Vermont switches to ultra-low sulfur oil

More than half of Vermont homes and businesses choose oil heat and all of Vermont oil customers will be heating with ultra-low sulfur heating oil this winter.

As part of the 2011 Energy Act, the “Clean and Green Oilheat Initiative” mandated the use of ultra-low sulfur heating oil starting this winter. The rest of New England, New York and New Jersey have also adopted the same 15 parts-per-million standard.

The oil reduces particulate emissions, including 99 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions, 97 percent of airborne emissions, and 30 percent of nitrous oxide emissions compared to regular heating oil.

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 ultra-low sulfur oil, according to the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, because the fuel produces 90 percent less ash and 40 times less soot than regular heating oil — so more heat stays in your house and less goes up your chimney.

Cleaner fuel also results in fewer deposits on the heat exchanger, which prolongs the life of oil-heat equipment with fewer repairs.

The fuel can also be used with existing equipment and fuel storage tanks and blended with renewable biodiesel, producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions than most other heating fuels, including natural gas.

More information online at

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