After you have been in the same business in the same area for over twenty years, you should be able to figure out just what is going on. While it seems as if a new company pops up selling heating oil just about every few months, all providers of retail home heating oil and propane fall into three basic categories. Not all local energy retailers are the same.
The first category is the “one truck operator.” They have few (if any) employees, do not do any service or repair work on heating systems and most likely do not offer fixed price programs or any type of budget payment options for oil or propane. They may be affiliated with a third party that does service and repair work on furnaces, but these independent operators (often another one-person operation) usually do not offer service policies, they do not inventory all of the parts necessary to provide quality service and they do not guarantee their work.
The one truck operator might deliver oil part time and offer aggressive prices because a low price is all he can offer. If you buy oil from this type of company and end up with a serious problem with your furnace, you could be stuck. On the other end of the scale is the “multi state operator.” These companies are the big guys. They actually deliver oil and propane in other New England states. They tend to be deep in debt and their overhead is much higher than the local companies because of the huge payments they make to the bank each month on their massive loans. They usually charge their customers the highest prices, are poorly managed and very difficult to deal with from a customer’s point of view. Supervisors avoid customers, sitting behind big desks on computers like big shots. These companies don’t understand that our business is like being a plumber or a landscaper: crossing state lines to provide what is essentially a local service is expensive, inefficient and just does not work well for the consumer.
Then you have the local, full service companies. These companies limit their area of distribution to perhaps ten towns, they do most of their work in one county, within fifteen miles from their office. They are the low cost supplier of oil, propane and heating service in the areas they cover. The company is run by the owner, who has a vested interest in making sure things are done right. They offer all the services customers want and the owner and local management guarantee quality. You can get an answer from a supervisor. They support local charities and the community itself.
At Garthwaite, we are committed to running the best local full service energy company in York County. We have the best and most experienced service technicians of any company operating in our area. They are known in our industry as the Dream Team. We offer all of the fixed price and payment programs for oil and propane that our customers want. We offer service policies for your furnace or boiler. We inventory over $50,000 of heating and plumbing supplies so that we can meet our customer’s needs. We guarantee quality.
Best of all, we are local. Our employees live in York, Ogunquit, Sanford, Berwick and Elliot. Over the last ten years, over 75% of the oil we have sold has been delivered by graduates of Wells High. As the best run local energy supplier, we know we have an advantage over our competition. We can provide the kind of pricing, service and payment programs our customers want. We guarantee the highest quality work in York County because we don’t deliver anywhere else…….and we really don’t want to.