Low-Sulfur Heating Oil FAQ


Top Low Sulfur Heating Oil Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is low-sulfur heating oil?

A: Low-sulfur heating oil is an industry term used for any blend of No. 2 distillate heating oil with a sulfur content between 16 and 500 parts per million (ppm). Heating oil with sulfur content of 15 ppm or less is referred to as ultra-low sulfur heating oil.


Q: Is my heating oil low-sulfur heating oil?

A: If you are a Massachusetts or Connecticut resident, the answer is yes. Both states enacted legislation that lowered the maximum allowable sulfur content of heating oil to 500 ppm by November 1, 2014. Prior to then, Massachusetts had a 3,000 ppm limit and Connecticut had a 2,000-3,000 ppm limit.


Q: Can I see my state’s sulfur regulations?

A: Yes, they are available online. If you’re a Massachusetts resident, click here to jump to page 86 of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s 310 CMR 7.00: Air Pollution Regulations. If you’re a Connecticut resident, click here to read Section 16a-21a of Connecticut General Statute Chapter 296 – Operation of Fuel Supply Business. If you’re in another state in our region, please refer to the New England Fuel Institute’s chart of “Sulfur & Bioheat Requirements for No. 2 Heating Oil in the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic States.”


Q: What are the benefits of low-sulfur heating oil?

A: According to studies conducted by the National Oilheat Research Alliance at Brookhaven National Laboratory, this fuel makes heating systems run more reliably and efficiently, lowering maintenance needs and greenhouse gas emissions. The chart below shows how the percentage of sulfur in heating oil correlates with a reduction of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions.



Date % Sulfur in Fuel % Reduction in SO2 Emissions from current Max. limits
July 1, 2014 0.05% (500 ppm) 83%
July 1, 2018 0.0015% (15 ppm) 99.5%



Q: Will PayLessForOil.com eventually shift to ultra-low sulfur heating oil?

A:  Yes, in accordance with Massachusetts state regulations, our business will do so by July 1, 2018.

Way to go, I ordered oil this morning at 6 got the response that it wasn't going to be delivered until Thursday, when I got home today, full tank and receipt on my porch!!

- Kathi B. - Holyoke, MA