Updated as of July 09, 2020 05:53 PM

NEFI's highest priority is the health and safety of our members and colleagues in the heating fuel industry as well as their employees and customers. To help protect your business and our industry, we remain in contact with federal officials and our state association partners, and we will continue to coordinate with them in order to provide the best information and resources on COVID-19.

On this webpage, you will find recommended business practices, helpful online resources and important contact points, all of which are provided to assist your company in delivering essential heating, energy and fuel services. In addition, you will find updates on NEFI's affinity programs and upcoming events as well as the latest NEFI communications on the coronavirus. Note: this page will continue to be updated as additional information and resources become available.

Recommended Business Practices

Click here to download NEFI's Recommended Best Practices guide

It is imperative that your company take precautions to protect the health and safety of your employees and customers. As individual states and localities reopen their economies, they may establish guidelines for resuming daily work activities and interfacing with customers. The below best practices recommended by NEFI are intended to complement these guidelines and do not replace government rules and regulations. In addition to implementing the best practices below, NEFI strongly recommends consulting the CDC website and fully adopting all state reopening guidelines. Remember most labor practices are based on state laws and regulations. Many of these laws, rules, and best practices are now evolving rapidly. What may have been appropriate earlier in the pandemic, may not be appropriate now. All businesses should consult with legal counsel and a qualified physician on these matters.

Recommended Practices for Everyone
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and running water are unavailable, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Implement the CDC's social distancing measures, including maintaining six feet of distance from colleagues, employees and customers. Always wear a mask when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Avoid contact with individuals who are showing symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, coughing, shortness of breath, chills, and new loss of taste or smell. Please refer to the CDC website for the full list of symptoms.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of it immediately, then wash your hands.
  • Communicate regularly with suppliers, employees, and customers to keep them informed of any changes to your business.
Recommended Practices for Company-Customer Interactions
  • Whenever possible rely on phone, text, email, teleconferencing, or other electronic methods to communicate with customers, instead of in-person conversations.
  • If available, wear facemasks and gloves on all service calls. Follow established glove and mask protocols, including proper cleaning or disposal.
  • Whether or not gloves are used, employees should wash or sanitize their hands before arrival at a job site and immediately upon departure.
  • Fuel deliveries made to customers' homes present low risk factors. However, if possible, send delivery and service invoices by mail or switch to electronic invoicing instead of leaving invoices at the door. Utilize online delivery or service requests and customer payments to avoid unnecessary customer interactions.
  • Reassure customers by notifying them of the precautions you are taking to keep their families safe and healthy.
  • In general, avoid all direct contact with customers and maintain the maximum distance possible: at least six feet.
  • On service calls, if the customer has separate access to their heating or air conditioning system, request in advance that they make the area available to you directly, e.g., opening bulkheads, cellar doors, etc.
  • If the unit is a hot air or air conditioning system, try to avoid opening parts of the system through which air flows, including filters. Rather than installing filters, leave them behind for the customer to install.
  • Before entering a customer's home, ask if anyone in the household is experiencing symptoms, including fever, coughing, shortness of breath, chills or new lost of taste or smell. If the customer answers in the affirmative, contact your employer for further instructions prior to entering.
  • If an employee develops COVID-19 symptoms, immediately notify all customers who the employee was in contact with while symptomatic and during the 48-hour period prior to symptom onset. If the employee followed the above protocols, the customer's risk of exposure should be minimal. See section below for further guidance related to symptomatic employees and potential exposure.
Recommended Practices for Employer-Employee Interactions
  • Follow the guidelines above for minimizing risk of exposure.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently. These include desks, keyboards, office and mobile phones, doorknobs, faucet handles, vehicle door handles, steering wheels, etc.
  • Instruct delivery and service personnel to perform their duties without interacting in person with office staff whenever possible. For example, electronically send work orders, delivery tickets and driver routes.
  • Employees should be instructed to immediately notify their employer of a potential exposure to COVID-19. Incidents of "potential exposure" include being in a household or other confined space with a presumably infectious person; or coming within six feet of such an individual.
  • Employers should measure a potentially exposed employee's temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the office or jobsite.
  • A potentially exposed employee should be required to wear a facemask, whenever in the workplace or at a jobsite, for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or approve alternative or homemade face coverings in the event of shortages (sewing patterns for facemasks are available under Other Important Resources).
  • Employees should be sent home immediately if symptoms develop. Advise the employee to follow CDC guidelines for managing symptoms at home. His or her workspace and any company vehicles the employee used should be immediately cleaned and disinfected. Identify individuals who were potentially exposed to the sick employee while he or she experienced symptoms or during the 2 days prior to symptom onset. Those potentially exposed employees should be subject to the protocol described above.
  • Employees who are symptomatic and isolated may return to work after meeting conditions described by the CDC, as outlined here.
  • Allow employees to stay home to care for sick family members or for children if childcare is otherwise unavailable.
  • Where possible, segment work teams into isolated smaller units so that an outbreak in one unit does not necessarily affect all.
  • Understand laws and regulations related to sick time and paid family medical leave, and how they apply to essential employees. Contact your state industry association, state labor department, or a qualified legal or HR professional on the latest employee leave requirements.

