Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image
ODA inspectors keep busy with winter fuel activity

Suggested lead

As temperatures drop this fall, it becomes even more important that Oregonians get what they pay for when it comes to heating their home with gas, oil, or even firewood:

Entire audio file

Audio 01
Inspectors with the Oregon Department of Agriculture are in the business of assuring accuracy in commercial transactions, but there are some steps the consumer can take. ODA’s Josh Nelson says winter fuels, such as home heating oil, is commonly delivered by a tanker truck that has a meter on it:

NELSON:  “So one of the things the consumer can look for is our approval sticker on the meter itself that shows we have tested and approved it and it’s a legal-for-trade meter and it’s accurate.”  :09

audio file                                                          

Audio 02
Consumers can also look for information on the receipt that should have the business name, amount delivered, and price charged, and make sure it all adds up. Being present at the time of delivery is a good idea. Firewood is another common purchase in the fall and winter:

NELSON:  “There are a lot of fly-by-night operations out there that will deliver you a cord of wood that aren’t really business operators, that are just loading a trailer with a pile of wood and dumping it off, and calling it a cord.”  :15

audio file

The only acceptable unit of measurement for firewood is the cord, which is 128 cubic feet when the wood is stacked up. Finding reputable, long-standing companies that are in the firewood business can help avoid potential fraud. Winter is fuel is never cheap, that’s why accuracy in measurement is critical to consumers. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

Additional audio: Audio 03
NELSON says consumers can make sure at delivery that the meter registers zero before the fuel is dispensed, much like it should at a gas pump:

“If there’s an unscrupulous business operator that is wanting to try and get a little more, he can have a purchase already on there and not clear the register and continue to run product and add that fuel the customer didn’t get onto their purchase.”  :18

audio file

Additional audio: Audio 04
NELSON says ODA inspectors are also busy this time of year making sure Oregon’s renewable fuel standard for diesel is enforced:

“During the wintertime, we will do an annual of sampling at the retail level to ensure that the bio-content mandate of 5 percent biodiesel is met and that it has cold weather operability.”  :13

audio file

Full story