NORA-Moving forward

Written on: October 1, 2012 by John Huber

As we move into the election season, the efforts of the industry are still focused on renewing the National Oilheat Research Alliance. The leadership of the group including Don Allen, Bob Boltz, Doug Woosnam, Jim Townsend, Ed Noonan, and many others have maintained a long term focus on the rebirth of NORA. We are now looking at the lame duck session and have a couple of potential bills in mind that could be avenues to renew NORA. It has been a very long road, but the determination of the industry leaders makes it much more likely that we will succeed.
Additionally, while NORA has been silent on the consumer education front for a long time, much of the work of NORA has continued to move forward. Over the last two months, Bob Boltz and I have made several trips to Penn State to review our bioheat experiments that are going on. These experiments in conjunction with other tests going on at Brookhaven are designed to assess what levels of bioheat can be used safely in heating oil equipment.
The tests that we are running will assess all of the major pumps currently in the field to determine whether bio-blends up to 20 percent have an impact on seal leakage or any other problems with the pumps. We are nearly halfway through this testing.
Additionally, many of the activities in the states are still being supported by NORA. These range from quality education being delivered at vocational schools, to training service technicians, and making sure our resources are available for everyone. It also includes an active public relations effort to ensure people are aware of what a high quality product oilheat is, and continued outreach to people who influence people’s opinions about oilheat.
Thus, while we are not seeing the great strides that NORA provided, we are not backsliding, and we are continuing to make forward progress.