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Star Oilco Speaks On Decarbonizing Heavy Duty Trucks 1000 667 Star Oilco

Star Oilco Speaks On Decarbonizing Heavy Duty Trucks

Decarbonizing Heavy Duty Fleets By Using B99 Biodiesel.

Mark Fitz joined the Clean Cities Coalition Mindful Mobility Tech Talk series for their High GHG Reductions webinar to speak on the benefits of B99 and how fleets can begin decarbonizing their emissions today!
On September 28th, 2022, three representatives were invited to speak on how they are not only saving large amounts of energy but are also having a big impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

B99 Biodiesel reduces CO2 footprint of a 105,500 GVW truck and trailer by more than half at a lower cost than petroleum diesel.
How Can I Utilize B99 or B100 in My Own Fleet?

Star Oilco uses The Vector System developed by Pittsburgh-based Optimus Technologies. The Vector System is the only EPA-compliant biodiesel engine system and upgrades any medium or heavy-duty engine to operate on 100% biodiesel. It can be installed in as little as 12 hours. Learn more about The Vector System by contacting Optimus Technologies here directly or by reaching out to Star Oilco locally.

Star Oilco’s Field Test

Star Oilco has fielded the Optimus Technologies system on our 105,500 GVW truck and trailers.  Star Oilco began with a single Freighliner truck and trailer operating a Cummins ISX as a trial.  This truck’s typical route was approximately 305 miles round trip from Portland, Oregon to Grays Harbor, Washington.  This run is from Star Oilco in Portland, Oregon to the Grays Harbor REG Biodiesel plant and back to the Portland terminals for delivery of this product.

Over the last year and a half this truck has performed amazingly well, the only maintenance concern is swapping the fuel filters more regularly with every oil change.  Mileage and power difference are negligible as noticed by drivers or our Elog system.  On a few occasions a loss of power was experienced requiring an in between service fuel filter swap.

Follow the links below for more information on B99 Biodiesel and Star Oilco’s field test of the Optimus Technologies System:

B99 Biodiesel As A Heavy Duty Fuel

Biodiesel As A Heavy Duty Low Co2 Solution

This event is part of the Columbia Willamette Clean Cities Coalition’s Mindful Mobility Tech Talk series.  A series designed to educate and expand on the evolving trends in fleet technology relevant to fleets seeking to decarbonize their miles travelled.

If you missed this event and would like to see the slides follow this link.

Pacific Pride commercial fuel station
What Are the Rules for Getting a Pacific Pride or CFN Card in Oregon? 646 223 Star Oilco

What Are the Rules for Getting a Pacific Pride or CFN Card in Oregon?

What are the rules for getting a Pacific Pride and CFN Cardlock Card in Oregon?

Star Oilco is a proud independent Franchisee of Pacific Pride

Pacific Pride fueling is a wholesale cost plus way to buy fuel.  With the crazy market conditions getting 24 hour access to fuel has a renewed appeal to both individuals as well as businesses.  Today the price difference between retail gas stations and wholesale prices at CFN and Pacific Pride sites in part of the state of Oregon provides a huge price value for small businesses.  Add to that the convenience of getting out of gas lines and being able to fuel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year is a big value add for commercial cardlock over retail gas stations.

Pacific Pride and CFN cardlock both use a cost plus from the commercial wholesale rack prices to determine what you pay for fuel.

Avoid the volatility of retail credit card mark up with a cost plus agreement and a Star Oilco cardlock card.

Call Star Oilco and ask for a representative quote to see what CFN and Pacific Pride Cardlock costs compared to other fleet cards used at retail gas stations charging a credit card mark up.  Also look at what a small business can benefit from with the security features of cardlock over giving your drivers unsecured credit cards.

Many small businesses wonder what it takes to use a stand-alone cardlock location. As wages rise, the cost of full serve retail gas stations rise too. In contrast, stand-alone commercial fueling stations have little wait and 24 hour access, which save business owners time and money. Star Oilco makes it easy to set up with Pacific Pride in Oregon.

Self-serve diesel fueling is legal in Oregon.

Self-serve gasoline is restricted in Oregon.

Here are the rules for self-serve gasoline in Oregon.

Diesel is legal for self serve throughout the state of Oregon. Gasoline is restricted in the more populated counties of Oregon except in certain cases. Commercial fleet fueling is one of the exemptions allowed, enabling a business to get its drivers out of gas lines and cut the labor wasting wait at retail gas stations.

Self-serve diesel is already legal in Oregon and often cheaper at a commercial cardlock throughout Oregon. Anyone in Oregon who only uses diesel can get a Pacific Pride or CFN card for personal use. Gas, on the other hand, has some rules that are regularly enforced. Self-serve gasoline is allowed in several rural counties in Oregon outside of the I-5 corridor. Self-serve gasoline in the more populated parts of Oregon requires a business use as described below.

If you operate a company vehicle, commercial cardlock is the best way to upgrade your fleet security from fuel theft and seize control of corporate and small business fleet fueling. We can serve your business all around the United States. In Oregon though, gasoline is not legally dispensed without a few required safety precautions.

Oregon law does not allow self-serve gasoline along the I-5 corridor. Diesel is legally allowed for self serve, but gasoline as a flammable is not. Therefore, the Oregon Fire Marshall has rules restricting the use of commercial cardlock gasoline for individual uses. For commercial uses, Pacific Pride, CFN, Comdata, Voyager and other Commercial Cardlock networks are allowed for businesses in Oregon. If you are fleet operator or an individual outside of Oregon, these requirements do not apply in your home state. If you substantially operate in Oregon, the state Fire Marshall will expect these rules to apply to you.

What are the rules for using commercial cardlock in Oregon?

  • Business purpose required for gasoline cardlock use in Oregon (not any other state).
  • If you are only using diesel, commercial cardlock is available to everyone (individuals and businesses).
  • If you are planning on fueling gasoline vehicles, you must be a business (or use it for commercial use).
  • To access gasoline at cardlock in Oregon, you must be able to prove that you use over 900 gallons of fuel a year.
  • To access gasoline at cardlock in Oregon, someone in your business must take a Oregon Fire Marshall Safety Test.
    • Message Star Oilco below for a copy of the Oregon Fire Marshall Safety Test

If you have questions about Pacific Pride, CFN, or other cardlock systems, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have. Star Oilco has a long tradition of making cardlock easy for businesses large and small. In particular, we specialize in helping you secure fuel usage to eliminate fuel theft and reduce any chance or opportunity for thieves.

To get access to Pacific Pride and CFN locations in Oregon, the first step is to open an account with Star Oilco.

Message Star Oilco below to get started with opening an account to save time and money while fueling.

For more information about how to use commercial cardlock to secure your business from theft, please also check out Star Oilco’s white paper on knocking out fuel theft by implementing a No Tolerance Fuel Theft Policy in your business at www.NoMoreFuelTheft.com.

Pacific Pride Cardlock Fuel Security

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5 Strategies to Control Fuel Theft and Track Fuel Spending 150 150 Star Oilco

5 Strategies to Control Fuel Theft and Track Fuel Spending

How to Control Fuel Theft and Track Fuel Spending in your Business.

With gasoline and diesel costs high, theft is on the rise.  Grab control of your fuel.

Set controls and protections on spending and save money by stopping fuel theft.

Star Oilco is an independent Franchisee of Pacific Pride

5 Strategies to lock down your gas card

Simple monitoring processes can mean thousands of dollars.   Every dollar needs to stretch a little more.  Control your fuel spending.

Protect your business by setting controls and monitoring systems.  As fuel prices have spiked up, it has become a big priority for many.  What was an inconvenience of internal fuel theft of a few hard to replace employees is becoming a very costly problem.  Below is a strategy of how to grab control of your fuel cards.

Use Star Oilco to secure yourself from that fuel theft while also saving on your cost of fuel over retail. Oregon and Washington have some of the highest minimum wages in the U.S.  As the minimum wage and regulations increase, so do the costs at retail gas stations. This is doubly so in Oregon, where you are paying the gas stations employee to fuel your tank and the employee to be there. We can save you money and significantly reduce your risk of fuel theft while also getting your drivers out of retail gas station lines.

Keep a Good Employee Honest

Just like your business experiencing the squeeze of high gas prices, so are your employees commuting to work.  Sometimes when things get tight an employee may make poor choices.  Maybe they use a company credit card to pay a bill, or they fill up their personal vehicle.  Simple controls on your fuel cards could eliminate these issues.  Losing a good employee because they made a bad decision can cost a company a lot of money. Remove the temptation and secure your fleet cards.

Fuel Cards Designed for the Customer Big or Small

Whether your an owner/operator or you are managing a large fleet of corporate vehicles using commercial cardlocks can help you save time and money.  Stand-alone commercial-only Pacific Pride and CFN sites in the northwest are a real resource for businesses. They speed up the labor associated with fueling and significantly lock down the chance fraud or theft will occur on your fuel card. Stand-alone sites limit access to convenience store items so employees won’t be tempted to spend time browsing and make purchases on the company credit card.  If you need even tighter control we can send an email every time your driver uses your Pacific Pride card and a CSV file with your transactions if you have a 3rd party tracking software.  In addition, your bill can be organized by vehicle or driver. Easily identify who, what and where your employees are filling up.

With Pacific Pride and CFN stand-alone commercial cardlock sites, there are other benefits beyond just the convenience. The biggest difference is that these commercial cardlock sites are built with security in mind. Retail stations are engineered to sell as many products as possible to those pulling up for gasoline. Commercial cardlock sites are designed for commercial users who seek the fastest fueling experience. That is a big difference between the two.

Who can get a Pacific Pride or CFN Fuel Cardlock Card?

