Cold has Vt. fuel delivery drivers working overtime

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SHELBURNE, Vt. (WCAX) Carroll Isham has been delivering fuel for about 20 years. Isham has been working nonstop in what he says is one of the coldest stretches since he has been on the job.

"I don't remember any stretches like this," Isham said.

Which means his customers are burning more fuel and calling his phone to refuel their tanks.

"It's been a lot busier than normal just because of the cold weather," he said. "Usually, I can average winter days like 4,000 gallons or so, and right now, it's probably like six or more thousand gallons a day."

Isham and all other heating fuel delivery drivers are able to work overtime since the state declared a home heating fuel emergency, which waives the federal rules and allows them to work longer hours to deliver more fuel.

"We've got a lot of people that we've got to get the customers, so the emergency declaration helps us in that effort," said Matt Coat of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association. "It was more important that those tanks are full in that people's homes stay warm rather than complying with that specific law."

Cota says the busy season won't end anytime soon.

"Even when it warms up a little bit, gets more normal temperatures, there will still be that strong demand for heating fuel," Cota said.

Isham says every delivery has been a warm welcome this season.

"They're happy to see you in the driveway, so... Usually, they're more worried about you handing them a bill, but now they're happy to see you," Isham said.

The emergency declaration ends Jan. 20 at midnight.