YCQM: September 8, 2013 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: September 8, 2013

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Announcer: FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. THANKS FOR JOINING US. I'M KRISTEN CARLSON. TODAY ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME," WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HOW TO HEAT YOUR HOME WITH MATT COTA, THE VERMONT FUEL DEALERS ASSOCIATION. A BUSY TIME FOR YOU, FOR THEM AS WELL PLANNING FOR WHAT WE KNOW IS COMING, WINTER. THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANKS FOR INVITING ME.

>> I'D LIKE TO START WITH BIG ENERGY NEWS ABOUT A WEEK AGO OR SO, VERMONT YANKEE ANNOUNCING THAT IT'S SHUTTING DOWN AND IN PART IT BLAMES LOW NATURAL GAS PRICES. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE TO YOU?

>> WELL, IN TERMS OF LOW NATURAL GAS PRICES, CERTAINLY OVER THE LAST COUPLE YEARS NATURAL GAS PRICES HAVE BEEN LOW DUE TO ALL THE DRILLING IN THE SHALE AND PENNSYLVANIA AND ALL THE AREAS OF THE ATLANTIC.

>> TALKING ABOUT HYDRO FRACKING.

>> YES, AND WE'VE SEEN THAT, BUT THIS IS A BUBBLE THAT WILL BURST. IT BECOMES COST WROTE LIB STIFF FOR THESE -- FRO HIBTIVE FOR THESE COMPANIES TO CONTINUE TO FRACK FOR GAS BECAUSE THEY CAN'T TURN A PROFIT.

>> WHAT AREA?

>> 20 YEARS AGO, WE THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO RUN OUT OF NATURAL GAS HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. THAT'S WHY WE HAVE ALL THESE IMPORT TERMINALS FOR BRING IN GAS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES AND NOW THE OPPOSITE IS HAPPENING. NOW WE HAVE THE GAS THROUGH HYDRAULIC FRACKING AND IT NEEDS A PLACE TO GO, AND GAS ISN'T EASILY TRANSPORTABLE LIKE OIL IS, SO NOW THEY'RE TRYING TO TURN THE IMPORT TERMINALS INTO EXPORT TERMINALS AND SELL THE GAS TO OTHER COUNTRIES BECAUSE IT'S NOT PROFITABLE TO DRILL AS MUCH AS THEY'RE DRILLING, SO IT'S ONLY NATURAL THAT PRICES WILL GO UP WHEN IT COMES TO GAS.

>> SO WAS YANKEE'S DECISION PREMATURE?

>> I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEIR PHILOSOPHY IS ABOUT THAT, BUT I CAN TELL YOU AS ANY BUSINESS, CURRENT PRESSURES HAVE A WAY OF INFLUENCING YOUR DECISION AND THE CURRENT COST STRUCTURE, CERTAINLY IT INFLUENCES THAT.

>> AND TALK ABOUT A BUBBLE BURSTING. WE'VE HEARD SOME FOLKS FROM THE NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY THAT DON'T SHARE THOSE CONCERNS THAT YOU DO. WHEN DO YOU SEE THIS HAPPENING AND MAYBE THIS LOW PRICE RIDE WE'VE BEEN ON WITH NATURAL GAS COULD CHANGE?

>> IT COULD HAPPEN IN THE VERY NEAR TERM AND IT HAPPENS WITH ALL ENERGY PRODUCTS.

>> NEAR TERM IS?

>> THE NEXT FIVE TO TEN YEARS. THIS IS HAPPENING WITH ALL ENERGY PRODUCTS. CERTAINLY HAPPENED 100 YEARS AGO IN TITUSVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA, WITH THE DISCOVERY OF OIL. WHEN THERE ISN'T A PLACE FOR THAT PRODUCT TO GO, AND GAS IS PARTICULARLY DIFFICULT BECAUSE IT HAS TO BE PIPED OR GO THROUGH AN EXPENSIVE PROCESS OF BECOMING LIQUIFIED, SO THE ISSUE IS WERE THERE TOO MANY WELLS DRILLED OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS, TOO MUCH LAND BOUGHT UP? I THINK THE OIL COMPANIES WILL TELL YOU YES, OIL AND GAS COMPANIES WHO ARE DRILLING FOR THIS PRODUCT. WHAT THEY'RE SAYING IS WE HAVE TO CLOSE SOME OF THESE WELLS, SLOW DOWN OUR DRILLING. IT'S NOT THE BONANZA WE THOUGHT BECAUSE AS MUCH GAS THAT'S COMING OUT OF THE GROUND, WE CAN'T SELL FOR IT PRICE THAT MAKES A PROFIT, SO THE PRICE HAS TO INCREASE.

>> WELL, OF COURSE, YOU'RE SAYING THIS BECAUSE YOU GUYS ARE XET STORES.

>> CERTAINLY WE'RE COMPETITORS, BUT THE REALITY IS WE'RE SEEING THE GAS DRILLING FROM PENNSYLVANIA, WE SEEING MANY OF THE RESOURCES OF THE BIG OIL COMPANIES GO OUT TO MONTANA AND WESTERN DAKOTA AND CANADA WHERE WE SEE THE NEXT PRODUCTION. EXPERTS HAVE SEEN BY 2020, THAT NORTH AMERICA COULD BE ENTIRELY SELF SUFFICIENT BECAUSE WE WON'T HAVE TO RELY ON MIDDLE EAST OIL EVER AGAIN.

>> WHICH ALSO COMES WITH CONTROVERSY.

>> OF COURSE, ABSOLUTELY. SO THE QUESTION IS, WHAT ARE THE TRADEOFFS TO PRODUCING MORE OIL HERE DOMESTICALLY AND NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ISSUES THAT ARE HAPPENING IN FAR OFF LANDS VERSUS THE ENVIRONMENTAL TRADEOFF. THAT'S CERTAINLY SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE DISCUSSED BECAUSE IT IS A GREAT CONSEQUENCE BOTH ON OUR ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL LIFE.

