Vermont Business Magazine All of Vermont will be using ultra-low sulfur heating oil this winter. As part of the 2011 Energy Act, the “Clean and Green Oilheat Initiative” mandated Ultra-Low Sulfur Heating Oil, starting in the winter of 2018. The rest of New England, New York and New Jersey have also adopted the same 15 parts-per-million (ppm) standard. Ultra Low Sulfur Heating Oil (ULSHO) will reduce particulate emissions, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. ULSHO cuts 99 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions, 97 percent of airborne emissions, and 30 percent of NOx emissions compared to regular heating oil.
The Vermont Fuel Dealers Association said in a statement that emissions from this cleaner heating oil are the equivalent of natural gas, according to research conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Boilers and furnaces operate more efficiently when running ULSHO, VFDA said, because the fuel produces 90 percent less ash and 40 times less soot than regular heating oil. This means more heat stays in your house and less goes up your chimney. Cleaner fuel also result in fewer deposits on the heat exchanger, which prolongs the life of oilheat equipment with fewer costly repairs. This clean fuel can also be blended with renewable biodiesel and used with existing equipment and fuel storage tanks. And when blended with renewable biodiesel, ULSHO has fewer greenhouse gas emissions than most other heating fuels, including natural gas.
More than half of Vermont homes and businesses use oil heat, the VFDA said. Vermont’s new clean fuel standards will help save money and protect the environment, it said.
More info about ULSHO can be found at heatcleanvt.com.
Technical details about ULSHO and biodiesel blends can be found at the sources and links below.
Ultra Low Sulfur Home Heating Oil Demonstration Project. 2015 study funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Report available at https://www.bnl.gov/isd/documents/89253.pdf
Developing a Renewable Biofuel Option for the Home Heating Sector. National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) 2015 Report to Congress. Report available at https://noraweb.org/2015/05/nora-releases-biodiesel-in-home-heating-report/
Biodiesel Blending in Home Heating Oil. Policy Paper New York Public Interest Research Group Fund June, 2014. Available at tinyurl.com/nypirgcleanheat
Studies to support the lowering of the sulfur content of fuel oil - From 41 N.J.R. 4156(a) State of New Jersey Available at https://www.state.nj.us/dep/baqp/studies.pdf
Studies to support the lowering of the sulfur content of fuel oil - From 41 N.J.R. 4156(a) State of New Jersey. Available at https://www.state.nj.us/dep/baqp/studies.pdf
Prefiled Testimony of Richard Sweetser before the Vermont Public Service Board. 2013. Available at http://vermontfuel.com/report/ewExternalFiles/Sweetser%20PUC%20Testimony.pdf
Prefiled Testimony of Matthew Cota before the Vermont Public Service Board. 2015. Available at http://vermontfuel.com/report/ewExternalFiles/Cota%20PUC%20testimony.pdf
Source: Vermont Fuel Dealers Association 10.15.2018