Associate Member Spotlight – Tom Antonelli, Inc.

Gina Antonelli-King & Christie Farinella, Tom Antonelli, Inc.

In an industry dominated by men, two Bucks County women are following in their father’s footsteps to the top of their profession.

Gina Antonelli–King and Christie Farinella are the second generation of family members leading  Tom Antonelli, Inc. The family-owned heating and air conditioning supply company has been providing “winter warmth and summer cooling” supplies to service companies in Pennsylvania and throughout surrounding areas for more than 50 years.

Raised in the business before stepping in to lead it after the death of their father, Tom, Christie and Gina have been steeped in the HVAC industry for so long, they sometimes forget how unique they are. Of the 466,000 Americans employed in the HVAC industry in 2019, only 1.5 percent are women, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Yes, the industry is male dominated now, but offering people personal, knowledgeable service is more important than gender,” Gina continued. “We know our product, we know the industry, we know our customers, and we go out of our way to say, ‘How can we help you?’ That’s how our mom and dad ran the company, and that’s how we run it today.”

Today, the company carries  rebuilt parts, as well as oil and gas boilers, furnaces, hot water heaters, indirect units, air conditioning units, and any and all parts needed to install, repair, or rebuild heating and air conditioning systems. And  the Antonelli family is always on the lookout  for ways to support the community whenever it can.

On any given day, visitors to Antonelli’s warehouse might encounter a four-legged member of the family. Since 2008, the Antonellis have worked with the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence to train puppies to become service dogs for people with disabilities.

“Our job is to take that puppy from 8 weeks old to 18 months old and teach them 30 basic commands and get them used to different situations,” Gina said. “We usually take them out to restaurants, movie theaters, and other public places. We socialize them so that once they leave us they are ready to go to professional training where they learn even more commands. They learn to string commands together, to turn light switches on and off, and other amazing things. They learn that there is a time to play and a time to work.”

Since 1975, Canine Companions for Independence has provided assistance dogs free of charge to qualified recipients. But the work is not cheap. Raising and training each dog and caring for it throughout its lifetime can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000, Gina said. Nearly all of that money is raised through donations, particularly the organization’s signature fundraiser, DogFest.

“Penn Community Bank’s sponsorship of DogFest is quite significant,” Gina said. “Being able to demonstrate to other local businesses that this local bank supports us adds credibility and helps us with our fundraising. When you have someone with that kind of influence in the community, it makes a difference.”

Climate Change Executive Orders

President Biden delivered an address on climate change and signed a series of ambitious executive orders on the matter.

The President called climate change the “maximum threat” facing America and said the nation has waited too long to address the issue. He pointed to a Defense Department report that says climate change is a national security threat to two-thirds of U.S. operational strategic forces. He called for a unified national response but acknowledged the U.S. can’t stop global warming alone, and promised to put pressure on foreign countries to do their part. The President announced he will host an International Climate Summit of world leaders on Earth Day, April 22, 2021.

Biden then signed executive actions he said will “supercharge” the administration’s climate change agenda. These orders build upon climate actions taken immediately after his inauguration, which included rejoining the Paris Accords, suspending the Keystone XL pipeline permit, implementing a social cost of carbon in federal rulemakings, and halting 100+ Trump-era regulatory actions on energy and the environment.

Today’s actions include:

  • Commitments to double offshore wind by 2030 and achieve 100% carbon free electricity nationwide by 2035.
  • Orders the Department of Interior to suspend new oil and natural gas leasing on public lands, begin a “rigorous review” of existing permitting and leasing programs, and lay the groundwork for federal protection of 30% of all U.S. lands and waters by 2030.
  • “Plug” one million abandoned oil and natural gas wells across the country.
  • Orders federal fleets, including the U.S. Postal Service, to utilize zero-emission vehicles made in America.
  • To the extent allowed by law, end federal funding for fossil fuels and press Congress to eliminate oil and gas-related tax breaks.
  • Creation of a “Civilian Climate Corps” to enhance climate resilience, conduct reforestation, increase carbon sequestration in the agriculture, protect biodiversity, and help the nation adapt to climate change and be more resilient to storms, fires, and floods.
  • Instructs Defense, Homeland Security, and Intelligence agencies to prepare reports on the security implications of climate change.
  • Shifts U.S. domestic and international finance policies towards an anti-fossil fuel posture.

