September 28, 2012
Dear NJGCA Member:
Thank you for reading this week's NJGCA Road Warrior!
Here's what you'll find in this edition:
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: GREETINGS & SAL-UTATIONS!
•Hot Fuels Update, Price Gouging, Proper Bookkeeping, and the Value of Membership
BUSINESSES FOR SALE!
•Looking for a new opportunity? Businesses for sale below!
•Do YOU have equipment for sale or are you looking for a new employee?!
NEWS AROUND THE STATE
•Auto Tech: New self-inflating tires developed
•NJ Supreme Court says DEP must show proof before polluters can pay for cleanups
•Education: Senate Committee approves extended academic year, longer school day pilot program
•Garden State residents’ income declined in 2011
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM BELLOMO FUELS
•Serving New Jersey since 1910 -- Over 100 years of supplying gasoline to service station retailers like YOU!
TRAINING CLASS SCHEDULE
•New Emission Inspector Training Class available -- SIGN UP TODAY!
MEET THE FOLKS AT LIBERTY GAS
•Looking for a new brand for your station? Take a look at the opportunity below!
MEMBER BENEFIT PARTNER MESSAGE
•TMP Energy Solutions: Another Way to Save On Your Energy Bills!
ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATIONS FOR SERVICE STATIONS
•A special message from Prestige Environmental!
POLITICAL PARTICIPATON: THE NJGCA PAC
•Participate in the NJGCA PAC today and help us keep our Agenda rolling in Trenton!
THE MEMBER TOOL BOX
•On the NJGCA Homepage
JOIN NJGCA ON FACEBOOK -- CLICK HERE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: GREETINGS & SAL-UTATIONS!
HOT FULES UPDATE
PAYING EMPLOYEES OFF THE BOOKS
THE VALUE OF YOUR NJGCA MEMBERSHIP
Gasoline retailers have a lot to think about when it comes to their fuel inventory. Not only do you have to worry about having enough money to purchase a full tanker load up front (for which, alone, I lost many nights of sleep over), but you have to consider environmental, regulatory, and logistical factors.
Over the past decade or so, a new wrinkle has been slowly emerging that not only affects that inventory, but also your calibration, compliance, and ultimate profitability. Long time NJGCA Members and diligent Road Warrior-readers will immediately know I’m talking about the “Hot Fuels” issue.
For those of you who haven’t been members for very long, the hot fuels problem is also known as “Temperature Adjusted Compensation” – a fancy phrase that underlines the problem of liquid volume expansion in hot conditions and contraction in cold conditions. Think back to your high school science class and you may remember that lesson.
In the gasoline retail world, that phenomenon is also a reality, but is a recent focus of regulators and consumer groups. Though it doesn’t sound like a big deal, the implications are huge. Think it through for a second: You purchase gasoline by the number of gallons that are emptied into a tanker at the rack. The number of gallons at the rack says X, but when it reaches your station it’s actually Y. Still, your invoice stating X-gallons were delivered was calculated before it left the terminal – and that’s what you are paying for, regardless of the reality of what’s in the tanker.
What creates the discrepancy? Did gallons evaporate along the way? Or maybe the driver was such a nice guy, he stopped to add a few extra gallons to the tanker before dropping the load in your underground tanks?
Joking aside, you can see how this could be an issue for your station and affect you profitability since you could be paying for more gallons then you’re actually getting – or vice versa. I have continually maintained that, for retailers and motorists in New Jersey, this isn’t as big problem as in other areas of the country. That’s because when you are arguably losing volume during a delivery in one half of the year (during the summer), you’re making up for that volume the other half (during the winter).
Most recently, the hot fuels issue has made headlines due to a national class-action lawsuit. A few years back, a number of states banded together to sue motor fuel refiners and retailers over this issue. The list of US States and Territories involved in the suit is long – but you should know that New Jersey is among them. The legal proceedings were consolidated in Kansas in June 2007, so you haven’t heard much about it. Yet last month we learned that the action is alive and kicking, as the states push for the industry to adopt automated temperature compensation (ATC) devices at retail locations in order to protect consumers (at a cost of approximately $2,000 per meter!!).
A part of the lawsuit was just settled, with the court finding that it was not “deceptive” for retailers to sell gasoline that may vary due to temperature conditions. The ATC dispensers are very expensive and would be an enormous capital expense if it were ever mandated for retailers to purchase.