All you need to access Pacific Pride sites in Oregon is a business license and use over 900 gallons of total fuel a year. CFN commercial cardlock sites have the same requirements. When you work with a company such as Star Oilco that can issue both you only need a total of 900 gallons – not 900 each set.  If you are a business using a commercial quantity of fuel, you qualify to self-serve gasoline and you can stop paying your employees to shop at the most expensive retail gas stations with the best mini-mart selection. Late night fueling becomes easier and less expensive and you can get them back on the road 24-7 and usually without a line to wait in.

 

What Do You Need for Fueling Cards in Washington or any other state?

If you drive into Oregon and want to use gasoline, you still need the same requirements as stated above. If you don’t need access to Oregon gas stations it is much easier to get a fuel card.

Top 5 Strategies to lock down your gas card from theft.

Regardless of what system you choose, use these best practices in your organization. Simple little changes to how you approach fuel cards will greatly reduce any opportunity for theft.

Get out of the gas line

Gas Card Strategy #1

TAKE INVENTORY OF YOUR GAS CARDS – Star Oilco can help with this with an annual review of all of your cards, the last time they were used, and who used them.   Know who has your cards! Every year take inventory of what cards you have and who is using them. A clear card policy implemented by Human Resources or your Dispatcher is a good way to track what employees (or vehicles) have what cards. Star Oilco performs an annual card audit in conjunction with our Oregon Fire Marshall audit.

We’ll gladly supply a list of cards that you have and when they were last used. We can line up a list of active cards with your employees and make sure there isn’t a lost or unused card out there. Using this list, pass a clip board around asking each employee with a fleet card to confirm they still have that card and initial a confirmation that the card is still in their possession. You would be surprised how individual cards can float between employees as it is easier than asking for a new card.

Gas Card Strategy #2

HAVE ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AUDIT YOUR TRANSACTIONS – Star Oilco can provide you with E-Receipts letting you know every time fuel is purchased by an email making it easy in real time.  Review your transactions regularly for strange transactions such as: multiple transactions per day on a single vehicle or card, switching fuel types, and refuels when your business isn’t open. Reviewing your bill, you’ll want to look for transactions that occur outside of normal business hours and days or if certain vehicles are fueling more than once a day these can be indications of theft. An additional indicator is if fuel is being bought outside of your service area. Some of the most common times of day for employee fuel theft are early morning on the way to work (before you open) or after the bars close after midnight.

Gas Card Strategy #3

ATTACH GAS CARDS TO VEHICLE KEYS – Star Oilco can provide you a turnkey program for this strategy with our fleet card program at no additional cost.  By assigning each vehicle in your fleet with its own card is a great practice that communicates this is a card for business and comes back to the business not their own wallet. Put your Fleet Cards on the key ring dispatched with the vehicle. Each driver is then assigned a number that can be used on any vehicle in the fleet. This way you know exactly who is using the card and which vehicle is being filled. To limit a risk of a stolen card, restrict individual card ownership to management and maintenance. Everyone else should have cards directly connected with a vehicles license plate, so it is obvious if that card goes missing.

Gas Card Strategy #4

SET THE GAS CARDS UP WITH LIMITS –  When you assign a card to each vehicle in the fleet you can set limits based on the vehicle. A gasoline vehicle only needs access to gasoline. If your tank size is 20 gallons, that card should be limited to 20 gallons per transaction. Continue to program your cards for the vehicles they are attached to. You can also restrict a card to ensure no one accidentally buys expensive premium or worse, puts the wrong fuel in the vehicle. Reducing the amount of time they can use a card a day limits exposure to theft. A vehicle that never drives more then 50 miles in a day shouldn’t need to fill up more then once a 24 hour period. This reduces the opportunity for theft and also makes theft obvious when the limits are hit. You can also add limits on zip codes, states, and times of days. If someone does steal a card, they would be limited by the time, location, and purchase amount, ensuring that your theft exposure is a few dozen gallons instead of thousands of dollars.

Gas Card Strategy #5

USE E-RECEIPTS TO MANAGE FUEL IN REAL TIME – It’s the 21st century so manage in real time. You can set-up cards to email you based on each card or, if you have one specific one you are are worried about, that card can be set to email you or your fleet management in real time. Better yet, if theft is occurring, you will see it immediately and be able to react. Not only will this lock down your gas card’s security, it will also allow you to address mistakes relating to efficiency. Owners and dispatchers also use this to see where the driver is and if they are where they said they were when they are fueling. Instant feedback and communication is critical to change bad behavior of drivers who mean to do well but may just have made a simple mistake.


Need to lock down your gas card from fuel theft?

Call Star Oilco, we can make it simple.

Star Oilco can help you field all of these best practices. Our motto is “Keep it Simple” and we are here to make this easy. Feel free to reach out and see what Star Oilco can do for your fleet to upgrade its fleet fueling security.

To download a white paper on these Pacific Pride fuel card security feature best practices, go to our Stop Fuel Theft page.

 

Star Oilco is an independent Franchisee of Pacific Pride

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Every Question we have been asked about Renewable Diesel
Every Question We Have Been Asked About Renewable Diesel 700 700 Star Oilco

Every Question We Have Been Asked About Renewable Diesel

Renewable Diesel Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Every Question we have been asked about Renewable Diesel

What is renewable diesel?

Renewable diesel is a synthetic diesel fuel, known for it’s lower CO2 characteristics, typically seeing purity and real world performance response superior to petroleum diesel fuel.  Renewable diesel is a next generation hydrocarbon diesel biofuel made by either the Fischer-Tropsch or Hydrogenation processes.

Hydrogenated renewable diesel is made by taking fats, oils, and greases by use of a hydro-treater.  The biomass based oil or fat is cracked and reformed in the presence of hydrogen and  catalyst forming a hydrocarbon diesel molecule.

Fischer-Tropsch renewable diesel is used by converting any btu dense feedstock (wood waste, woody biomass, municipal garbage, coal, and an endless list of low value waste products into syngas, then converting this into a wax that is reformed into hydrocarbon diesel.

Why do people use renewable diesel over petroleum diesel?

Fleet managers operating R99 Renewable Diesel report a lower mechanical cost of operation using the fuel.  Beyond the immediate benefit of R99 cutting CO2 emissions by half or more, fleets experience performance benefits from the fuel.  Anecdotally the big savings are seen the the performance of Tier 4 Emission systems on modern diesel seeing far less wear of the Diesel Particulate Filter system as well as far fewer regenerations of the system.  Additionally Renewable Diesel is a very clean and dry diesel fuel improving the storage stability, field operation, and general predictability of the fuel’s performance.

What is renewable diesel made of?

Renewable diesel can be made from a host of things, usually a low value waste product. The most common feedstock used currently is waste vegetable oil, wastes from animal rendering, and other biologically derived oils. Processes using bio-oils are following a Hydrogenation process to turn low value waste oils into high value diesel and jet fuel.

Renewable Energy Group and Diamond Green Diesel (Diamond Green is in a joint venture with Valero) are the largest producer of renewable diesel with their REG Ultra Clean Diesel product in the United States. Neste is the largest producer of renewable diesel internationally, with its “Neste My” product.  being the two largest producers of low CO2 bio-oil derived renewable diesel fuels.  There are quite a few newer Renewable Diesel projects coming on line around the United States as well as in the Pacific Northwest.

Other refiners of renewable diesel (on a much smaller scale of production) are using a Fischer-Tropsch process with wood waste, sorted higher grade municipal garbage, and other high btu value carbon based waste products.  Many expect this to technology to be the future of all diesel and jet fuel refining turning refuse into fungible low carbon fuel.

What is renewable hydrocarbon diesel?

Renewable hydrocarbon diesel is a synthetic diesel fuel made from non-petroleum feedstocks like vegetable oil, animal fats, municipal waste, agricultural biomass, and woody biomass. It is characterized by having a low CO2 and renewable resource for its feedstock and is made without crude petroleum, coal, or natural gas as a direct feedstock input in the refining process.

How do they make renewable diesel?

Renewable diesel is made by several processes. If you are buying renewable diesel, it is probably from a Hydrogenation process used by Renewable Energy Group and Neste for their products. Other smaller volume producers are using a Fischer-Tropsch process or Fast Pyrolysis. Both processes involve taking energy dense molecules, cracking those molecules under heat and pressure, then reforming them in the presence of a catalyst and added hydrogen, which forms a renewable diesel molecule.

Is renewable diesel a lower carbon fuel compared to petroleum diesel?

Yes, to this point all renewable diesel made from renewable feedstocks have appeared to be a lower CO2 fuel compared to petroleum diesels. The California Air Research Board in particular has done research on this in depth.

The low CO2 lifecycle emissions of Renewable Diesel also is tracked closely and supervised by California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program. The highest value markets for low CO2 fuels in the United States are California and Oregon, which both have mechanisms that track and price the CO2 intensity of diesel fuels as well as the sustainable lower CO2 substitutes and blend-stocks that can go in those diesels. They track, rate, and determine the carbon intensity of the fuels providing a neutral and scientifically defensible number for CO2 reduction.

Is renewable diesel available in Oregon?

Renewable diesel is readily available for delivery from Star Oilco throughout the Pacific Northwest via 10,000 gallon volumes of bulk delivery.   Star Oilco is also offering bulk delivery of any size and mobile onsite fueling service within 100 miles of the Portland, Oregon market.

Star Oilco has R99 Renewable Diesel available with a Star Oilco CFN Cardlock card in Portland, Oregon.

What is the difference between biodiesel and renewable diesel?