>> BEFORE WE MOVE OFF OF NATURAL GAS, ONE MORE QUESTION. AS YOU KNOW, VERMONT GAS IS TRYING TO PROPOSE AN EXTENDED PIPELINE THROUGH CORNWALL, MIDDLEBURY, A LOT OF THESE AREAS. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?

>> THE VERMONT FUEL DEALERS ASSOCIATION, THE ORGANIZATION I REPRESENT, HAS ACHIEVED PARTY STATUS. WE'RE AN INTERVENOR IN THE CASE BEFORE THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD WHICH BEGINS IN SEPTEMBER AND THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD DEEMED IT ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE THAT THE DELIVERABLE FUEL INDUSTRY HAVE A SAY BECAUSE MUCH OF THE DISCUSSION THAT HAS COME OUT OF THE NATURAL GAS UTILITY WITH REGARDS TO OUR PRODUCT HAS NOT BEEN ENTIRELY ACCURATE. PREDICTIONS OF COST SAVINGS AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS, THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD SEEMED IT IMPORTANT TO HEAR THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY BECAUSE WE THINK WE HAVE A VERY POWERFUL ARGUMENT THAT SHOWS THAT THE PRODUCTS THAT WE SELL, THE DELIVERABLES WE SELL IS BOTH FROM AN ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL PERSPECTIVE BETTER THAN THEIR PRODUCT.

>> AS KRISTEN HAD MENTIONED, THE PROPOSED PIPELINE THAT WILL GO EVENTUALLY, IF IT GETS ALL THE GREEN LIGHTS, HAS CLEARED YET ANOTHER HURDLE BY A REGIONAL PLANNER SAYING THAT, YEAH, BRING IT IN. EVENTUALLY THIS WOULD, IF ALL GOES AS PLANNED WITH VERMONT GAS, CROSS UNDERNEATH LAKE CHAMPLAIN AND OVER TO THE TICONDEROGA MILL. THEY'RE SAYING THAT PEOPLE WOULD THEN HAVE THE ACCESS TO HOOK UP RIGHT FROM THEIR HOMES AND THAT WOULD SAVE THEM MONEY. YOU DISAGREE WITH THAT THOUGH? YOU THINK THAT DELIVERY TO HOMES IS MORE COST EFFECTIVE THAN HOOKING UP RIGHT OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE?

>> WE OFTEN FIND THAT THERE'S -- IN THE COMMUNICATIONS THAT WE'VE HEARD, IS THAT THE PRICE, LOOKING JUST SOLELY AT THE PRICE, BUT YOU NEED TO LOOK MORE AT THE CURRENT PRICE PER GALLON VERSUS THE CURRENT COST PER THERM. WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING AT CONVERSIONS, YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THE CONVERSION COST. YOU CAN'T JUST PLUG IN YOUR GAS LINE INTO YOUR EXISTING HEATING INFRASTRUCTURE. YOU HAVE TO SWAP THAT OUT AND REPLACE THE OIL TANK. BETWEEN 10 AND $12,000 IT WILL COST TO CONVERT OIL-HEATED HOMES TO GAS-HEATED HOMES. THE PAYBACK DOESN'T HAPPEN FOR SIX TO SEVEN YEARS AT CURRENT PRICES. THAT'S ON TOP OF ALL THE FEES THAT GAS UTILITIES CHARGE WHICH HEATING COMPANIES DON'T. YOU'RE PRESUPPOSING THAT THE PAYOFF WILL BE IN SIX TO EIGHT YEARS AND YOU'RE BETTING THAT THE PRICE STRUCTURES WE TALKED ABOUT IN PERPETUITY. NO ENERGY PRICES EXIST IN THE SAME STRUCTURE. 20 YEARS AGO, WE THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO RUN OUT OF NATURAL GAS HERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND WE SPENT BILLIONS OF DOLLARS BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE TO IMPORT GAS. NOW WE'RE SAYING WE HAVE LOTS OF GAS AND THE PRICE IS GOING TO STAY LOW FOREVER, I DON'T BUY IT.

>> YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT CONCERNS YOU HAVE IN NATURAL GAS AND COSTS AND A LOT OF VERMONTERS ARE PAYING ATTENTION TO FRIES IF THEY HEAT -- TO PRICE IF THEY'RE HEATING WITH HOME HEATING FUEL. WHAT ARE THE PRICING LOOKING LIKE THIS WINTER?

>> IT'S DIFFICULT TO SAY WHAT THEY WILL BE IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY AND DECEMBER. THOSE ARE THE THREE BUSIEST MONTHS THAT WE HAVE. PRICES ARE NOT AS HIGH AS THEY'VE EVER BEEN, BUT THEY ARE HISTORICALLY HIGH RIGHT NOW. AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER ARE MONTHS WHERE MANY PEOPLE START PLANNING AHEAD FOR THE WINTER, AS THE KIDS GO TO SCHOOL, THEY START THINKING, WHAT MONEY DO I HAVE, SHOULD I PRE-BUY, SHOULD I GET INTO A BUDGET PROGRAM, GET A CAP PRICE? THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO BUY THE HEATING FUEL FOR THE WINTER AND MANY DIFFERENT COMPANIES THAT PROVIDE THE SERVICE. THAT'S THE BEAUTY OF THE COMPETITIVE FUELS MARKET. THERE'S A GREAT COMPETITIVE INFRASTRUCTURE THERE, SO IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE CURRENT PRICE, YOU CAN FIND ANOTHER PERSON THAT WILL PROVIDE IT. THE GREAT THING ABOUT THIS ISSUE IS THAT, YES, THERE ARE -- YOU CAN BUY YOUR FUEL IN THE SUMMER, BUT YOU CAN BUY IT IN THE WINTER, BUY IT AFTER YOU RECEIVE IT, BUY IT BEFORE. THERE'S MANY DIFFERENT WAYS TO PURCHASE YOUR HEATING FUEL FOR THE WINTER. RIGHT NOW WE'RE ENTERING THE PRE-BUY SEASON, SO MANY FUEL COMPANIES ARE VERY BUSY, EVEN THOUGH IT'S A HOT MONTH, PEOPLE ARE BUSY TRYING TO DETERMINE, YOU KNOW, WHAT PRICE TO OFFER THEIR CUSTOMERS AND THE CUSTOMERS ARE COMING IN TO THE OFFICE AND SEEING WHAT'S THE BEST DEAL.

