Stay Home, Stay Safe”

All of Vermont is beginning the first of three weeks in which all non-essential business must cease operations. Governor Phil Scott authorized the Stay Home, Stay Safe order on Wednesday night and the directive will be in effect until April 15. Businesses that provide “fuel products and supply” are considered essential. Businesses that respond to heat and hot water emergencies or supply equipment needed for such emergencies are also considered essential. Operations that can be conducted online or by phone, or sales that can be facilitated with curbside pickup or delivery only, can continue. These restrictive measures are in place to minimize all unnecessary activities outside the home to slow the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus and protect the public. Below are answers to frequently asked questions. Contact VFDA if you have a question not answered here or would like additional information.

How do I do this and comply with the order?

It is recommended (but not required) that essential businesses offer curbside sales. If you are selling equipment critical for heating service and can offer pick-up or delivery, please do so. As a resource to VFDA members, go to for a list of equipment supply vendors and contact numbers. We will update this as more information becomes available.

Can I let customers in my business?

It is strongly advised that you do not, but you can. If you are letting customers inside, consider limiting the number to ensure six feet of space between your employees and your customers.

I am essential. So are my employees. Do we need to carry a piece of paper saying this?

No. You are certainly welcome to provide your employees with a letter (like the one found here) in case police stop them going to and from work. But this is not a federal requirement and it is not necessary in Vermont.

What advice do you have for sending technicians into homes for propane gas check calls?

According to guidance from NPGA, if entry into structure is not recommended or prudent, the system should be secured and tagged. If performing a leak check, determine if the process can be done outside of the structure using a block test or tapping into an outside regulator. If the leak check passes, consider having the customer start appliances if it is safe to do so to avoid entry into the structure. If the leak check fails and entry into the building is not recommended or prudent, the system should be secured and tagged.

What about no heat emergency calls?

Before entering a customer’s home, if anyone is present, employees should ask if they or anyone in the household is sick in any way or experiencing symptoms, including fever, coughing and/or shortness of breath. Whenever possible rely on phone, text, email, teleconferencing, or other electronic communication methods to communicate with customers, instead of in-person conversations. Face masks and gloves should be used on service calls. If the customer has separate access to their appliances, try to request in advance that they make the area available to you directly, such as a cellar door or bulkhead.  Click here for more information on recommended business practices for heating fuel and service companies.

What about fuel oil tank inspections?

While the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) does not have the legal authority to waive the requirement that new customer tanks be inspected before first fill, they do have discretion when it comes to enforcement. Additionally, they have confirmed they will accept “virtual” tank inspections in which the customer provides pictures or video of their tank.

Any other questions?  Feel free to contact us at 802-223-7750 or and  email us directly.