While millions in Texas and elsewhere endured energy outages triggered by a winter storm, the renewable liquid heating fuel (RLHF) industry is offering a viable, clean fuel that can be utilized as part of the U.S. energy mix to help relieve pressure on an overstretched electrical grid, says the National Energy and Fuels Institute.
Renewable liquid heating fuel is a blend of traditional heating oil and renewable biodiesel. Biodiesel is a low-carbon replacement for heating oil that is produced from used cooking oil, animal fats and agricultural byproducts or co-products. These low-carbon fuels reduce lifecycle greenhouse gases on average from 73% to 80%, NEFI says.
“Here in Vermont, many homeowners that have an electric air source heat pump received an email warning on February 12 that their utility will ‘manage’ the device remotely to lower energy consumption during peak demand,” said Matt Cota, executive director of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, adding, “We have witnessed tremendous growth in wind/solar/hydroelectricity, biomass, renewable liquid and gaseous fuels over the past decade. Each fuel source has advantages and disadvantages and should be allowed to compete in the marketplace.”
The home heating fuel industry is made up of mostly small, multi-generational, main street businesses. “As an industry, we’ve been working on transitioning to biofuels for years,” said Charlie Uglietto, a NEFI member and president of Cubby Oil & Energy, Wilmington, Massachusetts. “The situation in Texas further underscores our need for reliable, renewable, and diversified fuel sources like the biofuels we offer,” Uglietto says. “We have a product that can meet the expanding needs of our country, while also drastically reducing GHG emissions. We have been advocating for many years to be included in the national discussion on energy mix; our hope is that now someone will finally listen. We are part of the solution to climate change.”
The renewable liquid heating fuel industry works with state and federal lawmakers and policy makers to position low-carbon liquid fuels as an immediate solution to reducing GHG emissions and a key energy source, NEFI says.