>> IF I'M HEARING WHAT YOU'RE SAYING HERE, THE PRICES ARE HIGH RIGHT NOW WHEN PEOPLE HAVE TO MAKE THOSE DECISIONS, BUT LATER YOU'RE EXPECTING THEM TO COME DOWN?

>> I DON'T HAVE A CRYSTAL BALL, I WISH I DID.

>> I WISH YOU DID TOO.

>> I WAS TALKING WITH DARREN, I OFTEN GET CALLS RIGHT AROUND THIS TIME FROM PEOPLE I SPOKEN TO IN A YEAR, ASKING ME THE SAME QUESTION, SAYING, MATT, YOU THINK I SHOULD PRE-BUY? AND THE ANSWER IS I DON'T HAVE A CRYSTAL BALL. I CAN TELL YOU IF YOU PREBUY, THAT'S A GUARANTEE THAT'S THE PRICE YOU PAY, BUT NOT A GUARANTEE THAT YOU SAVE. IN MANY CASES, PRE-BUYING IS A WAY TO SAVE MONEY, BUT THERE HAVE BEEN EXAMPLES THAT THE PRICE IN THE WINTER IS LESS THAN THE PRICE IN THE SUMMER AND THAT'S BECAUSE OUR PRODUCT IS REALLY AFFECTED BY THE GLOBAL MARKET AND WHAT'S HAPPENING. SO IF THERE'S NEWS ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE ECONOMY, THAT HAS AN EFFECT ON FUEL PRICES. WHAT'S INTERESTING, THOUGH, AND WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS FOR NEARLY A DECADE NOW, THAT THE PRICE OF THE FUEL OF ENERGY IS REALLY DIVORCED FROM FUNDAMENTALS IN MANY CASES BECAUSE OF THE ROLE OF WALL STREET TRADERS. WALL STREET TRADERS HAVE AN EFFECT OF PUSHING UP THE PRICE OF FUEL. THERE'S A SPECULATIVE PREMIUM IN MANY WAYS. THAT'S THE PRICE WE PAY AS INCREASED BECAUSE THERE'S SO MUCH TRADING OF THE PAPER COMMODITY, NOT THE PHYSICAL COMMODITY, WHICH HAS DRIVEN UP THE PRICE.

>> WELL, SENATOR SANDERS, I KNOW THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT AND TALKING TO PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON, IS THERE ANY MOVEMENT ON THIS ISSUE?

>> WELL, NEARLY A DECADE AGO WHEN WE STARTED QUESTIONING THIS, PEOPLE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT. SENATOR SANDERS, CONGRESSMAN WELCH AND MANY OTHERS IN WASHINGTON HAVE REALLY PUT A FOCUS ON IT AND THE 2010 DODD-FRANK ACT REALLY ADDRESSED HOW TO FIX THIS FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM. IF WE'RE AROUND PAPER TRADERS TO INFLUENCE THE PRICE OF THE PRODUCT AND PAPER TRADERS WILL NEVER TAKE PHYSICAL DELIVERY OF THE PRODUCT, BUT ARE JUST BETTING WHETHER IT GOES UP OR DOWN, WHETHER HAS AN EFFECT OF INCREASING THE VOLATILITY, INCREASING THE PRICE, AND ADDING A SPECULATIVE PREMIUM, IF WE CAN REMOVE THEMENT FROM THE MARKET PLACE AS WE HAVE INTENDED TO, WE'LL ACHIEVE A GREAT THING AND LOWER PRICES FOR ALL AMERICANS.

>> BUT HOW MUCH?

>> BUT THE ISSUE IS THOSE RULES, THOSE REGULATIONS HAVE NOT GONE INTO EFFECT BECAUSE WALL STREET IS VERY EFFECTIVE AT BLOCKING THEIR IMPLEMENTATION, SO WHILE WE'RE HAPPY THAT WE'VE HAD FOCUS AND ATTENTION AND LAWS PASSED THAT ADDRESS THIS ISSUE, THE REALITY IS THAT THEY HAVE NOT DONE THE JOB AS WE INTENDED BECAUSE THE LOBBYISTS FOR THE BIG BANKS AND THE TRADERS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO EFFECTIVELY BLOCK THEIR IMPLEMENTATION. HOW MUCH DOES IT AFFECT? WE WOULD USE THE DATA FROM THE TRADERS THEMSELVES. GOLD MAN SACKS WAS THE SPECULATIVE PREMIUM IS 50 CENTS TO A BUCK.

>> SHOULD VIEWERS AT HOME WATCH THIS LIKE THE STOCK MARKET, IF THEY SEE PRICES COME UP FOR PROPANE OR HOME HEATING OIL, IT'S TIME TO BUY AND WHAT'S A GOOD NUMBER? WHAT MAKES SENSE FOR FOLK AT HOME? WHEN DO THEY JUMP IN AND PRE-BUY?