The President has also created a new White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy, led by former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, to oversee the administration’s overall climate efforts. He also created White House advisory and interagency councils on environmental justice to mitigate the impacts of pollution on low-income communities and communities of color, and will require 40% of federal climate change investments to flow to these communities. Also a new interagency task force will be created to coordinate the transition of coal, oil, and natural gas workers to the new “clean energy economy” and help local communities that serve these industries adapt to this change.

John Kerry of Massachusetts and Gina McCarthy of Connecticut – the new White House “Czars” on foreign and domestic climate policy, respectively – spoke at a White House press conference immediately before the President’s address. They outlined plans for a “whole of government approach” to climate change, which includes ensuring a climate office is created in nearly every single federal department, agency, and commission. McCarthy will lead a National Climate Task Force comprised of representatives from 21 federal departments and agencies to coordinate federal climate policy.

Biden has thus far resisted calls from Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer and other party leaders to issue a national emergency declaration for climate change. You will recall that President Trump issued a similar declaration on immigration. If taken, this action would expand the powers of the President to address the stated emergency without legislative action, which includes the repurposing of federal funds (as Trump did for border security). Honestly, I feel like this is still a possibility, perhaps on or around Earth Day. The White House also promised to submit its Nationally Determined Contribution Plan, which his required of all Paris Climate Accord nations, before the Earth Day Climate Summit.

The President also reiterated his belief that Congress needs to act on climate. As previously mentioned, he plans to send a climate-focused infrastructure and workforce development package to Congress next month, and it will probably be the focus of his State of the Union Address. Biden also promised that his departments and agencies will pursue an aggressive regulatory agenda the next four years, which will include tougher CAFE standards, reducing emissions from oil and gas production, and stronger restrictions on fugitive methane emissions.

In related news, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to examine the nomination of former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to serve as U.S. Energy Secretary. Granholm said repeatedly that lower emission energy sources and technologies provide the U.S. a “massive opportunity” to address climate change while also supporting American businesses and creating jobs. Senator Angus King, a member of the committee, invited the former Governor to visit Maine and tour off-shore wind projects (which she promised to do so).


Jim Collura, Vice President & Director of Government Affairs, NEFI

Ultra-Low Sulfur Heating Oil

As of September 1, 2020, all heating oil sold in our state will be ultra-low sulfur heating oil. ULSHO produces significantly fewer emissions, it burns cleaner in heating systems, and best of all, it requires no modifications.

View the Facts

Communication Tools For Ultra-Low Sulfur Heating Oil Transition Beginning Sept. 1

Members of the PPA Heating Fuels Committee recently collaborated to create tools for dealers to communicate the statewide ULHSO mandate which is effective on September 1, 2020. The following free resources are now available for PPA members to utilize.

In the next 30 days a digital video will also be available to explain the consumer benefits of ULSHO.

— ULSHO Infographic (click here to download)

— ULSHO FAQ Flyer (click here to download)

— ULSHO Webpage (click here to view)

ULSHO Regulation Reminder & Limited Suspension Of Enforcement Information

The regulation is effective tomorrow (September 1, 2020). To view the regulation please click here.

The PPA worked with DEP to grant a limited suspension of enforcement waiver to allow heating oil dealers to meet the new standard. The suspended enforcement of the 15 ppm standard will be in place from September 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021. A copy of this enforcement notice can be found here.

This suspension of enforcement does not cover No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil received by the distributor or retail outlet after July 25, 2020 (publish date of regulation). This suspension does not cover distributors of commercial fuel oil by pipeline or supersede conditions in any air quality plan approval or operating permit.

A distributor or retail outlet covered by this limited suspension of enforcement must maintain adequate records onsite to document the quantity of No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil stored by the distributor or retail outlet in this Commonwealth on July 25, 2020, that exceeds 15 ppm sulfur content. The records shall be made available to the Department upon request.

This suspension also applies to No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil received by the ”ultimate consumer” as defined in 25 Pa.?Code §?121.1, on or before February 28, 2021.

Article from Pennsylvania Petroleum Association

Fuel Storage Preventing Failure – ICM

Indoor Comfort Marketing – July/August 2020

“A properly installed and maintained storage tank is an extremely safe and efficient way to store power. A full 275-gallon tank holds over 34 million BTUs of potential heat in the fuel itself. This is equivalent to more than 11,000 kilowatts of electricity. All this energy is at the customer’s ready disposal day and night..”


Read Publication


The American Energy Coalition now has the recorded webinar aired a couple of months ago on the AEC website. The webinar as you will recall, was an encore performance first presented by Rich Sweetser and Ray Albrecht at the NEFI Heat Show in Providence back in September. Rich and Ray agreed to a do-over using the webinar format, and we appreciate their indulgence in helping us to get out this very timely and very important subject matter out to you.

