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Fuel oil industry feeling the heat

The Boston Globe -- After 64 years in the heating oil business, Brown’s Oil and Air Conditioning of Needham faced a choice as it lost customers to cheaper natural gas: close or sell. Vin Brown, the second-generation owner, chose to sell, merging his company with the larger MacFarlane Energy in Dedham.

“Financially, it just became a necessity, ” Brown said. “Right now natural gas is really doing a number on the oil business.”

Brown’s story is the story of the Massachusetts heating oil industry, which has been shrinking in recent years as fuel prices jumped and natural gas prices plunged. Today, less than one-third of Massachusetts homes — 31.8 percent — heat with fuel oil, down from about 40 percent a decade ago, according to the census.

Natural gas heats more than half the state’s homes, up from about


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Submitted Jan 02, 2013 By: angel4me
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: Fuel oil industry feeling the heat Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Jan 5, 2013 4:40:14 AM

tomok: gotta ask.. are you part parrot?
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tomok
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Jan 4, 2013 11:41:10 AM

Fuel oil industry feeling the heat? If house heating or hot water costs go up, people will find a way to reduce those costs. If fuel oil for heating costs more then other sources then people can change to electrcity, natural gas or whatever is available. Fuel oil may Not be a good choice for most heating.
Businesses selling fuel oil may have to change in some way to stay in business. If selling or merging is the answer - then so be it.
Whatever the size or shape of the vehicle, vehicle manufactures Produce and the population ‘Drives’ vehicles with high MPG, are very safe, reliable, have a ‘reasonable’ cost and a good ‘value’ for the money.
The price of fuel at the pump is too high!
XII/XXII/MMXII! - The Day After......
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vcsuksu21
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 9:33:50 PM

Need heat
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rabbit_tdi
Sophomore Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 8:38:48 AM

Sure, heating by natural gas may now be cheaper than by fuel oil, but who wants to bet this will always be the case?

Might be a good idea to keep the old fuel oil furnace in place and ready to use, and install the new gas furnace in conjunction. This way one is able to burn whichever fuel is currently the cheapest. Furthermore, the fuel supplier is more likely to be attentive, since one is not a locked-in customer...
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12mpgnavigator
Champion Author Seattle

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 6:42:36 AM

Happy New Year everyone!
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remay
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 6:19:31 AM

Sign of the times...
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rahcat
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 12:15:44 AM

Glad we have nauural gas.
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pa79th
Champion Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 12:09:42 AM

You'd think that would increase the supply of gasoline...and it does,...but that's just another blatantly greedy excuse to jack the prices up.
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jkpsr
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 12:09:33 AM

This is a win for the environment.
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naspa
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 12:08:25 AM

They are all suffering, poor gas industry CEOs
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diesel8888
Champion Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 12:08:18 AM

I hope to see this happening on cars as well.
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FortVancouver01
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 12:07:22 AM

We switched over three years ago and have cut our heating bill in half. We will have the new system paid for in less than two more years.
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jdevlin
All-Star Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 12:07:20 AM

NG is cheaper if yo can get it.
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Darwin00
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 12:05:49 AM

Go natural gas!
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cheaper0ON
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 12:01:23 AM

Good.
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gasmack
Champion Author Ventura

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:57:00 PM

Good luck to those staying with the heating oil business.
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WanderDan
All-Star Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:55:40 PM

need more renewables,,,
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AKmailman
Champion Author Alaska

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:51:56 PM

it nice when you HAVE a choice
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Dodge_Me
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:47:46 PM

Hmm
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beachmanglen
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:44:42 PM

Boone Pickens is right. Natural gas is the answer.
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BanTheEPA
Veteran Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:39:55 PM

Now your talking DEG!!
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Gas4Gore
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:36:40 PM

Oh my.
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CharlieC08
Champion Author Colorado

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:35:22 PM

Things do change.
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defiancegasman
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:34:19 PM

They could of went into the NAT GAS HEATING BUSINESS, nothing beats it!
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pgerassi
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:32:44 PM

I wish NG to take more of that business away.
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DEG
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:31:19 PM

End all subsidies for all forms of energy (gas, natural gas, wind, solar, etc.) and let the market sort it out (with the caveat that the refined products stay in North America or are charge a large excise tax).
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BanTheEPA
Veteran Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:25:34 PM

This wouldn't be an issue if our government were willing to reign in out of control prices, especially for a product produced and consumed domestically. It does not matter how much oil India or China are using. They are not camped out in our backyards using our oil. Any excess we have, then we can sell to them or whomever at jacked up rates, but our government needs to adopt an a America First philosophy and base domestic product on reasonable prices. It is sad that people who have to use heating oil can spend a few thousand dollars to switch to a natural gas furnace and be able to recoup that cost in one or two years max.
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Marson
Champion Author Scranton

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:24:38 PM

Not a surprise.
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mstearno
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:24:14 PM

basic economics of competition
who uses heating oil anyways?
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69Bonne
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:24:06 PM

A small business trying to find a new way to survive. Good for him. If that was a big company, they would have shut it down and laid off more people. Small business is the core of this country.
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sydb7
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:21:19 PM

Interesting!
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KhelbenArunson
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:19:26 PM

Good.
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Buddy2264
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:07:22 PM

I would guess that is the way to go, natural gas, as fuel oil now in new furnaces is converted to a gas when burned. I would go with the cheaper fuel. Sorry for the business loss, but would think they could convert to working on natural gas equipment.
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mrbee
Champion Author Little Rock

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:02:54 PM

Go natural gas.
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serrog
Champion Author Nova Scotia

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:02:47 PM

greed rules here too
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sickhp
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 11:01:35 PM

I enjoy using Natural Gas.
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wayoung56
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:58:16 PM

Hmmm...
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abcdMA
Champion Author Worcester

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:56:01 PM

Less demand on oil is good
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rjoeh
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:48:46 PM

Oil is still good... but has failed to remain competitive as new supplies of natural gas come on line. Its a matter of adapt or sink.
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30mpg80
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:47:42 PM

Natural gas will go back up, but still may stay cheaper than fuel oil.
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lowspeed
Champion Author Akron

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:44:46 PM

there are better ways to heat
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medic319
All-Star Author Akron

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:44:28 PM

My dad does everything he can to keep from burning fuel oil. He built several "heat grabbers" from Mother Earth News plans.
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sarasotasingle
Champion Author Sarasota

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:44:22 PM

GREED !!!!!!!!!!!
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seahawks
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:40:33 PM

just pure greed!!!
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toadNY
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:35:52 PM

Gas prices have not jumped like oil!
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spunky4443
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:34:10 PM

Always said that the Oil Companies were screwing themselves with high price of fuel.
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bhb2009
Veteran Author Flint

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:33:51 PM

supply and demand
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yyc2yow
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:33:30 PM

good for them
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snerd
All-Star Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:32:09 PM

Roll with the changes or get out of the way.
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jb107
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:20:04 PM

Natural gas is best if you can hook up to it.
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gasser001
Rookie Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2013 10:18:58 PM

I am a poor little NG customer, looking at one of my summer bills it was $2.44 for gas used in the summer months (pilot light?) but the customer $70 and other charges quickly added it up to $100/month.
Some consumers are getting by now, but just watch as NG prices go up they will put everyone in the poorhouse.
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