Many New Yorkers have a choice of heating by Bioheat® fuel or utility gas. When it comes to safety, satisfaction and cost, Bioheat® fuel is the clear winner. Here are five reasons why.

  1. Bioheat® fuel is safer than gas. There is a vast difference between Bioheat® fuel and utility gas when it comes to safety. Gas is highly explosive when it is concentrated in a small space, which is exactly what can happen when a pipeline leak causes gas to enter a home or building. The National Safety Transportation Board recommends the use of "excess flow valves" to protect lives and property from gas leaks, but they are required only for new gas connections, and many gas-heated homes and buildings lack this recommended protection. Oilheat, on the other hand, is non-explosive and does not even ignite at room temperature - it must be heated to 140° F to burn. Natural gas heating systems also can emit deadly carbon monoxide without warning, unlike Oilheat systems, which will emit smoke and other warning signs.

  2. Bioheat® fuel has a great record on price. Bioheat® fuel prices are at historically low prices - the average cost of Bioheat® fuel in 2020 is close to what it was 15 years ago.

  3. With Bioheat® fuel, you get emergency coverage and more. A full-service Oilheat provider like Schildwachter protects its customers with expert preventive maintenance and an assurance of prompt response in a heat emergency. Gas utilities, on the other hand, generally provide neither preventive maintenance nor emergency service. A lack of preventive maintenance can lead to premature failure of a heating system, costing thousands of dollars in needless repairs. A gas customer may also find it difficult to get emergency service at a reasonable cost, particularly if they lose heat during a time of extreme cold - when demand for emergency service is greatest.

  4. Bioheat® fuel has a better future. Bioheat® fuel is a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil with biofuel made from natural, renewable sources like vegetable oil. As biofuel blending increases, heating oil customers help the United States become less dependent on petroleum. Biofuel blends also burn cleaner, with lower greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, Bioheat® fuel produces fewer GHG emissions than natural gas over a 100-year period. Utility gas, meanwhile, does not offer a clear migration path toward alternative energy.

  5. Bioheat® fuel is kinder to the environment. The utility gas industry is embroiled in controversy over a widely used technique for extracting underground gas deposits. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking", injects millions of gallons of water laced with chemicals into rock formations at extremely high pressure to free the gas. The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a study to determine whether this practice endangers human health and water supplies. Fracking is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film "Gasland", which examines problems that residents have experienced near gas wells, such as fouled water wells and flammable gases that enter homes through water faucets. The gas industry is also responsible for countless pipeline leaks that pollute the atmosphere with methane - a greenhouse gas with 72 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.