Biodiesel and renewable diesel are very different fuels made with very different processes. In a nutshell, biodiesel is made with a simple chemical reaction that turns vegetable and animal fats into fuel. Renewable diesel is made from far more complicated process where vegetable and animal fats (as well as other feedstocks) are cracked on a molecular level and built back into synthetic diesel fuel.

What is the difference between renewable diesel and Sustainable Aviation Fuel?

The difference between the fuels is the specific gravity and general specification for what the fuel is used for. Jet fuel, or Sustainable Aviation Fuel, and on-road diesel fuel are different fuels and therefore have different specifications. Renewable diesel is typically referring to a #2 diesel specification for on road diesel use.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel or “SAF” is typically referring to “Jet A” or “JP8” jet fuel specification for fuel. This is a #1 diesel range fuel with use and handling requirements that are far more stringent than for on-road or off-road diesel fuels. Renewable jet fuel can be used as a kerosene or #1 diesel fuel but renewable diesel cannot be used as a jet fuel.

Where do I buy renewable diesel in Oregon or Washington?

Renewable Diesel is currently available for bulk delivery and mobile onsite fueling. It will soon be offered at commercial cardlock in the Portland area. It is being sold as R99 and as Ultra Clean Diesel, which is a mixture of biodiesel, renewable diesel, and petroleum diesel.

What is R99?

R99 stands for 99% renewable diesel and 1% petroleum diesel.  Federal rules over alternative diesel fuels made fuels requires that manufacturers of non-petroleum derived diesel fuels must blend a minimum 1% petroleum with the fuel to generate a Renewable Industry Number or “RIN” under the US Federal Renewable Fuel Standard. Additionally there are other incentives that require a “blender of record” to receive these tax credits.

Is renewable diesel being made in Oregon?

As of Spring 2022, renewable diesel is not being manufactured in Oregon. There are two major projects underway: Red Rock Biofuels in Lakeview, Oregon and Next Renewable Fuels in Port Westward, Oregon.

Red Rock Biofuels is focused on making renewable jet fuel, which is expected to be completed and in operation sometime in 2019. Next Renewable Fuels does not have a disclosed completion date.

Is renewable diesel being made in Washington state?

BP and Phillips 66 have Renewable Diesel projects under permitting or construction in Washington state.  BP’s Blain, Washington refinery and Phillips 66 Ferndale, Washington refinery are where these developments are taking place. These projects are added to existing petroleum refineries as a strategy of lowering the CO2 content of the refined diesel fuels from their plants.

What is renewable diesel made from?

Renewable diesel can be made from many energy dense carbon based material.  By volume of produced product sold in the United States, vegetable oils and animal fat-based wastes are the most common feedstock. Woody biomass, agricultural wastes, and sorted municipal wastes are also sources for renewable diesel production.

Is renewable diesel made from palm oil?

Palm oil can be used as a feedstock for renewable diesel. There are producers who use palm oil as a feedstock. In the United States, feedstocks and carbon intensity are tracked closely under both Oregon and California’s fuel programs.  You can determine if a supplier is using palm oil as a feedstock through these regulated pathways.

How much does renewable diesel cost?

This is a tough question to answer given there are several markets intersecting.  From the feedstocks to the market demand for the finished product as well as both California and Oregon’s Clean Fuel Standards which place a price on the CO2 intensity of the fuel which reduces the cost of the fuel if consumed in Oregon and California.

It has consistently been trending between the same cost and over $1 a gallon higher than petroleum diesel depending on the state, you buy renewable diesel in. In California, renewable diesel is very close to petroleum diesel depending on the value of CO2 credits for lower-carbon fuels. In Oregon, it has consistently been between $.05 to $.80 a gallon higher than diesel also depending on the value of CO2 abatement associated with the fuel and what these carbon credits are trading for.

When petroleum diesel costs are high Renewable Diesel tends to be more competitive with petroleum diesel.  When petroleum diesel is below $3 a gallon the cost of Renewable Diesel by comparison is usually higher unless CO2 credits are in higher than normal demand for Clean Fuels Program demands.

Can you mix petroleum diesel and renewable diesel?

Yes. Renewable diesel and petroleum diesel can be blended in any mixture without worry. They are drop-in substitutes for each other in your fleet’s use.  Renewable Diesel is a drop-in fuel. It is a hydrocarbon diesel that will work mixed with diesel or biodiesel blends of petroleum diesel.

More questions coming… or if you would like to learn more contact us.

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7 Ways to Stop Fuel Theft Before it Happens 150 150 Star Oilco

7 Ways to Stop Fuel Theft Before it Happens

STOP FUEL THEFT

IN YOUR BUSINESS TO REALLY SAVE ON YOUR COST OF DIESEL AND GASOLINE

Save money by managing  your diesel and gasoline fleet cards. Know who, how, and where fuel is bought.

In the new world of diesel and gasoline over $5 you need a strategy to control where and how fuel is bought by your business.

Controlling your fuel expense can be time consuming and vital for any business. We recommend approaching it from a Human Resource management perspective.

Seize control of the use of fuel cards with real time feedback:

  • Who is buying
  • What type of fuel
  • Where it’s bought
  • When are they buying

Set a clear standard and make sure you put controls on your fleet cards to ensure you keep honest employees from doing something that requires discipline.  Below are some of the best practices for controlling your fleet’s fuel purchases.

7 Ways to Stop Fuel Theft Before it Happens

Why Pacific Pride and CFN Fleet Cards?

Often we are asked how to save money on fueling a small business fleet.  Usually the biggest cost isn’t the pennies you save per gallon, but the gallons you can save by stopping theft.  To save money on gasoline, make sure you aren’t paying for thieves to use your small business fuel cards.

Every fuel business seeks to avoid fuel slippage – the loss of fuel due to theft, waste or buying the wrong and/or more expensive fuel product. How can you secure the slippage, once and for all?  These steps not only help with managing employees, but they can help you spot unusual purchases from stolen or skimmed cards. Skimming is when thieves hide a device that copies cards information and pin information. Thieves then clone the card and can attempt to use them in other locations.  Using fuel cards vs Credit cards can save owners thousands of dollars.  Employees have less access to non-authorized purchases and thieves can’t use fuel cards to purchase other items.

Star Oilco can help you establish a program to eliminate fuel slippage that includes an easy-to-use management process and enforcement of a “No Tolerance Fuel Theft Policy.”

Star Oilco has a simple and effective approach designed to empower you to easily manage your fuel cards.

Cardlock and secure fleet cards have been around since the 1970s and oddly enough, our competitors fail to field them properly. Star Oilco is here to help and would like to give you some simple and efficient practices to eliminate fuel slippage. We have an easy to implement strategy to lock down your cardlock and fleet cards in order to knock out the opportunity for fuel theft in your business.

Fuel cards assigned to the vehicle not the person

By attaching the fuel cards to the vehicle and not the human being, you immediately break the driver’s belief that the company is providing fuel to them and not the company vehicle.

That’s why we recommend you attach the fleet card to the vehicle key chain and NOT in a driver’s wallet. For additional security, employ a Corporate Fleet Card that is secured by a PIN.  Star Oilco recommends either Pacific Pride or CFN, both of which are in the Fuelman Network. Star Oilco will provide you with a keychain designed to hold up to two fleet cards.

Each Person has a secret PIN

Use a “Floating PIN” system where every member of the team has a secret PIN that is only to be used by them.

We recommend attaching fuel cards to the vehicle key chain and having each driver use their own secret PIN to purchase fuel. With this secret PIN, Star Oilco’s Fuel Cards track their name with every fuel purchase. Their name will appear next to the transaction on the bill and on an E-Receipt confirming who bought what, when, and where. This personalizes all fuel usage. Many companies already have a secret PIN policy around time cards and clocking in and out of work. This Best Practice stacks well with that.

Enforce a "No Tolerance Fuel Theft"

Implement and enforce a “No Tolerance Fuel Theft Policy” that every employee must sign.

Policies vary but should generally include language that requires the use of a fleet card for fuel purchases, states that PIN use is tracked by employee, confirms that employees are held accountable for any wrongdoing associated with their PIN and acknowledges that fuel theft will lead to immediate termination.  Star Oilco’s approach documents and provides evidence as well as real time knowledge for you to respond and ensure a fuel theft culture doesn’t grow in your business.

If you have fuel thieves in your business, make sure you document it at a Human Resource level.  In many states a first time a fuel thief is caught they may still qualify for unemployment when dismissed.  A No Tolerance Fuel Theft Policy when you on-board a new employee protects your from thieves getting away with it at the expense of your business.

Set-up E-Receipts for purchases

Use E-Receipts to reinforce your fuel policy.

An E-Receipt is a real-time email showing who bought what fuel, when and where, as it happens. Make sure this E-Receipt is going to several levels in your office, where employees are paying attention to what your drivers are doing.  If your fleet knows that their fuel purchases are completely transparent, they will think twice before doing something convenient for themselves over what the company needs. When a driver buys the wrong product, or was getting fuel out of route, you can follow up immediately to reinforce your fuel policies without waiting for a bill to show up at the end of the month. This is a great tool to spot additional transactions that may not be coming from your employees.  “Get an email every time your fleet stops for fuel” is another article that talks about this if you would like more information.

Limit hours and locations for Usage
Star Oilco can limit your fuel cards to work only during your business hours and/or within your territory.

Whether your territory is an entire state or limited to specific zip codes, you can define where your fleet can get fuel and where they cannot. And to avoid late night or early morning fuel theft, consider disabling your fuel cards during specified periods of the day or week, so that your cards don’t work when you don’t want them being used. This can easily be done as you need it by either contacting Star Oilco and asking us to do it for you, or by logging into your online Pacific Pride / CFN portal to set these restrictions yourself.  Cards with limits are less attractive to thieves the more you can limit the usage the less appealing your card is for skimming thieves.

