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Hamptons Life

Oct 11, 2010 1:40 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

East End Heating Oil Comparisons

Oct 11, 2010 1:40 PM

As temperatures begin to drop, it’s time to start thinking about the cost of heating one’s home.

While the price of heating oil is a moving target, subject to the whims of supply and demand, a random sampling of three East End fuel oil companies turned up creative breaks that can help their customers better manage the expense of home heating this season.

At East Hampton Fuel Oil Corporation, which is owned and run by Kerri and Andrew Jurkiewicz, customers can pay about $2.80 a gallon for a bulk shipment of 200 gallons of heating oil, which is the average amount her clients purchase, Ms. Jurkiewicz said. Although she cautioned that the price of oil changes every day, lately the price has remained within a few cents of that.

“The oil goes up, we go up,” she said. “The oil goes down, we go down.”

But the Jurkiewiczes also offer other discounts for certain groups of people. Elderly citizens, disabled veterans, police and fire officials are eligible to receive a bulk rate price for a smaller shipment of oil. For example, Ms. Jurkiewicz said, senior citizens can purchase 100 gallons of oil for about $2.65 per gallon, as opposed to the going rate of $2.95 per gallon, as of Thursday, October 7.

“Say they can only afford 100 gallons at a time, but we give them that bulk rate,” she said.

For those who run out of fuel in the middle of the night, the East Hampton Fuel Oil Corporation offers an around-the-clock emergency service. The added cost for an emergency trip is about $100, Ms. Jurkiewicz said, noting that the service fee is in line with most other local fuel companies.

For routine visits, the company provides delivery and installation services too. Customers can call 48 hours in advance to set up an installation, or the company can also provide automatic delivery—monitoring the fuel tank so customers don’t need to, she said.

Ms. Jurkiewicz and her family started the company about seven years ago, she said, adding that they service more than 2,500 customers from Hampton Bays to Montauk. Those interested in fuel oil services from East Hampton Fuel Oil Corporation can call the headquarters in East Hampton at 324-2420.

At Hampton Bays-based Quogue Sinclair Fuel, general manager Dan Finer said his company doesn’t offer any fixed rates, but it does have deals for those who sign up for a service contract. “We have no fixed price deals,” he said, noting that the price on Thursday, October 7, was about $3.14 a gallon. “We don’t believe in that.”

One offer includes signing up for fuel oil delivery and installation services, which Mr. Finer said comes with a $50 credit and a two-year service contract.

Along with fuel oil, the company also offers the same deal on propane and alarm and security installation—$50 off of each service, Mr. Finer said, adding that a customer will receive a $300 credit if they sign up for all three services at once.

Mr. Finer said that Quogue Sinclair employees also provide regular maintenance and annual tune-ups. They also offer automatic delivery, where homeowners don’t have to worry about getting low on oil. A “heating degree day system” checks when customers are running low and alerts the company to refuel.

“If you’re a customer that uses, say 500 or 600 gallons per year, and you’re enjoying a service contract, that’s the savings,” Mr. Finer said. “That’s where the savings is.”

Quogue Sinclair Fuel, Inc, can be reached at 728-1066.

Joe McLaughlin, the service manager of Southampton-based Essay Energy Systems, which has been in operation since 1918, also said the prices of fuel oil fluctuate greatly, making it difficult to hammer down an exact price.

Mr. McLaughlin’s company offers installation and delivery and a 24-hour emergency service. The prices for the services vary, he said on Friday, October 8. He noted that oil prices were currently about $3.10 per 200 gallons.

Mr. McLaughlin recommended that homeowners buy fuel now, as prices are bound to climb as demand does, and as they do every year.

“There’s no doubt when you get colder, prices are going to go up,” he said.

Mr. McLaughlin’s company services more than 2,000 clients between Remsenburg and Montauk. Essay Energy Systems can be reached at 283-0956.

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