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Every Question We Have Been Asked About Renewable Diesel 1024 696 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.

Can Renewable Diesel be used as Heating Oil?

Yes.  Renewable Diesel is a synthetic hydrocarbon diesel fuel.  It can be used interchangeably with petroleum diesel products of similar grade. Heating Oil is typically number 2 diesel which is the same specification as Dyed R99 Renewable Diesel (or blends of Renewable Diesel with petroleum diesel).   Star Oilco now offers R99 Heating Oil delivered in the Portland metro region area of Oregon.

Most modern oil heat appliances use a Becket Burner.  For more on heating fuel compatibility with oil furnaces and oil burning appliance please see “Alternative Fuels and Becket Burners” for more information.

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.  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.

How do I know Renewable Diesel is being sold at a retail location?

Renewable Diesel is a hydrocarbon diesel that meets the specification for petroleum diesel known as ASTM D975 specification.  This means currently R99 can be readily blended and sold with petroleum diesel without a disclosure.  The US Federal Trade Commission and local state Weights and Measures have rules for retail pump labeling.  Blend percentages of biomass based diesel must be labeled especially if being advertised.  As R99 Renewable Diesel has a higher value and is sought out by many consumers though usually it is disclosed.  The pump labeling for R99 Renewable Diesel typically looks like the below.

R99 Renewable Diesel fuel dispenser label

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.

Chevron 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.

Major petroleum refiners have also turned around existing petroleum refineries into Renewable Diesel Refineries to produce this in demand low CO2 fuel. HF Sinclair , Marathon, Phillips 66, and Montana Renewables. There are quite a few newer Renewable Diesel projects planned and in progress 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, Washington’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 is a major projects underway, Next Renewable Fuels in Port Westward, Oregon.

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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Every question Star Oilco has been asked about heating oil 1024 683 Star Oilco

Every question Star Oilco has been asked about heating oil

Heating Oil FAQ (and not so FAQ)

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When it gets cold in the Pacific Northwest, it’s 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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 add additives to 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.

“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.

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.  A small amount of diesel spilled on the surface of the ground, typically will break down on it’s own in the presence of the environment.  A small amount spilled on concrete or asphalt can be cleaned up easily with dish soap and water. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.  

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. You also 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.

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.

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 a host of high efficiency oil furnaces manufactured and supported to 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.

The price of heating oil fluctuates frequently due to market conditions. 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.

Even though the cost of fuel is dependent on the market and out of our control, there are best practices to reduce the amount of oil you’ll need. The temperature you keep your house will affect how much oil you go through. Keeping your temperature higher will lead to more oil burned during the winter months. How insulated your home is will also affect the amount of oil you burn. Having poor insulation will result in having your furnace running hotter for longer periods of time, increasing fuel use. Annual maintenance of your furnace will keep your furnace operating at top efficiencies. Having a well working and operating furnace will keep costs down by not wasting oil on an underperforming unit.

Star Oilco also has a number of discounts and programs for price reduction. We offer $.05/gallon veteran and senior citizen discount. We frequently have discounts on Google and our social media pages so make sure to check those out. Mention where you saw it to receive the discount.

Heating oil customers at Star Oilco have the opportunity to enroll in our Equal Pay program. The program allows you to make equal monthly payments on future heating oil deliveries. As an Equal Pay customer, you will receive a discount of .20 cents per gallon on all heating oil deliveries. We also have an Autofill program which dictates you receive our best price as well as automatic deliveries. You don’t have to keep track of your fuel or when you need a delivery. We do the work for you!

If you do not like our price and someone else is cheaper let us know.  We will match their price.

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. Urban adoption of natural gas has increased, as it’s cheaper than heating oil due to increased fracking development of petroleum.

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

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. This can range from 5% to 20% biodiesel 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.

Get A Heating Oil Quote Today

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Backup Generator Fuel 1024 1024 Star Oilco

Backup Generator Fuel

Star Oilco Generator Refueling Service

Make sure your generator fuel tank is filled before the power outage strikes.

 

Commercial Fleet Fueling in Portland

 

Remember that ordering diesel for your generator is a specialized service.

You want to stabilize and treat your diesel for generators and other back up equipment.

Order fuel treated for long term storage!

We often receive questions about backup generators, backup water pumps, and other emergency equipment. Fueling these critical pieces of equipment is a special kind of fueling service but we’re here to answer all your questions.

Generator Fuel is a specially treated oxidative stabalized off-road fuel designed to store for years.

Fuel for a backup generator is a specialized product. Besides the fuel, the service itself takes a vendor who understands your needs and can keep you up and running in an emergency.

Generators take off-road diesel, of course, but you want an ultra low sulfur diesel to ensure it works with modern emission systems. Some companies may deliver a higher sulfur heating oil product that looks the same but can foul the emission systems of your equipment.