Limit the amount of fuel per purchase

Set up your cards to only allow for a certain quantity or specific grade of fuel.

Consider limiting the volume of fuel purchased to match the size of a vehicle’s tank. Also, limit the number of transactions per day as well. That way, if for some reason that card gets stolen and someone has a working PIN, their theft is thoroughly limited.

Review your bill - Annual audit at least

Ask your vendor to review of all the cards and PINs you’ve used throughout the year.

Star Oilco seeks to do this annually. As per the state of Oregon (where Star Oilco is located), we receive a Fire Marshall audit every year and as they audit our cardlock records, we do the same and review every card and PIN for that year. You should do this too and Star Oilco can help. We recommend turning off all cards that are not being regularly used, which also allows you to adjust other details as needed. If you would like more information about this ‘What’s in a “Keep it Simple Fuel Audit”’ tells a little more about how we can review your current bill and simplify what you’re spending, where you’re spending it and give you tips on how to save some money.

Why use Commercial Cardlock over a retail gas station fleet card?

Commercial Cardlock locations in the CFN and Pacific Pride network are designed for business.  Fast and easy in and out to save your business on labor as well as far more competitive prices especially on diesel.  In Oregon where self serve gasoline is limited there are rules to using fleet cards at stand along cardlock locations.  Here are the rules involved with getting a Pacific Pride or CFN commercial cardlock card which enables you 24-7-365 access to stand alone commercial fuel stations.

If you would like to learn more fill out the following form.

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Pacific Pride commercial fuel station
What does a business need to use Pacific Pride or CFN in Oregon? 646 223 Star Oilco

What does a business need to use Pacific Pride or CFN in Oregon?

How to Get a Pacific Pride fuel card in Oregon

If you have ever wondered what was required to use a stand alone commercial cardlock location in Oregon – we have answers.  Any user of diesel can self serve diesel at a Pacific Pride or CFN cardlock.  If you need gasoline for a commercial purpose in Oregon and buy over 900 gallons a year you can pump your own gas at a Pacific Pride commercial cardlock.

Proud provider of Pacific Pride and CFN Fleet Cardlock CardsStar Oilco is an Independent Franchisee of Pacific Pride

Pacific Pride and CFN stand-alone cardlock sites allow commercial users to self serve gasoline 24-7 with security you can not get at any retail station.

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Get your employees out of gas lines and ensure control over what they buy.

Pacific Pride and CFN are the most secure and convenient ways to buy commercial fuel.

Corporate gas cards are extremely attractive to thieves.  If you are a large purchaser of fuel, having a clear system in place to secure your employee’s fuel buying will be the single most critical component to control your cost of fuel. If you have a small fleet of even one vehicle every purchase can mean the difference of a profit or loss for that day.  Controlling where, when, what fuel, and how much they can buy at some point will be the biggest cost saving strategy you can have. Otherwise fuel theft will creep.

Use Pacific Pride commercial cardlock so your business has twenty-four hour access to fuel.

Star Oilco fleet card program has a clear and simple system to enable your business to seize control of fleet fuel purchases.

If you have a fleet operated by employees and face regular turn over in your business, you are exposing your business to fuel theft. You have to ensure these vehicles can get fuel, while not endangering your bottom line to thieves either inside or outside of your business.

Pacific Pride and CFN fuel cards are designed for small business fleets in mind. They are gas or diesel fleet card options focused on eliminating theft in your operation. They are designed to protect small businesses from fuel theft and give management control over when, where, and what is bought. However, Oregon has limits on self-serve in urban areas. Therefore, there are rules associated with using unattended fleet cards, or “cardlock” fueling, as it is commonly called.

Using Commercial Cardlock in Oregon is a solution to both fuel theft and lost driver productivity.

Whether you are a large dispersed fleet or a small business with a fleet of one.  We can secure your fueling needs from theft. Send any questions you have our way.

Use of a fleet card dedicated for service at a commercial cardlock is the best way to secure your fleet from fuel theft. This will guarantee you seize control of your fleet fueling. For this reason, in Oregon where self-serve is not the standard way of fueling, far more stand-alone 24-7 cardlock locations are available under the Pacific Pride and CFN brands. In Oregon, gasoline is not legally dispensed without a few safety precautions required by Oregon state, so there are other factors a business needs to consider in using it.

Oregon law does not allow self-serve gasoline along the I-5 corridor.  Diesel is legally allowed for self-serve, but gasoline as a Class 1 flammable liquid is not. “Class 1 Flammable Liquid” means any liquid with a flash point below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.  Note: Diesel fuel is not a Class 1 flammable liquid.  Therefore the Oregon fire marshal has rules restricting the use of commercial cardlock gasoline for individual uses. For commercial uses, Pacific Pride, CFN, Comdata, Voyager and other commercial cardlock networks are allowed for businesses in Oregon.  If you are a fleet operator or an individual outside of Oregon, these requirements do not apply in your home state, but if you substantially operate in Oregon, the state fire marshal will have an expectation of these rules applying to you.

Pacific Pride Fueling Network Provider

What are the rules for using commercial cardlock in Oregon?

  • Business usage is required for gasoline cardlock fleet card use in Oregon (not any other state).
  • If you are using solely diesel, commercial cardlock is available to everyone (individuals and businesses).
  • If you are planning on fueling gasoline vehicles, you must have a business license (or prove it’s for commercial use).
    • NOTE: Self-serve laws have changed and allow for rural Oregonians outside of the Willamette Valley to use cardlock for self-serve in parts of Oregon. Call Star Oilco for more information on this.
  • To access gasoline at cardlock in Oregon, you must be able to prove that you use over 900 gallons of fuel a year.
  • To access gasoline at cardlock in Oregon, someone in your business must also take a Oregon Fire Marshal Safety Test.
    • NOTE: Message Star Oilco below for a copy of the Oregon Fire Marshal Safety Test.

If you have questions about Pacific Pride or other cardlock systems please don’t hesitate to contact Star Oilco with any questions you may have. Star Oilco has a long tradition of making cardlock easy for businesses large and small. In particular, we specialize in helping you secure fuel usage to eliminate fuel theft and reduce any chance or opportunity for thieves.

Star Oilco Logo with Phone numberPacific Pride Franchise Logo

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For More on Using Fleet Cards and Cardlock Cards as a Management Tool:

For more on using a cardlock card as a Pre-Set Fuel Card similar to a prepaid credit card please read this article. 

Star Oilco recommends that fleets use a “Zero Tolerance Fuel Theft Policy” as an Human Resource tool to document that fuel theft is a firing offense on the first event. For more information and an example of a “Zero Tolerance Fuel Theft Policy” please see this article.

If you are interested in using a secure Commercial Cardlock card with Wet-Hose Refueling together as a fuel buying and labor efficiency strategy, here is an article on improving your fleet fueling efficiency. 

For a downloadable white paper on how to eliminate fuel theft in your business please see www.NoMoreFuelTheft.com for this shareable PDF.

What is Heating Oil? 150 150 Star Oilco

What is Heating Oil?

In the Pacific Northwest heating oil is diesel.

Star Po;cp Crest

New heating oil customers often ask us, “What is heating oil?” Heating oil is diesel fuel and there are several grades and types. For Star Oilco our standard heating oil product is a ultra low sulfur diesel with a 5% biodiesel blend in order to meet Oregon mandates for off-road diesel fuel. That way our heating oil trucks can also serve construction fueling, emergency back up generators, and other common off-road diesel uses.

Star Oilco has a simple Heating Oil FAQ available.

For full on fuel nerds though, check out this more in depth deeper technical dive below.  If we leave anything out please don’t hesitate to ask for those seeking a nerd-level understanding of heating oil, kerosene and bioheat.

There are three typically grades of heating oil you can order.

Number 1 Diesel

Number 1 diesel is also called Kerosene or Stove Oil. This fuel has a lighter specification than typical heating oil which enables it to burn better in a “pot burner” or wick heater. Kerosene has its own specification as the fuel used by wick heaters. Kerosene is typically Number 1 diesel but not all Number 1 diesel’s are kerosene due to the need to be taken up by a wick heater. Any biodiesel content in a kerosene product WILL NOT work in a wick kerosene heater. So be very aware of confirming that your kerosene has never come into any contact with a biodiesel blend of fuel.

Red Number 2 Diesel

Red dyed diesel also called Heating Oil, Dyed Diesel, Off-Road Diesel is the default heating oil fuel. The fuel is dyed red to denote no on-road fuel taxes are attached to it. When you call and ask for heating oil, this is the fuel you are requesting. Clear or Green Number 2 Diesel is the fuel sold at retail gas stations and truck stops. That fuel will also work in your furnace, you just are paying for on-road taxes attached to that fuel.

Bioheat or Biodiesel Heating Oil

“Bioheat” is a blend of biodiesel and petroleum diesel to make a lower emission and lower CO2 heating fuel.  Typically Bioheat is Number 2 Heating Oil with a 20% blend of biodiesel or higher in it. It is a drop-in fuel for your heating oil furnace. There is no change other than routine maintenance is required. It is a cleaner burning fuel with a significant drop in CO2 emissions associated with your heating oil fuel consumption.  If you would like more information on biodiesel as a heating oil you can follow this link.

B20 Biodiesel Heating oil provider

Where do heating oil companies get their fuel?

In the Portland, Oregon market, diesel is fungible. Everyone buys or is expected to mix their fuel from each other in some way. Primarily this is due to the Portland/Vancouver market receiving most of its fuel down the Kinder Morgan-operated Olympic Pipeline, which means all the refiners transporting fuel are mixing their product in transit. Additionally, there are shared terminal locations, which also have co-mingled owned diesel products. Every refiner is typically expecting to mix their diesel and gasoline products. The difference is in the care a vendor takes to filter the fuel, using additives and continuously check their fuel quality. If you are buying at the absolute lowest price possible, know that there is an incentive to skip any added value of quality assurance.

