A. Pelletier: Not a fair playing field

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Buyers of heating fuel should be aware of a pricing scheme used by at least one fuel dealer.

Someone exploring the cheapest way to heat their home would find that heating oil  is currently about $3.56 per gallon; propane, $2.72 per gallon; and could check out wood pellets, electric heat, cord wood, etc., and the BTUs one can expect for the money spent.

Based on averaged fuel prices and the BTUs produced, I figured propane was the best and cheapest backup for heating my home if my wood stove couldn’t keep up with sub-zero temperatures.

I recently had my propane tank filled; it took 40 gallons. The bill listed the cost at $3.64 per gallon (the state average price is $2.72). I called the company to ask why there is such a discrepancy and was told that because I use less than 100 gallons a year, that is my price and it is the industry’s standard pricing policy.

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If I go to the gasoline pump and it says $3.50 for regular, pump in 10 gallons and the gasoline company charges my credit card $4.42 per gallon because I didn’t pump 10.1 gallons, I would have a right to be upset. Wouldn’t anyone?

I am aware that propane is delivered to my home and that costs something, but the truck runs by my driveway every week, whether I order any or not.

The pricing scheme is not right and doesn’t allow people looking for heating alternatives to have a fair playing field.

Al Pelletier, Norway

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