While the case isn’t entirely over, this lawsuit may indirectly have a significant affect on your business. Legislators in New Jersey have been paying attention to all of this, and five years ago, Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman introduced a bill on this very topic – and has reintroduced it each succeeding session. Known as A-1422 in today’s Legislative Session, the bill requires that all fuel pumps operated by a retail dealer must be equipped to measure temperature adjusted gallons. If this bill were to pass, the Office of Weights and Measures will oversee the program, divide the state into 3 districts, calculate a historical average temperature for each district, and determine how much gasoline expands and contracts above/below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
While it all sounds pretty complex, and even a bit impressive, the simple fact is there is no need for this in New Jersey. As I already said above, retailers (and consumers) lose volume during the warmer months, but make up for that shortfall during the winter months. Said differently, it all averages out! So even if one could say a retailer or motorists was getting short changed one half of the year, they’re gaining the other half of the year. Does it make sense to spend tens of thousands of dollars on ATC pumps for a problem that exists (at most) half of the year? Does it make sense for consumers to bear the burden of having the costs for those pumps passed along to them in every gallon they buy to comply with such a mandate?
Those are rhetorical questions, of course, and I don’t think you’d care to have Trenton mandate an ADDITIONAL expense on your establishment.
Though the Assemblywoman’s bill hasn’t gotten much traction over the last few sessions, that does not mean it couldn’t spark interest in the bill here at home. Remember, Legislators (and the Press) are mostly reactive to events – not proactive. The ATC issue getting headlines nationally could compel lawmakers to enact the bill here in New Jersey -- where it is unneeded.
Don’t take my tone to mean that the issue doesn’t warrant study or that the Kansas lawsuit shouldn’t move forward. Rather, any conclusions they make will have big implications for states like Florida, Texas, and other warm-climate states where hot fuels could be a genuine consumer problem.
But here in New Jersey, it’s a solution looking for a problem.
It seems that too many times we receive a call here at NJGCA from a dealer or a shop owner who is not a member and has found himself in hot water and seeks our help to get out of the pot. We are always polite and never blow anybody off. We use the opportunity to explain why they should be a member or how being a member could have helped them avoid the boiling water that they are presently swimming in. Many times the boiling water could have been averted by simply reading my message in the weekly Road Warrior. It simply is not fair to those locations that pay their membership dues for NJGCA staff to assist others who simply choose not to.
This past week a few things were brought to my attention that have prompted me to write today’s memo, since this is the forum where I share my thoughts.
Several days ago I received bulletins announcing that a gasoline dealer in NJ has settled a case with the NJ Attorney General for the amount of $50,000. What was this settlement for? The dealer was charged under the NJ Consumer Fraud Act with “price gouging”.
Last August when Hurricane Irene was heading straight for New Jersey, I sent email warnings to all NJGCA members reminding them the ‘gouging’ laws that were in effect because Governor Christie had declared a ‘State of Emergency’. Thankfully I was able to say to the press afterwards that “no NJGCA member engaged in price gouging during the storm and its aftermath by taking advantage of consumers when they had little or no choice to purchase gas elsewhere.” Technically I was correct. One retailer who was indeed caught ‘gouging’ was NOT an NJGCA member. Once I read the news reports I immediately checked our membership roles and was relieved to find the offender was not a member------YET.
Several months later a very nice man visited my office and showed me a copy of a complaint he had received from the NJ Attorney General charging him with ‘gouging’ during the State of Emergency. The Attorney General’s office had obviously done their homework and had everything carefully documented after receiving a complaint from a consumer. The very nice man was seeking my help and wanted to join NJGCA. Yes, I accepted him as a new member and I did offer to look in to the matter, but at that point the horse was already out of the barn, and I was not very confident that I could do more than seek leniency. The very nice man expressed a lack of knowledge regarding the ‘gouging’ laws and exclaimed that it was his manager that chose to raise the price effectively taking advantage of customers.
Since only NJGCA members receive the weekly Road Warrior, I printed the previous emails that I sent to NJGCA members informing them of the laws and warning against ignoring them. I even showed him the exact statutes that I referenced in my emails. Had he been a member of NJGCA and received my warnings and alerts he would not be in this mess. So what do you think the value of a $450 annual membership fee would have been to this very nice man? Today he is a member of NJGCA and I am quite sure is reading this message today.
Also this week a dealer inquired about joining NJGCA in order to participate in our valuable Members Only Workers Compensation Program. We made the required referrals and had a representative visit him and give a quote. Stunningly the quote from Meadowbrook was almost double his present coverage. Why? Because this retailer was only reporting half of his payroll to his present carrier and was employing workers ‘off the books’. Well of course that would create a big difference in premium quotes.