Backup Generator Fuel in Portland

Beyond just the service provided by a truck and driver, you also want a vendor who offers a fuel stabilizer and biocide for the special long term storage needs of your backup generator. Star Oilco recommends you add a biocide and long term storage stabilizer to your fuel to ensure it is good whenever you need it. We use Valvtect Bioguard Plus 6 for generators, emergency water pumps, backup boiler fuel, and other long term storage purposes. This product kills any existing biological growth and stabilizes your fresh diesel fuel for long term storage. Make sure your diesel is ready the next time you need backup power.

As a complimentary service to our customers, Star Oilco will also test fuel for its quality. If you want to confirm fuel quality at the time of a top off, let us know and we will ensure the driver has a sample kit to get your backup fuel tested for peace of mind.

Feel free to message us if you need a backup tank filled. If you are in charge of Corporate Fueling, please call with any questions you may have.

Read more about stabilizing your generator fuel for long term storage.

Keep it simple with Star Oilco. We make it easy for you to be prepared.

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What Are the Rules for Getting a Pacific Pride or CFN Card in Oregon? 512 440 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.

Oregon has legalized the option for any consumer to fuel their own car at a gas station. But a 24-7 stand alone self serve gasoline option like cardlock is not legal in Oregon without a business license or purpose.  So though you can pump your own gasoline at a retail gas station, you cannot use commercial cardlock without being a business.

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 has always been legal in Oregon and often cheaper at a commercial cardlock throughout the state. Anyone in Oregon who only uses diesel can get a Pacific Pride or CFN card for personal use.

Gasoline, 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 is available at a retail gas station only if they offer full serve during business hours.

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.

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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Do you need Refrigerated Trailer fuel? We fuel reefers automatically. 1024 1024 Star Oilco

Do you need Refrigerated Trailer fuel? We fuel reefers automatically.

Refrigerated Trailer Fueling Service.
Dyed Diesel delivered to your trailer.

Seeking to keep something cold with the Pacific Northwest heatwave?  With higher than normal heat many need Refrigerated Trailers as a critical piece of their operation this summer.  Star Oilco drivers are on the road and ready to keep your overflow refrigerated trailers humming and your inventory cold.

Keep your refrigerated trailer running with our automatic keep full program.

Reefer trailer fuel service

Refrigerated trailers, often also called “reefers” in trucking.  These are popular in grocers, food processors, and many other industries. Reefers expand refrigerated inventory for grocers during the food rush of the holidays, and Star Oilco is ready to keep your inventory cold.

Star Oilco is the Portland area’s leading refueler of refrigerated trailers. We’re ready to help you expand your on hand inventory by supplying dyed diesel for your refrigerated trucks. We have the industry’s lowest price for service, a flat fee of $65 for service on an automatic keep full schedule. We’ll keep your inventory the right temperature this holiday season! Our trucks are ready and on the road driving past your location. This program is designed specifically in response to grocers and food processors needing a partner to simplify their refrigeration needs during their busiest time of year.

We make it one less thing to worry about.

How often should you fuel your refrigeration trailer?

Reefer Trailers typically can run for two days without a refuel if opened only once or twice a day.  Three days if you go a weekend without opening the trailer if fueled on Friday.  If you have staff leaving the door open regularly expect to need fuel daily.

Refrigerated trailer fueling. Keep full program.

Call for service. The first step is to open an account or run the service on a credit card, fleet card, or other payment method used by your business. 

Star Oilco can provide either Ultra Low Sulfer B5 Diesel, or low CO2 R99 Renewable Diesel to your reefer. All fuels are dyed and for off-road use to avoid the expensive taxes associated with using clear diesel from a gas station pump. All of our dyed diesel is treated with Hydrotex PowerKleen Premium Diesel. This additive guarantees long-term storage stability and improves performance at time of combustion.

A refrigerated trailer typically burns between 10 and 15 gallons a day in the Portland area during the winter. In our experience, fuel burns faster if the door is continually opened. Some customers are able to get by with service twice a week. Given this experience, we usually recommend a refill schedule of three days a week. This ensures you have no downtime or worry with the refrigerated trailer.

Customers on automatic keep full schedule receive emergency response services for fuel theft at no additional charge. We will be there for you to make running your business that much easier.

Also remember if you are storing a trailer onsite for back up or overflow purposes you will want to prepare the fuel in the tank for long term storage. Star Oilco’s fuel additives ensure the storage and make sure your refrigerated trailer fires when you need it to.

To set up Refrigerated Trailer Refueling Service call or email our office.

We are ready to keep you full.

Construction equipment fuel delivery service

Message us below if you want to get a call back from our Dispatch about setting up service or call 503-283-1256 for immediate service.

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Oregon Self Serve Gasoline 683 1024 Star Oilco

Oregon Self Serve Gasoline

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek signs historic Consumer Choice (Self Serve) Gasoline bill.

