Governors of the six New England states last week announced a new commitment on energy infrastructure and cooperation, with a focus on developing natural gas supply and infrastructure in the region, reports the New England Fuel Institute (NEFI), which represents heating oil dealers.
In response, NEFI President Michael C. Trunzo took the opportunity to point out that today’s heating oil isn’t your father’s heating oil.
“On an environmental level, this lower-sulfur, bio-blended and ultra-efficient fuel is comparable to natural gas,” Trunzo said in a statement published in NEFI Energy Online News (NEON). “As higher blends of renewable product are introduced, it will become a superior home grown fuel. Not only will it burn cleaner and emit fewer greenhouse gases, but when combined with proper weatherization and smart energy conservation practices, considerable savings will also be realized.” Following is Trunzo’s complete statement as published in NEON:
“On behalf of the region’s 1,800 mostly small, family-run home heating oil providers and the 14,000 people they employ, we commend our Governors’ commitment to safe, affordable and environmentally secure energy.
“We stand ready to work closely with state Governors and legislatures in meeting these goals. In the home heating sector, these goals can be met through advancements in energy efficiency, increased market penetration of Bioheat, consumer education and by ensuring adequate supplies of liquid fuels.
“Oilheat is becoming greener and will continue to improve in the future. Our region is now moving to a cleaner-burning and lower-sulfur fuel that is improving system performance, opening the door to a new generation of ultra-efficient heating systems, reducing harmful emissions and saving consumers money.
“We have also embraced a renewable heating fuel known as Bioheat, much of which is derived from local, sustainable sources such as waste oils. New technologies will soon allow liquid biofuels to be derived from abundant sources such as biomass. On an annual basis, a 20 percent Bioheat blend will eliminate 360 million gallons of conventional heating oil and 3.356 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
“Four New England states and New York have all approved Bioheat blending requirements. Bioheat is already in use in New York City, where the government’s Clean Heat program said it has “close to zero soot emissions, the lowest of all conventional heating fuels. This means cleaner air for your building and your community.’
“According to John Maniscalco, CEO of the New York Oil Heating Association, ‘Using Bioheat in NYC reduces an oilheat consumer’s use of traditional petroleum by 2%, serves to enhance the city’s already clean ultra-low sulfur fuel and makes it even cleaner. As the heating oil industry increases its percentage of biodiesel oilheat can surpass all other energy sources in relation to emitting negative air emissions.’
“On an environmental level, this lower-sulfur, bio-blended and ultra-efficient fuel is comparable to natural gas. As higher blends of renewable product are introduced, it will become a superior home grown fuel. Not only will it burn cleaner and emit fewer greenhouse gases, but when combined with proper weatherization and smart energy conservation practices, considerable savings will also be realized.
“The infrastructure necessary to deliver the heating fuel of tomorrow is ready today. Unlike the utility sector, no considerable investment in this area will be required. No new taxes or rate increases are necessary for a heating oil customer to start taking advantage of safe, clean and renewable Bioheat.
“Our region needs a diversified energy portfolio that not only ensures adequate supplies of natural gas and renewable power, but also lower-cost crude oil and refined petroleum products resulting from the surge in shale or “tight” oil production in the Dakotas and elsewhere. We should also make certain that our region has access to abundant supplies of renewable fuels such as biodiesel.
“Again, we are ready to roll-up our sleeves and work with our state Governors to get the job done.”
Read the Governors’ agreement here.