As the best winter in years draws to a close, I am particularly happy that the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) will once again be a full partner with the oilheating industry and its customers. As you know, the efforts of the industry over the past five years have been rewarded with an extension of the program until 2019. So, once again, we need to work hard to ensure that we are contributing to the retail companies that fund the program and oilheat consumers.
Like any company, we need to increase our investments in technology. The only way to maintain our customers is to continuously improve the product we sell, its reliability and the features that it provides. Additionally, we must improve its efficiency while at the same time making it cleaner. As the industry converts to a lower-sulfur product, scale will essentially disappear, as will the sulfuric acid in emissions. This will enable us to develop smaller units with less expensive materials. NORA will be working on many projects to help our manufacturers prepare for this new fuel.
We also are working to improve our educational offering. We are working to develop a stronger educational track with our service technicians and Oil and Energy Service Professionals (OESP) that will help guide them into the next level of their careers. We have developed an advanced curriculum pertaining to the following subjects: energy efficiency, steam, hydronics, venting, air distribution and electronic controls. This will help ensure that our technicians provide value to their customers.
Our volunteer leadership is now developing plans for the organization’s programs in the coming years. Your thoughts, comments and ideas are all welcome and I look forward to working with you