Fuel Savings Analysis 2.0 Now Available

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) has released the new version of its Fuel Savings Analysis Calculator, which uses test data on oil-fired boilers to demonstrate the value of equipment upgrades with consumer-friendly metrics.

The FSA calculator can help Oilheat salespeople overcome the limitations of the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) metric. AFUE is a measure of how efficient an appliance is in converting the energy in its fuel to heat over the course of a typical year, and the Federal Trade Commission requires all new furnaces or boilers to display their AFUE for the benefit of consumers.

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tech workshop logo

NORA Technical Workshshop

A varied assembly of 50 industry professionals met in Newport, RI to hear about the latest in oilheat technology advances. The workshop, hosted by the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) and crafted by NORA’s Director of Research, Dr. Thomas Butcher, featured 21 presenters covering topics under four major categories: Advanced Burner Concepts, Ultra Low Sulfur Heating Oil and Premium Fuels, Biofuels and Advanced Equipment. Continue reading

Hands-on classroom

New Liquid Fuel Research & Training Center Opened

The National Oilheat Research Alliance and two Oilheating associations recently celebrated the opening of a new research and training facility designed specifically for Oilheating fuels and renewabls, such as and Bioheat® fuel.

Kevin Rooney, John Huber, Dr. Tom Butcher, Roco Lacertosa

Kevin Rooney, John Huber, Dr. Tom Butcher, Roco Lacertosa

Located in Plainview, NY, on Long Island, the 3,500-square-foor facility is operated by NORA in cooperation with the New York Oil Heating Association (NYOHA) and the Oil Heat Comfort Corp. (OHCC). It is known as both the NORA Liquid Fuels Research and Development Laboratory and the NYOHA/OHCC Technical Training Institute.

More than 50 visitors turned out for a Grand Opening celebration and tour. The building features a classroom that accommodates up to 20 students; a working lab with live-firing boilers and electronic testing and analysis equipment; and offices and a boardroom. It will host industry training and consumer education programs, enabling trainers to teach at a dedicated facility rather than having to rent space for events

Renowned energy researcher Dr. Thomas A. Butcher keeps an office at the facility, where he will oversee NORA’s research and development projects while also conducting research on heating equipment and liquid fuels.

Dr. Butcher, John Levey

Dr. Butcher, John Levey

One door over from Butcher sits John Levey, who serves as director of education for each of the associations that share the facility. He is developing and directing a variety of education programs, including Oilheat technician training under the aegis of NORA and a variety of training programs for the New York associations, including air conditioning education for technicians and customer service training for office personnel.

NORA President John Huber said, “It is really exciting to have a bricks-and-mortar presence of our own that we can all use together. This gives us a great opportunity to connect with people working in the industry and help them serve heating oil customers more effectively.”

Hands-on classroom

Hands-on classroom

NORA Chairperson Allison Heaney, who is President of New York City-based Skaggs-Walsh, said the center will benefit the industry tremendously. “It is very exciting to have a research facility where Dr. Tom Butcher can continue with his great testing of Bioheat ® fuel and continue to assure that we are selling fuel of the highest quality,” she said. “I also think it is amazing the both Long Island and New York City now have this space where we can bring our technicians together and train them to deliver even better service for our customers. It’s a beautiful facility with boilers ready to fire that will allow students to work hands on with the equipment. I’m very excited to have it.”



Dr. Butcher also expressed great enthusiasm about the opportunities that the new facility creates. “I think this is hugely important. Many groups can now come to this place and share their education and research,” he said. “We will really help each other.”

NYOHA CEO Rocco Lacertosa said the new facility give the industry great credibility with young technicians. “It a professional environment that reflects very well on our industry. Training is very important for technicians and companies, and now we have a great place to get together and learn.”

OHCC CEO Kevin Rooney also sees tremendous benefits for heating oil companies and employees. “For the first time we have a research and development facility that is linked to a training facility. Technicians who come here not only will be able to work with the latest heating equipment in the field, they’ll also have the benefit of working with the pre-eminent technical expert in out field in Dr. Thomas Butcher.”



Coming Soon…FSA 2.0. Reserve yours.

One of NORA’s most useful and helpful tools, the Fuel Savings Analysis Calculator is currently in the final stages of a major update. The new and improved FSA Calculator 2.0 will provide a number of never-before-seen features, as well as powerful and streamlined enhancements to the existing platform.

