Category Archives: NORA

New Bioheat® fuel registered trademark agreement

Clean Fuels Alliance America (CFAA) along with the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) announced the release, for immediate review and execution, the newest version of their Bioheat® Fuel Trademark License Agreement. The new agreement references Clean Fuels new name (formerly the National Biodiesel Board) as well a subtle revision that helps improve the document for both parties.

To simplify the registration process, a website has been developed where current and new registrants may go to access the agreement for review and execution with Clean Fuels staff. After execution of a completed agreement, registrants will be sent the completed and ready for use digital logo files which include four versions:

  • Bioheat® fuel
  • Bioheat® Plus fuel
  • Bioheat® Super Plus
  • Bioheat® fuel, “The Evolution of Oilheat®”

“We are excited to roll out this agreement for new and existing licensees that will ensure the proper promotion of Bioheat® fuel,” said Brad Shimmens, director of operations and membership for Clean Fuels. “We appreciate consumers and fuel marketers for their commitment to the only liquid heating fuel that can lower carbon emissions, both improving the environment and human health.”

Michael Devine, NORA President, added, “The retailers that constitute the liquid heating fuel industry are aggressively transitioning their companies and their customers to the low carbon fuel, Bioheat®. Significantly reducing carbon emissions from home heating oil is NORA’s goal and the partnership with CFAA and the Bioheat® fuel retailers is instrumental to getting us there.”

All questions specific to the proper use of the trademarks can be addressed by contacting Brad Shimmens at Clean Fuels or by phone 800-841-5849.

Bioheat® fuel is a blend of biodiesel and ultra-low sulfur heating fuel. A more eco-friendly alternative to both traditional heating fuel and natural gas, Bioheat® fuel can be used in existing home heating fuel systems. Bioheat® fuel is available right now and is currently offered in three tiers based on how much biodiesel is in the fuel:

  • Blends ranging from 2% to 5% biodiesel (B2–B5) are referred to as Bioheat® fuel.
  • Blends ranging from 6% to 20% biodiesel (B6–B20) are referred to as Bioheat® Plus fuel.
  • Blends 21% – 100% biodiesel are referred to as Bioheat® Super Plus fuel.
04Feb/22

NORA Announces New President

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) has announced the appointment of Michael Devine as incoming President following the retirement of current President John Huber effective March 1, 2022. Devine comes to NORA after having served as Vice President of Sales & Business Development for World Energy.

As part of the Senior Management Team, he managed day to day activities for sales and volumes at terminals, prepared monthly and annual budgets and developed key national accounts including FedEx, UPS, Chevron, Ryder, The Union Pacific Railroad and others. Prior to his time at World Energy, he was the CEO and founder of Earth Energy Alliance where he assisted the petroleum distribution industry in reducing the carbon footprint of their fuel by increasing the use of renewable liquid fuels. 

Michael Devine

Devine has deep roots in the oilheat industry. He began his career in his family’s business, Devine Brothers of Norwalk, CT. He started as a truck driver and service technician, growing into roles as sales manager, vice president and president of the 50+ employee, third- generation business. He is a member of the NORA board and has been a positive and active voice in supporting the oilheat and liquid heating fuels industry for decades. 

NORA Board Chairman, Roger Marran announced, “We are excited about having Michael join the talented NORA team as president. He is an exemplary leader with the ability to further build on NORA’s success with his extensive knowledge and passion for the oilheat, biofuels and liquid fuels industry. He will help us expand on our mission of enabling renewable cleaner fuels, more efficient heating system and a highly educated technical workforce and is committed to NORA’s vision to provide better solutions for American consumers and businesses with cleaner, more efficient and more reliable heat and hot water systems.

Devine succeeds NORA’s founding President John Huber, who is retiring after a 22-year career with NORA. John will continue in his current role as President through early 2022 and will continue to provide support for Michael to ensure a successful transition period. Devine commented, “I’m honored to be selected as the next President of NORA. NORA has been critical to advancing the heating oil industry for over two decades. The challenges to our industry are great, but with the resources of NORA and the committed leadership of NORA’s Board, retailers and wholesalers throughout the country, we will develop the best path forward for this great industry.”

