Vermont Fuel Rebate Program

FredsenergyLYNDONVILLE- The Vermont Fuel Dealers Association Executive Board has authorized a rebate program, offering $250 cash back to Vermont residents who qualify for a new heatoil or kerosene tank.

The Vermont Fuel Tank Rebate Program, which utilizes the National Oil-heat Research Association Safety and Efficiency Grant was created after the State's Petroleum Cleanup fund was giving away more money than it was gaining.

According to the Agency of Natural Resources, the fund spent over $1 million providing assistance to tank owners for upgrades and cleanups.

So, the State came up with an inspection program which came into effect in August of last year. Vermont law requires all above-ground fuel oil tanks that are residential or commercial to be inspected at least once every three years.

Greg Hopkins, manager of Fred's Energy says, "Pretty much it's having the dealers looking at the oil tanks to make sure they don't look like they're going to be leaking, or unstable, that there isn't going to be an issue with them." The dealers are to make sure the tanks aren't rusted, old, and have the proper piping going to the furnace. Hopkins says the inspection program is a way to get rid of all the bad tanks.

There are five guidelines the dealers have to check off, and when a tank doesn't pass inspection, the tank must be red-tagged. "Once a tank is red tagged it eliminates any dealer in the state from filling the tank, it's not just us."

When a tank gets red-tagged it means it must be replaced, which can be a costly expense. Hopkins says for a complete replacement, someone could spend anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000. The EPA of Vermont has a fund of $400,000 that is designated for grants to replace tanks.

But when the inspection program first started, Hopkins says, "Once they put this into effect that year, within 30 days the fund was gone because they found so many bad tanks all at once." With the rebate program offering $250 for all eligible candidates, it won't cover the full cost, but it will help people offset if they need to replace their tanks.

All applications for the Vermont Fuel Dealers Rebate Program applications must be submitted by November 1, 2018 and will have until July 31, 2020 to get their first tank inspection.

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