Star Oilco buys our diesel products from a variety of vendors. The source refiner typically being either BP, Shell, Marathon(formerly Tesoro), Phillip 66, or a number of other refiners.

Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington are not unique in in having fungible diesel and heating oil fuel specifications. Through its Pacific Operations unit, Kinder Morgan operates approximately 3,000 miles of refined products pipeline that serves Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Texas. With roots dating back to 1956, it is the largest products pipeline in the Western U.S., transporting more than one million barrels per day of gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel to our customers. The company-owned terminals also provide additional services, such as liquid petroleum product storage and loading facilities for delivery trucks.

The heating oil and biofuel blends Star Oilco sells its customers

Heating oil is essentially off-road diesel. You can legally use a higher sulfur content for boilers and heating systems than you can off-road equipment and back-up generators. Regardless, we sell the lowest sulfur fuel available and optimize our fuel to be as versatile to our customers as possible. Construction equipment, back up generators and a host of others systems use off-road diesel, as do heating oil systems. Star Oilco sells the same diesel fuel specification for all of our off-road uses. We also blend this fuel with biodiesel for our customers that want higher blends of low CO2 biodiesel fuels and heating oil. Star Oilco carries nothing but ultra low sulfur diesel fuels. In fact, our minimum blend of biodiesel is a B5 biodiesel blend (5% biodiesel and 95% petroleum diesel) and we also offer B20 (20% biodiesel blend) and B99 (99% pure biodiesel) for our customers.

About Diesel Fuels Specifications 

In the United States, diesel fuel is controlled according the American Society for Testing and Materials Standard D975-97. This standard describes a limited number of properties that diesel fuels must meet. It should be noted that the requirements are all performance-based, meaning they do not mandate the composition of the fuel, only the specific performance related requirements demanded of a fuel for a diesel engine. The requirements of D975 are described below.

ASTM Specifications for Diesel Fuel Oils (D975)*

*More info on ASTM specifications

Diesel fuel is characterized in the United States by the ASTM standard D975, which identifies five grades of diesel fuel. We are only going to talk about the two most popular commercially diesel fuel used — No 1 and No. 2 diesel. The ASTM D975 standard is made up of a series of different tests that check the characteristic ranges of a fuel to confirm it is adequate to operate in your equipment. In simple terms, they are checking for specific gravity, the vapor point (when it turns into a gas), the flash point (when it catches fire), the dirt content, water content (how much microscopic entrained water) and a host of other requirements diesel must meet in order to be legal to be sold for use in your engine.

Grade No. 1-D and Ultra-Low Sulfur 1-D:

This is a light distillate fuel for applications requiring a higher volatility fuel to accommodate rapidly fluctuating loads and speeds, as in light trucks and buses. The specification for this grade of diesel fuel overlaps with kerosene and jet fuel, and all three are commonly produced from the same base stock. One major use for No. 1-D diesel fuel is to blend with No. 2-D during winter to provide improved cold flow properties. Ultra-low sulfur fuel is required for on-highway use with sulfur level < 0.05%. 

Grade No. 2-D and Ultra-Low Sulfur 2-D:

This is a middle- or mid-grade distillate fuel for applications that do not require a high volatility fuel. Typical applications include high-speed engines that operate for sustained periods at high load. Ultra-low sulfur fuel is required for on-highway use with sulfur level < 0.05%.

Biodiesel Fuels for Heating Oil

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel produced from oil seed crops, used cooking oil, and/or animal fat waste. It is chemically similar to petroleum diesel, and is produced by combining the oil stock with catalysts and then heating it. Biodiesel is not the same as vegetable oil or SVO (straight vegetable oil). Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine. Biodiesel and biodiesel blends significantly reduce tailpipe emissions, especially carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and particulates (black smoke). ASTM D975 standard, as of 2008, allowed up to 5 percent biodiesel to be blended into the fuel. This is the called B5 — the ‘B’ stands for biodiesel and 5 stands for up to 5 percent biodiesel.

B6 to B20 – ASTM D7467-17:

Diesel blends up to 20% and more than 6% are referred to as B20. Biodiesel is a cleaner burning fuel than petroleum diesel. Using biodiesel can help reduce the amount of harmful emissions released into the air, including sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other compounds found in diesel exhaust. Read the ASTM D7467-17 standards.

B99 & B100 –  ASTM D6751-15ce1:

These are fuels made of up to 100% biodiesel. Due to environmental regulations, most retailers will carry a maximum of B99. The standards for B99 and B100 are identical. Unlike gasoline, diesel can gel at cold temperatures, which can cause stress on fuel pumps and fuel injection systems, or can clog filters or even become too thick to pump to the engine. B99 has a higher temperature gel rate – meaning that it begins to cloud and thicken at higher temperatures – than conventional diesel. “The cloud point of soybean biodiesel is about 34°F (1°C), whereas the cloud point for No. 1 diesel is about – 40°F (-40°C) and for No. 2 diesel between -18°F (-28°C) and +20°F (-7°C).” (Biodiesel Cloud Point and Cold Weather Issues) The solutions for cold weather involve additives and lower blends to ensure continuous operations. Read the ASTM D6751-15ce1 standards.

FURTHER READING ON DIESEL FUEL:

For a question and answer format about heating oil please see: Every question Star Oilco has been asked about Heating Oil

Here is an article about: an In-depth look at Biodiesel as a heating fuel 

Read about Star Oilco’s approach to Fuel Quality Assurance: Star Oilco – Precision Fuel Management

Read about dealing with biological growth in your diesel tank: Bioguard Plus 6 biocide treatment for diesel

Get Chevron’s Technical Manual to Diesel Fuel (essentially an easy to read text book on diesel): Chevron’s Fuel Technical Review

Get a white paper from Donaldson Filtration on tier 4 engines and fuel cleanliness: Donaldson on Tier 4 Engine Fuel Contamination

Read more about Donaldson Desiccant Breathers for bulk diesel tanks: Why use a Donaldson Desiccant Breather for a bulk diesel storage tank.

Delivery Driver Fueling Solutions 150 150 Star Oilco

Delivery Driver Fueling Solutions

Delivery Drivers are more in demand then ever.

The world has changed.

People are discovering the benefits of having food, groceries and everyday products delivered right to their door.

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If you are a driver or you have a fleet of drivers, the ability to have access to 24/7 fueling stations, controlling your expenses, and protecting yourself from fraud is important.

Star Oilco is an independent Franchisee of Pacific Pride

Cardlock access to fuel all day every day

A new year and delivery seems to be here to stay.  Do you have a way to fuel your drivers and protect your costs at the same time?

The ability to have products delivered and a way to fuel those that are delivering is more important than ever.  Those that are delivering are needed more and more today.  Turnover is high, and and trying to control spending can easily become a full time job. If you’re on the road delivering  you need to be sure that you have fuel and a way to control purchases at the same time.  The solutions is Pacific Pride fuel cards.

New drivers and new employees mean new risks – control those risks with Fuel cards.

The world is shifting towards businesses that can deliver to the customer versus those in traditional retail.  If you need to control these expenses its important to have systems in place.  Don’t put yourself at risk by handing out Credit Cards to new employees. Instead use Pacific Pride fuel cards and set limits for your drivers and employees on what they can buy, when, where and how much.  Credit cards can be abused and it may be weeks later before you know it happened.  With fuel cards you can get an email in real time as each transaction is used.

Protect your business by setting controls and monitoring systems.  If your business is picking up, there is less time to monitor individual employees.   Set up systems that control waste and extra expenses, while giving employees the fuel they need to move your equipment.  If your business is slowing down you will need to tighten your belt and watch every expense.  The same controls can be used on your cards to monitor and adjust the fuel expenses.

If you have a fleet of vehicles that park at a yard every night on-site fueling might also be an option.  This service, also called wet-hose fueling, can help cut costs associated with drivers by reducing the amount of time they are fueling and not delivering product. With larger fleets this can save significant time and expand your capacity for product distribution.  At Star-Oilco we can combine both for a more comprehensive solution.  If you would like to know more about On-Site Fueling options here is the link.

All you need to access Pacific Pride sites in Oregon is a proof that you are a business and use over 900 gallons of total fuel a year.  CFN commercial cardlock sites have the same requirements. If you are a business using a commercial quantity of fuel, you qualify to self-serve gasoline and you can stop paying your employees to shop at the most expensive retail gas stations with the best mini-mart selection. Late night fueling becomes easier and less expensive and you can get them back on the road 24-7 and usually without a line to wait in. (If you want more information about business requirements see here)

What Do You Need for Fueling Cards in Washington or any other state?

If you drive into Oregon and want to use gasoline, you still need the same requirements as stated above. If you don’t need access to gasoline in Oregon, it is much easier to get a fuel card. (check out those requirements here)

Top 5 Strategies to lock down your gas card from theft.

Get out of the gas line

Gas Card Strategy #1

TAKE INVENTORY OF YOUR GAS CARDS – Know who has your cards! Every year take inventory of what cards you have and who is using them. A clear card policy implemented by Human Resources or your Dispatcher is a good way to track what employees (or vehicles) have what cards. Star Oilco performs an annual card audit in conjunction with our Oregon Fire Marshall audit.

We’ll gladly supply a list of cards that you have and when they were last used. We can line up a list of active cards with your employees and make sure there isn’t a lost or unused card out there. Using this list, pass a clip board around asking each employee with a fleet card to confirm they still have that card and initial a confirmation that the card is still in their possession. You would be surprised how individual cards can float between employees as it is easier than asking for a new card.

