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You are invited…

Come to our Jamaica, VT office on Tuesday, May 14, from 11am-2pm, and help us celebrate the Grand Opening of our Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Station. We will be serving a complimentary BBQ, and you will have the opportunity to enter to win a $50 voucher for our gasoline or diesel fuel products!

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We have a winner!!!

Congratulations to Mary Lawlor, winner of the Season of Warmth contest! Mary won up to $2,000 in heating fuel for the 2013-2014 heating season, after entering our contest online. Mary says, “I can’t believe I won! I never win anything!” This past year has been a struggle for Mary, and she says this will help her get back on her feet. “It’s always a great feeling to know we can have such a positive impact on our friends and neighbors”, says Casey Cota.

Mary’s name was chosen in a random drawing on April 1, 2013, after entering the contest on our website. Entries were also taken at the Upper Valley HomeLife Expo in Hanover, NH, and at all our local offices.

Congratulations, Mary!

Cota & Cota Installs Guardian Home Comfort Monitoring Systems

Energy Saving Tips

1. Upgrade an old heating system- Replacing an old system with a new one is an investment that will pay for itself by cutting your fuel costs by as much as 40%.

2. Clear the way- Make sure that armchairs, couches, drapes, bookshelves, etc. are not blocking your baseboards, making it harder for warmth to get to the rest of the room.

3. Let the sun shine in- “Southern exposure” gives you some very basic passive solar.  Consider thinning evergreens if they block the sun on the south side of your house.

4. Stormy weather? Storm door- A weather tight storm door and a weatherized solid door make a great combination.  The storm door stops wind, and the trapped air between the doors provides insulation.

5. Flew clue- Once your fireplace fire or wood stove fire is totally out and cool to the touch, close the damper to stop your home heating dollars from flying up the chimney.

6. Clean those baseboards- Vacuum the heating pipes inside your baseboard units to help them transfer heat to the room air more efficiently. 

7. Cool clothes- Keep your closet doors closed.  There’s over 100 cubic feet in a closet you don’t need to pay extra to keep warm.

8. Draw the shades, shut the light- Close all of your curtains and shades at night to trap heat inside; open them during the day to let heat from the sun in.

9. Keep the windows clean- Be sure to keep windows on the south side of your house regularly clean to maximize solar gain.

10. Invest in a high efficiency oil-fired water heater- Ask us about an indirect water heater system, which can give you a nearly endless supply of hot water. (Oil heat is very cost-efficient at making hot water.) 

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Home Improvements

Are you thinking about a home improvement project but don’t know where to begin? How about remodeling a bathroom, upgrading a heating system, or adding central air conditioning? We will be at the 35th Annual HomeLife Expo in Hanover, NH next week to help you every step of the way!

When: March 15,16 & 17th

Where: Leverone Field House, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

Show Hours:

Friday, March 15 – 2:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday, March 16 – 10:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday, March 17 – 10:00am – 4:00pm

Directions and parking information here!

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Ski Jumping!

Last weekend, onlookers and ski jumpers braved harsh weather conditions for the annual ski jump, held at Harris Hill, in Brattleboro, VT. Despite the cold, there was a great turnout. As one of the many business sponsors, we were proud to help keep this longtime Brattleboro tradition alive. This year marked the second year that Jumpers could qualify for the Olympics in Brattleboro!

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Fishing, Flannel and First Ladies!

On Saturday, January 26, our White River Junction Office Manager, Harold Elliott volunteered at the 12th Annual Youth Ice Fishing Derby, located at Dewey Pond in Quechee, VT. There were 57 participants ages 14 and under, and 28 fish were caught! Harold served bagels, hot dogs and chili from the Cota & Cota Community Grill.

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Also on Saturday, January 26 a “Flannel with Flair” event was held in the Roundhouse at Okemo Mountain Resort. Formerly a black tie affair, this year guests were invited to wear their flannel shirts to benefit the auction fundraiser. Proceeds go to the Okemo Community Challenge, which raises money for nonprofit organizations in the Ludlow area. Ludlow Office Manager, Jim Rumrill said, “The event was well attended, and some of the live auction items went for over $10,000!”. Cota & Cota was pleased to make a donation to help support one of our local communities.

