The State of Vermont has new rules for oil and kerosene storage tanks that are found inside and outside residential buildings. Tanks must be inspected at least once every three years. Tanks must also be inspected before they are filled by a new fuel company. Red tags will be attached to tanks that do not meet minimum safety requirements. Fuel companies are not allowed to deliver fuel to a red-tagged tank until it has been repaired or replaced.
Homeowners and landlords may be able to get help to replace or repair a red-tagged or unsafe fuel tank.
1. If your annual household income is $65,000 or less, the State of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Financial Assistance Program may be able to help you. The amount you can get is based on your income and household size. It ranges from $250 to $2,000.
2. The Vermont Office of Economic Opportunity also has money available for tank repairs and replacement. Contact your local Community Action Agency for more information.
3. If you don’t qualify for help from the State of Vermont, you may be able to get a $250 rebate through the Vermont Fuel Tank Rebate Program.
4. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has a program for seniors and low-income households. For seniors living outside the Burlington metro area, it can provide up to $7,500 in grant money. For other rural Vermonters, it can provide up to a $20,000 low-interest loan.
5. The low-interest VGreen Energy Improvement Loan offered by VSECU can also be used to finance a replacement tank.
Generally, it can cost $100 to $1,000 to repair or stabilize a tank. It can cost $1,500 to $2,000 to replace a tank. You can ask for an estimate from a heating service company.
If you rent and have a problem with a red-tagged or unsafe fuel tank where you live, contact us. Fill out our form and we will call you back. Your information will be sent to Legal Services Vermont, which screens requests for help for both Vermont Legal Aid and Legal Services Vermont. You can also call us at 1-800-889-2047.