Other Important Resources

Federal Information & Resources

FMCSA Expanded Emergency Declaration - NOTE: In keeping with NEFI's request, this expanded hours-of-service waiver applies to fuel but only if it is delivered in support of COVID-19 emergency relief efforts. Drivers should keep a copy in their cabs at all times.

Federal Government COVID-19 Resource Hub

Dept. of Transportation Coronavirus Resources

Dept. of Labor: COVID-19 and the American Workplace

OHSA COVID-19 Guidance for Workers and Employees

IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief

EPA Coronavirus Resource Page

Dept. of Health & Human Services Coronavirus Update

CFTC Coronavirus Commodity Trading Information & Advisories

Federal Emergency Management Agency COVID-19 Response Page

AAMVA State-by-state Licensing and Registration Changes


Small Business Resources

Small Business Administration COVID-19 Guidance & Loan Resources

U.S. Treasury Assistance for Small Businesses

NFIB Small Business Resources in Response to Coronavirus


Healthcare Organizations & Information

CDC Guidance for Workers Who May Have Been Exposed to Someone with COVID-19

CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Page

IHME COVID-19 U.S. and State-by-State Projections

Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center

Depression, Anxiety, & Mental Health: NAMI COVID-19 Resources

World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus Website

WHO's Rolling Updates on Coronavirus


Resources from Other National Organizations

Additional resources and guidance provided by national organizations for other products and services are below. Note: NEFI was not involved in the creation of these resources and does not have direct affiliation these organizations.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Resources for Businesses

American Trucking Associations (ATA) COVID-19 Update Hub

Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) Guidance for Propane Marketers

ACCA Resources for Air Conditioning Contractors

PMAA Resources for Petroleum Marketers

NACS Resources for Convenience Stores

NATSO Resources for Truck Stops & Travel Plazas


Guidance for Propane Marketers

Propane (PERC) Guidance


Face Mask Resources

Face Mask Suppliers

FMCSA Face Mask Distributions

How to Properly Put On and Remove Face Masks

Face Mask With Filter Pocket And Adjustable Wire Sewing Tutorial

How to Sew a Face Mask

Printable Face Mask Sewing Pattern


Associate Member PPE Resources

  • Products: Branded masks, neck gaiters, hand sanitizers & dispensers, and disinfecting wipes, face shields & floor decals
  • Contact person: Noel Choquette
  • Phone number: 978-5052783
  • Webpage URL: enosis-gs.com
  • Email address: nchoquette@enosis-gs.com

State Industry Contacts

Connecticut
Connecticut Energy Marketers Association
Chris Herb: 860-615-4130 | chris@ctema.org
https://www.ctema.com/coronavirus/

Maine
Maine Energy Marketers Association
Matt Morrison: 207-729-5298 | matt@maineenergymarketers.com
https://maineenergymarketers.com/coronavirus-resources/

Massachusetts
Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association
Michael Ferrante: 855-876-2682 | mferrante@massenergymarketers.org
https://www.mass.gov/coronavirus

