Oil companies scrambling to deliver heating oil to homes

Many people in the Montreal area have been caught off guard with little to no heating oil during the recent deep freeze and with no explanation from their oil company. 

Lorie Marcotte-Roberts said they were two days out without heat in Beaconsfield because their tank had run empty even though they have automatic delivery. She said Ultramar finally made an emergency delivery.

"We had no hot water, we had nothing, so we just sat here and froze,"said Marcotte-Roberts in an interview with CJAD 800 News,

It was the same story for Kirkland resident Pamela.

"We had no idea when they were coming, we kept getting a vague response," said the mother of three.

"Basically we camped out in one room in our house, all of us - all five of us and a dog - with a small fireplace."

Lise Bergeron hasn't been as lucky yet with any deliveries- the Île Bizard resident, her husband and their teenaged daughter have had an empty tank and have been relying on an electric fireplace for three days now.

"The only thing that is difficult is we have no hot water," said Bergeron.

Ultramar cites several factors in a statement to CJAD 800 News:  "the exceptional cold spell experienced in Quebec over the past few days, difficult road conditions, and regulatory limits on drivers' work hours."

Glenn Turner and his company Ross Turner Heating have been working non-stop since Christmas, making last-minute deliveries to desperate people with no home heating oil.

"Sure, trucks break down so you double up the man on the trucks and you go to work and you get the job done. That's how we do it," said Turner.

Turner said he doesn't know why the big companies can't deliver but admits the industry is getting tougher.

"Bi-energy, duel energy, has come in, heat pumps, what have you, and it makes it hard to calculate when people need oil," said Turner.

CJAD 800 News also spoke with residents in Greenfield Park who are also dealing with late or non-existent deliveries.  One couple said they contacted their supplier Sonic last Wednesday about their near empty tank which, when contacted two days later, told them they'd call the couple when they'll be delivering but nothing so far. CJAD 800 News has also reached out to Sonic for comment.

``We are contacting customers on an individual basis to resolve each situation as quickly as possible. We regret the inconvenience that this exceptional situation has caused some of our customers. We are doing everything possible to ensure the safety and comfort of our customers, who are always our top priority. For any questions, customers are invited to contact our customer service department at: 1-800-214-2468 or they can also order their order on line at www.ultramar.ca/homeenergy." - Ultramar