Heating Homes and Hauling Fuels  ̶  Cleanly

Broco Energy’s commitment to a cleaner future is making a difference now

Founded: 2007 by Bob and Angela Brown
Headquarters: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Veteran-owned and operated
Provides residential Bioheat® and commercial and emergency fuels nationwide
Advocates for higher biodiesel blends across all divisions
Employs 50 people and manages a fleet of roughly 30 trucks

When Bob Brown and his wife, Angela, started Broco Energy 14 years ago, they were committed to being “different” — specifically as a sustainable energy company that would provide cleaner fuel in the New England area. Heating oil is a primary source of heat in the Northeast, and the Browns always knew it was a reliable source. But they wanted it to be better. And their customers did, too.

Broco oil case study

"A lot of people in this region really support renewable fuels and they want to use a cleaner fuel, but they don’t want to go through the extra expense of upgrading equipment to accommodate it,” Bob Brown says. “We needed to find the right partner to roll out a blending process that would work for all of us. We already knew Bioheat® really is the best, go-to green fuel for the Northeast.”

That's when the Browns started looking for potential partners with good names and reputations in the industry. The searches led to Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REG) as the No. 1 biodiesel producer every time.

"I knew right away that it was a company we wanted to be close to,” Bob Brown says.

 

The Broco Energy + REG Partnership

In 2017, the Browns purchased a rail terminal in Massachusetts and, two years later as part of their newly-formed partnership with REG, opened the first biodiesel terminal in New England. At first, Broco Energy was blending B20 for its home heating oil  — a level that Bob Brown describes as a “normal standard” for Bioheat® companies in his region. But the quality of REG’s biodiesel quickly allowed Broco Energy to bring up the blended levels to B30 and then to B40. Today they sell B50 to all of Broco Energy’s customers.

“REG’s biodiesel is by far the most superior I’ve ever seen,” he says. “Their distillation process is the best out there. It allows us to show that we’re selling a premium branded biodiesel. Because not all biodiesel is created equally.”

Broco Energy is so committed to doing its part in the industry-wide initiative to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 that the Browns switched 10 of their trucks last year to run strictly on B100, utilizing Optimus Technologies Vector System. Bob Brown says the mechanics report better fuel mileage and the drivers observe that the trucks have less regeneration cycles as a result. “It just smells cleaner too,” says Driver John Pearson. “I’ve seen other biodiesel products and REG’s is just real clean. You can literally see through it, it’s that clean. Others are just inferior.”

Bob Brown says he plans to implement B100 into the full fleet as well, because it’s important that Broco Energy leads by example.

“We can’t be selling a product and not use it ourselves,” he says. “We are embracing this. We’re not just going to use biodiesel, we’re going to use it at a B100 level."

Customer Satisfaction: The best of both worlds

When Broco Energy first introduced Bioheat® to its residential customers, customers were most concerned about two things: the quality of the product and whether their heating system would require expensive modifications or upgrades. A little education – and helpful service technicians who assured customers that their systems were actually better off by using Bioheat® – made for a seamless transition.

“Our techs who work on the oil burners really enjoy the fuel because it’s cleaner burning, and it leaves the heat  exchangers almost carbon free,” Bob Brown says. “And when you have an existing oil burner that can run and burn biodiesel at absolutely zero cost to the customer, that’s a win-win. They’re getting more life out of their systems just by using cleaner fuel, they’re saving money and they’re doing their part by embracing renewable fuels."

What’s ahead for Broco Energy

With a solid partnership in place with REG, the Browns expect to keep dialing up Broco Energy’s blend levels –
eventually to offer B100 to all of its residential customers in New England. Already, they have upgraded the company’s facilities to increase its blending capacity, including extra storage tanks to accommodate 150,000 gallons of B100 heated storage that will be blended into 200,000 gallons of heating oil storage and 50,000 gallons of diesel storage.

They are also looking forward to new legislation that will help incentivize companies to use biodiesel so it becomes standard nationwide. A local fire captain and U.S. Navy Seabee veteran, Bob Brown says he also appreciates that REG offers a “home-grown product” that’s a true 360-degree recyclable.

REG and Broco Oil Case Study