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Heating Oil 2030: What Does the Future Hold?

Posted: May 10, 2019

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This has been a transformative decade for the heating oil industry. And there are a lot of exciting developments still ahead of us.

We’ve achieved major breakthroughs in cleanliness and heating system technology. And the introduction of renewable Bioheat® marks a major advance that continues the industry’s ground breaking evolution.

The next decade will see even more benefits for the approximately one million Maine residents who stay warm and cozy thanks to oilheat. What could we be seeing by the year 2030? Here’s what we anticipate.

Super high-efficiency equipment

The oilheating equipment offered today typically has efficiency levels of 85%– sometimes even greater. Between that efficiency, and the introduction and advances of Bioheat, we expect it will be common to see efficiency levels at 90% or higher!

Even greener biofuel

Maine’s heating oil industry continues seeing the growth of Bioheat. This is the industry’s official registered name for the fuel that consists of a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil with renewable biodiesel that’s made from organic and recycled products. These products can range from soybean oil, used cooking oils, inedible corn oil, canola, tallow, fats and algae.

Right now, most of Bioheat is B5, which means it is a 5% bio blend. But it’s expected that within the next 10 years, B20 will be the new normal. Also, research is being done on other sources for biofuels, such as transforming wood waste into a liquid. A field test of this renewable fuel was successfully conducted recently in Maine.

These initiatives will make heating oil cleaner, greener and even more renewable.

Upgrades in oil tanks

Oil tanks have come a long way—and they are far removed from the ones that your grandparents may have used.

Today, homeowners prefer to have their tanks aboveground, either outside or in the basement. Aboveground tanks are smaller, easier to use and provide extra protection. Many tanks today come with double walls to protect against leaks.

The trend to keeping heating oil tanks aboveground will continue. Today’s heating oil tanks are smaller and more attractive on top of the other advances, which means homeowners who upgrade their home heating oil tank will enhance the curb appeal and marketability of their home come resale time.

A carbon-neutral future

“Carbon-neutral” is a term you may hear frequently. It means that an energy source will have zero carbon footprint.

That is the expectation for home heating oil. As the amount of biofuels in Bioheat is increased in the coming years, home heating oil will move closer and closer to becoming a carbon-neutral fuel. That work, and other efforts within the heating oil industry, will help keep heating oil as a leader in America’s energy evolution.