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FAQs – Heating Oil Delivery

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How do you know when to deliver to my home?
We compare the number of degree-days since your last delivery and the “K factor” or “burn rate”for your home.
What is a degree-day?
A degree-day is the average temperature for that day subtracted from 65. If the high temperature today was 45 degrees and the low was 25, the average temperature would be 35. Subtracting the average temperature (35) from 65 equals 30-degree days.
What is a "K factor" and what does it tell you?
A “K factor” is similar to miles per gallon for your car. When we make a delivery to your home we record the amount of fuel delivered to your home since the last delivery and divide that into the number of degree days since the last delivery. If we deliver 175 gallons and there were 573 degree days, the K factor would be 3.27. This means that for every 3.27 degree days that occur, your home uses one gallon of fuel oil.
This tells us you have 899 degree days before you are out of fuel. If our goal is to deliver fuel before your tank reaches one-quarter full, we need to make those delivery 674 degree days after your last delivery.
What happens if there is bad weather?
We track the weather forecasts to anticipate cold weather, snow storms, and other factors that will impact the amount of fuel used to keep you warm. Griffith Energy Services, Inc. also makes note of those customers with difficult driveways making sure those deliveries are made before bad weather makes those driveways impassable.
Why are deliveries made when fuel is most expensive?
Wholesale prices change on a day-to-day basis and we have no idea if they are going up or down. We base our deliveries on degree days and your home’s “K factor” (“burn rate”).
Will you deliver more oil if I’m on automatic delivery?
No. It’s similar to you car, you can only fill up the gas tank until it is full and the same is true for your home fuel tank. Our delivery drivers can only fill the tank with the amount of fuel you have used.
How can I control the frequency and payment of my deliveries?
Contact our office and we will help you schedule deliveries or adjust the delivery amounts while making sure you don’t run out of fuel. Payments may be smoothed out if you participate in our SmartPay Program.
How does me being on automatic delivery help you operate efficiently?
By allowing us to deliver automatically, we can schedule deliveries in the same area and reduce the amount of time we spend on the road. We also believe our system will provide you with better-timed deliveries and keep you from running out of fuel which would require an emergency delivery. Frequently, emergency deliveries occur after hours and require an extra delivery charge to cover the overtime for our drivers.
What happens if I run out of fuel when enrolled in automatic delivery?
In the rare occasion that happens, we will send a delivery as soon as possible. We investigate how this could have happened and then make adjustments to the “K” factor to provide deliveries on a more frequent schedule.
How do I know when my next delivery is scheduled?
Call our office and ask for your next estimated delivery date. If you think we need to make a delivery sooner, ask that we deliver the next time we are in your area. Remember that the gauge on your tank may be broken or not accurate, but together we will make sure you keep warm with our automatic delivery program.
After starting Automatic Delivery, will I ever have to call and adjust my schedule?
Only if big changes occur in your home or lifestyle. These can affect the rate at which your home burns fuel oil. If this rate changes and we don’t know it, you could run out of fuel oil.
Please call us if any of the following changes occur at your home:

  • Add a new room to your house
  • Bring home a new baby
  • Have a family member spend more time at home because of illness
  • Stop using a space heater or wood stove
  • Allow children to move back into the house
  • Install a new oversize bathtub
  • Have a leak from a hot water faucet repaired
  • Turn a basement into a bedroom or family room
  • Start turning the thermostat up to a warmer temperature.
When I’m on automatic delivery and it’s really cold outside, should I call anyway when I have less than half a tank?
There’s no need to worry; we monitor the weather and adjust deliveries based on temperature (degree days) and your average use (your “K” factor) and schedule deliveries sooner, based on the weather. A tank just one-quarter full will last the typical family a whole week even when it’s zero degrees outside. That’s plenty of time for us to get a delivery to you.
Do you deliver propane fuel?
We are now offering this service at a few of our locations, including Carl King, Meintzer, and Hagerstown. We’ll keep you updated as we continue to add propane refills and propane fuel deliveries to more of our service areas. Feel free to contact your local Griffith Energy Services office for the most up-to-date information.
Why do you fill up my fuel tank during the summer?
Filling your fuel tank during the summer reduces the amount of condensation that will occur in a fuel tank. Condensation occurs when it is cooler inside the tank compared with the outside temperature. Filling your tank reduces the amount of empty area in the tank where condensation can take place.

Condensation is water that falls off the inside surface of the tank and mixes with the fuel oil and creates sludge. If there is a large accumulation of sludge in the tank and the sludge gets pulled into the fuel line, it may cause a blocked fuel line resulting in a service call to your home.

We treat our fuel with an additive that helps break sludge into smaller particles that don’t clog the fuel lines and allows the product to be burned in your equipment. It also keeps fuel from clogging lines if your tank is located outside and we experience several days when the temperature is very cold.

If your tank has a large amount of sludge and you are experiencing plugging of your fuel lines, we can treat your tank with other products to disperse the sludge.

Another benefit of filling your tank during the summer is you don’t have to worry if the temperatures drop early in the fall, your tank is full and you won’t need a delivery on the first cold snap of the heating season.

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