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NH House votes to ease home heating protections

January 4, 2012
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CONCORD, N.H.—New Hampshire's House has voted to ease requirements for fuel dealers who offer prepaid contracts that consumers sign to lock in prices on winter fuel.

The House voted 223-129 Wednesday to pass a bill that eliminates requirements that the dealers demonstrate they can fulfill their pre-buy contracts. Instead, the bill would insert buyer-beware language into the contract warning consumers a contract is not a guarantee a dealer will use their money to lock in fuel at the agreed-upon price.

Supporters argued the existing law is confusing and imposes a burden on small fuel businesses. They said no law can stop a business from closing and possibly harming its clients.

Opponents said New Hampshire should not make a mockery of the contracts by simply telling consumers they may lose their money.

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