>> WELL, PRE-BUYS COME IN THE SUMMERTIME, SO YOU'RE LOCKED INTO THIS TWO OR THREE-MONTH PERIOD WHERE FUEL DEALERS HAVE IT. YOU'RE LOCKED INTO WHAT THAT PRICE IS RIGHT NOW AND, AGAIN, THAT MAY CHANGE THE NEXT WEEK OR IT MAY GO UP, MAY GO DOWN, SO IT'S REALLY WHAT YOU -- THE ADVANTAGE OF PRE-BUYING, AND I'VE ONLY SAID THIS WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME SHOULD I PRE-BUY, SHOULD I NOT PRE-BUY, IS CHECK YOUR GU, DO YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT THAT. BUT NUMBER ONE, DO YOU FEEL, ONCE YOU PRE-BUY, YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT IT. YOUR WHOLE HEATING SEASON IS TAKEN CARE OF AND FOR MANY PEOPLE, THAT PEACE OF MIND IS WORTH A CENT OR TWO THAT THEY WOULD HAVE GOTTEN IF THEY WAITED, BECAUSE WE'RE NOT SURE WHETHER THE MARKET IS GOING TO GO UP FIVE CENTS OR DOWN FIVE CENTS FROM WEEK TO WEEK. WE HAVE TO RIDE IT OUT WITH HER CUSTOMERS AND THAT'S WHY WE'VE BEEN SO INVOLVED WITH THIS SPECULATION ISSUE BECAUSE HIGH PRICES HURT US. HIGH PRICES MEAN PEOPLE HAVE A HARD TIME PAYING. WE HAVE TO BORROW MONEY TO BUY THE FUEL AND SELL IT AND WE HAVE TO GET PAID BACK. HIGHER PRICES MEAN PEOPLE USE LESS, PEOPLE HAVE A HARDER TIME PAYING AND WE HAVE A HARD TIME PAYING FOR THE WHOLESALE COST, SO LOWER PRIPES, WHOLESALE PRICES ARE IMPORTANT TO US JUST AS MUCH AS THEY ARE TO OUR CUSTOMERS.

>> WHAT'S A GOOD PRICE THOUGH? FOR FOLKS AT HOME, WHEN DO YOU THINK THEY SHOULD BUY? IF THEY'RE LOOKING AT THIS PRE-BUY TIME AND WHEN DO THEY JUMP IN?

>> IT DEPENDS ON WHAT PRODUCT WE'RE TALKING AND WHAT SERVICES COME WITH IT, BUT GENERALLY SPEAKING, THE PRE-BUY PRICES AVAILABLE NOW, THEY AREN'T GOOD, BUT THAT'S NOT A GUARANTEE THAT YOU'RE GOING TO PAY LESS IF YOU SIMPLY WAITED UNTIL DECEMBER. AS WE'VE ALWAYS SAID, IT'S A CONTRACT, AN AGREEMENT. WHEN YOU SIGN A PRE-BUY, YOU'RE AGREEING TO PAY A CERTAIN PRICE PER GALLON AND THAT FUEL DEALER IS THEN GOING INTO THE MARKET PLACE AND PURCHASING THEIR PRODUCT WHOLESALE TO PROVIDE THAT SERVICE SO THEY HAVE THE OIL ON HAND WHEN YOU NEED IT, WHICH IS IN DECEMBER, JANUARY, FEBRUARY. WILL THAT PRICE BE CHEAPER IF YOU WAITED AND DIDN'T PRE-BUY? IT COULD BE. WILL IT BE MORE EXPENSIVE? IT COULD BE. TRADITIONALLY IT'S CHEAPER TO FREE-BUY IN THE SUMMER, BUT THERE'S SEVERAL EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE. PRE-BUY REALLY IS A SMALL PART OF THE MARKETPLACE. THE MAJORITY OF CUSTOMERS OF OIL HEAT, OF WHICH MORE THAN HALF ARE OIL HEAT CUSTOMERS, SIMPLY PAY THEIR PRODUCT IN TERMS, MEANING THEY GET A DELIVERY AND WITHIN THE TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT, TEN DAYS, 20 DAYS, 30 DAYS, THEY SETTLE UP. SO ALSO A NECESSITY OF CHOICE, PAY BEFORE THEY DELIVER, BECAUSE THEY WANT TO SHOP AROUND, BUT A SMALL PART OF THE MARKET IS FOCUSED, HYPERFOCUSED THIS SUMMER, TALKING ABOUT PRE-BUYS BECAUSE IT'S A BIT OF A GUESSING GAME. THIS WILL BE THE BEST PRICE? WE CAN'T OFFER THAT GUARANTEE, BUT THERE ARE OTHER PROGRAMS BESIDES PRE-BUYING. CAP PROGRAMS OR HEDGING PROGRAMS IN WHICH YOU PAY A SMALL PREMIUM AND YOU'RE GUARANTEED YOUR PRICE WILL NEVER GO OVER A CERTAIN AMOUNT OR YOU CAN BUY DOWNSIDE PROTECTION, SO IF THE PRICE GOES DOWN, YOUR PRICE FLOATS WITH THAT. BUDGET PAYMENTS ARE FAR MORE POPULAR THESE DAYS THAN THEY HAVE EVER BEEN AND THAT'S BECAUSE YOU CAN SPREAD YOUR PAYMENTS OUT OVER A 10-MONTH PERIOD OR 12-MONTH PERIOD SO YOU'RE NOT WRITING ONE LARGE CHECK WHEN THE FIRST DELIVERY COMES AND YOU CAN SPREAD THAT.

>> WE'RE TALKING, AS YOU CAN TELL, ABOUT KEEPING WARM THIS WINTER AND PLANNING ICE. WE'RE TALKING TO MATT COTA, THE HEFD OF THE VERMONT FUEL DEALERS ASSOCIATION. SO MATT, EARLIER YOU WERE MENTIONING HOW HIGH PRICES ARE ACTUALLY NOT GOOD FOR THE FUEL DELIVERY COMPANIES.

>> RIGHT.

>> AND THAT SOUNDS SO COUNTERINTUITIVE TO EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE CHARGE MORE, WE MAKE MORE MONEY.

>> SURE.

>> IT ALMOST DOESN'T PASS THE SMELL TEST, BUT YIER SAYING WHEN THE PRICES ARE HIGH, NO ONE IS MAKING MORE MONEY.