  • Cloud Based. Can Be Accessed on any Internet Enabled Device
  • Responsive Design Auto Scales to Desktop, Laptop, Tablet or Smart Phone
  • Mobile Friendly Interface for Improved Use in the Field
  • Users Set Up Individual Password-Protected Accounts
  • Choose from Four Existing Equipment Presets and Six New Equipment Presets
  • Users Can Modify and Save any Equipment Presets
  • Simple Mode for Consumers and Laymen
  • Advanced Mode for Skilled Technicians
  • New Expanded Location/Temperature Data
  • Consumers See Multiple Upgrade Options at 5, 15 & 20 Year ROI
  • Results and Recommendations Can Be Saved and Shared
  • Mobile Apps for iOS and Android Currently in Developmen

Register here to receive an email update when FSA 2.0 is available.


NORA Releases Product Development Program Opportunity Notice

The National Oilheat Research Alliance Board of Directors in its budgets for 2015 and 2016, has authorized funds to be spent on the project areas listed below.

Successful research, development and demonstrations grants in the past ranged from $20,000 to $350,000. All projects will be managed by NORA’s Liquid Fuels Research Center (LFRC).

NORA PON No. 2016-001 seeks proposals to support the development,demonstration,and commercialization of Oilheat
technologies and systems in the following categories:
Category A: System Level Controls
Category B: New Appliances
Category C: Other New Ideas

Under PON No.2016-001, NORA plans to award multiple cost-shared contracts in Categories A through C up to a total of $350,000 for each award.

This funding allocation may be adjusted based upon the quantity and quality of the proposals received.

There is no minimum project funding amount per project award.

Proposals are due June 27, 2016 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time

Open full notice here. 


NORA revises Gold Technicians’ Certification

Four new books now available…Advanced Hydronics, Advanced Air Flow, Advanced Efficiency and Advanced Venting.

Oilheat service technicians wishing to upgrade their NORA Silver Certification to the prestigious Gold level now have a revised and updated Gold program to follow.

To achieve Gold Certification status, a Silver Certification is a prerequisite and the technician must successfully complete four of eight Gold certification topic modules.

Currently, six of the eight modules are available for credit including four brand new releases by NORA: Advanced Air Flow, Advanced Hydronics, Advanced Efficiency and Advanced Venting. Additionally, NORA will be releasing Advanced Controls and Advanced Steam in the near future. The remaining two, Oil Tank Installation and Maintenance and BPI’s program Building Science Principles Reference Guide are already in place. Continue reading


NORA consumer outreach exceeding expectations.

An aggressive internet focused consumer outreach program extolling the virtues of heating with Bioheat® (heating oil blended with renewable biodiesel) has performed even better than anticipated.
The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA), through its Board of Directors and Executive Committee, allocated nearly $1 million to ensure consumers understand the value of oilheating.
This is being accomplished through a digital media outreach plan expected to lead to nearly 100 million impressions and more than 500,000 visits to NORA’s website OilheatAmerica.com. This effort ensures oilheating customers understand the true value of oilheat.
NORA’s digital campaign commenced in mid-January of this year and included Search Engine Marketing* (SEM), Social Media Marketing** and Internet Display Advertising.***

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NORA embarks on a $1 million consumer outreach program

Using the internet and social media to bring a half-million visitors to its consumer website 

The decade from 2004 through 2014 was one of the most challenging ever for the oilheating industry. Warm winters, high and volatile fuel prices and strong political and environmental movements against hydrocarbon fuels all converged to make a difficult time for both heating oil suppliers and consumers.

Fortunately, the industry has been rewarded with a collapse in fuel prices- currently the lowest crude prices in 11 years. Additionally, through the leadership of NORA and numerous state and regional associations working with NORA, the industry has begun to transition to low-carbon and renewable fuels.

The next step is to make sure oilheat customers aware of these important positive changes so they will know their loyalty to oilheat has been rewarded.

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NYOHA Helps NYC Students Learn the Science of Bioheat® Fuel

The New York Oil Heating Association (NYOHA) is helping a teacher in Bronx, NY, incorporate clean-burning Bioheat® fuel as a teaching tool in an interdisciplinary approach to HVAC training.

Peter Gonzalez is teaching the science of Bioheat® fuel – as well as math, chemistry and English – to 17 Bronx Design and Construction Academy juniors this fall, with NYOHA’s support. In addition to arranging for 150 gallons of pure B100 Bioheat® fuel and equipment to be donated by AMERIgreen Energy and Schildwachter Oil Company, Rocco Lacertosa, NYOHA’s CEO and a member of the school’s HVAC Advisory Board, recently visited the classroom to speak directly to the students. Continue reading