Gas Card Strategy #2

HAVE ACCOUNTS PAYABLE AUDIT YOUR TRANSACTIONS – Review your transactions regularly for strange transactions such as: multiple transactions per day on a single vehicle or card, switching fuel types, and refuels when your business isn’t open. Reviewing your bill, you’ll want to look for transactions that occur outside of normal business hours and days or if certain vehicles are fueling more than once a day these can be indications of theft. An additional indicator is if fuel is being bought outside of your service area. Some of the most common times of day for employee fuel theft are early morning on the way to work (before you open) or after the bars close after midnight.

Gas Card Strategy #3

ATTACH GAS CARDS TO VEHICLE KEYS – Assigning each vehicle in your fleet with its own card is a great practice. Put your Fleet Cards on the key ring dispatched with the vehicle. Each driver is then assigned a number that can be used on any vehicle in the fleet. This way you know exactly who is using the card and which vehicle is being filled. To limit a risk of a stolen card, restrict individual card ownership to management and maintenance. Everyone else should have cards directly connected with a vehicles license plate, so it is obvious if that card goes missing.

Gas Card Strategy #4

SET THE GAS CARDS UP WITH LIMITS –  When you assign a card to each vehicle in the fleet you can set limits based on the vehicle. A gasoline vehicle only needs access to gasoline. If your tank size is 20 gallons, that card should be limited to 20 gallons per transaction. Continue to program your cards for the vehicles they are attached to. You can also restrict a card to ensure no one accidentally buys expensive premium or worse, puts the wrong fuel in the vehicle. Reducing the amount of time they can use a card a day limits exposure to theft. A vehicle that never drives more then 50 miles in a day shouldn’t need to fill up more then once a 24 hour period. This reduces the opportunity for theft and also makes theft obvious when the limits are hit. You can also add limits on zip codes, states, and times of days. If someone does steal a card, they would be limited by the time, location, and purchase amount, ensuring that your theft exposure is a few dozen gallons instead of thousands of dollars.

Gas Card Strategy #5

USE E-RECEIPTS TO MANAGE FUEL IN REAL TIME – It’s the 21st century so manage in real time. You can set-up cards to email you based on each card or, if you have one specific one you are are worried about, that card can be set to email you or your fleet management in real time. Better yet, if theft is occurring, you will see it immediately and be able to react. Not only will this lock down your gas card’s security, it will also allow you to address mistakes relating to efficiency. Owners and dispatchers also use this to see where the driver is and if they are where they said they were when they are fueling. Instant feedback and communication is critical to change bad behavior of drivers who mean to do well but may just have made a simple mistake.

Work with a business that wants you to succeed and has the tools to protect your fuel expenses.

Use Star Oilco to secure yourself from that fuel theft while also saving on your cost of fuel over retail.  Oregon and Washington have some of the highest minimum wages in the U.S.  As the minimum wage and regulations increase, so do the costs at retail gas stations. This is doubly so in Oregon, where you are paying the gas stations employee to fuel your tank and the employee to be there. We can save you money and significantly reduce your risk of fuel theft while also getting your drivers out of retail gas station lines.

Whether your an owner/operator or you are managing a large fleet of corporate vehicles needing fueling commercial cardlocks can help you save time and money.  Stand-alone commercial-only Pacific Pride and CFN sites in the northwest are a real resource for small business. They speed up the labor associated with fueling and significantly lock down the chance fraud or theft will occur on your fuel card. Stand-alone sites limit access to convenience store items so employees won’t be tempted to spend time browsing and make purchases on the company credit card.  In addition, there are less people at the site and less chance of a coming into contact with someone that is sick.

With Pacific Pride and CFN stand-alone commercial cardlock sites, there are other benefits beyond just the convenience. The biggest difference is that these commercial cardlock sites are built with security in mind. Retail stations are engineered to sell as many products as possible to those pulling up for gasoline. Commercial cardlock sites are designed for commercial users who seek the fastest fueling experience. That is a big difference between the two.


Need to lock down your gas card from fuel theft?

Call Star Oilco, we can make it simple.

Star Oilco can help you field all of these best practices. Our motto is “Keep it Simple” and we are here to make this easy. Feel free to reach out and see what Star Oilco can do for your fleet to upgrade its fleet fueling security.  If your fueling just one vehicle or your dealing with corporate fueling for 100’s of vehicles, we can help you set up an account.

To download a white paper on these Pacific Pride fuel card security feature best practices, go to our Stop Fuel Theft page.

 

Star Oilco is an independent Franchisee of Pacific Pride

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Oregon Diesel Taxes Explained 150 150 Star Oilco

Oregon Diesel Taxes Explained

How Oregon Diesel Taxes Are Calculated

As of January 1st, 2022 Oregon is raising the Fuel Tax to $.38 a gallon. (source) The prices in this article have been updated to reflect that.  There will be another $.02 a gallon fuel tax increase set in 2024 as well.

Oregon is unique in its handling of diesel. All fuel isn’t used or taxed the same in the state of Oregon. First off, there is no sales tax for any fuels. The taxes that are charged for diesel are divided into 3 categories: dyed diesel, PUC use and everyday road use or “auto diesel.”  The big difference in pricing is how the diesel is used and the size of the vehicle using the diesel.

 

Oregon Fuel Taxes in a Nutshell

Off-road diesel:  If a vehicle is burning diesel “off-road” like a back-hoe, agricultural use, generators or similar use, the fuel is not taxed by either the federal government or Oregon State. This fuel is also dyed red to show it is for off-road use only. If you use dyed red off-road diesel fuel in an on-road vehicle and you get caught, the state of Oregon can and will likely fine you $10,000. Yes, we have seen them do this in recent history.

On-road diesel (auto diesel).  If your vehicle is below 26,000 gross vehicle weight, Oregon charges a per gallon vehicle tax.  This tax is paid at the gas pump, is collected by the retail or commercial cardlock location, and you do not have to consider any additional taxes other than buying on-road fuel.

On-road diesel (P.U.C. diesel). If your vehicle is above 26,000 gross vehicle weight in Oregon, you pay a weight mile for your vehicle’s state diesel tax.  This cost per mile depends on your registered vehicle weight with Oregon. It is anecdotally assumed at the top weights over 80,000 lbs of gross vehicle weight, this tax is equivalently more than double the per gallon cost of auto diesel bought at a retail location.  This class of diesel usage requires extra P.U.C. filings and vehicles over 26,000 GVW have special P.U.C. plates denoting their class as it relates to diesel fuel tax.

Oregon Fuel Taxes for a Layperson

A small motorhome that would use On-Road Diesel

A small motorhome that would use on-road diesel

The easiest one to understand is on-road diesel, also known as “auto diesel.” Most non-truck vehicles driving on streets, roads, and highways around Oregon fall into this category for use, or as you can see in this picture, a smaller motor home or RV (recreational vehicle).  This fuel is the one you see at a pump at a retail station. Its price includes federal tax, state tax and any applicable local taxes.

Current auto diesel taxes in Oregon for vehicles under 26,000 GVW (gross vehicle weight):

  • Federal tax rate is $.244 per gallon
  • The state tax rate is $.38 per gallon

In addition to these, local municipality and cities have their own taxes that can be added to the price of fuel. To make it even more complicated, some cities charge a different tax amount based on time of season; specifically Newport and Reedsport who charge a few more cents during the summer months. Currently the highest additional taxes are in the city of Portland, Oregon at $.10 per gallon. Source.

Example:
Fuel price at the pump is listed at: $2.989

  • Federal                =$.244
  • State                    =$.38*
  • Portland             =$.10

For a total of                =$.724 per gallon in taxes

The actual cost per gallon would be $2.265. This includes the OPIS (Oil Price Information Service) wholesale price, transportation costs, and the margin the retail station adds to pay its bills (usually $.15 to $.40 depending on the provider).

*January 1st, 2022 Oregon State Tax fuel went up to $.38 per gallon for Oregon Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax. Oregon Use Fuel Tax also went up to $.38 a gallon.

 

Dyed Diesel also called Red Diesel is used for vehicles that don't drive on public roads.

Dyed diesel, also called red diesel, is used for vehicles that don’t drive on public roads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dyed diesel, also called farm diesel, marked fuel, or red diesel, is a fuel that has an added dye in the mix. The dye, usually solvent red 26 or solvent red 164, doesn’t cause any change in the operation of an engine versus using regular clear diesel. The dye marks the taxable status of the fuel.

This fuel is intended for only off-road equipment and vehicles. Farm equipment, construction vehicles and any other vehicles that don’t drive on public roads can use this fuel. In addition, any engine or oil heater that burns diesel is allowed to use dyed diesel. Those that have heating oil delivered are purchasing dyed diesel.

The benefit of this fuel is that you save state, federal, and city or municipal taxes. Acquiring this fuel as a customer usually requires access to a commercial fueling station or hiring a fuel company to deliver the fuel. This is likely to prevent accidental use of this fuel in an on-road vehicle. Anyone found using dyed diesel in an on-road vehicle will be fined. Fines are either $10/gallon or $1000 per violation, whichever is greatest (Source). To ensure that diesel users aren’t abusing this fuel, police officers can “dip” a tank; usually by sticking a clear tube into a tank and verifying the color of the fuel.

Oregon PUC Permit and IFTA for vehicles over 26,000 GVW

Oregon PUC Permit and IFTA for vehicles over 26,000 GVW

Oregon PUC Permit – While PUC stands for “Oregon Public Utilities Commission”,  it is the Oregon Transportation Department who regulates fuel taxes and PUC plates.

