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What's driving heating oil prices?    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Heating oil contracts ended last week at their highest level in 11 weeks, despite warmer than normal winter temperatures cutting into heating demand, Reuters reports. Heating oil futures contracts, bought and sold by energy traders on world commodity markets, settled on Feb. 3 at $3.1144 a gallon. It was the highest settlement since Nov. 16. Heating oil contracts gained 4.4 percent for the week, or 1.43 percent, extending gains for the second consecutive week. These movements dictate the price heating customers and dealers pay for their fuel. But the upward pressure on prices might have folks scratching their heads given mild winter temperatures across the U.S. More

 Updates from OESP

Welcome to our new look
OESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You have been reading about the fact that we are moving towards a partnership with MultiView to deliver our electronics news. This is our first release. This partnership enables us to bring you timely information and news that is relevant to your business every week. We also see it is a way to deliver education in various ways and as time moves forward you will be hearing more about that.

Planning time is in full swing
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Our 59th Annual Convention and Trade Show will be held May 20-24 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. It is shaping up to be a terrific event. Our goal with regards to education is to offer a variety of topics so that attendees can pick something that interests them.

May 21, we will be offering trainers a new topic, "How to Teach the Basics of Energy Controls." Carol Fey will deliver this workshop. For those that are involved in this ongoing program or those that are interested in learning more about it, this is a great way to "test the waters." Attendees will get a Power Point presentation of the session, ideas on how to enhance their training with props and pointers on how to prepare for a training session. Working among peers, too, is a valuable benefit of this program. This session will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Later in the week, Carol will teach this topic at one of our technical sessions. A tip: if you are taking the class on May 21, stick around and sit in on her May 23 session. Seeing how she delivers this topic will help reinforce what you learned in the previous session.

To make your hotel reservation, view the floor plan, or read about other happenings at our annual event, visit our convention page at This page is a work in progress so you might want to bookmark it.

Benefits of our Train-the-Trainer Program
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Attendees at our convention and trade show will have an opportunity to take a class presented by some of our members that are in this ongoing program. Four of our "students" will be delivering topics at our convention. Matt Spink, Long Island Oil Heating and Cooling Chapter will present, "Moving from a Residential Tech to a Commercial Tech." Ralph Adams, Mid-Atlantic Chapter will present, "How to grow your business by selling high efficiency equipment." Al Breda, Fairfield County Chapter will present a session on Solar. And Angel Gonzalez, New York City Chapter will present the topic, "Old Fashioned Steam: the New Modern Heat."

This is a great way for attendees to learn from those that do the work every day and still find the time to share their talents.

Coming soon
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Our 2011 Year in Review will be mailed this month along with our new convention brochure. That's right, mailed! We all receive electronic information on an hourly basis and sometimes receiving a publication in the mail is welcome reading. We hope you enjoy it.

OESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Our Awards Committee is looking for resumes of candidates for our annual awards. Think about those industry professionals who you respect and can count on each and every day. Why not recognize them? There are awards for Educator of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, Service Manager of the Year, Lou Ehrich (previously Associate of the Year) Award and the Hugh McKee Award. Organize your thoughts and take a few minutes to put together a resume of a person that fits one of these awards. Tell us why your candidate should be a 2012 winner. Resumes should be emailed to at the national office by April 1.

The deadline for Scholarship Applications has been changed to March 1.

If you wish to purchase tickets for the Danny Gentile Fundraiser, to be held March 4 at Anthony's Oceanview, New Haven, Conn., you can do that by visiting our home page at While you are there you can look under the "News Headlines" for a form to download so you can purchase tickets for a chance to win a trip valued at $3,500, an Apple iPad or a chance to win Kindle Fires. All proceeds from this raffle go to the trust fund thanks to a very generous sponsor.

Spring Board Meeting will be held Saturday, March 10 at the Hilton Gardens, Raritan, N.J.

 In The News

Oil refiners and biofuels: 2012 to feature fight over RFS, cooperation on RIN fraud
Biofuels Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In Florida, the National Biodiesel Conference opened with exuberance over 2011 results, and resolve to meet the industry's two major issues in 2012: defense of the Renewable Fuel Standard, and a crack-down on phony biodiesel credits (RIN) sold to obligated parties by con artists posing as legitimate biodiesel producers. Present at the opening session at the NBB conference were a collection of oil refining, marketing and oil heat industry executives. All agreed on the need for a harsh crackdown on RIN fraud. More

Residential solar may reach grid parity in California in 2015
Clean Energy Authority    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
California is the nation's largest solar market in the nation, thanks to its incentives and rebates, which include a 33 percent renewable energy standard and the Million Solar Roofs programs. And with a number of the largest solar projects in the world planned to start supplying utilities with power beginning to come online this year, it's no wonder that the market has reduced prices to near grid parity levels. But now some are saying the cost of residential solar could reach grid parity by as early as mid-2014. More

Geothermal system to heat, cool Ball State University
Construction Digital    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Geothermal power is the overlooked younger brother of renewable energy — full of potential, but lost in the buzz surrounding the superstar siblings of solar and wind. But while the breeze comes and goes, and clouds — as well as the inevitable night — lessen the reliability of the sun's energy, geothermal power is constantly buzzing beneath our feet. At Ball State in Indiana, construction crews are more than halfway through a massive project to tap into this perennial power source to heat and cool the University's 47 buildings. More

New York Times article generates support for Maine oil company
WCSH-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefAn article in the New York Times about a small town oil company in Maine has caught the attention of people across the country and captured their hearts. Since the article appeared on the Times front page Feb. 4, the owner of Hometown Energy in Dixfield, Maine, has been fielding calls and opening cards and letters from people across America. It all started when Ike Libby agreed to an interview with a reporter from the New York Times who was doing a story on people struggling to heat their homes. He recalled a couple he had delivered oil to a few times, even though they couldn't pay the bill. More

DIY apps save small businesses time, money
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Small business owners eager to create mobile apps — whether to market services to customers or improve internal productivity — are finding a growing array of alternatives to hiring professional programmers. Mobile apps can help small business owners save about 5.6 hours a week, according to a report published by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council in June. The study estimated that small business owners are annually saving 373.8 million hours of their own time and 725.3 million employee hours by using mobile apps. The employee hours alone translate to about $17.6 billion a year, according to study co-author and SBE Council Chief Economist Raymond Keating. More

Reducing energy demands to increase effectiveness
DoD Live    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Defense Department's announcement of $18 million to fund six military programs designed to reduce energy demand is primarily about increasing military effectiveness, a senior Pentagon official said. Though one of the outcomes will be that the department will save money, "This is ultimately about giving our forces a better capability, taking risk out of the system, [and] putting fewer lives at risk moving fuel around," said Sharon E. Burke, assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs. More

Jobsite: The next generation
Construtech Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While terms like machine-to-machine, radio-frequency identification, location-based services, telematics and remote monitoring might not mean much to the construction industry today, they very well may hold the key to your profitability in the years to come. Some service contractors are already using remote-monitoring technologies to offer new connected services to customers. With sensors installed on equipment, users can collect data from the assets to enable monitoring or performance for maintenance. When a piece of equipment fails, an alert can be sent to nearby technicians by email, text or in-cab messaging system. The data can also be accessed via the Web, providing the company with detailed data about the condition of the equipment. More

Virginia family in need gets free heating and air conditioning
InsideNova    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Members of a Dumfries, Va., family got the surprise of their lives. Dawn Anderson's home had been without heat after the magnitude 5.8 earthquake rattled the northern Virginia region on Aug. 23. The quake destroyed the home's oil boiler and caused oil to leak through to the basement floor. The home was also without air conditioning for some time before the earthquake, according to her family. For many, both issues would be important to fix, but for Anderson it was critical. Her 15-year-old son, Brandon, has muscular dystrophy and is confined to an electric wheelchair. More

Which Web host do you need? 6 small-business plans compared
PCWorld    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Websites don't build themselves. They require a considerable investment of energy, expertise, and design know-how to construct and launch. But building a site is only half the story. Websites also have to be hosted on servers, ready for the customers who will read your content, hire your firm or pay for your services. Much like the servers that websites reside on, Web hosting services are rapidly approaching commodity status, as providers offer many of the same features while racing to the bottom on pricing. But although many Web hosting services look alike and cost about the same, appearances can be deceiving; there are nontrivial differences, particularly among higher-end plans. More

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