 NORA was authorized by Congress in 2000 to generate funding for the Oilheating industry to provide more efficient and more reliable heat and hot water to American consumers. NORA’s efforts focus on Consumer Education, Professional Education, Energy Efficiency & Safety and Research. For more information on NORA’s activities go to NORAweb.org.

19Nov/21

NORA Releases Report on Equipment Upgrade Incentive Project

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) has released a recently completed report on its Equipment Upgrade Incentive Project. The report examines the impact of rebates on efficiency, reductions in gallons of fuel used, savings to consumers and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. These rebate incentive programs have been used in many states for several years. 

At the time the report’s release, NORA rebates had been used to support the installation of 6,412 liquid fuel fired boilers. This is approximately 1/10 of 1% of the liquid fuel powered heating equipment in the field. The dramatic gains in efficiency over the units replaced yielded big savings to the customers and to society.

On average, fuel consumption was reduced by 170 gallons per year per home. At $3.20 per gallon of fuel, this means a savings of $544 per year. If a $500 rebate encouraged early replacement by 1 year, the return on investment would be 8.8%. A boiler has a typical useful life of 25 years; they often last much longer. Total savings over the life of a boiler would be $13,600 in current dollars.

The societal savings are also dramatic. For these 6,412 boilers that were replaced, over one million gallons of fuel will not be used for the next 25 years. This represents a total of 27,251,000 gallons of fuel not burned over the life of the boiler. This translates into $87 million dollars saved; money that can be spent in the local economies.

Additionally, the replacement boilers represent nearly 396,000 tons of CO2e that will not be put into the atmosphere.

The study used in-field measurements of fuel consumption (before and after equipment changes).
The researchers used actual delivery data of fuel to determine fuel use in a particular home prior to the equipment change and then evaluated consumption after the installation. The study did not rely on equipment ratings or other manufacturer evaluations of equipment. It captured in-use and actual savings to a consumer.

According to Dr. Thomas Butcher, NORA’s Technical Director and the study’s lead author, “The report provides powerful evidence of the benefits of improved equipment installed in homes and also the types of equipment that will yield the most savings for consumers.”

NORA will be developing communication pieces for service personnel and consumers so they can maximize the efficiency of their home. This information will also be invaluable to manufacturers as they develop equipment that reduces consumption in real world applications.

27Jul/21

NORA Releases 2022-2023 Budget for Comment

The proposed 2022 and 2023 biennial budget for the National Oilheat Research Alliance has been under development for several months. The NORA Finance Committee and the Executive Committee have reviewed the 2022 & 2023 budget and it is now being released for public comment.

At the conclusion of the public comment period, the budget will be forwarded to the Department of Energy.

Anyone interested in commenting on this should forward comments, by September 1, 2021, to JHuber@NORAweb.org.

The 2022 and 2023 budget incorporates the 2014 and 2018 changes in the NORA statute emphasizing research and development and adds an energy efficiency component. Additionally, the budget continues to emphasize the close working relationships with the state associations. For more information about NORA and its programs or services, call 703-340-1660 or visit the web site, NORAweb.org.

15Oct/20

NORA Adds to Online Gold courses with Advanced Venting

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) is pleased to announce the release of a new Gold Series online course, Advanced Venting, paving the way for achieving NORA Gold Technician Certification online.

Advanced Venting joins three other Gold Certification Series online courses, Advanced Hydronics, Advanced Efficiency and Advanced Heating Fuel Storage Tanks, to offer NORA silver certified technicians the opportunity to complete, on-line, four of the advanced gold courses necessary to upgrade to Gold Certification status. 

Gold is the top tier of NORA’s Technician Certification program and describes professionals who have advanced training in a variety of programs, but more importantly describes individuals who are continuously working to improve their performance. 

NORA president, John Huber, in accordance with NORA’s mandate to provide the industry with technical education, said, “Adding Advanced Venting to NORA’s online course library is an important step as it allows technicians to pursue and complete their Gold certification upgrade without the need for travel to live classes. This lowers the barriers to acquiring the knowledge needed today.”

