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 Operator on Biodiesel: It'd be Ridiculous Not to Use It

S.K. Davison, Inc. uses biodiesel in all its diesel-powered vehicles, from tractor-trailers to mowers.

Ed Davison has a question for fleets not running on biodiesel blends: Why not?

“What is your argument for not doing it? You want as much black smoke coming out of your exhaust as you can get?  You want the dirtiest emissions of anybody out here?” asks Davison, who co-owns central Illinois hauler S.K. Davison, Inc. with his wife, Sharon. “When it costs nothing to clean up the environment, it would just be absolutely ridiculous to not do it.”

Davison has heard the arguments from fleet managers, especially those with small fleets similar in size to his. They worry about the effect of biodiesel on vehicle performance and warranties, despite OEM acceptance of biodiesel being nearly unanimous, and they worry about cost. But he has answers to those arguments based on more than a decade of experience with biodiesel.

“I use a B20 blend in absolutely everything that’s dieselpowered that we have,” he says. “I’ve never noticed a problem in anything.”

More than a decade of satisfaction with biodiesel.

At S.K. Davison, Inc., that’s a fleet of about two dozen vehicles.  The bulk of them are tractor-trailers, but they also have several dump trucks, a bulldozer and a backhoe for construction work, and some road maintenance mowers. S.K. Davison, Inc.’s primary business is hauling agricultural products for farmers and asphalt and aggregates for construction companies.

Davison was first introduced to biodiesel about 15 years ago, when his fuel provider started offering a B2 blend. They assured him it would work, but he had many of the same concerns he’s heard others express. None of them ever came to be.

“I’ve got a 1977 Cat D6 bulldozer out there, and it works just fine. And biodiesel works in my 2015 Detroit Diesel engine,” he says. “So it works in everything.”

Year-round use of biodiesel has financial and environmental benefits.

Not only does biodiesel perform well, but it also has financial advantages. Biodiesel blends of 11 percent and higher are exempt from Illinois’ 6.25 percent sales tax. Davison also likes that using biodiesel adds value to the products of the same farmers who use his hauling services.

S.K. Davison, Inc. went to a B11 blend in 2005 and B20 in 2012. It now uses B20 year-round, including in the heart of the cold Illinois winters. Cold weather or warm, the fuel performs.

In Davison’s mind, the biggest benefits of using biodiesel are related to the environment. Biodiesel is renewable and a cleanerburning alternative to petroleum diesel. He says it’s usually easier to do things the old way, but fleets of all sizes need to recognize the impact of their decisions.

"I know biodiesel works. It’s better for the environment. And I’m not going  to look my grandkids in the face and  go, ‘Grandpa had a choice and chose  not to do anything for your future." Ed Davison,  Owner of S.K. Davison, Inc.

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