Emerald is committed to controlling costs in order to provide our customers with the high value products and services they have come to expect. Unfortunately, there are some variable or non-standard costs we cannot fully control, and due to the nature of these costs, we believe our customers are best served by not trying to recoup these through the price of our products and services. We believe that our customers deserve a higher level of visibility and transparency to these costs and how they are impacting all of our businesses today.
Our standard recovery fee is meant to help us cover these costs and maintain an acceptable operating margin. The variable recovery fee is a single line item on customer invoices, comprised of three components: a fixed 1.5% charge for insurance, a fixed 0.5% charge for security costs, and a variable charge for fuel costs.
This charge helps us keep up with the changing costs of diesel and other hydrocarbon based fuels, and allows us to achieve the operating margin we need to maintain a high level of service. Our fuel component calculation is tied directly to the national average price of diesel fuel as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Information Administration. This index is objective, publicly available and widely recognized as an industry standard. Tying our fuel component to this index ensures our customers are assessed a charge that is easy to calculate, adjusted in a timely fashion, and equitable to all parties.
Visit the U.S. DOE’s Energy Information Administration to learn more.
The fuel cost is calculated using the No 2 Diesel Ultra Low Sulfur index generated from the websites listed above. The prior month’s average from this index will be used to calculate the current month’s price, and will be updated on the first Monday of every month. Rate tables used in this calculation can be found below. Minimum and maximum charges will be applied, and will vary according to the rate table mentioned above. This table shows what the fuel component, as a percentage of your invoice charges before taxes, would be based upon.
Click here to view the rate index table.
Click here to view the California rate index table.
Security & Transportation Component
The security and transportation portion of the fee is 0.5% and is made up of additional costs that Emerald incurs to maintain heightened security at our facilities and for our transportation fleet and associated employee costs. Regulations such as the Patriot Act have increased costs, and Homeland Security measures have been instituted which have also driven up costs.
We also incur additional costs to operate our transportation fleet due to an increase in road stops and checks. We are considered at greater risk by Homeland Security because we transport hazardous waste; therefore, our trucks are stopped more frequently for roadside checks. The time spent at these checks directly increases our cost of transportation.
Furthermore, all employees are now subject to background checks. We must pay an outside agency to complete these thorough checks. These are direct costs we incur to maintain security.
The insurance portion of the fee is 1.5% and is made up of additional insurance costs we incur from higher insurance rates. As a result of billions of dollars of claims, the insurance industry has passed along much of the expense in the form of rate increases.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do you charge a fuel component?
A: The historical fluctuation in the cost of diesel fuel has made it difficult for our Company to recover and administer fuel expenses in standard operating margins. Our vehicles that run on diesel get 4 to 5 miles per gallon. In addition, third party vendors that transport our waste charge us a fuel surcharge or an increased price for added fuel costs.
Q: If the price of fuel goes down, will my fuel component go down too?
A: Yes, because the charge is tied to EIA index, if the EIA national average diesel price falls, your fuel component will come down as well. This information is updated monthly.
Q: Why is there a fuel component when the cost of fuel is less than what it was when my service began or was renewed?
A: Our service rates contemplate a $2.30/gallon baseline fuel rate, which we selected when we implemented the most recent recovery fee program.
Q: Will the security or insurance fee component change each month?
A: No. The security and insurance charge will not fluctuate each month. These are currently set at 0.5% and 1.5% of the invoice respectively (excluding taxes). The percentage may be changed periodically if there is a business determination that warrants a change in the charge
On June 30, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will launch its new e-Manifest system. Clean Harbors and its subsidiaries, including Emerald, will be in compliance, initially using the paper manifest option.
The EPA is still developing many areas of the E-manifest system which, upon launch, will limit our ability to manage manifests electronically. Fully electronic and hybrid options will be made available by Clean Harbors at a later date when the EPA has finalized its programming requirements.
It will be business as usual, as generators will ink sign a new five-page manifest (replacing the six-page manifest). Clean Harbors will upload all required manifest data and manifest scans to the EPA to comply with the e-Manifest rules. Total cost for the paper manifest option will be $10 per manifest. Generators will still need to mail copies to states still requiring a copy and comply with the three-year document retention period for paper manifests.
The Company is actively working on supporting the fully electronic and ‘hybrid’ or mixed paper/electronic manifest processes, which are expected to be available in approximately six months. With the hybrid approach, Clean Harbors will generate the manifest in the EPA’s system but print a paper copy for generators to sign and retain on-site as their initial manifest copy. Clean Harbors will complete the remainder of the shipment tracking electronically in e-Manifest with electronic signatures and electronic transmissions to the CDX system. Given the complexities of this approach, the Company may be forced to reassess the cost per manifest. Should that occur, customers will be advised accordingly.
We are committed to delivering superior service and risk management. Should customers have questions, they are asked to contact their sales or customer service representative.
California Road Repair Act
Due to the California Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (CARRA), the cost of fuel has increased approximately $0.30/gallon ($0.20/gallon excise tax, 4% sales tax). Emerald is implementing a 2% fee to cover these added costs.
The increase from the state are as follows:
- $0.20 per gallon increase in excise tax on diesel fuel
- $0.12 per gallon increase in excise tax on gasoline
- 4 percent increase in sales and use tax on diesel fuel
- $25-$175 transportation improvement fee per vehicle
To simplify matters and comply with the law, Emerald is increasing the California recovery fee by 2 percentage points.
In today’s economy the prices of various energy products are constantly changing.
A variety of market factors from across the globe are impacting the supply and demand for these energy products, which ultimately has a substantial impact on fuel pricing, processing operations, and petrochemical products.
In order to ensure our customers get the best value in service and price, Emerald has initiated a fuel surcharge indexing program. This method applies a surcharge on a per service stop basis, allowing our customers to benefit from Emerald’s performance of multiple services at each stop.
The U.S. surcharge will be adjusted based on the Monthly On-Highway Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel Prices reported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Information Administration or Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Fuel Focus for our Canadian locations.
Changes to the index-based surcharge go into effect the first Monday of each month based upon the prior month’s average fuel cost.
Click here to view the rate index table.