December 29, 2016
Vermont has strong propane rules that protect consumers and to promote fair competition among propane dealers.
The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has provided this summary to remind consumers of their rights and what to expect from a propane dealer.
There are many protections against unfair or hidden fees:
- Consumers cannot be charged:
- a minimum usage fee
- a fee for fuel not actually delivered
- any fee related to ending propane service if a tank has been on the premises for more than 12 months
- Tank rental fees are allowed
- All fees must be clearly disclosed in writing using a Fee Disclosure Form
- Consumers cannot be required to buy a minimum amount of fuel during the year, except as part of a guaranteed price plan
- Vermont does not regulate the price-per-gallon of heating fuel, which is set by the dealer
Other protections include strict timeframes for ending propane service.
- Once a consumer asks for their propane service to end, the dealer must:
- remove the propane storage tanks within 20 days (in most cases)
- issue refund checks for unused propane within another 20 days
- If these timeframes are not met, penalties accrue daily and are owed directly to the consumer.
The Attorney General’s Office actively enforces these consumer protections.
Consumers or propane dealers who have questions may contact the Attorney General’s Office
- by phone at 802-828-5507
- by email at mailto:AGO.firstname.lastname@example.org
- please put “propane” in subject line
- by mail to:
Consumer Assistance Program - Propane
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1001
Consumers or businesses who wish to file a complaint against a propane seller are encouraged to fill out the online complaint form.