Global Warming, Greenhouse Gasses, and Carbon Footprint
These buzzwords can trigger escalating discussions these days. The underlying issues and how they will effect our future can be scary to think about. But aside from modern conveniences such as streaming videos, storing our digital photos, and even reading our e-books, we need energy to meet even our most basic needs of food and warmth. Without giving up modern amenities and basic needs, is there a way to combat this global crisis without breaking the bank?
Ironically, if you still heat your home with petroleum heating oil, there is. Biodiesel, when combined with petroleum heating oil, is called Bioheat, and can be used in the same tank and furnace as standard petroleum heating oil without modifications. But what is the benefit vs price of biodiesel vs petroleum heating oil? If the benefits outweigh the cost, why isn’t everyone using it?
Based on a recent survey conducted by a couple local students as a school project, we discovered that education is our biggest roadblock. Most people using petroleum heating oil haven’t heard about Bioheat. If they have heard about Bioheat, they think it is too expensive, or can’t be used with their current equipment. And if they are aware of the price difference, they are still not using it because they are not aware of the benefits to both the environment and to their equipment. So here we will look at the benefits vs price of biodiesel vs petroleum heating oil.
What is the price of biodiesel as compared to petroleum heating oil?
As with all fuel, the price per unit fluctuates. But for this article, I will give an example as it relates to current prices. In the case of Bioheat, the higher the blend of biodiesel, the higher the price. For example, if the price of standard petroleum heating oil per gallon is X, the price of B25 (25% biodiesel + 75% petroleum heating oil) is X + 6 cents. The price of B50 (50% biodiesel + 50% petroleum heating oil) is X + 10 cents, and the price of B99 is X + 18 cents per gallon.*
What does this mean in terms of out of pocket expense for one year of heating a home? In Seattle, the average homeowner uses about 500 gallons of heating oil per year. If that homeowner were to use B25 instead of the standard, they would spend $30 more per year to heat their home. If they choose B50, the cost of heating their home would be about $50 more per year, and if they use B99, the highest blend of biodiesel, the average homeowner will pay $90 more per year.
But what is the actual benefit of biodiesel?
The graph below shows five different environmental pollutants, and the percentage of reduced emissions for each blend of Bioheat as compared to standard petroleum heating oil. As you can see, the benefits of biodiesel are impressive, even at the B25 level, which is the lowest blend, and only costs $30 more per year per household.
So, what is it worth?
Most people like to be kind to the environment, but usually only up to a certain point. If it costs too much, they would rather find another way. This is all good news if you still heat your home with petroleum heating oil. Bioheat is a clean, renewable alternative that can be used in your current oil tank, with your current furnace. Of course Bioheat does cost a bit more, but given the enormous reduction in pollutants, it seems like the benefits outweigh the cost. Would you agree?
*Contact us for the most up to date current price of Bioheat.