State considers plan to add fee to heating oil purchases

Posted: Updated:
FAIRFIELD -

Home heating oil providers are preparing to fight on their customer’s behalf against a plan that would see their bills go up.

State energy officials are proposing adding a conservation charge to heating oil deliveries.

The fee is already attached to both natural gas and electric bills, and is used for cost-saving programs like energy audits.

Officials at Standard Oil say it is an unfair mandate for customers.

"What they'd like to do is take money away from our customer and then give it back to them through some sort of subsidy or whatever.  And really, our customer would be much better off to make those judgments on their own,” says David Cohen, of Standard Oil Company.

Environmentalists like Ben Cohen say it's time to move away from heating oil.  He says for those who are using it, the extra fee could end up saving them money.

"What that conservation charges pays for is the house audits and also gets you things like free light bulbs and discounts on things like insulation,” says Cohen.

Right now, expanding the fee to include oil deliveries is just a proposal. The state Legislature would have to pass a law to make it happen.

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