Tips for Businesses Using Heating Oil

The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) conducts annual inspections of every heating oil delivery truck that operates out of New York City to ensure each truck’s meters accurately registers how much oil it is pumping so that businesses are not overcharged. Here are some steps that businesses can take to ensure they are not overcharged.

    • Proactively monitor the daily fuel usage to identify any irregularities. This makes it easy to detect whether there are any leaks or if any fuel is being siphoned out of the tank and also helps to predict when the building will need to order more fuel.

    • Select a reputable heating oil company before you schedule a delivery. Check the complaint history of the company you are considering by calling 311. It is always a good idea to get an estimate from a few companies to make sure you are paying a fair price.

    • Always schedule your delivery time and make sure someone from your company is there to oversee the delivery. Having someone there to oversee the delivery process makes it less likely that the fuel company will short your heating oil. Look for erratic activity on the gauge and for hose “jumping,” which could be a sign that air is being pumped through the meter rather than oil.

    • Ask for the delivery company to provide you with DCWP Certificates of Inspection for all of its trucks. By asking for these certificates, you can make sure the company’s trucks have been regularly inspected by DCWP.

    • Before the truck starts pumping oil, make sure the meter and register have unbroken DCWP seals. The orange plastic seals, which are located on the meter and register, prove that the truck has been recently inspected by DCWP and that the meter has not been tampered with.

    • Confirm that the meter contains a clean, unused ticket. Before the truck begins pumping oil, make sure a clean ticket has been placed in the meter, and that when the delivery is complete, the delivery person gives you the completed ticket directly from the meter on the fuel truck.

  • Make sure each of your tanks is equipped with a reliable tank gauge. Having a reliable tank gauge will ensure that the measurements are accurate and that you are getting the exact amount of oil that you paid for. Always check the gauge before and after fuel delivery. In addition, regular servicing and re-calibration of the tank gauges can ensure they remain reliable and properly measure the amount of oil delivered.

  • Check that the amount of oil on the tank gauge is the same as on the truck meter ticket. If your gauge is working properly, the two numbers should be approximately the same.

Page updated 10/2023.