The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

How The Degree Day System Works

Know you’ll always have fuel with P. Gagnon’s Automatic Delivery!

how much fuel maineSo many P. Gagnon & Son customers have discovered the benefits of our Automatic Delivery service for their propane or heating oil.

It’s so easy and convenient! You don’t have to worry about going out in the cold to check your tank gauge levels or contacting us to request a delivery. We use the latest software to calculate when you’ll need more fuel and make the delivery before you run low. You don’t have to do a thing!

You might wonder what goes into those calculations. Here’s how it works.

How we know when you need more fuel

What goes into the calculations our state-of-the-art software uses to come up with a personalized estimate of your heating oil or propane usage? A lot!

The calculations we use for scheduling a propane or heating oil delivery to your home are primarily based on those two factors: your average usage in the past (or a local average for a home of your size if you’ve recently become a P. Gagnon & Son customer) and the present weather as measured in heating degree days.

A heating degree day (HDD) is a number that is used to express how much energy is needed to heat a home or building. You can calculate HDDs by subtracting the average temperature of a given day from 65˚ F, which is the temperature below which heat is needed; every degree that a day’s average temperature is below 65˚ F is considered one HDD. Here’s an example: if the average temperature for a given day is 50˚ F, its HDD number is 15 (65 – 50 = 15).

We use our software to keep track of heating degree days so we can estimate how much heating oil or propane you will likely be using.

Naturally, neither heating degree days nor prior use can tell us how much fuel you’re using on its own; a variety of other factors are involved, including:

  • How well-insulated your home is
  • The energy efficiency of your heating system
  • How well your heating system was installed
  • How well your heating system has been maintained
  • How efficiently you use your thermostat
  • Your lifestyle, such as whether you work at home, and how warm you like your home to be

For these reasons and others, it’s critical for Automatic Delivery clients such as you to keep us informed if anything in your life changes that may influence how much fuel you use. If you have built an addition to your home or added finished living space like an attic or sunporch without changing your home heating system, you will naturally use more fuel. Another example is if a person with a low tolerance for cold, such as an elderly family member, has left your home. That means you may use less fuel. Whatever the circumstances, please let us know.

Let P. Gagnon & Son do the work of getting your fuel to you when you need it. Contact us today to enroll in Automatic Delivery!