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On February 4, Cota & Cota sponsored the Black cota and cota heating plumbing hvac service oil propaneRiver Booster Club’s first annual basektball benefit for the Autism Speaks organization.  The Black River First Ladies played the Bellows Falls Terriers at 6pm, and the Black River Presidents played the Rutland Golden Horde at 7:30pm. Cota & Cota has sponsored the basketball games in the past, but this was the first year the booster club designated a charitable organization as the beneficiary. The school will now dedicate one game during each sport season to supporting a charitable organization.




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Save the Date!

The 35th Annual HomeLife Show will be held March 15-17, 2013, at the Leverone Field House at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, NH. Cota & Cota will display energy efficient furnaces, boilers, and water heaters. You can also enter to win up to $2,000 in heating fuel for the 2013-2014 heating season! Stay tuned for more information about the event.


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Stop the VT Heat Tax!!

More and more Vermonters are sounding off about the proposed $30 million Heat Tax. Editorial writers and commentators describe the idea as a costly burden that is unnecessary. In 1970, the average Vermont home consumed 1531 gallons of heating oil. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average per home consumption in Vermont dropped 45% by 1990, 52% by 2000 and 61% by 2010. A mature and competitive marketplace is no match for a costly taxpayer funded government program when it comes to delivering efficiency services.

So what is the real reason for an 11-cent per gallon tax on heating oil and propane?

There is an influential group of Vermonters that support higher fuel prices by whatever means necessary as a way to make the fuel we sell unaffordable, and thus force people to use less. This political philosophy is written by those that haven’t had the misfortune of living from paycheck to paycheck— or  the responsibility of signing the front of one.

Who else wants higher prices for oilheat and propane? 

The renewable fuels lobby and Gaz Métro, the Canadian energy conglomerate which owns Vermont Gas Systems and Green Mountain Power. The utility is aggressively going after a larger market share by trying to convert Vermont homes to natural gas and electric heat pumps. Increasing the cost of fuel oil and propane gives them a competitive advantage.

The Heat Tax is a regressive tax. It hurts the poor who will be paying to install solar panels on the homes of the rich.

The bigger impact may be on Vermont businesses who will have to pay an even greater burden to pay for this new government program.  Vermont businesses already pay a Sales Tax, Gross Receipts Tax, and Petroleum Cleanup Fee on every gallon of heating fuel. Once you add a Heat Tax of up to 11-cents a gallon, you have to ask . . . why would a business choose to expand, locate, OR STAY in Vermont if forced to pay these energy taxes in perpetuity? Simply put, the Heat Tax is a job killer.

The more than 400,000 Vermonters that depend on deliverable liquid fuels will soon learn more about the Heat Tax. 

You can help. Here is how:


Contact your local representative and state senator

Call, send an email or letter that lets them know you are opposed to a Heat Tax. Find the email, address or phone number of your elected representative.

VFDA will continue to post updated information on the proposed tax on our website at http://www.vermontfuel.com/tax.html

Listen to the radio commentary against the Heat Tax by the John McClaughry.

Read about the Vermont Heat Tax in the Montpelier Times-Argus

Read about the Vermont Heat Tax in VTdigger online news website.

Thank you for supporting our work in the Vermont Statehouse.

Matt Cota
Vermont Fuel Dealers Association


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The Spirit of Giving

This year seemed to bring about more struggles than our communities have faced in recent years. Although many of us enjoyed the mild winter of 2011, it caused many challenges for our local economies. We all felt the trickle down effect.  From our shop keepers who beared the loss of tourism, to the local plow guy, who relies on harsher winter weather to make ends meet. Here at Cota & Cota, we felt it too. Thats why this holiday season, it was essential to give back to our neighbors, many of whom faced deeper struggles than our own.

