All of Vermont will be using ultra-low sulfur heating oil this winter, notes the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association. As part of the 2011 Energy Act, the “Clean and Green Oilheat Initiative” mandated ultra-low sulfur heating oil, starting in the winter of 2018. The rest of New England, New York and New Jersey have also adopted the same 15 parts-per-million (ppm) standard.
ULSHO will reduce particulate emissions, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, the Vermont Dealers group noted in a statement. ULSHO cuts 99% of sulfur dioxide emissions, 97% of airborne emissions, and 30% of NOx emissions compared to regular heating oil, the association said. Emissions from this cleaner heating oil are the equivalent of natural gas, according to research conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Boilers and furnaces operate more efficiently when running ULSHO, because the fuel produces 90% less ash and 40 times less soot than regular heating oil. This means more heat stays in a house and less goes up the chimney. Cleaner fuel also results in fewer deposits on the heat exchanger, which prolongs the life of oil-heat equipment, with fewer costly repairs as well, the association said. The ultra-low sulfur fuel can also be blended with renewable biodiesel and used with existing equipment and fuel storage tanks. And when blended with renewable biodiesel, ULSHO has fewer greenhouse gas emissions than most other heating fuels, including natural gas, the association said.
More than half of Vermont homes and businesses choose fuel oil for heat. More info about ULSHO can be found at heatcleanvt.com.