Consumers can get better price for fuel while helping charity

MORRISONVILLE With rising gas prices, many people are looking to find better deals for fuel once winter comes. The Clinton-Franklin County Fuel Group, a fuel co-op administered by the Morrisonville Knights of Columbus, is looking to help people out in this department, while benefitting Hospice of the North Country and the United Way. Basically what the co-op is, is just a group of people who get together to try to collectively buy their fuel from one specific company, said K of C member Don Recore. Last year, the K of C sat down at a meeting and decided to begin a fuel co-op, once they found out a previous co-op had been discontinued. Although the groups original intention was to figure out how to set up a co-op and actually put it into effect this year, they decided to go ahead and give it a try. We figured wed get two to 300 our first year, said Recore. Instead, over a period of two weeks, they received applications from more than 1,000 people. We sent [applications] to Hospice. We started sending it out to members, and people we knew, he said. For every person who signs up to be a part of the co-op, they must also send a check for $25 to be donated to Hospice of the North Country or the United Way. If you take 3,000 people times $25, thats $75,000, Recore explained. I and our K of C council firmly believe that Hospice is a very worthy charity to give money to. Last year, the fuel group was able to donate $21,850 to Hospice and $1,850 to the United Way. After figuring out how many people were participating, the search for a fuel company began. We called all the fuel companies and said, Were starting a new co-op and were inviting you to bid on a price on the fuel, said Recore. We had 1,059 people sign up. We all of a sudden were representing close to 1,200,000 gallons of product. In the end, Adirondack Energy was able to provide the best discount, with $.05 off per gallon. The reason we selected them was because they offered us a source of supply that was very dependable, Recore said. Theyre local here in Plattsburgh. They have storage facilities here, they have trucks on the road, they have a repair facility. This year, the fuel group hopes to get a fuel company who will be able to offer a ceiling price for the season, which runs from Oct. 1 to April 31, 2009; give a discounted purchase price, as well as a discount for payment within 10 days of delivery; provide a budget program for those wishing to be on one; and give the availability of a service contract. We hope that well get a fixed price this year, added Recore. Were asking for it just like we did last year. Hopefully, we can do something to help people with the cost of fuel this year. Weve been talking to the fuel suppliers and asking them politely to try to get us a fixed price if they can. Recore added the application to be a part of the fuel group does ask pertinent information from people, but said the information is only passed to the company that wins the bid, to save the company from having to contact every applicant. We hope we can raise good funds for Hospice, Recore said. Its a great organization, Hospice and the United Way. And, hopefully this year, we can get an even better deal than we did last year. If interested in becoming a member of the Clinton-Franklin County Fuel Group, applications are available on the Hospice of the North Country Web site at www.hospicenc.org.

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