The Ken Cota Gift of Warmth is a program designed to “pay it forward” to someone in need. In a random drawing, a local business associate is awarded 200 gallons of heating fuel at a Chamber of Commerce holiday mixer. They are then asked to donate it to someone who is struggling. This year, the fuel was awarded to Steve Cormier, of WTSA. Steve was able to use his morning radio show to find the right recipient. He was humbled hearing the countless stories of struggling families, and said it was incredibly hard to have to choose just one. Casey Cota was on air with Steve the morning a family was chosen, and re-counted the story of how the Ken Cota Gift of Warmth came about. The story is a wonderful reminder of the importance of helping our neighbors in any capacity possible. Listen to Casey’s interview with Steve Cormier:

heating oil propane installation plumbing hvacIn the spirit of giving back, Casey Cota launched a new program, The Hugh Cota Gift from the Heart, to honor his Dad, Hugh. This program donated six ipad mini tablet devices to the Kurn Hattin School. Providing the school with these ipads, will keep curriculum up to date, and hopefully encourage students to keep up their hard work.

Lou_Our_Place_donationThe generous nature of the Cota family inspires us, as the staff of Cota & Cota, to give back as well. Every year we honor the Cotas, by taking a collection and donating it to a local organization in their name. The donation is presented to the Cota family at the annual Christmas party, as our gift to them. This year, we wanted to honor Casey, especially, for his tireless efforts throughout the summer and fall.  After merging with Kearley Fuel in July, Casey worked day and night to install a bulk plant and Key Club fuel station at the Jamaica office. Casey is not the type of person who is above hard work. It is rare that you will find him in his office these days, but rather working side by side with his staff. When he finally emerges from the trenches, covered in dust and dirt, its back to the office to face the daily duties of his position as President of Cota & Cota. We are well aware that his hard work, and vision for the future of the company benefits us all. It was clear this year that there were too many organizations in need, and too many families struggling, to allocate our collection to just one. Instead, we wanted to make an impact in each of the communities we serve. We proudly awarded our funds to:

Bellows Falls: Our Place

Brattleboro: Reformer Christmas Stocking

Jamaica: Jamaica/Wardsboro Community Food Pantry and the Townshend Food Shelf

Ludlow: Black River Good Neighbors

Springfield: Springfield Family Center

White River Junction: Upper Valley Haven

In November, four Cota & Cota staff members volunteered their Saturday to install a heating system for a family. Read the full story here.

Jaimi_Springfield_Family_Center_donationWe hope that you, too will be inspired to give back. The holiday season is coming to a close, but our friends and neighbors are in need year round. Whether it is giving a monetary gift to a local organization, or carrying groceries for an elderly neighbor, we encourage all of you to do what you can to pull together as a community. It really does take a village!

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Honoring Hugh Cota

Cota & Cota has maintained a long tradition of giving back to the community. This year, in the spirit of giving back, we began a new tradition – The Hugh Cota Gift from the Heart. “Work hard, work smart” is the motto Hugh lives by, and his example has inspired his children to live by those same words. On December 10, 2012, the Cota family honored Hugh, by giving students at Kurn Hattin an educational leg up through a donation of six iPad mini tablet devices. By providing access to new technology, the Cota family hopes to encourage students to keep up the hard work that will ultimately lead them on a path to success.

Casey Cota, owner of Cota & Cota could not be more pleased to spread Christmas cheer to an organization that strives to change the lives of so many children. Casey feels it is a great way to continue the generosity of his father, by contributing to a school that has turned kids into great adults.

This spirit of giving is not new to the Cota family. Beginning in the 1940’s, Ken Cota’s generous nature instilled in his family the tradition of giving back. Following in his father’s footsteps, Hugh carried this tradition on strong. Casey says, “Hugh has always been a person who didn’t wait to be asked for help.  If he saw a neighbor who needed a hand, big or small, he was there to jump in.  If someone needed clothing or food or fuel he was there with a helping hand. Though he didn’t like the recognition, he too created a great legacy and bigger shoes to follow.  Hugh passed this great passion on to his children to keep this tradition alive.”