Our country continues to make strides in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and heating oil is certainly doing its part, thanks to vast reductions of sulfur levels and the continued growth of biofuels.
Many states in the Northeast, including New Jersey, have instituted requirements to move heating oil to an ultra-low-sulfur blend; the fuel that New Jersey oil dealers now deliver contains significantly less sulfur than conventional heating oil.
Additionally, many gallons of heating oil in New Jersey now include biofuel, a blend of oil from materials like soybeans and vegetables. This new fuel, known as Bioheat®, supports more efficient equipment for customers who are ready to upgrade to high-efficiency oil heating equipment.
When combined with ultra-low sulfur heating oil, Bioheat burns more cleanly, with lower emissions. Oil heat consumers also benefit from better heating efficiency and easier maintenance, since ultra-low-sulfur biofuel creates fewer deposits on heat exchangers.
This is only the beginning. The quality of heating oil will get even better in the years ahead. It’s possible that in just a few short years, homes that heat with oil could be using even cleaner burning blends—with 50%, 80% or even 100% biofuel. And that’s good news for the environment!
As heating oil moves swiftly ahead, it seems like natural gas is falling backward. A new study revealed that leaks of methane—a greenhouse gas that is the main component of natural gas—were far greater than the EPA had estimated. And that’s bad news for the environment.