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

Petroleum Wholesale Gains a Competitive Edge with Biodiesel

By adding diversity to its fuel offerings, the company benefits from tax incentives, price advantages and better supply management.

In 2013, John Cook, president and CEO of Petroleum Wholesale, which includes Sunmart convenience stores, brought diversity to the company’s fuel offerings when it started offering biodiesel.

“Basically, all of our competitors started bringing it in. So it didn’t take us long to realize we needed to get into it to stay competitive,” Cook says.

Today, 95 percent of Petroleum Wholesale’s locations offer biodiesel. Stores start at a B10 blend, move up to B15 a couple of months later, and then B20 a couple months after that. And the company has heard no complaints from customers. 

“There’s no downside to biodiesel, and a lot of advantages to it,” Cook says. The benefits include state incentives such as an exemption from the diesel fuel tax, price advantages over traditional diesel, the easing of some supply issues, biodiesel being a renewable fuel and its clean-burning properties.

Choosing a supplier to keep up with the company's growing demand.

A concern before Petroleum Wholesale began offering biodiesel was availability because of the limited number of production facilities in the biodiesel industry.

Petroleum Wholesale partnered with Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REG), which has biorefineries and terminals throughout the U.S. Cook believes it’s best to do business with the largest suppliers, and REG being one of the biggest producers of biomass-based diesel in North America means it can offer a stable supply and competitive pricing. Cook says REG provides high-quality biodiesel and getting fuel from REG has never been a problem.

Cook’s satisfaction with REG is about more than the biodiesel the company supplies, however. He says REG employees consistently go above and beyond in helping Petroleum Wholesale improve its business. One example, he says, is the numerous times his company has been under contract for a certain number of gallons of biodiesel for a month, and toward the end of the month, they ask for more.

“REG has accommodated us in every instance,” Cook says.

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