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A New Bio-Heat Program: Heat Leaner & Cleaner with Biodiesel

Today, People’s Power & Light (PP&L) and Mass Energy are excited to reinvigorate our Bio-Heat program. Joined recently by Newport Biodiesel, our program provides members in certain areas of Massachusetts and Rhode Island with a cleaner fuel option: biodiesel.

We have offered biodiesel options in Massachusetts for some time, launching our original Bio-Heat program in 2005. But over the years, the program has not grown much—until today.

What is Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a type of diesel fuel manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant greases. When heating your home, it produces less nitrogen oxide (which causes smog), making it a cleaner, greener heating solution for your home.

Since biodiesel burns cleaner, it helps your heating system run more efficiently and can reduce service-related costs, saving you time and money. We typically recommend that heating oil users order a tune-up yearly, which costs between $150 and $200, but biodiesel burns so much cleaner that you can schedule your tune-ups every two to three years. This helps to decrease heating costs even further.

The waste vegetable oil is mixed with normal heating oil to produce a fuel (20% biodiesel, 80% heating oil) that can be used in your current oil burner. No modification needed! The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) ensures that such a biodiesel blend can be used in any heating system.

The Bio-Heat blend (20% biodiesel, 80% heating oil) is an even cleaner product today. Government regulations are requiring oil suppliers to dramatically reduce the content of sulfur in traditional #2 heating oil in general, from 2000 parts per million a few years ago to 15 parts per million. This is good for everyone.

A Local Biodiesel Supplier

Our biodiesel dealers mix the waste vegetable oil with normal heating oil to produce a fuel (20% biodiesel, 80% heating oil) that can be used in your current oil boiler.

Our newest supplier, Newport Biodiesel, produces its biodiesel from waste vegetable oil. They source the waste oil from local restaurants to further reduce carbon emissions from transportation, gaining them recognition as a top Green Fleet by the Environmental Protection Agency. Newport Biodiesel is committed to a sustainable model to protect the environment, reduce its carbon footprint and convert a locally generated waste product into a superior alternative fuel for use around New England. Some biodiesel companies use new soybean or other agriculturally produced oil in their product, which can add back some of the environmental footprint through agricultural and production processes. That is why we are so excited that Newport Biodiesel’s model is based on using waste oil.

How does our Bio-Heat program work?

Our Discount Heating Oil Service has been helping oil consumers get a fair and consistent price on oil for the past 33 years. It works like a buyers group or co-op: after you join we pair you with an oil dealer in our network that will charge you a discounted price per gallon on oil all year long. We are harnessing the group buying power of our 14,000+ members to negotiate a better deal for the consumer and giving more business to the dealer.

Bio-Heat will be an option in the Discount Heating Oil Service. In other words, it is a new, clean heat option available to our current and potential members in Rhode Island and areas of Massachusetts.

And most importantly, Mass Energy and PP&L will do what we do best: protect you from late winter oil price-gouging while providing you with a local and cleaner heating fuel.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Our Bio-Heat program dealer does not provide full service in Rhode Island and Southern MA. However, we have a list of vetted, local heating oil dealers to help you set up service for your heating system (and we do recommend servicing it!). You can view this list on our website here.
  • Biodiesel can be more expensive than regular heating oil, but the benefits of heating with biodiesel more than outweigh the cost. It’s a cleaner fuel that is better for your heating system (saving you money in service) and the environment.

Our Bio-Heat Pricing

Our biodiesel will be about 15 cents below the state average price for heating oil.

In the same way that our Discount Heating Oil Service prices traditional heating oil, we have negotiated a discounted price per gallon on our biodiesel blend for our members. The price per gallon our members will pay for biodiesel will be about 15 cents below the state average price for heating oil. Although the savings vs. the state average price for full-service heating oil may not be as great as with traditional #2 heating oil (upwards of 30 cents per gallon), the benefits to the environment and your heating system make up for it—and you’re still getting a discount.

You can see how our Discount Heating Service average daily heating oil price compares to the RI state average here and the MA state average here. Remember that the price you can expect to pay for the cleaner, biodiesel blend will be a bit higher than the PP&L/Mass Energy average price displayed (orange line), but about 15 cents less than the state’s average for heating oil (blue dots).

After you enroll, you will be able to view your daily biodiesel price in the Member’s only section of our site.

I’m interested! How can I sign up for the Bio-Heat program?

If you’re already a member of the Discount Heating Oil Service, you can switch to our Bio-Heat program by contacting us at 800-287-3950 x4 or at

If you’re not a member of the Discount Heating Oil Service, you can join by following these simple steps.

  • Complete our online join form for the Discount Heating Oil Service;
    • You can also call us at 800-287-3950 x4 to enroll.
  • In the comments section of the online section write bio-heat;
  • And we will enroll you in our Bio-Heat program!

Towns Eligible for PP&L’s Bio-Heat Program

PP&L’s Bio-Heat program is available to all Rhode Islanders that heat with oil and are interested in a cleaner burn.

Bio-Heat is also available some areas of Massachusetts: Metro Boston, the North Shore and some towns on the RI border. For a complete list visit our Bio-Heat web page here.