Heating Oil: Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful answers to common questions!

Where does heating oil come from?

The majority of today’s heating oil comes directly from the United States, with Maine receiving much of its oil by truck and marine transportation from Canada. Waterborne deliveries are made to Maine harbors via coastal terminals in Portland, South Portland, Searsport, Bucksport, Yarmouth and Bangor.

Is oilheat clean?

Yes, and it’s getting cleaner every day. Heating oil dealers throughout Maine sell ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and Bioheat® fuel, both of which are far cleaner than heating oil of the past. With oil dealers all working toward the common goal of a future that is free of carbon emissions, you can feel good about using ultra-low-sulfur heating oil and Bioheat fuel. 

What does the AFUE number on my appliance mean?

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. It tells you how efficient your boiler or furnace is at converting energy to heat, including the amount of fossil fuel energy consumed per year. The higher the number, the more efficient the equipment is. New high-efficiency oilheat equipment can have AFUE rating percentages in the high 90s. 

What are heating degree days?

Heating degree days help us to calculate when it’s time for a fuel delivery. For every degree that the average daily temperature is below 65, we count one degree day. So, if the average temperature on any given day is 25, that’s equivalent to 40 degree days.
By looking at degree days and combining that data with other factors, dealers can create a very reliable delivery schedule, which enables them to virtually guarantee that their automatic delivery customers will not run out of fuel.

Want to learn more? Explore Maine Energy Facts or send a message to the Explore Heating Oil Maine here.