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QUESTION:   Why should I choose Leffler Energy over other suppliers?

ANSWER:  There are many reasons: 

  • Leffler Energy, The SICO Company and their predecessor organizations have been successfully serving the home energy needs of tens of thousands of consumers in southeast Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland for over 125 years. You can always count on us to be there when you need us!
  • Leffler Energy provides credit terms to credit approved customers, and offers convenient payment plans for everyday items like heating oil (see details on our SmartPay budget plan), as well as for those unexpected items like heating system replacement, should the need arise unexpectedly. In addition, we offer both in-house and preferred financing through the federally-backed "Energy Loan" program.
  • Leffler Energy offers price protection plans that afford you the opportunity to either buy at market rates, or, if you prefer, we can also lock you in at a fixed price or cap your cost. The last option provides a maximum price for the season, but allows your price to go down if the market falls.
  • We offer automatic delivery and have state-of-the-art, computer-aided delivery systems that ensure that you will not run out of oil.
  • We provide a package of service agreements designed to fit just about any need that are second-to-none in coverage and priced to fit your budget.
  • We employ over 200 full-time employees who enjoy a competitive compensation package, including complete benefits package.
  • We have a well maintained fleet of over 60 tank wagon heating oil delivery trucks all driven by professional drivers who are well-trained to deliver your home heating oil.
  • We have a highly trained force of service technicians, many of whom have achieved silver and gold National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) industry certification. They stand ready to serve you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

QUESTION:  What does industry certification for technicians entail?

ANSWER: 

  • NORA has developed a curriculum to establish educational excellence in the industry. Ensuring the best trained employees ensures that customers achieve maximum value through cost efficient and complete repairs and quality service. In addition, training ensures that the most energy efficient installations occur and that units are properly vented. As a result of this employee training, you, the homeowner, are guaranteed a warm home on the coldest day with hot water for dishwashing, clothes washing and all domestic uses.
  • Our technicians’ training through NORA results in qualification at three different levels: Bronze Apprentice, Silver Certification and Gold Certification. At present, Leffler employs 12 Bronze Apprentice technicians, 9 Silver Certified technicians and 37 Gold Certified technicians. Technicians not currently certified are enrolled in a program so they will earn their certification.
  • To receive Bronze Certification, an apprentice must have at least 80 hours of formal classroom training in a NORA approved program and pass the Bronze Exam. After three years of experience in the field and another 24 hours of NORA approved Continuing Education Credits, a technician is automatically qualified for Silver Certification.
  • Silver Certification criteria include a minimum of three years work experience as an oilheat technician; a minimum of 100 hours of educational training; and passage of a test based on the Oilheat Technician’s Manual.
  • Gold Certification criteria include completion and passage of the Silver National Certificate Program and Exam or acceptance into the program from an oilheat state association certification; a minimum of five years work experience as an oilheat technician; and a minimum of 120 hours of oilheat education training beyond Basic Oilheat Technician courses.*

QUESTION:  Why are homeowners paying more for heating oil?

ANSWER:  The cost that Leffler pays for the heating oil we sell to you – the wholesale price – is over 65% higher than it was last year at this time. This has put energy marketers across the country in a difficult situation. Nobody wants to pass on this expense to customers, but as we all recognize, this pass through of costs is a necessity.** 

QUESTION:  What is causing prices to rise?

ANSWER:  For one, because the cost of the raw product has gone up. Crude oil accounts for about 50% of the wholesale cost of a gallon of heating oil. When crude prices rise, this affects everything from heating oil, gasoline, propane and even natural gas prices. As of this writing, crude oil is up 77% over last year. 

In addition, world demand is higher. Rapid industrial development in China, India and other developing countries, combined with the economic recovery in the U.S., has resulted in a greater demand for oil. According to the International Energy Agency, world energy demand hasn’t risen this fast since 1996. 

Plus, investors are staying skittish. In the commodities market, even a perceived change in conditions causes a heavy volume of buying and selling. Oil traders estimate that unrest in the Middle East has added a "risk premium" of $4 to $8 to a barrel of crude oil, according to a May 16, 2004 story in The New York Times.** 

QUESTION:  What about natural gas?

ANSWER: Natural gas and propane prices have shot up recently as well. And remember, in most states where oil has a significant market share, oil has been cheaper than gas for nine of the past 10 years.**

QUESTION:  How long will prices stay like this?

ANSWER: We wish we had better answers. The energy market is so volatile right now that heating prices have gone up 15 cents a gallon or more in as little as three days. With disruptions in the Middle East, crude oil prices could rise even higher. If current fears prove unfounded, or if supply increases, crude prices could plummet, which would eventually cause heating oil prices to drop as well. Of course, world economies and weather play a role, too, because it affects demand. People sometimes forget that, on average over the last 10 years, heating oil remained your most economical heating choice. And in real dollar terms, the price of heating oil is half of what it was in the 80s.**

QUESTION:  What can I do to keep my energy costs down?

ANSWER:  Several things:

  • Make sure your system is operating at peak efficiency by having our professional technicians perform our comprehensive 19-point tune-up.
  • Consider upgrading your burner, furnace or boiler to a new, high-efficiency model. You’ll save money now and for many years to come.
  • Ask us to install a programmable thermostat to help reduce your fuel consumption.
  • Check your home for home drafts, which rob it of heat.
  • Remember the value of quality service. When outdoor temperatures are frigid, service response and fuel supply matter much more than a temporary discount on the price of oil.
  • Don’t be fooled by low-price incentives. Most full service dealers operate with similar profit and cost structures. Once new customer incentives end, you’re back to regular rates.**


QUESTION:  How can I make sure that my fuel burning equipment operates safely?

ANSWER:  Fuel burning equipment must be properly installed and maintained. For example, the equipment must have sufficient venting and airflow, because the proper mix of oxygen and fuel is necessary for complete combustion. 

In addition, fuel burning equipment should not be installed in confined spaces. For details, we recommend that you refer to the most current version of International Residential Code, Section G2407. 

Also, if you reconfigure a room when renovating, you must make sure that airflow to fuel burning equipment does not become restricted. When equipment is placed in a confined space, it can result in dangerously increased levels of carbon monoxide. There are a number of ways to avoid this, including louvered doors, transfer grills and the introduction of outside air. 

Of course, your Leffler Energy technician can help answer your safety questions. 

QUESTION:  How would I know if equipment or appliances were producing carbon monoxide?

ANSWER: Some telltale signs can include condensation on walls and windows; rusting or water streaking on vents or chimneys; debris or soot from a chimney, fireplace or appliance; and unfamiliar or burning odor coming from an appliance. When servicing a heating system, your technician should inspect chimneys and flues for blockages, corrosion, and loose or incomplete connections.


*Information excerpted from the website www.noraed.org
**Information provided by Warm Thoughts Communications, Inc.






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