Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Heating Fuel Service

Your rights as a Vermont consumer

In Vermont, consumers have certain rights with regard to heating fuel service. Vermont law regulates fuel pre-buy contracts, and establishes authority for the Attorney General to regulate propane service. Fuel pricing is not regulated in Vermont.

  • You can review advice on buying propane here.
  • If you are having difficulty with your heating fuel provider, you can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program or contact us (or call 802-656-3183) for more information about your rights and responsibilities as a fuel consumer.
  • If you have had your fuel shut off or received a disconnection notice, contact us at CAP.
  • If you need help paying your fuel bill, dial 2-1-1 from your Vermont phone to be connected with an agency that can assist you.

Your responsibilities as a Vermont propane seller

Propane sellers must follow the requirements of both Vermont’s propane law and rule.

Summary of propane enforcement actions

The Office of the Attorney General is committed to enforcing Vermont’s propane laws. As of December 2016, the Attorney General has entered into 15 settlements with propane dealers totaling $2.38 million dollars (approximately $960,000 in restitution to over 3,600 consumers; $690,000 paid to LIHEAP; $730,000 paid to the State of Vermont).

Click on the links below to read the settlement documents and press releases for each case:

  • In re: Osterman Propane, LLC. Assurance of Discontinuance and press release. December 8, 2016 (failure to disclose fees; $23,000 total: $16,000 paid to 89 consumers and $7,500 paid to the State of Vermont)
  • In re: Haskins Gas Service, Inc. Assurance of Discontinuance and press release. May 2, 2016 (delayed tank removal and refund checks; $60,000 total: $45,000 paid to 96 consumers and $15,000 paid to the State of Vermont)
  • In re: Rymes Propane and Oils, Inc. Assurance of Discontinuance and press release. March 10, 2016 (failure to disclose fees and collecting improper finance charges; $47,000 total: $32,000 paid to 387 consumers and $15,000 paid to the State of Vermont)
  • In re: Suburban Propane, L.P. Assurance of Discontinuance and press release. October 23, 2015 (delayed tank removal and refund checks, improper tax billing, charging regulatory fee, and unauthorized disconnections; $712,000 total: $312,000 paid to 1,830 consumers, $200,000 paid to LIHEAP and $200,000 paid to the State of Vermont)
  • In re: Cota & Cota, Inc. and Chris Cota. Assurance of Discontinuance and press release. April 4, 2014 (improper termination of service and retaliation; $10,000 total: $5,000 paid to one consumer and $5,000 paid to the State of Vermont)
  • In re: Irving Energy, L.P. Assurance of Discontinuance and press release. March 31, 2014 (delayed tank removal and refund checks; $425,000 total: $165,000 paid to 200 consumers, $160,000 paid to LIHEAP and $100,000 paid to the State of Vermont)
  • In re: Bourne’s Energy. Assurance of Discontinuance and press release. March 7, 2014 (charging higher prices online; $1,000 paid to 91 consumers)
  • In re: Cota & Cota, Inc. Assurance of Discontinuance and press release. February 19, 2014 (requiring cash customers to pay credit ahead, failure to disclose fees, and unsolicited deliveries; $2,250 paid to one consumer)
  • In re: AmeriGas Propane, L.P. Assurance of Discontinuance and press release. November 4, 2013 (delayed tank removal and refund checks and charging meter read fees; $545,000 total: $255,000 paid to 986 consumers, $190,000 paid to LIHEAP and $100,000 paid to the State of Vermont)
  • In re: Pyrofax Energy. Assurance of Discontinuance and press release. January 19, 2012 (minimum use fees and delayed refund checks; $315,000 total: $75,000 paid to 302 consumers, $140,000 paid to LIHEAP and $100,000 paid to the State of Vermont)
  • In re: Suburban L.P. Assurance of Discontinuance. June 5, 2008 (charging tank removal fees) (claims-based restitution of either $35 or $250)
  • In re: AmeriGas Propane L.P. Assurance of Discontinuance. March 22, 2006 (early closing of deadlines for fuel buyer’s group and not fulfilling fuel buyer’s group contract; $30,000 paid to the State of Vermont)
  • In re: Suburban L.P. Assurance of Discontinuance. November 7, 2005 (misrepresentation in pre-buy pricing contracts; $61,000 total: $31,000 paid to consumers and $30,000 paid to the State of Vermont)
  • In re: Suburban L.P. Assurance of Discontinuance. April 16, 2003 (charging REGFEES and other regulatory charges; $35,000 paid to the State of Vermont)
  • In re: AmeriGas Propane L.P. Assurance of Discontinuance. April 16, 2003 (charging improper delivery fees and sur-charges; $100,000 paid to the State of Vermont)