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Home heating oil demand surges in Halifax

Some home heating oil companies in Halifax say they're seeing record demand for deliveries after some extreme winter weather over the last few weeks.

Freezing temperatures, blizzard blamed for delivery backlog

Mike Power is delivering 50 orders of home heating oil a day right now as demand has reached record levels. (CBC)

Some home heating oil companies in Halifax say they're seeing record demand for deliveries after some extreme winter weather over the last few weeks.

Aabel Fuels, a discount service that primarily does deliveries by request, is booking appointments with a six-day delay. The company usually books its winter customers within three days.

"Just trying to get the oil delivered as fast as we can and keep everyone's homes warm," said Mike Power, who delivers for Aabel Fuels.

The company said it has never been busier.

They're not the only ones. Discount Fuels said it's now booking Halifax appointments for next Tuesday. Others say phones are ringing off the hook with requests.

Staff at Aabel Fuels said last week, they received up to 70 calls a night just for emergency deliveries — tanks that were empty. Generally, Aabel can accommodate about 12 emergencies a night.

Aabel Fuels has increased the minimum order to $300 in an effort stretch out the service.

Last week, many companies pulled their delivery trucks off the roads during a blizzard. That set orders back even further.

Coping with cold

The wait list had people like Carol Drover scrambling to stay warm. She jumped for joy when she saw Mike Power's truck arrive at her home on Wednesday.

Drover waited nine days for her delivery. Her family filled cans of diesel at the gas station to make do.

"We've been going like two cans of that and not having a bath and trying to stay away from the dishes," she said of her efforts to keep the house warm.

Power said on average, drivers are making 50 deliveries a day to keep up with the demand. But Aabel Fuels expects it could be weeks before it can catch up with the orders.

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