Category Archives: Uncategorized

21Mar/16

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

16Mar/16

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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20Nov/15

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

20Jul/15

NORA Releases Procedures for Proper Oil Tank Securement

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.

Get it here.

 

09Jul/15

Sulfur and Bioheat Requirements in the Northeast States

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.

Get the chart here.

13May/15

NORA Releases “Biodiesel in Home Heating” Report

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.

Get the complete report here.

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.
04Feb/15

NORA Commissions Energy Efficiency Programs Report

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.

23Jan/15

NORA Launches the New OilheatAmerica.com

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA)  launched a completely new version of  OilheatAmerica.com, its consumer information website, on Tuesday, January 20, 2015.
oh america web cap

New OIlheatAmerica.com

NORA, working with Primedia, identified the core attributes of Oilheat – Safe, Renewable, Efficient, Clean, Domestic, Abundant and Independent. New content was then created to explain each attribute and how it benefits the consumer. Designed and developed for today’s Internet user, the new site features a clean design, shorter copy, and a responsive design for ease and accessibility from mobile devices, smartphones and tablets as well as desktop and laptop computers. The wealth of valuable Oilheat information from the previous incarnation of OilheatAmerica was maintained in the expansive Knowledge Base section, including the FAQs and Equipment sections.

John Huber, NORA president, said, “We are so pleased with the updated information and design of the new OilheatAmerica.  By focusing on the core attributes of Oilheat and the growing audience on mobile devices, today’s launch of OilheatAmerica provides additional access to consumers and direct support to the men and women who are the Oilheat industry.”

New to the site are expanded information on Bioheat® Fuel and state mandates for ULSHO and biofuels, rotating “quick facts,” and sections developed specifically for Commercial and Industrial Users, Home Buyers and Sellers, Real Estate Professionals, Builders and HVAC Professionals, and Home Inspectors.

NORA was authorized by Congress in 2000 to provide funding that would allow the Oilheating industry to provide more efficient and more reliable heat and hot water to the American consumer. The four key arms of NORA are Consumer Education, Professional Education, improving Energy Efficiency and Safety, and Research.

05Jan/15

Project Opportunity Notice Deemed a Success

[ezcol_1half]The National Oilheat Research issued its first Project Opportunity Notice (PON) since its reauthorization on October 31, 2014 with a deadline for submissions of December 12, 2014. NORA’s President, John Huber, categorized the PON a success as the number and quality of proposals met or exceeded expectations.

The PON (No. 2014-001) sought proposals to support the development, demonstration and commercialization of Oilheat technologies and made available two million dollars in funding.

At the deadline close, twelve proposals had been received totaling more than 4.5 million dollars for research on a cost shared basis with NORA. Under the proposals, NORA would contribute significant  funding for the projects.

“It is exciting that this many companies, including manufacturers, consultants and laboratories, are so interested in adding to the already high-quality products and services offered to the American consumer by the Oilheating industry,” said Huber. [/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end] “The quality of the concerns making the proposals is quite high and the topics are right on target with NORA’s long term plans.”

Although none of the proposals have gone through the entire process and been formally accepted, some of the topics proposed include: improving condensing appliances, low firing and modulating burners, delivery efficiency improvements and biodiesel/Bioheat® improvements.

All of the proposals are now under review by NORA’s technical experts. The next step is for NORA’s technical experts to make recommendations to the NORA technical committee for final approval.

NORA will continue to release PONs in the months and years ahead. They will be distributed to the industry through press releases and  posted here on the NORAweb.org site.[/ezcol_1half_end]

25Nov/14

NORA President Huber Chats with ICM

[ezcol_1half]In February, 2014, the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) was re-authorized by Congress to operate through February 2019. NORA’s mission is and was to improve the American consumer’s experience with oil-fired heating and hot water. NORA’s activities fall under four general categories: [/ezcol_1half]

[ezcol_1half_end]Research & Demonstration, Industry Education, Energy Efficiency and Consumer Education. John Huber, NORA President, sat down with Indoor Comfort Marketing’s Greg Dool to discuss NORA’s direction for the next five years.[/ezcol_1half_end]


[ezcol_1half]GD: Now that NORA is back up and running, what principal areas of research do you plan to focus on?
JH: The biggest function of our research going forward will be on the fuels—specifically Bioheat® (biodiesel blended with heating oil and perhaps additional sources in the future)—and then also looking at how to make sure the fuel that we use functions properly in the equipment.

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