The webinar is entitled “The Economics & Environmental Performance Of Biodiesel vs. Electric Heat Pumps”. You can access the recording in a number of ways, but the easiest is to go to: We welcome you to copy this recording to your own websites and encourage your membership to view the presentation and share it with their staff. It is a very good overview of Heat Pumps and some of the problems associated with their use. It is also a good view of the electric grid and the challenges posed by the additional load that would accrue from conversions from hydrocarbon fuels to electric heat pumps, or electric vehicles for that matter.

Angus Energy Seminars Postponed

Due to COVID-19 and the CDC’s recommendations the Angus Energy Seminars will be postponed to future dates. We take the safety and health of our attendees and presenters seriously. With the facts as we know them today, we will move the seminars to the future when we know more and can have a greater sense of the health risk.

PPA Actions In Response To Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The PPA is currently in contact with various state agencies to actively monitor the rapidly developing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties are currently operating under aggressive social distancing guidelines. In Gov Wolf’s current Mitigation Guideline they are specifically instructing Supermarkets, pharmacies, and gas stations to remain open. They are “strongly recommending” nonessential business in these four counties to close for 14 days (March 28).

Late Sunday, March 15, Gov. Wolf ordered dine-in service at restaurants and bars in Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties to close for 14 days (March 30).  Businesses not complying with this order will be subject to enforcement action.  Click Here for more.

PPA has been in touch with PEMA, DEP, and other agencies to communicate the importance of heating oil and propane deliveries during this time.

We encourage you to notify PPA staff of any particular needs or concerns that you have so that we can communicate to the most efficient government employees to obtain the information or the help that you may need.

The PPATEC training program will be operating until March 18 to allow the current NORA Bronze Two Week Basic Oil Heat Program attendees to complete the class as a part of a condensed curriculum.

Our training facility will continue to follow Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines for business operations to ensure we are taking the necessary precautions for attendees.

PPATEC will be postponing all scheduled events from March 19 – March 27 as a precautionary measure. Attendees will be notified and contacted directly with more information.

We will be continuously monitoring and reassessing any scheduled classes after March 27.

The March 26 PPA Board of Directors meeting has been tentatively rescheduled to April 30. PPA conferences that are scheduled to take place in the upcoming months are still scheduled as planned.

NEFI Announces New Advanced Education Programs

Updated Management and Executive Courses Address Leading Companies to a Successful Net-Zero Carbon Future

(SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass., January 21, 2020) After a successful launch in 2019, NEFI Advanced Education is pleased to announce that it will again offer the Management Development and Energy Leaders programs for 2020. These sessions have been updated to reflect current market conditions and help industry leaders steer their companies to a successful “Net-Zero Carbon by 2050” future — a goal the Northeast heating fuel industry embraced with the September 16, 2019 Providence Resolution. NEFI Advanced Education programs are open to all heating and energy professionals in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.


The L.E.A.D. Management Development Program was created to take key management staff to the next level, with self-paced coursework on leadership, productivity, communication, culture and motivation. Led by Quinnipiac University’s Corporate Training Division, the Management Development Program launches April 28 and combines distance learning, self-paced assignments and in-person group sessions. These in person application sessions will be held at centralized locations in April, May, September and October, ensuring top managers are in-house during busy winter months. Quinnipiac interviewed business owners to discover the skills their managers needed, and developed the program to meet those needs. Companies have reported marked improvement in goal setting, conflict resolution and team building from last year’s participants. Registration is available at, and must be completed by April 13.

Also open for registration, the Energy Leaders Program at Dartmouth is a five-day immersive workshop for company owners, presidents and senior executives, running April 19-23. Developed and directed by the world-renowned Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and described by participants as “intense” and “transformative,” the MBA-caliber program aims to give participants the tools and framework they need to transform organizations, inspire teams, and drive results. To apply, visit Please note: the application deadline for the Dartmouth program is Friday, February 28.


About NEFI

NEFI is a trade association representing independent dealers of heating oil, propane, biofuel and motor fuels, as well as businesses that support the deliverable energy industry through a range of products and services.  NEFI is the industry’s center for national legislative and regulatory advocacy, representing Main Street family businesses before regional and federal policy makers, the media, and the public.  NEFI’s Education Foundation provides member companies with business and leadership training, educational conferences, guidance in complying with federal rules and regulations, trade shows and networking events. For more information, please visit of call 617-804-1111.