As of July 1, 2014, the sulfur content in heating oil will be reduced to 500 parts per million (ppm). The de-sulfurization down to 500 ppm, also referred to as low sulfur heating oil, is nothing new. Diesel fuel went through this process twice a number of years ago. The first reduction of sulfur in diesel fuel in the 1990s was to a maximum of 500 ppm. Then again in 2007 diesel fuel’s sulfur content was cut back further to a maximum of 15 ppm and became Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel or ULSD.
The reduction of sulfur in home heating oil will bring two major benefits: greater efficiency and less pollution. The driving force behind this movement is better air quality. The reduced sulfur fuel will burn cleaner thereby reducing the amount of soot created and sent into the atmosphere. The benefit of greater efficiency affects our pocketbooks and wallets. If every gallon of heating oil burned generates even one percent greater efficiency that’s three or four cents per gallon saved…plus parts of your heating system should last longer when subjected to less soot and scale.
Our air quality will be improved, letting everyone breathe a little easier as they examine their carbon footprints!
According to a diagram below posted by the EIA (Energy Information Administration) in 2012, we are on track to lower sulfur levels even more in the future: