The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) has added four new online video courses to its online training center at Learning.NORAweb.org. Each course offers two continuing education units (CEU credits) that can be applied to renew or upgrade a NORA’s Oilheat Technician Certification.
The incoming Chairman of the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA), Tom Santa, Santa Energy, Bridgeport, CT, spoke to the Metropolitan Energy Conference about “Heating Oil-The Renewable Industry” at the group’s luncheon on November 1 in Bridgeport, CT.
Santa began by stating the oilheating industry, responsible for keeping millions of Americans warm and safe each year, is entering a renaissance with a fuel that is cleaner, less expensive and more reliable than ever. Continue reading
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
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
During severe flood events, such as those occurring from Hurricane Irene and Super-Storm Sandy, many coastal and low elevation inland areas were subjected to high water conditions. As a result, a number of outdoor above-ground home heating oil tanks were dislodged and, in some cases, caused property damage.
In response to the combined effects of these events, the Oil Heat Institute of Long Island (OHILI) and the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA), in collaboration with local government agencies and oil heat industry experts, have developed this Recommended Practice (RP) in an effort to mitigate these problems in future flood events.
The research, testing and approval of this RP went through the National Fire Protection (NFPA) 31 Technical Committee and was balloted successfully for publication as a reference document.
This RP should be used as guidance when installing new tanks or upgrading existing installations.
The Northeastern states are moving steadily towards improving the characteristics of home heating oil. Through the reduction of sulfur to almost negligible levels, the new heating oil burns cleaner and service intervals on heating appliances can be extended, providing consumers with more efficient heating and fewer service calls.
BioheatTM, the addition of biodiesel to heating oil, results in a exciting clean, carbon friendly fuel with a renewable component.
The New England Fuel Institute has compiled a chart of where each of the major oilheating states in the Northeast stand on the transition.
Pursuant to Public Law 113-79 (the Agricultural Act of 2014), Congress required NORA to prepare a report on the utilization rate and analysis of the use of biofuels in Oilheating equipment.
The report titled, “Developing a Renewable Biofuel Option for the Home Heating Sector“ was released on May 13, 2015 and is most comprehensive report of its kind.
Some of the key components of the report:
- One of the biggest transitions in heating oil has been the move to ultra-low sulfur heating oil (ULSHO). This fuel lowers maintenance, improves efficiency and reduces pollution from heating systems.
- Biodiesel blends at 20% (B-20) with ultra-low sulfur heating oil (ULSHO) are lower in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) than natural gas when evaluated over 100 years, while blends of 2% (B-2) or more are lower in GHG than natural gas when evaluated over twenty years.
- Biodiesel blended at 5 percent would require approximately 300 million gallons of biodiesel produced per year. Assuming the biodiesel industry average of 50 million gallons per year per plant. Bioheat® would be responsible for 6 plants built and continuously operated. Thus, nearly 270 full time jobs can be directly attributed to Bioheat®.
- Studies on the operation of Bioheat® on the basic burner operation with biodiesel blends at B-20 (at least) is the same as with unblended heating oil.
- NORA (the Alliance) and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) have communicated the value of using biodiesel and selling Bioheat®. The Alliance features information about Bioheat® on its consumer website, OilheatAmerica.com. The NBB has a webpage, Bioheatonline.com that describes the advantages of Bioheat®. Further, the Alliance and its affiliated state associations have worked to provide education on this product to consumers and retail oil companies through the use of mass media and informational brochures.
- State and local governments have utilized a number of strategies to encourage the use of biofuels in their communities. It is often necessary to encourage its use with incentives or mandates to develop the infrastructure and overall market acceptance for a new fuel.
Recognizing the importance of energy efficiency for both the US consumer and for the retail heating oil companies that service them, NORA is developing a new energy efficiency program. NORA’s commitment to energy efficiency is so strong that fifteen percent of NORA collections will be spent on the program.
In order to have a good understanding of existing energy efficiency programs and to establish a baseline, NORA commissioned Warm Thoughts Communications,Clifton, NJ to review a select group of state energy programs. This review was recently completed and the report Understanding the Energy Efficiency Landscape, and Implications for NORA Initiatives has been issued.
This report describes various existing state programs and reviews several particularly successful programs and their relationship to the retail oil dealers who are the backbone of NORA.
The report’s primary recommendation for NORA is to facilitate the development of energy efficiency programs for retail service companies. This would provide companies an opportunity to provide additional services to their customers, improve their workforce and enhance energy efficiency. A NORA committee is now examining the types of materials that should be developed to facilitate this program.
It should be noted that this report is not official NORA policy, but does provide guidance for moving forward in this critical area.