Gaining an Edge with Bioheat® Blended Fuel

Hart Home Comfort has evolved many times over its history. One of its more recent changes is blending heating oil with biodiesel to take advantage of the economic and environmental benefits. 

The Biodiesel Difference

Hart Home Comfort has come a long way from operating a fledgling company in the back of a gas station. Through a blend of patience and industry expertise, Ray Hart Sr. has evolved his business into a leading heating oil company in the country’s largest metropolis — New York City.

Hart was introduced to the heating oil business through part-time COD deliveries. Purchasing a terminal on Long Island then provided an avenue for him into the transportation market.

In 2006, an employee recommended that Hart Home Comfort explore biodiesel. Capitalizing on his existing infrastructure, Hart moved ahead and has never looked back. For heating oil customers, the company began by offering Bioheat® blended fuel, which is a blend of heating oil and biodiesel. Hart Home Comfort started with a B2 blend before quickly moving up to B20. 

“When we started, we were attracted by biodiesel being an American-made fuel. We also felt we had a responsibility to future generations to be proactive in delivering a cleaner fuel for the environment,” Hart says. “Now, Bioheat® also gives us an economic advantage.” 

It also gives their customers an economic advantage in the form of a New York state tax credit. That credit returns to the customer 1 cent for every 1 percent of biodiesel per gallon blended into traditional heating oil. 

“Claiming the tax credit is a very easy process for our customers, and it gives them another reason to embrace Bioheat® blended fuel in addition to the environmental and performance benefits,” Hart says.

Hart Home Comfort only offers Bioheat® blended fuel. From April 2017 to April 2018, the company sold over 8 million gallons, with more than 2 million gallons of that being biodiesel. Its New Hyde Park terminal thru-puts approximately 13 million to 15 million gallons of heating oil annually and another 4 million to 5 million gallons of biodiesel.

“We want to market a good, reliable Bioheat® blended fuel product,” Hart says. “With the introduction of low-sulfur heating oil and the near-zero sulfur content of biodiesel, it gives us a really good marketing edge.”   

The Bottom Line

Economics

Bioheat® blended fuel gives the company a financial advantage

Business

Improved customer satisfaction thanks to:

  • The state tax credit, which puts money back in customers' pockets
  • Offering a cleaner burning fuel

Fleet Finds All the Right Reasons to Use Biodiesel

Mahoney Environmental has long worked with the biodiesel industry. Now its own fleet is taking advantage of the fuel’s many benefits.

Mahoney Environmental has a very good business reason to support biodiesel: It collects used cooking oil from restaurants and sells it to biodiesel producers to be made into the renewable fuel. The greater the demand for biodiesel, the greater the demand for its services.

But that’s not why the Illinois-based company runs its 160-truck fleet on biodiesel blends. Instead, it’s the performance, financial and environmental benefits the company receives from the renewable fuel.

“At the end of the day, there’s not a lot of argument to be made against using biodiesel,” says Jeff Corbin, the company’s Director of Maintenance and Fleet Operations.

Performance benefits

Mahoney Environmental has restaurant customers in all 50 states, picking up used cooking oil, servicing grease traps, providing proprietary equipment for cooking oil handling and, in certain markets, delivering fresh oil.

Corbin’s job is to make sure that its full fleet of Class 7 and 8 trucks are in good running condition on any given day. So even though his employer is connected to the biodiesel industry, if the fuel didn’t perform, he wouldn’t use it.

That, however, has not been an issue. With biodiesel:
• The fleet’s miles per gallon have stayed steady
• The added lubricity has reduced wear on engine components
• The cleaner-burning fuel has helped the trucks’ after-treatment systems

“Our company can’t operate without the trucks,” Corbin says. “I certainly wouldn’t put anything into the vehicles that isn’t going to perform and keep them on the road on a daily basis.”

Financial benefits

Biodiesel has also made good financial sense for Mahoney Environmental. It often pays less for biodiesel than petroleum diesel throughout the country. The company gets further savings in its home state of Illinois, where biodiesel blends of B11 and above are exempt from the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax.

Then there are the added benefits like improved performance thanks to biodiesel’s added lubricity, higher Cetane and cleaner burn.

“It’s hard to put a dollar figure on those today, but in the long run, our goal is to reduce that maintenance expense and downtime,” Corbin says.

Environmental benefits

Given the work that it does, it probably goes without saying that environmental sustainability is important to Mahoney Environmental. That’s another reason it runs its fleet on biodiesel. Compared with petroleum diesel, the fuel reduces emissions of greenhouse gases, total hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.

“We want to support biodiesel not only because we are engrained in the industry, but because it’s the right thing to do for our environment,” Corbin says. “We want to reduce our carbon footprint.”

A good partner

One of Mahoney Environmental’s used cooking oil customers is REG, which uses the waste oil as a feedstock in the biodiesel production process. It’s the relationship with REG and first-hand knowledge of the company’s high-quality fuel that persuaded Mahoney Environmental to go from dabbling in fueling its fleet with biodiesel to implementing it across its entire fleet at blend levels of up to B20.

“REG gives us a fuel that we have confidence in,” Corbin says. “Also, the support from them is phenomenal. REG is a great partner with us.” 

"At the end of the day, there's not a lot of argument to be made against using biodiesel."
Jeff Corbin, Director of Maintenance and Fleet Operations.

Mahoney Environmental

  • Located in Joliet, Illinois
  • Fleet travels 9.5 million miles annually
  • Fuels with biodiesel blends up to B20
  • Gets performance, financial and environmental benefits from biodiesel
Yellow Arrow
LIKE WHAT YOU READ?

REG delivers insightful content like this to your inbox in our e-newsletters. Sign up today.