The Importance of Achieving Net Zero
The United States and nations throughout the world are facing the challenge of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. There are many solutions to the climate crisis, and they all include reaching net-zero carbon over the next few years. The faster we reach net-zero, the greater the mitigation of the environmental dangers of carbon in the atmosphere.
The renewable liquid heating fuels industry is leading the way, offering a low-carbon fuel – right now – that can be used in any existing oil-fired heating equipment without modification. This resource, known as Bioheat® fuel, is a blend of renewable biodiesel and traditional heating oil that will immediately reduce the carbon, sulfur and other particulate emissions for consumers.
Beyond the immediate reductions it produces, Bioheat® fuel is the linchpin of a path to reduce heating oil emissions on an aggressive timetable to become fully carbon-neutral and renewable by 2050.
These environmental concerns are nothing new for the home heating industry. Its members and leaders have worked with local, state and federal legislators for years to set regional and national standards to increase the use of renewable biofuels and lower building emissions.
The official New York Bioheat® fuel story began in 2010 when New York City set a 2 percent (B2) minimum biodiesel component for all heating oil sold within the five boroughs, but started much earlier with members of the New York Oil Heat Association (NYOHA, now the New York State Energy Coalition or NYSEC) convincing state legislators that the heating oil dealers were ready, willing and able to provide B2 Bioheat® fuel to all. A few years later, in 2016, that minimum was raised to 5 percent (B5) with incremental changes to reach B20 by 2034.
In 2018 New York State expanded the reach of the Bioheat® fuel standards, setting a B5 minimum for all heating fuels sold in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. Most recently, in May 2021, the New York State Legislature passed a law making B5 standard for all liquid heating fuel sold across the state. The law takes effect July 1, 2022 and increases the state’s minimum blend to B10 by July 1, 2025 and B20 by July 1, 2030. Once again, NYSEC strongly supported the move.
In addition, the state offers Bioheat® fuel users a direct income tax credit of up to 20 cents for every gallon of Bioheat® heating oil they buy, equivalent to a penny per percentage of biodiesel in their fuel, for blends from B6-B20.
Heating marketers in Rhode Island are delivering Bioheat® fuel blends of 5 percent or more, right here and right now, to meet the statewide standard of a minimum B5 Bioheat® fuel. Under updated legislation signed into law in 2021, Rhode Island will increase its minimum blend to 10% biodiesel or renewable diesel in 2023, 20% in 2025 and 50% in 2030.
The Energy Marketers Association of Rhode Island and its members worked closely with the Governor and Senate to draft a forward looking standard to protect the people and beauty of Rhode Island.
Also in 2021, Connecticut joined its neighbors in Rhode Island and New York by becoming the third state to enact a biofuel blending standard for liquid heating fuel. Under a law supported by the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, all liquid heating fuel sold in the state will contain a minimum of 5% biodiesel or renewable diesel by July 1, 2022. The minimum blend increases to 10% in 2025, 15% in 2030, 20% in 2034, and 50% in 2035.