New Hampshire
Energy Marketers Association of New Hampshire
Robert Sculley: 603-415-8330 | rjsculley@energymarketersassociationnh.com
https://www.nh.gov/covid19/

New Jersey
Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey
Eric DeGesero: 973-467-1400 | edegesero@fmanj.org
https://covid19.nj.gov/

New York
https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

Empire State Energy Association
Kris DeLair: 518-280-6645 | kdelair@eseany.org
https://eseany.org/esea-members/covid/

New York State Energy Coalition
Rocco Lacertosa: 212-695-1380 | rlacertosa@nyohanow.org

Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Petroleum Association
Ted Harris: 717-939-1781 | tharris@papetroleum.org
https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/
https://www.papetroleum.org/coronavirus/

Rhode Island
Energy Marketers Association of Rhode Island
Robert Fagan: 401-619-4553 | roberta@energymarketersri.com
https://warmth4ri.com/covid-19-impact-fuel-delivery/

Vermont
Vermont Fuel Dealers Association
Matt Cota: 802-223-7750 | matt@vermontfuel.com
https://www.vermontfuel.com/news/index.html

Updates on NEFI Events & Programs

Due to widespread concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak, and as a precaution to protect the health and safety of our colleagues in the heating fuel industry, NEFI has decided to reschedule all educational events previously scheduled for the month of April.

This includes the NextGen Leadership Planning Session previously scheduled for April 7, the NEFI Energy Leaders Program at Dartmouth College previously scheduled for April 19-23, and the NEFI Management Development Program Launch at Quinnipiac University scheduled for April 28 (however, online courses remain on track). New dates, times and other changes for these programs will be announced in the weeks ahead.

In addition, starting in April, all NEFI staff and board meetings will be held electronically. Remote access details will be provided via email in advance of the meetings.

The organizers of the 2020 HEAT Show are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and taking guidance from federal and state officials in coordination with Rhode Island Convention Center staff. The HEAT Show is slated for September 21-23, and we do not anticipate any disruption to the event schedule at this time. Registration for HEAT Show attendees, exhibitors and sponsors is available on the event website.

NEFI Communications

NEFI Reviews HEALS Act Provisions

Posted: July 29, 2020

Congressional leaders have formally begun negotiations over the next coronavirus relief and recovery package. Talks between Congressional leaders and White House officials began immediately after… Read More»

FMCSA Extends, Limits Emergency Declaration

Posted: June 10, 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended its Emergency Declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has limited the scope of transportation subject to its terms.… Read More»

Trump Administration to Allow Partial PPP Loan Forgiveness

Posted: June 9, 2020

The Trump Administration is promising to overlook a "technical error" in the recently enacted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act that would have restricted many borrowers from PPP loan… Read More»

Trump Signs PPP Reform Bill, 'Technical Error' Raises Questions

Posted: June 9, 2020

On Friday, President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act (H.R.7010). The bill makes important retroactive changes to PPP loans. Of interest to NEFI members, the… Read More»

FMCSA Issues 90-Day Waiver For Pre-Employment Drug Testing

Posted: June 9, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a waiver to allow employers to forgo administration of a pre-employment drug test if the… Read More»

Congress Approves PPP Loan Changes

Posted: June 4, 2020

The U.S. Senate approved a bill to reform the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) late yesterday by voice vote. The PPP Flexibility Act (H.R.7010) passed the House last week by a 417-1 vote. President… Read More»

Latest COVID-19 Legislation: What You Need to Know

Posted: May 18, 2020

The controversial HEROES Act (H.R.6800) passed the House late Friday by a vote of 208-199. The 1,815-page bill is estimated to cost around $3 trillion, making it the most expensive piece of… Read More»

Congress Approves Emergency Small-Business Relief Package

Posted: April 24, 2020

Yesterday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 388-5 to give final approval to an additional $370 billion for federal small business loan and grant programs. The Senate cleared the bill… Read More»

Trump Releases Guidelines for Re-opening the Economy

Posted: April 17, 2020

Yesterday, the President released guidance for opening up state and regional economies while minimizing the threat of another outbreak. The plan advises that states only move to reopen their economies… Read More»