Each of the Advanced Gold series courses also offer six NORA continuing education units (CEUs) which can be applied to upgrading from Bronze Certification to Silver Certification as well as renewal of existing Silver or Gold certifications.

The Advanced venting course is based on NORA’s Advanced Venting manual, authored by Tim Begoske of Field Controls. It can be found at NORA’s learning website, Learning.NORAweb.org

07Aug/20

NORA President on Low-Carbon Liquid Fuels

NORA President, John Huber, spoke with Eurofuel about the necessity of low-carbon liquid fuels in the U.S. and the joint conference on the Future of Liquid Fuels that NORA is hosting with Eurofuel on consecutive Wednesdays starting August 19.

What role can low carbon fuels play in climate protection?

NORA President John Huber

The economic activity of a high percentage of our economy is linked to carbon fuels. Heat, electricity and transportation represent almost 46% of carbon emissions. If we do not address fuels, we are essentially not addressing global warming which is not an acceptable answer.  Thus, we must have lower carbon fuels.  As an industry that supplies liquid fuels we must supply the right low-carbon answer or we are essentially conceding the battle.  

Continue reading
28Jul/20

Three New Online Courses

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) has added three new online courses to its training center at Learning.NORAweb.org. Two of them, Advanced Heating Fuel Storage Tanks and Advanced Efficiency, are components of NORA’s technician Gold Certification program and offer six continuing education credits (CEU) each. The third, Bioheat® Technical Guidance offers one credit.

Advanced Heating Fuel Storage Tanks and Advanced Efficiency join Advanced Hydronincs as online courses providing three of the requisite four advanced Gold Series courses necessary to upgrade to NORA Gold Certified Technician status.

According to NORA’s President, John Huber, “It is important for technicians to have the ability to upgrade their certifications online. With the addition of these Gold courses, we are very near that goal.” NORA anticipates adding two more Gold courses in the coming months.

“Video courses are an efficient and popular way to put important training material in front of as many technicians and students in the field as possible. They are free to the user and now that travel is restricted and many industry conferences have been cancelled, online courses are a great solution to maintaining certifications and gaining knowledge,” said NORA’s Director of Education, John Levey.

These three courses join the library of courses already on the site. These cover topics from equipment service to oil delivery to tank installation.
To access the courses, a technician or student must have an active user account at Learning.NORAweb.org.

30Jun/20

Impact on service by biodiesel blends in heating oil

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) has conducted periodic surveys to assess the impact and role that biofuels play in the marketplace. Many view low-carbon fuels as the best path for the industry as it reduces its environmental impact. Biodiesel is a low-carbon fuel that is available in most markets, is used widely and offers significant reduction of the amount of carbon dioxide released by heating appliances.

NORA has conducted ongoing research in this area and has found that the transition to higher blends of biodiesel can occur with low costs and little impact on the consumer. A number of retailers have been selling the higher blends of biodiesel.

To verify/validate the lab conclusions on biodiesel, NORA conducted a wide-ranging survey of retailers and service personnel. This latest survey, completed in December 2019 is summarized here.

See the survey report here

16Mar/20

Technical Note: Nitrile Rubber and B20 Biodiesel Blends

A significant amount of new testing data on nitrile performance in U.S. heating oil equipment with biodiesel meeting today’s stringent ASTM standards is now available. This recent testing shows common nitrile elastomers in typical heating oil burner pumps in the U.S. perform the same or better using B20 than those using conventional No. 2 heating oil. The validity of this testing is supported by elastomer manufacturers marketing B-100 nitrile which could, if appropriate, be used by burner manufacturers. See Technical note here.

22Jan/19

Environmental Benefits of Biodiesel

Biodiesel significantly reduces Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions compared to petroleum. The most comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date lifecycle analysis of U.S. biodiesel produced from soybean oil concludes that GHG emissions are reduced 66-72% relative to average U.S. petroleum
while not trading off food-for-fuel nor destroying forests.

All of this is carefully explained in the report Environmental Benefits of Biodiesel and the Renewable Fuel Standard.