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Department of Professional and Financial Regulation Issues Reminder to Fuel Dealers about Pre-Paid Home Heating Contracts Deadline


October 24, 2016



Maine’s Department of Professional and Financial Regulation issued a reminder about the October 31st annual report filing deadline for fuel dealers who are offering pre-paid contracts this heating season.

The Department created a new webpage and online process for fuel dealers to obtain the needed forms and for the public to determine which fuel dealers are offering pre-paid contracts---and have registered to do so. The forms and general information can be obtained from the Department’s website (www.maine.gov/pfr), or directly at www.maine.gov/pfr/hho.html.

Intended to provide greater protections to consumers who use pre-paid home heating contracts, LD 1895, An Act To Protect Consumers by Strengthening the Laws Governing Prepaid Home Heating Oil Contracts, became law in 2012. The law responded to cases of dealers failing to supply fuel, leaving the consumers without oil and unable to recover their money.

“Fuel dealers in Maine are known for providing quality service and for caring about their customers and communities,” Department Commissioner Anne Head said. “To discourage those cases when dealers don’t meet their obligation, however, Maine law now requires greater accountability.”

The law requires a fuel dealer who offers pre-paid contracts for home heating oil, kerosene or liquefied petroleum gas to register the dealer’s intent to offer such contracts with the Department by June 30th each year. It also requires these dealers to file a report with the agency by October 31st each year to indicate how the fuel has been secured.

Additionally, the law requires that the annual report form include a notice that a false statement is punishable as a Class D crime. The law also provides that a violation of the requirements of Title 10, Section 1110 is a violation of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Consumers can check on whether a fuel company is offering pre-paid contracts and in compliance with this Maine reporting law by visiting the Department’s homepage (www.maine.gov/pfr) or calling (207) 624-8511.