PUC plates are required by vehicles over 26,000 GVW. Oregon PUC Permit or heavy motor vehicle trip permit refer to vehicles that are at this weight and up to 80,000 GVW. They also include an Oregon PUC card number and a log book that shows fuel usage. View Table “A” tax rates.

These vehicles are only required to pay the federal tax at the pump. They are then required to log the mileage they drive and pay an amount based on weight, number of axles and miles. The heavier the vehicle, the more wear and tear on the road, so the higher the tax.

Oregon per Mileage fuel tax for vehicles between 26,000 lbs and 80,000 lbs.

Source : Oregon Department of Transportation 

The fees are applied for a whole trip. Say a truck is scheduled to drive 100 miles round trip to deliver watermelons. A vehicle driving 100 miles that weighs over 44,000 but less than 46,000 would be charged $0.0907 per mile or $9.07. Trucks that are driving a full load of product and an empty load back pay for the total miles of the trip, including the miles they are driving empty. In the above example, even if half the miles were at the 26,001 rate for the return trip, the taxable rate is the full load price.

Any commercial vehicle that is over 80,000 GVW would use the Table “B”, which is similar but includes different pricing based on the number of axles, not just weight.

Oregon per Mileage fuel tax for vehicles between 80,000 lbs and 105,500

Source: Oregon Department of Transportation

As the vehicles get heavier, the amount of axles used change the price. In the chart, 5 axles at 81,000 miles is $0.2115 a mile and a vehicle with 9 axles and the same weight is $0.162 a mile.

For any additional questions about the PUC plates, tax rates and trucking information in Oregon, please contact ODOT at 503-378-5849.

IFTA – International Fuel Tax Agreement

IFTA is for the same vehicles over 26,000 GVW if they drive into more than one state or into Canada. IFTA helps simplify the reporting process of taxes, refunds and mileage for vehicles that travel in more than one state. These commercial motor vehicles are required to file quarterly with their base jurisdiction and the amount of taxes that they might have paid at the pump is recorded. Then they either pay the difference or receive a refund if they overpaid. Prior to IFTA, trucks would need a permit for every state they operated in.

 

Star Oilco is a supplier of  Fuel for NW Oregon and SW Washington.  If you have questions about fueling your fleet or your construction site we would love to talk to you.

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Recent proposed legislation could mean more or different tax handling fees or laws in the future. We will be following these stories as they come out. If you would like to know more – Oregon Legislature proposes an end to petroleum diesel

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Every question Star Oilco has been asked about heating oil 150 150 Star Oilco

Every question Star Oilco has been asked about heating oil

Heating Oil FAQ (and not so FAQ)

Every Question Star Oilco has been asked about Heating Oil

It’s getting cold again in the Pacific Northwest, so it is time to take a look at some common questions we have been asked about Heating Oil.  If you don’t see an answer to a question you have, please feel free to call, email, or message Star Oilco and we will gladly answer. We especially welcome questions  that require research.

What is Heating Oil in Oregon?

Heating Oil in Oregon is diesel and can have a biodiesel blend as well.  Diesel fuel has several grades either #1 or #2 Diesel.  The number refers to the grade with #1 being called either “stove oil” or “Kerosene” as another term for it.  Typically when someone is requesting or talking about heating oil they are talking about #2 Diesel dyed red to denote there are no on-road fuel taxes associated with the fuel.

How does a heating oil furnace work?

There are several types of oil furnaces.  The most common is a vaporizing burner.  These furnaces typically work by taking a liquid combustible fuel, vaporizing it into a fine mist through a fuel oil nozzle, and igniting that mist into fire. That fire heats either air or water for your home’s comfort.

Heating Oil Fired Air Furnaces

Air furnaces usually move the air through a heat exchanger where a blower then moves air over the heat generated by your furnace, and finally the air is pushed through your home’s vents. 

Heating Oil Fired Water Furnaces and Boilers

Boilers and Water furnaces heat a tank of water which is then distributed several different ways to heat your home.  Either by moving hot water to radiators, radiant plumbing under your floor, or to a heat exchanger and blower which transfers the heat from the hot water into vents blown throughout your home. 

Heating Oil System prior to the combustion system

The parts leading up to the Burner of of an oil furnace system are simple. There is a tank to hold a reservoir of oil, a line from that tank (and sometimes a line back to it), a fuel filter, a fuel pump, and a vaporizing burner that combusts the heating oil into fire. Combustion of the fuel takes place in a fire box next to the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger takes on the heat of the flames to heat either air or water. In an oil furnace, the heat exchanger is assisted with a blower that pushes the hot air throughout your home to keep you comfy.

How do I check the volume of fuel in my heating oil tank?

If you have an above or below ground heating oil tank you can confirm your fuel volume by the inches of fuel in the tank.  If you have an above ground tank there is probably a tank gauge that can tell you an approximate volume in the tank.  If you have an below ground tank you can confirm how many gallons are in the tank by putting  a measuring stick or tape-measure into the tank.

You will want to confirm the size of the tank you have. Your oil provider will probably have an idea of what size your tank is by looking or historic deliveries. Star Oilco has a tank chart which will help.  If you place a stick or tape measure into your tank and see how much fuel is in it you can compare that to a tank chart found on Star Oilco’s website.  When delivering fuel you can “stick” measure the tank before and after the delivery. Compare these volumes with the delivery and you can often figure out your tank size based on the before and after volume lining up with how much fuel filled your tank.

To view Star Oilco’s Tank Chart please click HERE. 

What is “home heating oil” or “residential heating oil?”

Home heating oil can be either a petroleum diesel fuel, bio-synthetic diesel fuel, or biodiesel fuel. In Oregon and Washington, home heating oil is typically ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel often containing between 5% and 20% biodiesel. Star Oilco’s standard home heating oil fuel is B5 dyed ultra-low sulfur diesel. Oregon mandates require that all diesel fuel sold contain a minimum 5% biodiesel. For that reason Star Oilco carries B5 or 5% biodiesel blends in our heating oil. (NOTE: Kerosene sold by Star Oilco contains no biodiesel due to the reality that wick heaters cannot handle even a minute amount of biodiesel in them.) Star Oilco also carries a 20% biodiesel blend, called B20 Bioheat, for customers who want a cleaner burning low carbon fuel for their home.

What is kerosene heating oil?

Kerosene is a heating oil product that is capable of being picked up and fed consistently by a wick heater. Kerosene is a diesel product that is very similar to the fuel used for over the road trucks. The big difference is that kerosene is a “lighter end” distillate fuel, which means it has a lighter specific gravity. This lighter characteristic means that it also works better in certain systems like wick heaters, pressure washers, and pot burner stoves.

Can heating oil be used in a kerosene heater?

It depends on what type of system the kerosene heater is operating with. If you have a wick heater it will not work with heating oil. You will likely have to replace the wick to get it to work again as diesel will not readily drawn into the wick. Even if it does, it will burn far dirtier. If it is a pot burning system like a Toyostove or Monitor heater, then it will burn ultra low sulfur heating oil. Increased maintenance is to be expected on the pot burner, as there is a likelihood of more coking (crusty black soot build up) to occur inside that system.

What is “bio heating oil” or bioheat?

Bio heating oil and bioheat refer to heating oil products with a blend of biodiesel in them. Typically bioheat is a blend between 5% to 20% biodiesel with ultra low sulfur diesel for a clean burning and low CO2 heating fuel.

For a really in-depth look at biodiesel used as a heating oil check out this article. 

Will heating oil run a diesel engine?

Yes, heating oil will run in a diesel engine. Heating oil is diesel. Be aware though that on-road vehicles must only run clear diesel fuels. If caught using heating oil in an on-road vehicle in Oregon and Washington, the fines can run in the tens of thousands of dollars. Heating oil can also be dyed to signify it isn’t for on-road use.  Also be aware that even many off-road pieces of equipment and generators need ultra low sulfur diesel to operate without very expensive maintenance. Heating oil can have low sulfur or even high sulfur contents that could cause real issues for modern clean diesel engines. Some consideration is needed prior to burning a fuel marked “heating oil” in a diesel engine.

What heating oil do I need?

Consult your furnace, stove, boiler or water heater’s factory recommended specification. Typically it’s Number 2 Diesel unless it is a stove pot or wick heated system. If you have a furnace or a boiler in your basement, you can assume it’s heating oil. Call a licensed and bonded heating oil furnace technician to tune up your furnace to confirm for sure. If you do not have one, Star Oilco can refer you to a number of reputable long-time firms who can help.

What are heating oil additives and are heating oil additives worth it?

Heating oil additives are added to fuel in order to improve it’s long term storage and performance.  They are worth it and most reputable heating oil providers additize their fuel without an extra charge.  This is because most heating oil customers store their fuel for long periods of time.  If you are planning on storing heating oil for years you will need a fuel additive to keep that fuel in the quality needed for your furnace.  Star Oilco provides a premium diesel additive called Hydrotex PowerKleen to every gallon of heating oil we sell.  Beyond this stabilizers, if you are planning on storing fuel for years we recommend ValvTect Plus 6.  You will want to treat your fuel with a biocide like ValvTect Plus 6 to will kill any bacteria, yeast, algae, or other biological organism that can grow inside your heating oil tank.

For more on storing diesel or heating oil for long periods of time please read this article on long term fuel storage.

What does heating oil smell like?

Heating oil smells like diesel. It is a diesel product and often, depending on location, it is the same as on-road diesel. It may be dyed to denote that it is an off-road fuel with a untaxed use. Heating oil is dyed red in the Pacific NW to show it is off-road diesel.

What is Heating Oil #2?

