ETP: Education

The Premier Manufacturer of Fuel Additives

ETP: Education

The Premier Manufacturer of Fuel Additives

Navigating the Changing Landscape of Northeast Home Heating: Overcoming Challenges and Providing Solutions

Market trends for low carbon liquid fuels in the Northeast can be a troubling subject for many retail home heating dealers these days. With yet another heating oil season approaching, it’s only fair to address these concerns.

As the heating oil industry moves to 2024 and beyond we will witness the obvious impact on winter operability from higher biodiesel blends (and wouldn’t RD in the heating oil pool be pure bliss), but we will also see and feel the “creep” of traditional home heating oil going the way of a niche product. With can also expect less dedicated deepwater storage, more frequent supply disruptions from both resupply logistics (physical) as well as hyper-volatility on pricing windows (paper and physical). Platts, Argus, ICE, NYMEX, CME will surely also contribute to another wild ride this winter. Additionally, we see increased importance for tertiary storage to help mitigate deepwater dysfunction. Inland tankage has been grossly underutilized in the past decade…but with $.40 of backwardation I’m not suggesting any aggressive position taking at this time. Finally, accompanying these limiting factors of market constraint will be the escalation of acquisitions and consolidation. This will only serve to further the downstream rationalization we have all witnessed over these past ten years.

With all this gloom and doom is there any light at the end of this apocalyptic tunnel? OF COURSE THERE IS!!Back in the 1980’s the Syms Corporation enjoyed a company slogan that “An educated consumer is our best customer”. And while I have always subscribed to that theory personally, I’m proud to say that so does ETP (in fact, the E in ETP signifies Education)! Heating oil dealers constantly find themselves in situations that need real-time solutions, and the retailers I know work tirelessly for the rights and remedies that keep their businesses profitable and sustainable. Looking forward to this winter (and beyond) here are some commonsense tips that will help you maintain control of your narrative (and your sanity) when it hits the fan:

  • Adequate Financing – Working Capital structured to our painfully seasonal business model is mission critical. Ours is an industry of “conversion to cash”, and the quicker the better. This analysis and outreach must include not only the Bank, but also the Wholesale Suppliers. Working Capital needs should be modeled around $3.50/gallon, $7.00/gallon, and $10.00/gallon. It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Bankers don’t like surprises and volatility. No surprise here.
  • Operational Best Practices – This should include not only daily operations but also a full suite of your Purchasing optionality, your tertiary storage product handling (an ETP strong suit), and of course testing for product quality and performance/operability as products move further downstream (here’s where you ask for my phone number).
  • Entrepreneurial Alignment – There is strength in numbers! Consider membership in an industry group, a business management “think tank” that share ideas and solutions, or even a buying Co-Op that can give insights and industry advice to problems that could impair your organization’s effectiveness. You don’t have to go it alone.
  • Maintain Positive Management – If you think you can, or you think you can’t…you’re probably right. Your employees thrive and drive based on your leadership skills. Just ask the “Brady-less” Patriot fans.

What can ETP do to help you? ETP (Education, Technology, People) will partner with you by offering product sampling, lab testing, hard to treat fuel characterizations, field representation, frank discussion and support…and of course additive packages with well-crafted formulas for proven success.

ETP’s additive family known as Heat Assure is a complete and diverse product line that can and will deliver you the results this industry demands. Please call/blog for more details.

ETP also offers customized formulations for added/specific benefits if the need arises.

ETP can’t resolve all the political chaos, and integration confusion that is putting our industry under attack, but we absolutely can and will bring you the support and the additives you deserve for your low carbon liquid fuel product quality and operability.  

Submitted by, Barry J. Knox,

ETP Business Development

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *