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

Golden Opportunity in the Golden State

Southern California distributor stays busy by meeting the growing demand for biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel.

California Fuels & Lubricants has a diverse group of fleet customers. There are trucking companies, local governments, construction crews, businesses that work in the Port of Los Angeles and even plant nurseries

They may be in different industries, but there’s one thing the fleets have in common: a desire for cleaner-burning alternatives to petroleum diesel.

“One of the biggest trends we’re seeing is growing demand for biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel,” says Jaime Duenas, President of California Fuels & Lubricants. “Fleets are trying to lower their greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprints.”

Part of that trend is attributable to California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which requires a reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. But it’s also due to the worldwide trend of environmental sustainability supported by corporations, governments and individuals.

No matter the motivation, California Fuels & Lubricants is happy to supply the fuels to meet the demand.

“The renewable fuels help us meet the needs of our longtime customers and to bring on new customers that are looking for a cleaner fuel,” Duenas says.

Biodiesel as a solution

For California Fuels & Lubricants, those renewable fuels are biodiesel, renewable hydrocarbon diesel (RHD) and most recently, a blend of the two. It gets all three fuels from REG.

California Fuels & Lubricants began offering biodiesel in 2014, starting with a B5 blend before quickly moving up to B20.

“There were customers looking for a higher blend for a couple of reasons,” Duenas says. “One reason was it helped them with their emissions. The other part of it was they got a little bit of a break on the pricing because of some of the financial advantages of using B20.”

RHD also popular

A year later, California Fuels & Lubricants expanded into renewable hydrocarbon diesel. Like biodiesel, RHD is an environmentally friendly fuel, but it’s made by a different production process and falls under the diesel spec, ASTM D975.

“RHD is another option for our customers that is good for the environment and performs well in their vehicles,” Duenas says.

A new blend

Now, in addition to offering biodiesel blends and RHD individually, the company is selling a product with the two blended together. Known as an RHD and biodiesel blend, it has the best features of the individual fuels, including excellent Cetane, a low cloud point and added lubricity. The biggest benefit is on the environmental side. An RHD and biodiesel blend significantly reduces total hydrocarbons, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide (NOx) compared with petroleum diesel.

California Fuels & Lubricants offers a blend that is 80 percent RHD and 20 percent biodiesel, which it gets from REG. But it’s not just their customers that use it.

“Our fleet is running on an RHD B20 blend,” says Duenas.  “That speaks to our confidence in the fuel’s performance and its emissions profile.”

Diverse supply for its customers

The popularity of all three fuels has kept California Fuels & Lubricants busy delivering to trucking yards, municipalities, construction sites and one of the world’s busiest ports.

“We are known as a company that offers a variety of fuels,” Duenas says. “Our customers are happy with the products, they’re happy with our service, and they’re happy with the overall experience of using our renewable fuels in their vehicles.”

"One of the biggest trends we’re seeing is growing demand for biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel."
Jaime Duenas,  President, California Fuels & Lubricants