Here is what came to my mind since this guy was not an NJGCA member. Let’s see if the same thoughts pop in to your head. Are you still thinking? Hmmm----do ya think this guy knows anything at all about the US Department of Labor task force that is still investigating gasoline service stations and auto repair shops in New Jersey? How many times in the last year have you read my warnings and updates and advice regarding the USDOL task force? Do ya think this guy has read any of my messages? I can answer that. NO! Because only NJGCA members receive Road Warrior emails.
My guess is besides the fact that he is blatantly hiring people under the table, he is probably not properly paying wages according to the law either. Based on the number of employees that he has, I have conservatively calculated that this guy is risking somewhere around $40,000 in fines and penalties should the task force gets around to visiting his location. Since they have vowed to visit every location in NJ, I have no reason to doubt that someday they will be visiting his site. If you couple any penalties and back wages with the probable $500-$1000 in annual savings that he would be receiving by participating in the NJGCA Workers Comp program this guy is truly missing the value of a $450 annual membership investment. Do you agree?
On a more positive note that demonstrates why you must be an NJGCA member, we received news this week from one of the NJGCA Member Benefit Partners. Affinity Credit is now offering very low rates for NJGCA members who need to finance a new or used vehicle. Your membership entitles you to access these rates. Just give Greg a call here at NJGCA Headquarters and he will have someone from Affinity call you.
Thanks for listening – See you next week.
BUSINESS FOR SALE!
Click on the picture below to see more details!
CLASSIFIEDS: FOR SALE & HELP WANTED!
After running an ad in the Road Warrior over the last month, NJGCA was able to assist a member in selling his equipment!
If you'd like to list equipment for sale, or have an open position you'd like to make other industry professionals aware of, please contact NJGCA at 973-376-0066 and let us help you get the word out!
NEWS AROUND THE STATE
Auto Tech: New self-inflating tires developed
Goodyear Tire Company has developed a new self-regulating tire that it will begin to roll out for commercial customers. In development since 2011, the Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) uses sensors inside the tire to detect when pressure has dropped, then opens a valve on the tire sidewall to capture outside air. As the wheel rotates, a tube captures air that is compressed by the vehicle’s own weight, and injects it into the tire. When the pressure is increased to an acceptable level, the valve closes. Tires that are properly inflated can increase fuel economy, reduce vehicle emissions, and decrease the likelihood of a possible tire blowout. Analysts believe that after the technology debuts on commercial vehicles in the next few years, it will filter down to passenger cars.
NJ Supreme Court says DEP must show proof before polluters can pay for cleanups
According to a new NJ State Supreme Court ruling issued this week, environmental officials at the NJDEP must have direct proof that polluters contaminated a site before making them pay clean up costs. Under this new ruling, state authority must prove their case against polluters by a preponderance of evidence, rather than the “some connection” standard established under federal law. Click above to read the full article.
Education: Senate Committee approves extended academic year, longer school day pilot program
Earlier this week, the Senate Education Committee passed a measure permitting 25 state school districts to experiment with a longer academic year and extended school days. The districts would receive additional aid funded through tax credits for companies to fund the three-year program. The proposal comes as many in the education establishment are urging policy makers to approve longer school instruction so American schools can catch up to other industrialized nations. The proposal must still go before the full Senate before being taken up for consideration by the General Assembly. Click above to read more.
Garden State residents’ income declined in 2011
Recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau illustrate that income levels for New Jersey residents dropped in 2011. The report indicates that as income levels declined, food stamps and other public assistance programs rose. Though New Jersey still has higher income and lower poverty rates than other states, the state’s high cost of business is hampering economic growth. Click above to read the full article.
-ALL CLASSES WILL BE HELD AT NJGCA HEADQUARTERS-
66 Morris Avenue - Springfield, NJ 07081 (Union County)
NJ EMISSION INSPECTOR TRAINING
In order to be licensed as a Motor Vehicle Emission Inspector, you must complete this course and pass a “Written Exam” given by the State of New Jersey. NJGCA offers this training in a ONE DAY State approved training program that will provide an understanding of inspection related issues including EPA Regulations, Safety, Diesel, Customer Service and the New Jersey State Specific Curriculum. This specially tailored NJGCA course fulfills all requirements.
Class Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Class Location: NJGCA Headquarters, located at 66 Morris Avenue - Springfield, NJ 07081
Arrival Time: 7:00am
Lunch Break: 12:00pm (Pizza and soda will be served)
NJMVC Test: 1:00pm
NJGCA Members: $250.00
Manuals are included and payment is due upon registration. All credit cards are accepted.
License Fee: Bring a $50.00 check made payable to NJMVC to satisfy the State’s licensing fee.
