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Norwalk Fuel Firm Keeps It Small, Efficient

When Stephen Cenatiempo Jr. joined Coastline Fuel two years ago, he increased the company's work force with more than 25 years experience. That's because Coastline is a small owner-operated company, which is the way they prefer it. "When you call us, you're talking to one of the owners," says Cenatiempo. "The same guys do the installation, service and delivery."

But small in size doesn't mean small in operation. Coastline is a full-service fuel company. "We do installation of heating, air-conditioning and hot water systems, service and fuel supply," said Cenatiempo. "For a small company, we cover a lot of territory." Its area goes from Greenwich to Westport and north to Weston and Wilton. Although Coastline's primary focus is on delivering oil, "We're there for whatever they need."

In spite of having only three people running the business, Cenatiempo says the operation is smooth and stress free. "We've gotten the system down so things are under control," he says. "We maintain the systems in the summer and fall so they don't have problems in the winter. We'd prefer not to go out in subfreezing weather in the middle of the night." That approach has worked. Last winter, one of the coldest on record, Coastline had to answer minimal service calls.

With the increasing price of oil, Cenatiempo has seen more and more people upgrading to newer and more efficient heating systems. "You can spend a little now and get your investment back within five years," he says. "We had one customer whose consumption was greatly reduced with no surprise."

Whether it's putting in a new heating system, servicing an existing one or just keeping it filled with fuel, Cenatiempo and Coastline follow the same philosophy: "We do it right the first time."

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