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Heating-oil industry on track to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050


The Northeast heating-oil industry is on track to achieve the ambitious goals set forth in the Providence Resolution, a landmark commitment made in 2019 to voluntarily reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions.

 



The resolution, which was unanimously approved by over 300 industry leaders, calls for a 15 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2023, a 40 percent reduction by 2030, and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

 



According to a new analysis by Tom Butcher of the National Oilheat Research Alliance, the industry has surpassed its goal of reducing GHGs 15 percent by 2023, achieving a nearly 26 percent reduction in GHG emissions through a combination of energy-efficiency improvements and increased use of renewable fuels such as Bioheat® fuel, a blend of sustainable biodiesel with conventional home-heating oil.

 



“The heating-oil industry has made significant strides in reducing its carbon footprint over the past five years,” said Sean Cota, president and CEO of the industry’s Washington, D.C.-based trade association, the National Energy & Fuels Institute.

 



“These mostly small, multigenerational family businesses are playing an outsized role in carbon reduction in the Northeast,” Cota added. “They will continue to prove pivotal in the years to come as governments at all levels seek to achieve ambitious GHG-reduction goals in a manner that is equitable and achievable, and that preserves energy security and reliability.”

 



At its sixth annual industry summit, held in Weehawken, New Jersey, April 30-May 1, the industry celebrated numerous successes and innovations, including:

 



  • UL standards that recognize higher biofuel blends in oil-fired heating equipment.




  • Manufacturers introducing burners and heating systems to the market that are certified for blends of up to 100 percent biodiesel (B100).




  • New federal tax credits for homeowners who upgrade to more efficient oil-fired furnaces and boilers that are designed for use with higher blends of renewable fuels.




  • Securing federal grants for downstream biofuel-infrastructure investments for heating oil.




Working closely with state governments, state heating-oil associations advocated for biofuel-blending requirements in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island that will eventually require blends as high as 50 percent.

 



Additionally, heating oil blended with biofuels is expected to generate credits under emerging clean-heat standards now being developed in Massachusetts and Vermont, and in the early stages of development in several other Northeast states.

 



Renewable fuels have proven to be an immediate, cost-effective and equitable means of reducing emissions in the building sector, particularly for the nearly 5 million Northeast homes and businesses that rely on heating-oil dealers for warmth and comfort each winter.

 



“There is still work ahead, and we are ready for the challenge,” said Ray Hart, NEFI board chair and a full-service heating-oil dealer based out of Long Island, New York. 

 



“This is an industry of hard-working American men and women that care deeply for their neighbors, their local communities and the environment,” he said. “Together, we can achieve great heights.”

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