PLEASE NOTE: If you live out of state, you must bring 6 points of ID with you, such as a license, passport, healthcare card, utility bill, etc.
CLICK HERE to view and complete the registration form with all the required information.
Once complete, please fax it to 973-376-0766. Alternatively, you may also either scan the form or email the details below to Debbie Hill at email@example.com.
PLEASE NOTE: FUTURE DATES WILL BE ADDED UPON REQUEST AND ACCORDING TO DEMAND. CONTACT DEBBIE at 973-376-0066 or DEBBIE@NJGCA.ORG TO LET HER KNOW YOU ARE INTERESTED IN TAKING A SPECIFIC CLASS. THIS WILL ALLOW US TO GAUGE YOUR NEEDS AND KEEP TRACK OF THOSE WISHING TO PARTICIPATE!!
MEMBER BENEFIT PARTNER MESSAGE
TMP Energy Solutions
Another Way to Save on Your Energy Bills
We have had a number of NJGCA members successfully reduce their rate per kWh signing up through our energy saving program. We know it’s difficult to collect 12 months worth of previous electric bills to get an “accurate” analysis when comparing a variable rate to a fixed rate, but we now have another option available.
This new solution is a power purchase option; the other program is still in full force and has saved members thousands of dollars. If you sign up for the power purchase option, you will be grouped with other NJGCA members until the minimum KW demand is acquired. By pooling the member’s usage together, you will be able to take advantage, as large energy users do, and receive a lower kWh rate.
Each member will receive their own contract. Each member is responsible to sign and return the agreement the day it is received in order to secure the price for their group.
Please do your due diligence, so when you receive the proposal and the agreement you will be able to make an intelligent decision.
If by chance, you still want us to assess you bills, to give you a price to compare, we will require12 months of your most recent utility bills.
There are no bills required, but we would still like to have one bill per meter on file to check account #’s, meter #’s service addresses and other pertinent information incase there is a problem.
The term of the agreement is for 12 months. During this term period, you will have price protection against any energy price increases along with a low fixed kWh rate.
If you are interested in becoming part of this power purchase option, please contact Greg Cannon at the NJGCA.
Remember when you sign up your energy through the NJGCA Energy Program, TMP makes a considerable donation to the NJGCA Scholarship Fund through their proceeds. This has no affect on your rate, and costs you nothing out of pocket.
We hope to help hundreds of NJGCA members reduce their utility costs by participating in this and our other cost reduction programs. Our purpose, in the endeavor, is to help NJGCA members lower their energy costs while supporting the NJGCA Scholarship Fund.
Contact GREG CANNON at 973-376-0066 or email Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mention that you are interested in saving money on your energy bills. NJGCA & TMP Energy Solutions will handle all the rest.
POLITICAL PARTICIPATON: THE NJGCA PAC
DEFENDING OUR MEMBERS.
PROTECTING YOUR INTERESTS.
ANSWER THE CALL & CONTRIBUTE TODAY!!
Promoting our agenda in Trenton is of utmost importance to NJGCA and our members.
To truly understand the importance of supporting our allies, consider our successes in Trenton:
However, in order to truly affect the debate, we must ensure our friends in the Legislature are re-elected. It is for this reason that your Association has established the NJGCA PAC.
For too long, the weight of funding our Political Action Committee, the arm of the Association responsible for political donations, has rested upon a few. This is not only unfair to those few members who have shouldered this burden, but means we are not utilizing our full strength to affect the debate in Trenton.
We defeated BELOW COST SELLING
We made history in getting FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL signed into law!
We have built large support for RIGHT TO REPAIR and got it passed out of the Assembly
We defended your small business against the false accusations of Attorney General Anne Milgram
We gained wide support to move New Jersey to an all PIF Inspection System and close the CIF lanes
...and MUCH MORE!!
In each instance, we achieved these goals with the help of our friends in the Legislature!
If every member contributes just $100.00 we will be able to provide the help necessary to ensure victory for our allies.
PLEASE SEND YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO:
66 Morris Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
Please make your donation payable to NJGCA PAC
I understand that times are tough for all NJGCA members, but this is just as important as any battle we have fought in the past.
We have made great progress in Trenton. I hope that you will answer the call. ?
THE MEMBER TOOL BOX
MEMBER SAVINGS PAGE
Check out all of our MBPs and Programs designed to SAVE YOU MONEY!
Looking for something? Take a look at our list of useful links!
Find all our communications and search for old e-newsletters. Take a look!
NEWS AROUND THE STATE ARCHIVE
Need to catch up on events? Want to see what's going on? Find out here!