It might not seem like winter will come this year, but it will. New Yorkers are preparing for colder temperatures and on October 1, 2012, all the heating oil (oilheat) will contain at least 2 percent biodiesel. Known as Bioheat fuel, it is gaining momentum in Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. states.
In 2010, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed an air quality bill that included a Bioheat provision for heating homes and buildings. This move was followed by a New York State bill requiring a switch to Ultra Low Sulfur Heating Oil, which took place in July.
“Our members truly recognize Bioheat as the evolution of oilheat,” said John Maniscalco, CEO of the New York Oil Heating Association, which strongly supported the Bioheat mandate. “NYOHA has worked closely with the National Biodiesel Board in ensuring that our member companies and their customers recognize the many environmental and other benefits of Bioheat and we are proud to say that Bioheat usage has already increased dramatically. We are just getting started.”
The beauty of biodiesel is that is can be produced from waste oils including recycled restaurant grease, in abundance throughout the city. Recognizing this resource, the city along with entrepreneurial New Yorkers began using Bioheat and in some cases in even higher blends than the 2 percent biodiesel blend required by law. As often happens when the city adopts a trend, other states have followed.
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) hailed the groundbreaking municipal legislation, and Paul Nazzaro, who heads up the Bioheat education program for NBB said, “The consumer is the ultimate benefactor of this law, now having access to truly 21st Century heating oil. The entire petroleum supply chain deserves credit for making the changes needed to embrace blending biodiesel with heating oil to deliver Bioheat.”
No other city has a Bioheat requirement in place, but several states have passed requirements that will go into effect when contingent states pass similar laws.