What is BioHeat®?
BioHeat® – the industry’s official registered name for the fuel blend – is a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil with renewable biodiesel made from organic and recycled products such as soybean oil, used cooking oils, inedible corn oil, canola, tallow, fats and algae. These renewable products are defined as “feedstocks” for producing renewable biodiesel.
Heating Oil sold in New York State is now a biofuel blend called BioHeat®. Here are some basic facts about this fuel.
Blends of biodiesel in heating oil are designated in percentages. For example, a 5% blend of biodiesel is defined as B5. B10 refers to a 10% blend, while B20 is a 20% blend. The National Biodiesel Board has trademarked the term BioHeat® which includes the following categories: Bioheat – blends up to 5%; Bioheat Plus – blends 6-20%; Bioheat Super Plus – blends 21-100%.
Is biofuel the same as biodiesel and BIOHEAT?
No, the biodiesel blended into heating oil to create BioHeat® must meet rigid specifications set by the American Society of Testing & Materials (ASTM). These specifications are ASTM D396 – Standard Specifications for Fuel Oils and ASTM 6751 – Standard Specification for Biodiesel Fuel Blend Stock (B100) for Middle Distillate Fuels.
Biofuel is a broad term that can include various products including biodiesel, ethanol, renewable hydrocarbon diesel, and raw vegetable oil known as RVO or LR100. Raw vegetable oil does not meet ASTM specifications, is not biodiesel or BioHeat® and it is not suitable for home heating oil use. The heating oil industry is committed to offering BioHeat® that is only blended with feedstocks that meet the ASTM specifications.
Where does biodiesel come from?
The feedstocks to produce biodiesel that meets ASTM specifications come from soybean farmers across the United States, from used cooking oils from restaurants and other establishments, and from other operations that generate recycled, organic oils and fats.
What are the benefits of biodiesel/BioHeat®?
The environmental benefits of biodiesel (BioHeat®) are not insignificant.
- biodiesel lowers the carbon content of heating oil.
- biodiesel is made from renewable, organic sources such as the oil from soybeans and used cooking oils.
- research conducted by leading authorities such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the California Air Resource Board indicates that biodiesel/BioHeat® reduces Greenhouse Gas emissions (sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide) from 50% to 86% compared to traditional heating oil or diesel fuel.
- Additionally, research conducted by the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) indicates that when ultra-low sulfur heating is blended with biodiesel at 20% (B20), this BioHeat® fuel significantly reduces Greenhouse Gas emissions making BioHeat® cleaner than natural gas
Do biodiesel blends in heating oil reduce the overall heating capabilities of the fuel or heating oil equipment such as burners, boilers or furnaces?
BioHeat® blends of up to B20 (20%) may slightly lower the BTU (British Thermal Unit) capacity of a gallon of heating oil, but when BioHeat® fuel is comprised of ultra-low sulfur (ULS) heating oil (as ours is) the fuel burns much cleaner and more efficiently. This reduces heating system maintenance and improves energy efficiency.
Does every gallon of heating oil contain a blend of biodiesel?
As of July 1, 2022, all heating oil sold for use in any building in New York must contain at least 5% biodiesel by July 1, 2022, 10% by 2025 and 20% biodiesel by 2030. In our company, we are delivering B-10 (10%) BioHeat® to maximize the benefits to the planet and our customers.
Will I qualify for the Clean Heating Fuel Credit?
Because the heating oil we are delivering is a B10 (10%), you will qualify for a tax credit from the state of New York equal to 10 cents off per gallon in 2022. You will need to submit some documentation (invoices, etc) and a tax form to qualify. For more information visit: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/credits/clean_heating_fuel_credit.htm
Does biodiesel make heating oil more expensive?
The cost of a traditional gallon of heating oil versus a gallon of heating oil that is blended with biodiesel is comparable in price. Blending biodiesel in heating oil has not resulted in meaningful price swings in the cost of the fuel. The increases in fuel prices we have seen in recent months are the result of the global price for crude oil, not the biodiesel being blended in. Add in the tax credit, and you are probably paying less for BioHeat® at this time.