Heating Oil #2 is number 2 diesel or the standard diesel sold in most places for on-road diesel use. Heating Oil #2 is a slightly different specification than on-road diesel that allows for more sulfur. That is a big difference as far as the EPA is concerned. On-road and off-road vehicles in the U.S. are required to use ultra-low sulfur diesel. Heating oil systems can use low or high sulfur diesel fuels. Ultra low-sulfur diesel is the most common Heating Oil #2 fuel that is delivered by Star Oilco since it is a superior and cleaner burning fuel, in our opinion.

Where can I buy heating oil at the pump?

In the Pacific NW heating oil is ultra low sulfur diesel. Therefore, you can buy any diesel sold at a retail gas station, truckstop, farm supply or other liquid fuel seller.  Heating oil is dyed red to show that it is not taxed for on-road fuel use.  Other than that red dye, typical auto-diesel will work in your oil furnace if you need to supply it from a diesel can.

At what temperature does heating oil freeze?

Heating Oil Gel Point:

In the Pacific NW we expect number 2 diesel heating oils to be operable beyond -10 degrees. The record cold weather in the Willamette Valley is above 0 degrees (recent decades 16 degrees was our record low in Portland). We do test and additize our fuels to ensure they meet this specification even if they contain 5% biodiesel blended into heating oil.

Kerosene Gel Point:

Kerosene fuels (Number 1 Diesel, Number 1 Stove Oil, and Kerosene labeled fuels) are expected to be good below -30 degrees and are designed to be used in high altitude applications. (Kerosene and jet fuels are often the same specification in the Pacific NW.)

B20+ Biodiesel Gel Point:

Biodiesel blends of B20 and above are assumed to be good to 20 degrees but if Star Oilco expects below-freezing weather, we highly recommend B5 as your delivered fuel. B99 biodiesel typically gels at 40 degrees, so it’s not a winter fuel unless you have a system designed to keep the fuel warm in the middle of winter.

What is “oil heating,” “oil fired heater,” or “oil furnace” referring to in a house description?

“Oil Heat” or “Oil Fired” refers to a heating system reliant on burning heating oil. Typically this is by use of a vaporizing burner that takes the combustible liquid that is heating oil and vaporizes it through a nozzle into an igniter that causes it to burn.  This system burns the heating oil, creating a great deal of heat that can warm air, water, or both to heat a home or commercial space.

Are heating oil fumes make you sick?  Is heating oil fumes harmful, dangerous, or toxic?

NOTE: IF HEATING OIL HAS BEEN INGESTED PLEASE SEE A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL!
Heating oil by itself is not dangerous or toxic if it come in contact with your skin.  It is easily washed off with soap and water.   If a small amount of diesel is spilled on the surface of the ground it typically will break down on it’s own in the presence of the environment.  If a small amount is spilled on concrete or asphalt it can be cleaned up easily with dish soap and water and will break down.  If your tank leaks and heating oil is soaked below ground this will not break down easily and will take professional help to treat.  The exhaust from heating oil systems contains carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide as well as particulates.  Heating oil and other diesel exhausts are very dangerous and toxic and should be avoided.  Do not allow exhausts of any kind to collect in an enclosed space.

Can heating oil evaporate?

Heating Oil’s vapor point (the temperature it turns to vapor and evaporates) is around 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heating oil ignites at 160 degrees.  Typically in the Pacific NW the temperature (especially outside) is well below the vapor and flash point of diesel fuels including heating oil and kerosene. If spilled it will not usually evaporate. You can clean heating oil and diesel up with regular dish soap and water.

Can heating oil vapor explode?

Heating oil ignites at 160 degrees.  So unless the temperature is that high an explosion is not a risk.  Fire Code regulating heating oil tanks and placement takes this concern into account.  So typically except in extreme scenarios heating oil vapor does not pose an explosion risk.

Can heating oil fumes ignite?

If you drop a match into a cup of heating oil at room temperature it will go out.  If you hold a match to the surface of the heating oil in that cup the flame will get large and bright but the heating oil itself will not ignite.  Heating oil needs to be vaporized before it will ignite. It is a combustible fuel so it must be in a vapor form to light.  The vaporizing nozzle of your heating oil furnace turns diesel into a vapor mist easily ignitable.

Can heating oil go bad?  How long can I store heating oil?

Yes, heating oil can go bad. If you are planning to store heating oil for longer than a year, you should use a diesel additive that stabilizes fuel for long term storage. If you are storing the fuel as a back-up where you might go years without using it, you should also consider adding a biocide to ensure nothing grows in your tank. The two biggest threats to your fuel staying in specification are water and biological growth. Biological growth occurs inside the water that can collect in your tank bottom naturally through condensation over time. Star Oilco treats 100% of our dyed fuels with Hydrotex Powerkleen to ensure that it is stable for storage for over a year. If you need to store it longer than that, we further recommend adding a desiccant breather to scrub moisture out of the air when your tank breaths, which protects it from additional water.

  For more on additizing your heating oil for long term storage please follow THIS link.

Can a heating oil tank be outside?

Yes, heating oil tanks properly installed outside are perfectly safe and capable of ensuring your fuel stays clean and dry.

Are heating oil tanks regulated?

Yes, at several different levels. With residential use, there are local jurisdictions’ building permit requirements for installation and safety. With commercial use, there is the same building permit regulation and usually an added level of Fire Marshall sign-off for siting of any tanks. In rural areas, regulations are different if the tank is associated with an agricultural use. In Oregon and Washington, a 90 day temporary tank for construction purposes (to move from one tank to another in a formal process) is usually allowed, but you should ensure the temporary tank is a double wall tank and is in a safe place. If your tank leaks (or even if there is a suspicion of a leak), the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Washington Department of Ecology have an involved process to close out a leaking oil tank.  

Do I need to do maintenance on my heating oil furnace?

Yes, you need to ensure you maintain your oil furnace. Star Oilco recommends getting a tune up annually or at least every other year.  If you are seeking a referral to a HVAC company that specializes in oil heat, call Star Oilco’s office 503-283-1256 and ask for a list of qualified license and bonded companies we recommend. 

One of the great benefits of oil heat is that oil furnaces are known to last for over fifty years if maintained properly. Natural gas and propane furnaces typically wear out every ten to twenty years dependent on their construction. The primary wear consideration on any furnace is the heat exchanger. The heavy steel part takes the flame of burning fuel, transmits this heat to the air, and is then pushed to heat your home. Oil furnaces must be tuned up every year or two to ensure the heat exchanger is cleaned. If you do not service the heat exchanger, it will collect soot. Soot insulates the heat exchanger unevenly and causes wear that will eventually lead to a crack. If a heat exchanger is cracked, the furnace is no longer safe to operate. Additionally, an annual tune-up will pay for itself by ensuring your furnace is burning at peak efficiency. You will want to replace your furnace air filter regularly on an annual basis.

Do I need to do any maintenance on my heating oil tank?

Yes, you want to check your oil furnace for water annually. Star Oilco can stick your tank for water at no charge upon request with a fuel delivery.

How do I reduce my consumption of heating oil?

Tuning your furnace annually or every other year is highly recommended. Adjusting the fuel air mixture for the most efficient combustion goes a long way to ensure you use as little heating oil as possible. Star Oilco has witnessed fifty and even seventy year oil furnaces operate at modern efficiencies when maintained regularly over their lives. Today there are also a host of high efficiency oil furnaces that are manufactured and supported to further reduce your cost of fuel.  Additionally, confirming the envelope of your home is not drafty or needlessly wasting heat can go a long way in reducing your heating expenses.

How do I reduce the price I pay for Heating Oil?

The price of heating oil fluctuates frequently due to market conditions.  This is out of our control.  Comparison shopping is your best way to ensure you pay the best possible price. One web based tool we have heard customers like to use to save time while shopping for heating oil is Fuelwonk.com.  It is free and easy to use.

If you do not like our price and someone else is cheaper let us know.  We will match their price. Fuelwonk.com makes it easy to look at a glance at the market for heating oil. We use it and if we are missing something let us know.

Will Heating Oil be phased out?

Heating Oil is a modern fuel that uses today’s heating oils and biofuels.  The investments in research and development for heating oil furnace by the National Oil Research Alliance to use a wider variety of biofuels in higher lower CO2 blends have kept heating oil relevant in many applications.  As a heating fuel, it’s use will become more rural than urban rather than a phase out. As it is today, the use of heating oil will be used where natural gas is not available especially if the temperatures get below zero.  The reason for urban adoption is that natural gas in recent years has been cheaper than heating oil due to the surpluses of natural gas created by the fracking development of petroleum.

What are “Degree Days?”

Star Oilco uses a Degree Day system for our customers on Automatic Keep-Full Service.  We fill your tank before it needs it automatically.  We use a statistical regression analysis that correlates your typical use of heating oil in your home along side the weather.  Over years of service our systems will track your usual fuel usage and we automatically schedule delivery to keep your tank full.

What is the energy content or “BTU’s” of Heating Oil?

The technical term “BTUs” refers to “British Thermal Units” which is a measure of energy content of a fuel.  The energy content of diesel fuels can vary slightly by regions and specifications of those regions.  In the Pacific Northwest heating oil is typically Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel with a blend of biodiesel content that can range from 5% to 20% added to the fuel.   This means the exact BTU measured for a gallon of heating oil an slightly vary.

Source: US Alternative Fuel Data Center Fuel Properties Comparisons
Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel: 128,488 BTUs to 138,490 BTUs per gallon.
B5 Biodiesel is presumed to be about the same BTUs as ULS Diesel.
B100 Biodiesel: 119,550 BTUs to 127,960 BTUs per gallon.
B20 Biodiesel: 126,700 BTUs to 136,384 BTUs per gallon.