Developing a Renewable Biofuel Option for the Home Heating Sector
The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) recently issued a report on the utilization rate and analysis of biofuels in Oilheating equipment. This report, which was delivered to Congress, state governments, and the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, compiles decades of Bioheat® fuel research by leading experts. You can view a summary of the report on NORA’s website, or download the full report here.
Bioheat® Fuel and Ultra Low Sulfur Heating Oil
Bioheat® fuel is traditional heating oil blended with renewable biodiesel. Today’s Bioheat® fuel is often blended with Ultra Low Sulfur Heating Oil, making this exceptionally clean fuel even cleaner.
What does the “B” number mean?
Bioheat® fuel is described and promoted as B2 or B5 or B20. That number refers to the amount of biodiesel in the fuel. B2 Bioheat® fuel has two percent biodiesel; B5 is five percent, and so on. Pure biodiesel is B100.
What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a renewable energy resource made from soy and vegetable oils and other natural sources. Approximately 47 percent of biodiesel is made from soybean oils. The majority of biodiesel and Bioheat® fuel is domestically sourced and produced.
What is the future of Bioheat® fuel?
NORA is working closely with the National Biodiesel Board to increase the percentage of biodiesel in heating fuels, and to urge state and federal legislatures to require that all heating oil contain a biodiesel component. Recent testing has shown that B20 Bioheat® fuel can be used in home heating equipment without any changes to the equipment. ASTM International, an organization which sets industry consensus standards for fuels and lubricants, has voted to approve performance specifications up to 20 percent biodiesel (B20). Until this vote, the ASTM only approved the use of of B5 or lower blends in standard heating systems.
What are the benefits of Bioheat® fuel?
- Bioheat® fuel is good for your home, your heating equipment, your neighborhood, and the country.
- Good for your home: Bioheat® fuel provides clean, energy efficient heat, and costs approximately the same as traditional heating oil.
- Good for your heating equipment: Bioheat® fuel may extend equipment life and reduce the need for maintenance. In fact, some heating oil dealers provide discounted service agreements for customers who purchase Bioheat® fuel.
- Good for the neighborhood: Bioheat® fuel promotes better air quality, because it produces lower emissions. If every Oilheated home switched to B5 Bioheat® fuel, that would equal approximately 350 million renewable gallons of biodiesel.
- Good for the country: Grown and processed domestically, biodiesel and Bioheat® fuel create jobs and increase our energy independence.
What about State Mandates?
More and more states and municipalities are supporting clean, renewable, energy independence and are requiring that homes and businesses use Bioheat® fuel and/or Low Sulfur or Ultra Low Sulfur Heating Oil. Currently, three states have passed mandates requiring the use of low-carbon liquid heating fuels such as biodiesel-blended Bioheat® Fuel. Additionally, all states in the Northeast require heating oil to be ultra-low sulfur heating oil. You can see a current list of mandates at State Mandates.
New York and Massachusetts pay their residents back for choosing clean, renewable Bioheat® fuel with tax credits.
In Massachusetts, Individuals and businesses may claim a tax credit of 3 cents per gallon of 5 percent Bioheat blend, up to the lesser of $500 or state income taxes for the year. The credit is available for the tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2008, but before Jan. 1, 2018, and remains effective for 10 years, through June 30, 2018.
In New York, residents earn a tax credit of 1 cent per percent of biofuel used in heating oil, to a maximum of 20 cents per gallon, for every gallon purchased.
Bioheat® fuel information courtesy of mybioheat.com. Learn more about Bioheat® fuel.