Bioheat® fuel is the evolution of heating oil. It is a blend of traditional heating oil with renewable biodiesel, and the blends are differentiated by the concentration of biodiesel: B2 is 2% biodiesel, B5 is 5% and B100 is pure biodiesel. Bioheat fuel reduces emissions of greenhouse gases, lubricates heating equipment to increase efficiency, and costs about the same as traditional heating oil. Blends of up to 5% biodiesel (B5) has been approved for use in all heating equipment, and standards of use for blends up to B20 are in place, making Bioheat fuel a clean, renewable and affordable choice. Many regional liquid fuel dealers provide Bioheat fuel for heating and biodiesel for on- and off-road use.
Many oilheat customers enjoy total peace of mind about their home comfort, because they work with a full-service oilheat company that offers a complete array of services. All full-service companies perform preventive maintenance, make repairs and respond to heat emergencies 24 hours a day. They might also provide complete air-conditioning services, radiant heating, solar energy systems, geothermal energy systems, plumbing, electrical, handyman services and more. Full-service companies also provide programs for convenience and cost management, such as heating service plans, budget plans with monthly payments, price protection programs and more.
Many Oilheat companies are also energy efficiency experts. In the interest of serving customers as effectively as possible, they will often dispatch a conservation expert to a customer’s home at no charge for an evaluation and consultation. They will test the existing equipment for efficiency and help the customer form a clear picture of how much energy they stand to save with new equipment.
Some companies offer comprehensive energy evaluations known as home energy audits. An audit generally produces a comprehensive report that can become a blueprint for a successful energy conservation campaign.
Full-service dealers often offer programs to help with cost management, repair costs and price stability.
One popular option is the budget plan, which combines the cost of fuel and the annual service plan (if the customer has one) and divides the total into even monthly payments. This reduces the customer’s cost during heating season and makes home heating a predictable monthly expense.
Service plans for heating and cooling are also popular, because they include the cost of the annual tune-up and often reduce costs in the event of a repair.
Price protection is another valuable extra. A customer can eliminate the threat of inflation by locking in a preseason price. Some dealers also offer capped price plans that lockout inflation while allowing the customer to take advantage of falling prices whenever they occur.
State governments and some charitable organizations also offer fuel assistance to qualifying families, senior citizens, disabled individuals, veterans and active-duty service members. You should inquire with your local oilheat provider about what services might be available to you.
The per-gallon prices of oilheat can vary widely from company to company. This is, first and foremost, a sign of unrestricted competition, which is very good for the consumer.
Companies that offer the lowest prices generally offer fuel delivery only, which means they have lower overhead and can charge less, but they cannot meet the customer’s need for preventive maintenance and repairs, and they do not offer additional services.
Companies that provide full service tend to be proactive and customer-oriented. They carry generous insurance coverage to shelter the customer from liability. They employ teams of expert technicians and customer service representatives and maintain a large inventory of parts in order to make timely repairs. They hire for the long term and pay full employee benefits in order to retain the expertise that they cultivate. They tailor their services for customers who want comprehensive service, and they build the costs of delivering superior service into their fuel price.