>> NO, THE PEOPLE THAT PRODUCE THE FUEL AND THE SPECULATORS THAT ARE THE MIDDLE MEN CERTAINLY MAKE MORE MONEY, BUT THE COMPANIES THAT THE VERMONT FUEL DEALERS ASSOCIATION REPRESENTS ARE THE MEN AND WOMEN THAT ARE THE LAST STOP BEFORE IT GETS TO YOUR STAINING. THEY'RE THE RETAILERS -- YOUR TANK. THEY'RE THE RETAILERS. THEY SIMPLY PROVIDE THE SERVICE BY GETTING IT FROM THE WHOLESALE MARKET INTO YOUR HOME TANK FOR HEATING FUEL. HIGH PRICES DO AFFECT THEM SUBSTANTIALLY. THEY HAVE TO BORROW MONEY TO PURCHASE THAT WHOLESALE FUEL AND THEY'RE GETTING PAID BACK ON CREDIT TERMS, SO THE HIGHER THE PRICE, THE LONGER -- THE BIGGER THE NOTE THEY HAVE TO CARRY. FEWER PEOPLE WILL PURCHASE FUEL, THEY WILL FIND WAYS TO REDUCE, AS WE'VE SEEN. WE'VE SEEN CONSUMPTION DROP DRAMATICALLY AND WE'RE IN A VOLUME BUSINESS. IN 1970, 40 YEARS AGO, 43 YEARS AGO, VERMONTERS CONSUMED 162 MILLION GALLONS OF HEATING OIL. THE AVERAGE HOME USED ABOUT 1600 GALLONS OF HEATING FUEL BACK IN 1970. TODAY WE'LL PROBABLY USE ABOUT 65 MILLION WHEN THE FINAL TALLY IS UP THIS WINTER, A DROP OF 100 MILLION GALLONS. THE PER HOME CONSUMPTION HAS GONE DOWN SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 600 AND 700 GALLONS. IT'S HAPPENING BECAUSE WE'RE SELLING A BETTER FUEL, A CLEANER, GREENER FUEL. THE EQUIPMENT THAT BURNS THE FUEL IS SO MUCH MORE SOPHISTICATED THAN IT WAS 20, 30, 40 YEARS AGO. WE KNOW MORE ABOUT BUILDING SCIENCE TODAY THAN WE EVER DID, FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS TO INSULATION AND AIR SEALING, THERE'S AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY DEDICATED TO SAVING CONSUMERS MONEY. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH OUR BUSY BUSINESS MODEL? AS YOU SELL LESS, YOUR PROFTS ARE SQUEEZED AND IT'S THE SAME THING THAT'S HAPPENING IN THE GASOLINE INDUSTRY. IN THE GASOLINE INDUSTRY, WE'RE SELLING FAR LESS GASOLINE BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE GETTING HIGHER MILE PER GAL LON CARS AND DRIVING LESS AND AS A RESULT, AS YOUR VOLUME DECREASES, SO DOES YOUR PROFIT?

>> ISN'T THAT GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?

>> ABSOLUTELY, ABSOLUTELY. AND WE'RE IN THE BUSINESS OF ADAPTING. WE'RE NOT OIL COMPANIES, WE'RE ENERGY COMPANIES. 100 YEARS AGO, MANY OF THE SAME COMPANIES WITH THE NAMES ON THE TRUCKS THAT YOU SEE TODAY WERE COAL AND ICE COMPANIES, BUT WE ALL GOT KEROSENE BURNERS AND REFRIGERATORS. WE STARTED SELLING PROFANE AND WOOD WELL LETS AND BIODIESEL, THESE ARE FUNDAMENTALLY ENERGY COMPANIES IN THE BUSINESS OF DELIVERING ENERGY TO YOUR HOME AND BECAUSE OF THAT, THEY WILL ADAPT TO THE TIMES AND THEY CONTINUE TO DO.

>> THERE'S A NEW COMPANY, I'M SURE YOU'VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT, ENERGY ADVANTAGE, TRYING TO GET NATURAL GAS IN A DELIVERABLE STATE IN TRUCKS TO THE HOME. YOU MENTIONED HOW THE INDUSTRY EVOLVES OVER THE DECADES. IS THIS SOMETHING THAT ANY OF YOUR FOLKS ARE INTERESTED IN GETTING INVOLVED IN?

>> ENERGY ADVANTAGE IS A MEMBER OF THE VFDA AND THERE ARE COMPANIES INTERESTED IN DOING SIMILAR THINGS WITH COMPRESSED OR LIQUID NATURAL GAS. THE THING IS THE INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF ENERGY AND GAS IT TAKES TO GET IT TO THE STATE, SO WHERE IT MAY MAKE SENSE FOR LARGE INDUSTRIAL USERS, IT WON'T MAKE SENSE FOR SMALL HOMEOWNERS, ESPECIALLY SINCE AS WE DISCUSSED EARLIER, THE AMOUNT OF CONSUMPTION PER HOME HAS DROPPED SO DRAMATICALLY. WE'VE DROPPED, THE REDUCTION OF HEATING OIL, 61%. THAT'S FAR BETTER THAN A UTILITY IN TERMS OF THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND WHY IS THAT HAPPENING? THAT'S BECAUSE OF THE COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE. PEOPLE DON'T CALM THE OFFICES OF THEIR -- CALL THE OFFICES OF THEIR FUEL DEALER AND SAY HOW CAN I BURN MORE OF YOUR PRODUCT? THEY CALL ASKING HOW CAN I BURN LESS AND AS A RESULT, THE COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE HAS TAKEN OVER. IF YOU DO NOT GIVE YOUR CUSTOMER AN OPPORTUNITY TO SOLVE THAT QUESTION FOR THEM, THEY WILL GO TO SOMEONE ELSE, SO MANY COMPANIES ARE NOW DIVERSIFYING INTO THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY BUSINESS BECAUSE THEY REALIZE I WOULD MUCH RATHER SELL MY CUSTOMER FEWER GALLONS AND KEEP THEM AS A CUSTOMER, THAN HAVE THEM GO TO A COMPETITOR OR CONVERT FOR ANOTHER FUEL.

