With the deep freeze, oil and gas delivery companies have been working around the clock and in need of a break.
The Fuel Terminal in Groton has seen a lot of traffic since the freeze began on Christmas. Delivery companies said the phones have not stopped ringing for service.
Benvenuti Oil’s fleet of trucks has been going non-stop 12 hours a day, since the deep freeze began. Two person teams have been delivering heating oil to its thousands of customers throughout New London County as well as taking on new customers.
“Some of the people who are calling are saying simply either their phones are busy and they can’t get a hold of them or they’re just outright not answering,” Marc Mazzella, who is the vice president for Benvenuti Oil, said.
Over the cold weekend, they fueled up 150 new customers who ran out of oil because their regular delivery company couldn’t.
Marc Mazzella credits tracking computer technology in the office and on the road to making the delivery processes more efficient.
“With this cold spell, a lot of companies aren’t able to keep up with their own customer base,” Mazzella said. “We’ve spent a lot of money advancing out technology so we’re able to take on extra customers.”
Mazzella told Channel 3 75% of their clients are loyal long-time customers such as Peg Ferryman, who are on a budget plan or a price protected program.
“I locked in and I’ve done it several years,” Ferryman said.
Pre-bought oil in a locked contract is at $2.18 a gallon. If a person is paying per delivery, on Monday, it’s $2.89 a gallon.
Not only have fuel companies been taking a lot of calls for deliveries but they’ve also been taking a lot of calls for service.
Channel 3 caught up with technician Pat Mazzella on his fifth call of the day in Waterford. The complaint came right up on his computer that one area of this basement was not getting heat.
“It’s been making that noise for a little while now,” Mazzella said.
While this problem was not a big hurdle, service companies said you should get your furnace serviced regularly so it runs at its peak performance.
“Seems in the past few weeks it’s been a lot of run-outs,” Mazzella said. “Everything has been running a lot more than normal.”
Those furnace tune-ups, by the way, could cost about $150 for annual servicing, but it will save a person in the long run.
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