Something happened last summer in Rhode Island and throughout New England that didn’t make big headlines, but will have a big impact on our planet and your wallet this year and in the years to come.
Since July, all heating oil delivered in RI is required, by law, be ultra-low sulfur heating oil (ULSHO) with a sulfur content standard of 15 ppm (parts per million). By comparison, fuel has had a sulfur content standard of 500 ppm since 2014; before that, it was 3,000 ppm.
You may ask what these numbers mean to you: as it turns out, they mean quite a lot.
For one thing, these numbers mean that the heating oil we are delivering to you right now is significantly cleaner-burning than it ever has been: the latest version of ULSHO cuts 99 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions (a major contributor to acid rain and haze), 97 percent of airborne emissions, and 30 percent of Nitrogen Oxide emissions compared to regular heating oil, according to the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
They also mean you will see less ash and soot in your chimney – a sign of better efficiency. When was the last time you saw a diesel truck on the highway spewing black soot from its stacks? You don’t anymore, because the auto industry has already made the switch to ultra-low sulfur fuel and is reaping the rewards of it today. Expect the same performance in your home heating system.
Lastly, they mean you will be getting fewer visits from our repair crews; cleaner fuel also means fewer deposits on heat exchangers, which means a longer life for your equipment and less down time along the way.
See, not all change is bad.