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Vermonters aren’t using dirty oil.  They can’t. It’s against the law.

On July 1, 2014, the Clean and Green Oilheat Initiative went into effect. Vermont’s Home Energy Providers are now required by law to sell oilheat with near-zero emissions. This clean fuel is also increasingly blended upstream with renewable biodiesel. Governor Shumlin signed the bill into law and announced the implementation of the Clean and Green Oilheat Initiative this summer. Watch the press conference here.

According to testing done by Brookhaven National Labs, low sulfur oilheat eliminates scale build-up in heat exchangers. This has the benefit of both increasing the efficiency of heating equipment and eliminating particulate emissions, including SO2, SOx, and NOx.  As a result, low sulfur oilheat can immediately save as much as 12 cents per gallon, thanks to increased efficiency and longevity in existing systems. In the near future, even greater savings will be realized as consumers upgrade to ultra-efficient heating systems. These new compact, wall-hung, modulating oil fired condensing boilers have efficiencies over 95%.

Vermont law also requires our oilheat supply to contain renewable fuel blends once surrounding states implement similar requirements. However, most of Vermont’s oilheat providers are already selling renewable fuel, thanks to federal energy policy which requires biodiesel blending further upstream. This biodiesel blended oilheat, known as BioHeat, works seamlessly with existing heating equipment and tanks. As demonstrated in testimony before the Vermont Public Service Board, low sulfur heating oil blended with biodiesel is cleaner than natural gas.

More than half of Vermonters will choose oilheat this winter to keep them safe and warm. They can be comforted knowing that they’ll be saving money and the environment thanks to these new clean fuel standards.