>> I WAS GOING TO ASK YOU ABOUT THAT. YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT CONSUMPTION BEING SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER, HOMES BEING BUTTONED UP BETTER AND YOU FOLKS HAVE NOW PARTNERED WITH EFFICIENCY VERMONT, AND THAT'S THEIR M.O., WHICH IS TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF FUEL WE'RE USING, AND IT SEEMS LIKE WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT WHEN YOU'RE USING LESS OF THE PRODUCT THAT YOUR FOLKS ARE SELLING. IT SOUNDS LIKE IT'S BECAUSE IT'S A NEW AVENUE, A NEW WAY TO DO BUSINESS AND GET PEOPLE THOSE ANSWERS YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT?

>> THAT'S RIGHT, DARREN. THAT'S A BIG HURDLE TO OVERCOME. THE REALITYIES ARE SO LONG. THIS ENERGY HAS BEEN AROUND FOR OVER 100 YEARS IN VERMONT. THERE'S A REASON THAT HALF OF VERMONTERS USE THIS PRODUCT AND THAT'S BECAUSE IT WORKS. IT SAFE AND CLEAN.

>> THAT'S WHAT YOU SAY. I'M SURE SOME WOULD TAKE ISSUE WITH THE CLEAN.

>> BUT THEY DON'T WANT TO USE MORE OF IT THAN THEY HAVE TO. AND BECAUSE IT'S A COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY, BECAUSE IT'S NOT A UTILITY, BECAUSE THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE FIGHTING FOR YOUR BUSINESS, IF WE DON'T PROVIDE THAT SERVICE, SOMEONE ELSE WILL, SO HERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE IT A PART OF YOUR BUSINESS, AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE BUSINESS BECAUSE WE'VE SEEN THE NUMBERS DECLINE, WE'VE SEEN PEOPLE USE LESS, AND WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT IS NOT THAT WE SELL THEM THE MOST AMOUNT OF GALLONS, BUT THAT WE KEEP THEM AS A CUSTOMER. THIS ISN'T ABOUT ONE-TIME SALE, THIS IS ABOUT KEEPING CUSTOMERS FOR MULTIPLE YEARS, AND THE WAY TO DO THAT IN TODAY'S ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT, TODAY'S MARKETPLACE, IS TO PROVIDE THESE SERVICES WHICH ALLOW THEM TO DO THAT AND STILL USE YOUR CORE PRODUCT, BUT USE LESS OF IT AND KEEP THEM AS A CUSTOMER. THAT'S A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN THE BUSINESS MODEL, I AGREE. I AGREE WITH YOU, BUT IT'S SOMETHING THAT IS OCCURRING NOT ONLY HERE IN VERMONT, BUT ACROSS NEW ENGLAND.

>> SO WHAT ARE YOU DOING THEN WITH EFFICIENCY VERMONT?

>> SURE. WE'RE PART OF A PROGRAM CALLED THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY NETWORK, IN WHICH CASE IT'S IMPORTANT THAT MANY FUEL COMPANIES JUST SELL FUEL, MANY PROVIDE 24-HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE, BUT MANY DO FAR MORE. THEY PROVIDE PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL WORK. THEY DIVERSIFIED INTO PROVIDING EFFICIENCY SERVICES. MANY CAPES, THEY PARTNER -- CASES, THEY PARTNER UP WITH A BUILDING PERFORMANCE CONTRACTOR THAT WILL HELP BUTTON UP A HOME, SO OFTENTIMES AS A CONSUMER, WHO DO YOU CALL? WHO DO YOU CALL WHEN YOU DECIDE I WANT TO USE LESS OR USE A DIFFERENT FUEL. I WANT TO KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS, BUT YOU'RE LEFT WITH THE QUESTION, WHO'S THE BEST SOURCE FOR THIS? AND WE WOULD ARGUE THAT MANY OF OUR FULL-SERVICE COMPANIES ARE THE BEST SOURCE FOR THE MECHANICAL SYSTEM IN THE BASEMENT. THERE'S NO QUESTION, THEY HAVE GONE THROUGH THE TRAINING AND SCHOOLING AND THEY HAVE THE CREDENTIAL BY THE STATE OF VERMONT IN ORDER TO WORK ON THE MECHANICAL SYSTEM, THEY UNDERSTAND HOW IT WORKS AND THEY WILL PROVIDE THE BESS INFORMATION FOR YOU IN TERMS OF WHETHER YOU SHOULD CONVERT FOR A DIFFERENT TYPE OF PRODUCT, WHETHER YOU SHOULD UPGRADE YOUR FURNACE OR BOILER, BUT OUR COMPANIES ARE NOW STARTING TO LEARN WHAT IT TAKES TO PROPERLY AIR SEAL BUILDINGS, BECAUSE REALLY, WHEN YOU LOOK AT A HOME, YOU SHOULD HAVE A WHOLE HOME CONCEPT. NOT JUST ABOUT THE MECHANICAL, BUT ABOUT THE AIR SEALING. IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THAT AND BE CREDIBLE IS TO WORK TOGETHER WITH THE AIR SEALERS, EFFICIENCY VERMONT, AND THE FULL-SERVICE FUEL COMPANIES THAT KNOW HOW YOUR SYSTEM OPERATES AND THAT'S WHAT WE STARTED THIS PARTNERSHIP WITH EFFICIENCY VERMONT AND WITH THESE FULL-SERVICE COMPANIES, THAT IS GOING TO BEAR REAL FRUIT.

>> THE STATE RECENTLY MARKED THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF TROPICAL STORM IRENE AND I'M WONDERING IF THE FUEL DEALERS ASSOCIATION LEARNED ANYTHING DURING THAT STORM THAT MIGHT HELP THEM MOVING FORWARD.

