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Support grows for for House bill that would place restrictions on pre-buy oil contracts
At a public hearing Tuesday on House Bill 1282, heating fuel industry representatives said the number of companies who fail to make good on pre-buy contracts is very small, but they give everyone in the industry a black eye.
Tom Rymes of Rymes Propane and Oil, told the committee companies that want customers to pay more than a 20 percent deposit for their oil should have to either have a surety bond or letter of credit, something allowed under the state law but companies do not use because of the cost.
The later date would prevent financially troubled companies from using customers’ money for the next heating season during the current one, several said and that is positive.
The bill also requires dealers to register with the Secretary of State’s Office and file an annual report demonstrating how the company will satisfy its obligations to consumers.
He said the real problem is how to secure pre-buy contracts. Despite the changes in the bill, “we’re still left with insufficient security with customers’ money,” he said.
The committee did not make an immediate recommendation on the bill.
The bill has already passed the House.
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