Vermont continues the momentum for clean air policies in the Northeast by passing a requirement for renewable, cleaner-burning biodiesel to be used in home heating oil throughout the state. Governor Peter Shumlin recently signed the Vermont Energy Act of 2011, establishing low sulfur and biodiesel requirements for all heating oil sold in Vermont beginning July 2012.
Biodiesel blends with home heating oil are marketed as Bioheat. The legislation requires all heating oil sold in the state to contain a 3% biodiesel blend (B3) beginning July 2012, increasing to 7% (B7) by 2016.
Vermont becomes the ninth state in the nation to pass a statewide biodiesel requirement. It's timed to match implementation of similar legislation in neighboring states.
Minnesota and Oregon require B5, a 5% blend. Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Louisiana, New Mexico and Washington State require B2. And New York City will require B2 by October 2012.
The Northeast is the nation's largest market for home heating oil. According to National Biodiesel Board information, if the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states supplement with 2% biodiesel, it would require 110 million gallons of biodiesel. A 5% biodiesel blend would require 275 million gallons.
Vermont's commitment speaks to the North East region's continued commitment to using renewable, cleaner-burning fuels to heat their homes and businesses, says Shelby Neal, NBB's state governmental affairs director. "The Vermont policy builds on the strong partnership created between the home heating oil industry and the biodiesel industry to provide a more sustainable, cleaner energy solution through Bioheat."
Why a biodiesel blend? Bioheat's key advantages are reduced particulate emissions (unburned hydrocarbons and soot) and greatly improved air quality in and around the home.
Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from readily available, renewable resources. It's a domestic, sustainable, cleaner-burning diesel replacement fuel that meets strict quality specifications.