>> YES, TWO YEARS AGO WHEN WE TALK ABOUT IT, I PLAYED A TINY, TINY ROLE JUST COORDINATING BETWEEN THE EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVIDERS AND THE FUEL COMPANIES BECAUSE THERE WAS A BIG QUESTION, HOW DO WE GET THE ENERGY WHERE IT NEEDS TO GO. THE FUEL, THE PROPANE, THE HEATING OIL, THE DIESEL WHICH POWERS THE GENERATORS THAT RUN THE CELL PHONE TOWERS, THAT ALLOWS YOU TO RUN YOUR GENERATORS, MANY CASES, ESPECIALLY IN PITTSFIELD, ONE OF OUR COMPANIES, YOU KNOW, THEIR GARAGE SERVED AS SORT OF A PLACE WHERE EVERYONE CONGREGATED, WHERE PEOPLE COULD CHARGE UP THEIR CELL PHONE, POST THINGS ON A BUM LET CONTINUE BOARD AND -- BULLETIN BOARD AND WE WERE SUCH A COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY, HYPERCOMPETITIVE, BUT WHEN THAT HAPPENED, YOU SAW COMPETITORS HELPING EACH OTHER OUT WITH FUEL, HELPING THEM OUT WITH THEIR KURMS, MAKING SURE THEIR CUSTOMERS WERE SUPPLIED SO THE GENERATORS COULD KEEP GOING AND THE FUEL COULD GO TO THE DUMP STRUX AND BACKHOES TO GET THE ROADS OPEN AGAIN AND IT HAD AN EFFECT ON ME THAT MADE ME REALIZE. THIS IS AN IDEA THAT WE CAN GO ALL ELECTRIC TO POWER OUR CARS AND HEAT OUR HOMES, BUT THE REALITY IS WE NEED THE DELIVERABLE FUEL INDUSTRY IN THESE TIMES IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THE ENERGY GETS WHERE IT NEEDS TO GO AND THE GREAT THING ABOUT THE DELIVERABLE FUEL INDUSTRY, THE MEN AND WOMEN I WORK FOR, IS MOST OF THEM ARE SECOND AND THIRD, FOURTH GENERATION FAMILY COMPANIES, SO WHEN DISASTER HAPPENS AS IT DID IN IRENE TWO YEARS AGO, THEY WERE HELPING OUT THEIR COMMUNITY. I MEAN, THEY KNOW THESE PEOPLE, AND SO WHEN THEY WORKED LATE AT NIGHT, THEY DIDN'T RAISE THE PRICES, THEY DIDN'T CHARGE EXTRA FEES, THEY WERE OUT THERE TO HELP THEIR COMMUNITY GET BACK ON ITS FEET BECAUSE THEY HAD A SERVICE, WHICH IS THEY KNOW HOW TO GET THE ENERGY WHERE IT NEEDS TO GO WHEN THE POWER LINES ARE DOWN AND THEY'RE THE ONES THAT GOT US UP AND RUNNING AGAIN.

>> YOU TALK ABOUT BEING ABLE TO REACH GENERATORS, TRYING TO KEEP THINGS POWERED, HELP THE STATE BE ABLE TO HAVE SOME OPERATION CENTERS. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU LEARNED THAT WASN'T WORKING THAT YOU GUYS MIGHT CHANGE IF THERE WAS ANOTHER DISASTER OR DID IT SEEM TO WORK AS YOU HAD HOPED?

>> WELL, THAT'S A VERY GOOD POINT, KRISTEN. WHAT CAME OUT OF IRENE TWO YEARS AGO WAS POLICIES TO ENSURE THAT OUR PRODUCTS HAVE A LESS -- WHEN DISASTER HITS, WHEN THE FLOOD WATERS RISE, THAT OUR EQUIPMENT, WHETHER IT'S PROPANE TANKS OR HEATING OIL TANKS, THAT THEY'RE PROPERLY SECURED. WE DEVELOPED, WORKING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND THE AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES, DEVELOPED RULES FOR HOW TANKS HAVE TO BE SET AND POSITIONS, ESPECIALLY IN FLOOD PLAINS.

>> IN HOMES YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, RIGHT? BECAUSE THERE WAS A LOT OF CONCERN WITH CONTAMINATION AND FLOATING.

>> RIGHT, SO COMING OUT OF THAT WERE SOME COMPREHENSIVE RULES WHICH ARE NOW, WE'RE SEEING ACTUALLY, DOING AMAZING WORK IN TERMS OF UPGRADING OLD TANKS, GETTING NEW TANKS IN, MAKING SURE THEY'RE PROPERLY SECURED, SO IF THAT TYPE OF INCIDENT DOES HAPPEN, THAT THE IMPACT OF OUR INDUSTRY, THE NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE INDUSTRY WILL BE FAR LESS.

>>> ALL RIGHT. MATT COTA WITH VERMONT FUEL DEALERS ASSOCIATION. WE'VE COVERED THE GAMUT. VERY QUICKLY, ARE YOU ON A PRE-BUY?

>> NO COMMENT.

>> OKAY, FAIR ENOUGH. STILL SOMETIME TO MAKE THE HEATING DECISIONS. WINTER IS COMING BACK. UNTIL NEXT SUNDAY, I'M KRISTEN CARLSON. HAVE A GREAT DAY.

>> SO LONG. CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY. CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC www.captionassociates.com

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Officer involved shooting in Bennington Police Dept.

    Officer involved shooting in Bennington Police Dept.

