Massachusetts: Clean and Efficient Oilheat

Date: July 15, 2019

House in the trees

One of the most important improvements in heating oil has been the move toward ultra-low sulfur heating oil. This refined fuel lowers maintenance, improves efficiency and reduces emissions from heating systems. Additionally, cleaner burning fuel has also paved the way for the next generation of compact, super-efficient boilers and furnaces.

Additionally, many gallons of heating oil also include Bioheat®, a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil and renewable materials like vegetable oils. Because Bioheat integrates seamlessly with all heating oil systems, a lot of the heating oil sold in Massachusetts is already Bioheat. For anyone who wants to use Bioheat, no changes to your existing heating system are necessary!

Lower sulfur content makes a big difference

  • As of July 1, 2018, all oilheat dealers in Massachusetts, as well as the rest of New England, will be required to deliver heating oil that contains an ultra-low-sulfur blend.
  • Ultra-low-sulfur heating oil (ULSHO) has 99% less sulfur in it than standard heating oil.
  • The changeover to ULSHO results in a reduction in emissions of over 70%, compared with the emissions produced by traditional heating oil.
  • A buildup of sulfur in the heating system can lead to system maintenance issues. The drastic reduction of sulfur means that there will be far fewer system issues, which will result in lower maintenance costs for Massachusetts oilheat consumers.
  • Because there is virtually no sulfur in the heating system thanks to ULSHO, your oilheat system can burn the fuel more efficiently, leading to lower heating bills.
  • ULSHO opens the door for the introduction of super-efficient heating systems, which are already being used with great results in other countries that already use ULSHO.

Looking ahead

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) continues to research and develop oilheat equipment and biofuel that’s cleaner and more efficient than before. The overall goal is to transition to even higher levels of Bioheat® fuel that can be matched to highly efficient, groundbreaking equipment.

And that’s good news for anyone who likes relying on oilheat to stay comfortable and safe in their home!