FMCSA Extends Emergency Declaration Thru May 15

Posted: April 13, 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended and further expanded Emergency Declaration 2020-002, initially declared on March 13 and first expanded on March 18. The emergency… Read More»

PHMSA Clarifies Shipping Paper Requirements

Posted: April 13, 2020

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a notice clarifying that parties may comply with the shipping papers requirements of the Hazardous Materials Regulations… Read More»

FMCSA Issues Guidance On Cross-Border Transport

Posted: April 13, 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued guidance stating that the agency's March 24, 2020 waiver on the validity of CDLs that expired on or after March 1, 2020 also applies to… Read More»

FMCSA Expands FAQ On State Driver Licensing Agency Actions For CDL, CLP Testing

Posted: April 13, 2020

The FMCSA has published expanded FAQs page regarding actions State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLA) or commercial driver's license holders may take during the public health emergency related to… Read More»

CDC Issues COVID-19 Guidelines for Essential Workers

Posted: April 9, 2020

While the following guidance from the CDC is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that fuel dealers implement them for the safety of their employees and customers. NEFI strongly recommends you… Read More»

FMCSA Acting Administrator Addresses COVID-19 Issues

Posted: April 7, 2020

On an April 3 conference call with industry representatives, FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen listed a number of regulatory relief steps his agency is taking in response to the COVID-19 crisis.… Read More»

TSA Issues Temporary Exemption For Expired Hazmat Endorsements

Posted: April 7, 2020

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued a temporary exemption that allows States to grant an extension of up to 180 days for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) that expired or… Read More»

Further Guidance on COVID-19 Sick & Family Leave Requirements

Posted: March 30, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has provided additional guidance for paid sick and family medical leave provisions required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). New federal leave… Read More»

Congress Approves Massive Economic Relief Package

Posted: March 27, 2020

Below is a brief summary of federal legislation, not intended as legal advice. Effective dates and implementation timelines for the different provisions of this bill will vary. NEFI will provide… Read More»

You Must Post or Distribute this Paid Leave Notice If You Employ Fewer than 500 People

Posted: March 27, 2020

Where do I post this notice? Since most of my workforce is teleworking, where do I electronically "post" this notice? Read More»

FMCSA Waives Expired CDLs, DOT Issues Guidance on Drug & Alcohol Testing

Posted: March 26, 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a waiver of Commercial Driver's Licenses, Learner's Permits and commercial motor vehicle medical certifications that expired on or… Read More»

Important Updates from the U.S. Department of Transportation

Posted: March 24, 2020

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released some important updates, below. This includes announcements by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Pipeline & Hazardous… Read More»

Clarification Regarding Essential Businesses

Posted: March 23, 2020

NEFI continues to receive inquiries from members regarding the definition of "essential business" under federal guidance and state orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More»

IRS Moves Tax Filing & Payment Deadlines to July 15

Posted: March 20, 2020

At the direction of President Trump, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is moving its deadline for tax filings from April 15 to July 15, 2020. The IRS said the move is necessary due to the ongoing… Read More»

Letter to Congress members from New England and New York

Posted: March 19, 2020

Today, NEFI sent the following letter to Congress members from New England and New York. Read More»

FMCSA Expands Emergency Declaration For Coronavirus Relief Efforts To Include Fuel Deliveries

Posted: March 18, 2020

On March 18, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued an expanded national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service and other regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers… Read More»

Coronavirus Sick & Family Leave Clears Congress

Posted: March 17, 2020

President Trump is Expected to Sign the Bill. This afternoon the Senate gave final approval to emergency legislation that would, among other things, guarantee sick and family leave for certain workers… Read More»

FMCSA Issues HOS Emergency Declaration For Coronavirus Relief Efforts

Posted: March 16, 2020

On February 13, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting… Read More»

SBA Offering Small Business Disaster Loans

Posted: March 10, 2020

The Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a… Read More»

NEFI Statement On The Coronavirus

Posted: March 9, 2020

Coronavirus cases are appearing throughout the United States and could soon become numerous. I am writing to update you on how NEFI is responding and where you can find information and resources for… Read More»