History of Heating Oil

Heat has been essential from the beginnings of time. Innovation has driven the evolution of heat over the years, from fires in caves to the modern liquid heating fuel we use today. Chevron Renewable Energy Group has put together a timeline that shows how heating oil has evolved: 


Most homes in the Northeast are heated by wood or coal. Many family heating businesses got their start by delivering wood or coal, along with kerosene for lamps. 


The first liquid heating fuel burner is invented. 


Coal powered home-heating systems begin conversion to burn liquid fuel, typically delivered in 5-gallon cans. 


The liquid heating fuel market continues to grow. Improvements in burner and delivery technologies helped improve conditions of main street America in the Great Depression. 


After World War II, many veterans found work in the booming liquid heating fuel industry.


88,083 burners are sold in the United States, one of the highest sales records for the industry. 


The OPEC embargo creates a massive supply shortage. The price of liquid heating fuel skyrocketed to over 34 cents a gallon, more than double its previous price of 16 cents per gallon. 


Soybean oil-based biodiesel is introduced as a replacement for diesel fuel.  


Companies begin adopting low and ultra-low sulfur heating fuel as an industry-wide attempt to reduce emissions. 


Clean Fuels Alliance America, formerly the National Biodiesel Board, trademarks Bioheat® to describe the blends of biodiesel and heating fuel.  


The first Bioheat® law in the United Sates goes into effect in New York City. The city required 2% biodiesel in all liquid heating fuel. 


The first statewide Bioheat® law goes into effect in Rhode Island, also requiring a 2% biodiesel blend. 


The Providence Resolution announces the goal of a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. The resolution consists of more than 300 liquid heating fuel businesses in the Northeast. 


States in the Northeast such as New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut enact a 5% biodiesel blend requirement in liquid heating fuel, with plans to expand to 15-50% blends by 2030. 


Heating oil has a rich history, and the use of Bioheat® fuel is increasing with states making the switch to lower- carbon heat. Chevron Renewable Energy Group has been helping the Northeast make the switch for more than 25 years. Read the case study of how Chevron Renewable Energy Group is helping Broco Energy, a fuel distributor in the Northeast, aid in the transition to lower carbon fuel. 




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