Real Estate Closings

Electric, oil, or propane? What you need to know about transferring a heating system when buying a home in Connecticut

The process for transferring will depend on the home's heat source

A hand turning down thermostat on radiator

Published on

May 24, 2023


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One of the many issues to square away during a real estate transaction is transferring the home’s heating system over to the new buyer.

What steps are required will depend on whether the home is heated using oil, propane, or electricity.

From a buyer’s perspective, there could be a large difference in the amount of money they will pay at closing depending on the heat source

So let’s go over what happens in each scenario.

Electric heating

Transferring an electrical heating system is straightforward. The buyer will need to contact the utility company and inform them of their closing date so that the account can be transferred over. The company will also send the seller a final bill for their outstanding balance.

Oil heating

It’s common for homes in New England to include oil tanks more so than some other regions, and in Connecticut, heating oil is used by over 40% of homes.

If you are purchasing a home with heating oil, the seller has a right to request reimbursement for oil leftover in the oil tank at the time of sale.

These tanks can range between 100 and 500 gallons in size, but the most common size is 275 gallons. This could mean the buyer would have to reimburse for hundreds of dollars worth of oil. If a seller has a full 275-gallon tank, and oil is priced at $3 a gallon, this would yield a reimbursement of $825.

Keep in mind that a property can also contain multiple oil tanks, so make sure to gather that information early on.

This reimbursement cost is something buyers who are looking at oil-heated houses should be mindful of, as we’ve seen it catch many people by surprise.

Propane heating

Transfer of propane heating can go one of two ways depending on how the propane company chooses to handle the billing. The company can measure how much unused propane is left in the tank at closing, and the seller can request a reimbursement from the buyer as they would with oil heating.

Or, the company could also send a final bill to the seller and on it credit them for the value of the unused propane. The company would then also set up to bill the buyer for propane used after closing.


The amount a buyer may have to reimburse a seller for oil or propane supply can add up, so it’s best that find out that information early as possible and factor it into your closing budget.

If you need an experienced real estate attorney to guide you through your home purchase, contact Pederson Real Estate Law today for a free consultation. Attorney Charlene Pederson has been representing clients in real estate closings in Connecticut for over 25 years. We serve the lower Fairfield County area, including Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Norwalk, and Wilton.

About the author

Pederson Real Estate Law

Pederson Real Estate Law is a boutique law firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut. We provide experienced, efficient legal services for clients in residential real estate closings —purchases, sales, and refinances.