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:22 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:22:02 GMT
    Police say there has been an officer involved shooting inside the Bennington Police Department. It happened just before 9 Tuesday evening. Authorities are releasing very few details. But say the Bennington Police Chief has called in the Vermont State Police to investigate after an officer allegedly shot a man in the lobby of the police station. No word yet on what prompted the shooting. The injured man was taken to a hospital. Police would not comment on the severity of his injuries. Initial ...More >>
    Police say there has been an officer involved shooting inside the Bennington Police Department. It happened just before 9 Tuesday evening. Authorities are releasing very few details. But say the Bennington Police Chief has called in the Vermont State Police to investigate after an officer allegedly shot a man in the lobby of the police station. No word yet on what prompted the shooting. The injured man was taken to a hospital. Police would not comment on the severity of his injuries. Initial ...More >>
  • Champlain College housing plans put on hold

    Champlain College housing plans put on hold

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:22 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:22:42 GMT
    It's a fight that's pitting Champlain College against the Queen City. The school says it's not giving up on building more student housing, even after being denied land-use permits. Years ago, the college made a commitment to create housing for all students but that goal has hit a snag, with their recent construction plans on hold.The project would create more than 300 beds for Champlain students on St. Paul Street, but the Development Review Board denied the permits the college needed based o...More >>
    It's a fight that's pitting Champlain College against the Queen City. The school says it's not giving up on building more student housing, even after being denied land-use permits. Years ago, the college made a commitment to create housing for all students but that goal has hit a snag, with their recent construction plans on hold.The project would create more than 300 beds for Champlain students on St. Paul Street, but the Development Review Board denied the permits the college needed based o...More >>
  • Burlington school budget on it's way back to voters

    Burlington school budget on it's way back to voters

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:56 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:56:59 GMT
    A new Burlington school budget is on its way to voters that is more expensive and has more cuts than the last version.The board of finance approved a $67.6 million budget. On Town Meeting Day voters shot down a budget that was about a million dollars less than this new budget. After a recent audit that uncovered a $2.5 million dollar deficit, the board was forced to slash $2.5 million in programming and staff. School board chair Patrick Halladay acknowledges concerns about a larger budget wit...More >>
    A new Burlington school budget is on its way to voters that is more expensive and has more cuts than the last version.The board of finance approved a $67.6 million budget. On Town Meeting Day voters shot down a budget that was about a million dollars less than this new budget. After a recent audit that uncovered a $2.5 million dollar deficit, the board was forced to slash $2.5 million in programming and staff. School board chair Patrick Halladay acknowledges concerns about a larger budget wit...More >>
  • Amphibians on the move

    Amphibians on the move

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:23 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:23:09 GMT
    People across the state are helping out their amphibian friends on the move. Biologists say this annual salamander crawl happens on the first warm rainy nights of spring like Tuesday night. Over half a dozen of different critters from frogs to spotted salamanders travel to breeding grounds. But often, experts say, that means crossing busy roads which can be deadly for a large number of amphibians. But groups on Pond Road in Shelburne, are giving a helping hand to get the salamanders safely ac...More >>
    People across the state are helping out their amphibian friends on the move. Biologists say this annual salamander crawl happens on the first warm rainy nights of spring like Tuesday night. Over half a dozen of different critters from frogs to spotted salamanders travel to breeding grounds. But often, experts say, that means crossing busy roads which can be deadly for a large number of amphibians. But groups on Pond Road in Shelburne, are giving a helping hand to get the salamanders safely ac...More >>
  • Vermont man accused of identity theft

    Vermont man accused of identity theft

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:23 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:23:34 GMT
    A Vermont man is accused of using stolen identities in a scheme to defraud banks now faces federal charges. Prosecutors say 35-year-old Brian Wyer used identities of Ohio and Kansas residents to obtain two Vermont non-driver ID cards. He then allegedly used the fraudulent IDs to open bank accounts in Massachusetts withdrawing about $75,000. Wyer was indicted in Vermont in June and taken into custody by U.S. marshals in Illinois last month. During his arraignment Monday in Burlington the judge...More >>
    A Vermont man is accused of using stolen identities in a scheme to defraud banks now faces federal charges. Prosecutors say 35-year-old Brian Wyer used identities of Ohio and Kansas residents to obtain two Vermont non-driver ID cards. He then allegedly used the fraudulent IDs to open bank accounts in Massachusetts withdrawing about $75,000. Wyer was indicted in Vermont in June and taken into custody by U.S. marshals in Illinois last month. During his arraignment Monday in Burlington the judge...More >>
  • Rutland vandals target parking meters

    Rutland vandals target parking meters

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:23 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:23:55 GMT
    Police say vandals in Rutland targeted several parking meters in a quest for quick cash. 11 meter locks and 12 meter cans filled with change were damaged along Merchants Row, Center Street, Court Street, Cottage Street and Justice Square parking lot. One meter pole and its vault was also destroyed. Police put damage in excess of thousand bucks. Anyone with information is asked to call Rutland City police.More >>
    Police say vandals in Rutland targeted several parking meters in a quest for quick cash. 11 meter locks and 12 meter cans filled with change were damaged along Merchants Row, Center Street, Court Street, Cottage Street and Justice Square parking lot. One meter pole and its vault was also destroyed. Police put damage in excess of thousand bucks. Anyone with information is asked to call Rutland City police.More >>
  • Vt. principal who faced criminal charges wants clearer mandatory reporting law

    Vt. principal who faced criminal charges wants clearer mandatory reporting law

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:53:40 GMT
    A law designed to protect kids landed a Vermont school principal in hot water. Now, Danville High School Principal Noah Noyes wants lawmakers to put the state's mandatory reporting rules under the microscope.More >>
    A law designed to protect kids landed a Vermont school principal in hot water. Now, Danville High School Principal Noah Noyes wants lawmakers to put the state's mandatory reporting rules under the microscope.More >>
  • Embezzlement case prompts changes from Vt. officials

    Embezzlement case prompts changes from Vt. officials

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:39 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:39:01 GMT
    The case of a Vermont worker charged with embezzling taxpayer money is prompting changes in the state's system.More >>
    The case of a Vermont worker charged with embezzling taxpayer money is prompting changes in the state's system.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.