NORA Explores Research Priorities

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) is developing an agenda for the “Research, Development & Demonstration” work that is a top priority under the revised NORA charter.

Earlier in the month, NORA President John Huber and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) Researcher Dr. Thomas A. Butcher hosted a research summit at BNL, on Long Island. They convened more than 40 industry participants, including marketers, fuel experts and equipment manufacturers, to brainstorm about the future of heating oil and how NORA can help customers and marketers.

Oil & Energy was present for this landmark event, and our July issue will include a look at some of the priorities that were identified. Biofuel was a popular topic, with participants focusing on a B20 blend as the next step. NORA is working with the National Biodiesel Board seeking ASTM certification for B20 heating oil, similar to the existing certification of B5 heating oil.

Another topic drawing a lot of attention was the demonstration of potential savings from an upgrade of an oil-fired heating system. The Department of Energy’s AFUE scale for rating heating appliances gives no indication that an upgrade typically reduces consumption by 25 percent, and participants are looking for a convincing way to help consumers understand how much they could save.

NORA developed the Fuel Savings Analysis Calculator software a few years ago to help contractors demonstrate savings, and participants suggested the software be updated, expanded and redistributed.

Expected to reach readers in about two weeks, the July issue of Oil & Energy will feature a variety of interesting articles, including all the following.

  • Expert advice on payment processing, credit cards and data security by Avatas Payment Solutions and Tiger Payment Solutions.
  • An interview with Bruce C. Bott, President of ADD Systems, about the 2014 ADD Systems User Conference.
  • In-depth looks at Thermo Products’ OHC96 Condensing Furnace and BASE Engineering’s new BASEstation onboard computing system.
  • A discussion of quality assurance in the RINs energy credit marketplace, with Karyn Jones of EcoEngineers.
  • Advice on customer retention from PriMedia President Rich Rutigliano.

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