Giving a Gift of Warmth


A busy day for Miki Petrovic, who delivers fuel for Bourne’s Energy in Waterbury.

“When it’s cold and there’s a lot of snow, it’s definitely challenging,” Petrovic said.

As a driver for 6 years, he knows the pressure is on to get people heat in a cold snap.

“We just have to make sure that we do our delivery safely and on time and that everyone is taken care of,” Petrovic said.

The price for heating oil is down for the second year. The Vermont Fuel Dealers Association says it’s costing less than $2.50 a gallon, saving Vermonters money.

“Last winter we had a unique set of circumstances, in that it was a mild winter and prices were historically low,” Matt Cota, the Executive Director of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, said.

But the costs can be troubling for some. Cota says local companies are trying to help out folks who don’t qualify for standard fuel assistance programs. 

“What it really is, is a gift of warmth,” Cota said.

The program is called “Split the Ticket.”

“It enables community members to provide matching grants for fuel dealers who recognize that some of their customers that may need a little help going through the winter,” Cota said.

Green Mountain Power is part of a similar project, called the “WARMTH” support program.

“‘WARMTH’ is kind of a last ditch effort to help them stay warm,” GMP Spokesperson Dotty Schnure said.

“Warmth” supplies emergency heating assistance to thousands of people every year. It’s funded by customer donations.

“They work with community action agencies to make sure they have tapped into any other resources to help,” Schnure said.

Schnure says everyone can do their part to give a gift of warmth.

“When we see that there are neighbors who have a short term struggle, people, we understand the importance of being warm in Vermont winters,” Schnure said.

Customers of Green Mountain Power, and other energy companies, will find a brochure in their bill this month, so they can donate to the “WARMTH” program if they’re interested.

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