Heating oil companies continue scramble to meet demand

Heating oil delivery companies continue to scramble, trying to keep up with the demand for deliveries in the Halifax area.

Freezing temperatures, last week's blizzard blamed for delivery backlog

Stephen Poirier owner of Cozy Fuels says in the 20 years he;s been in the business, he;s never seen demand like this. (CBC)

Heating oil delivery companies continue to scramble, trying to keep up with the demand for deliveries in the Halifax area.

Yves Synnott has been waiting two weeks to get his oil tank filled. In the meantime, he’s been filling up jugs of furnace oil at a gas station. He said he’s been going through this routine every couple of days.

“We tried to get some oil, but they told us we had to wait at least one or two weeks,” he said.

Synnott told the home heating oil company to forget it. His tank was on empty and he needed help fast.

“It's very cold weather. So I say thank God to those guys are here. You can always come here and get some oil … to keep your house warm a bit,” he said.

Heating oil companies say demand has soared with this season’s wicked weather. There have been long waits for heating oil deliveries and long lines for heating oil at gas stations. Some gas stations have dedicated furnace oil pumps, while some consumers can also use diesel fuel to heat their homes.

Demand has swamped local heating oil companies. Some people who use automatic fill ups say they're also affected by the delays.

Irving Oil responded to irked customers on social media, apologizing for the long wait times.

“The unusually cold and stormy weather has meant there are times when our drivers have had to stay off the roads for safety reasons, creating some delivery delays,” the company said on its Facebook page.

“Delivery and equipment service to our valued customers remains a priority and we have organized our team to ensure everyone stays warm through these cold winter days. In addition, the weather has increased the number of customers contacting us and that has resulted in longer response times than usual.”

Some heating oil companies have increased the minimum amount customers can order in an effort to spread out the deliveries — that doesn't sit well with Ron Naugle.

“It was 200 and now they’ve got it up to 300 and not everybody can afford that,” he said.

He's calling for a boycott, and spending his money at the pumps instead.

“It's a necessity of life around here,” he said.

A few small companies said they are managing to keep up with the demand and delivering within 24 hours.

“I've been in this industry for almost 20 years and I've never seen it yet like this,” said Stephen Poirier owner of Cozy Fuels.

It's a sprint from door to door, trying to fill as many orders as possible.

“Yesterday was 66 and today’s going to be close to the same,” he said.

As for Synnott, he says he'll call his company again at the end of next week. Maybe by then, he'll finally be able fill up his tank