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

Navigating the Trucking Industry Landscape With Biodiesel

As sustainability grows in importance, Ruan finds that biodiesel helps reduce emissions and protect the bottom line.

Ruan Transportation Management Systems has never stopped innovating, which is fitting for one of America’s most storied trucking companies.

John Ruan started the company in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1932 with one truck. Today, it is an asset-based 3PL with a diverse offering of services, over 300 locations nationwide and a fleet that travels 350 million miles a year.

As the company continues to evolve, Ruan recognizes the importance of environmental sustainability to the trucking industry's future.

“Ruan wants to help reduce emissions,” says Steve Larsen, the company’s Director of Procurement and Fuel. “We are also very customer-focused, and a lot of our customers have sustainability goals, and we want to support them by being a cleaner supplier.”

Ruan Truck


To that end, Ruan started running its fleet on biodiesel blends in large volumes in 2016. It has found biodiesel to be a drop-in solution that can help the environment and fleet performance while also being a lower-cost option compared with petroleum diesel and other alternative fuels. "With biodiesel, you can start being cleaner and saving money right away without having to do any equipment or infrastructure changes," Larsen says.

Proving value

Ruan’s use of cleaner fuels also makes a strong impression on customers and prospective customers that are increasingly asking about sustainability initiatives, including in RFPs. So, too, does its ability to offer specifics with the reports Renewable Energy Group (REG) provides that show how much Ruan has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by using REG fuel.

“As of fall 2018, Ruan has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 2,100 metric tons since starting to do business with REG,” Larsen says. “It’s a real advantage to have that kind of information calculated for us and available to share with our customers.”

Larsen says REG also stands out for product quality, reliability and competitive pricing. Ruan buys fuel that has already been blended, rather than doing the blending itself.

A mainstream fuel

Ruan’s history with biodiesel may only be a few years old, but Larsen says the benefits are obvious — and thinks that goes for the entire trucking industry.

“At this point, I’m going to be more surprised if I hear somebody is running vehicles that don’t have biodiesel, especially Class 8 trucks,” Larsen says. “For Ruan, it simply comes down to emissions reductions, strong performance and cost savings.”

Ruan Transportation

  • Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Operates in 48 states
  • Has approximately 4,000 tractors and 9,500 trailers
  • Uses up to B20 blends
  • Biodiesel benefits: sustainability, performance, price
Yellow Arrow
LIKE WHAT YOU READ?

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