperature. The gallons delivered must be printed by the meter register mounted on the delivery vehicle. Consumer protection specialists annually test these meters and registers to assure accuracy.
Firewood deliveries must also provide the customer with an invoice including: name and address of the dealer, name and address of the customer, date of delivery, type of wood delivered (ash, maple, etc.), price per cord, total number of cords delivered and total price.
Firewood must be sold by the cord, and terms such as “rack,” “facecord” or “truckload” are illegal. A cord of firewood must equal 128 cubic feet. When you purchase firewood, the agency recommends you pile it as soon as possible to determine if you have received the agreed-upon amount.
If you have any questions on purchases of heating fuel, or if you feel that you have not received what you have paid for, contact the Consumer Protection Section of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets at 802-828-2426.

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