Why Bioheat? It's renewable, lower in carbon, and just better heating oil.

December 19, 2017

Bioheat is better than standard heating oil in more ways than one.

First and foremost, bioheat is better for the environment, reducing carbon emissions by up to 80%. It is a renewable fuel in the same category as wind and solar, and made from local recycled restaurant cooking grease, that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Bioheat can be a major contributing factor in meeting the city of Seattle's goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Additionally, bioheat also has more lubricity than standard heating oil, which allows your furnace to run more smoothly, and therefore last longer.

So then, why isn't everyone using Bioheat instead of standard heating oil?

That is the question we sought to answer. Recently some local students helped us by conducting a survey for our current heating oil customers still using standard heating oil, instead of one of our bioheat blends. The survey revealed 3 reasons people aren't using bioheat. Below are the 3 reasons, as well as our response.

  1. It's too expensive. All bioheat blends are more expensive than our standard ultra low sulfur heating oil. But, the good news is, it is not as expensive as people think, especially given the BIG difference even the smallest blend can have on reducing greenhouse gasses. Fuel prices will always fluctuate, but considering the average user in Seattle today, it will cost about $50 more per year to heat with B25 bioheat instead of the standard heating oil. If you aren't familiar with the various blends, the 'B' stands for biodiesel, and the number refers to the percentage of biodiesel in the bioheat blend. For example, B25 is 25% biodiesel and 75% standard heating oil, while B99 is 99% biodiesel and 1% standard heating oil.
  2. It can't be used with my current oil furnace and tank. This is simply not true. Bioheat can be used in your current oil tank with your current furnace without any modifications. In other words, you don't need to spend extra money in order to switch. Any blend (B25, B50, or B99) will work, but we recommend starting with the lower blend at first, then increasing to the highest blend. This is because since bioheat has more lubricity, it is a natural cleaning agent. We'd rather not shock your filter all at once. But once you get to B99 you'll be so much cleaner!
  3. It seems like a hassle and I'm going to switch to natural gas soon anyway. Since no modifications are necessary, the only thing you need to do in order to switch to bioheat is decide on which blend you prefer. The higher the blend the bigger the reduction in carbon output. B99 has an 80% reduction in carbon output over standard heating oil. But if you're thinking about switching to natural gas, just think about your reasons for switching. The B25 bioheat blend is lower than natural gas in carbon output by 20%.

We really appreciate the students who created this survey, and for our customers who helped by taking it. In addition to what we learned directly through these results, we also learned we need to better educate our customers. Please contact us if you would like to switch to bioheat, or if you have any more questions.

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