Oregon legalizes self serve gasoline.

Self Serve Gasoline law awaits Governor’s Signature.

Oregon Self Serve Gasoline FAQs:

Q: Can I self serve gasoline at a cardlock location?
A: Not unless you are doing so for a commercial use. 

The Gas Self Serve bill requires for retailers to provide Full Serve as an option alongside Self Serve gasoline.  Diesel fuel can be self served and the general public can fuel themselves with diesel at a Commercial Cardlock now.  For gasoline customers, as cardlock does not offer full serve we can not open it up to the general public.  Commercial Cardlock is regulated by the Oregon State Fire Marshall who still requires a business purpose for self serving gasoline at a 24-7 stand alone cardlock.

Q: When does Self Serve become available at a retail gas station?
A: Friday August 5th, 2023 is when consumers can opt to fuel their own gasoline in Oregon. 

Q: What if I do not want to self serve my own gasoline?
A:  The new Self Serve gasoline rules in Oregon require that any retail gas station offering self serve also provide full serve. 

There must be well marked islands for Self Serve Gasoline and Full Serve gasoline service.  Anyone wanting full service will still have it as an option.  The law also requires that all sites have no more Self Serve fueling pumps as Full Serve fueling positions. So Full Service gasoline will be readily available at any site offering Self Serve gasoline.  The law also expressly requires that there is no difference in price between Full Serve and Self Serve gasoline.

Oregon Self Serve is Legal in Oregon State

Oregon Self Serve at retail gas stations is coming to consumers who want it.  The Oregon Legislature has passed HB2426, a law that would give consumers a choice if they want to serve their own gasoline at a retail gas station. This law is awaiting the Governor’s signature to be signed into law.

As the Legislature has adjourned, Governor Tina Kotek has 30 days from when the Bill was passed to sign it into law, veto it, or let it expire without signature.

 

THE HISTORY OF FULL SERVE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS IN OREGON

Oregon outlawed self serve gasoline in 1951.  The trend for self serve as a business model started in California.  The first self serve retail gas station was in 1947 in Los Angeles.  The restriction on serving your own gasoline had a basis in public safety and was not allowed by the Fire Codes in most states.   With the potential for large self serve gas stations coming Oregon made a decision to prevent the widespread adoption on a fire safety basis.

Inside the Oregon fuel industry there are anecdotal stories of the full serve mandate law coming from a coalition of consumers and local fuel sellers resisting bigger entrants to the market with huge numbers of fuel islands and few employees.  Full service gas was viewed as a competitive advantage for local gas stations that was also preferred by consumers.  In the 1980’s a few attempts were made to legalize self serve in Oregon and was resoundingly shot down by the public.  The growth of Oregon’s cardlock industry came out of this as business allowances were made for self serve gasoline with 24-7-365 access to fuel.

HB2426: SELF SERVE IS A CHOICE, NOT A REQUIREMENT

Talk to any longtime born and raised Oregonian, Full Serve Gas is a cherished right of Oregon residency.  This right will not be extinguished with this law.  Self Serve in the more populated parts of Oregon will require Full Serve as a choice.  The point of this law is to get wider service available for gas stations currently forced to close, operate at reduced island capacity, or reduced hours due to labor shortages.

BACKGROUND ON GASOLINE RETAIL IN OREGON:

Oregon has required gasoline be served by an attendant at retail gas stations.  Gasoline is a Class 1 Flammable Liquid.  Under a safety basis this fuel was restricted to only professionals and businesses to dispense it.  Diesel, which is a Class 3 Flammable Liquid because it catches fire at a higher temperature was not restricted from self serve.

In 2015 the more rural and less populated counties of Oregon were allowed to use self serve gasoline as a strategy to increase service hours at gas stations.  In 2017 this policy was expanded to more rural counties in Oregon.  The rules required options for full service gas service during predictable hours for those wanting or needing service.  During the COVID lock downs due to extreme labor shortages as well as fear of human contact self serve was allowed statewide.  With this House Bill 2426 all of Oregon can choose to serve gasoline themselves if they want.

HB2326 – THE OREGON SELF SERVE LAW:

HB 2326, as a statute, has a great deal of legal detail.  We have paraphrased and simplified the language of HB2326 as it relates to the self serve subject below:

A gas station selling gasoline at retail may not designate more than the same number
of fuel pumps for self-service as are available for full service.

Retail gas stations must:
Post signage clearly showing what fuel pumps are self serve and which are full service.

Designate at least one person to be available to pump fuel for those needing full service.

In the more populous counties of Oregon, any gas station must provide a Full Service attendant during any hours they offer the choice of self serve gasoline.

Gas stations opting to allow self serve fuel pumps cannot charge a different price for Full Service or Self Service gasoline at those pumps.

If you have any questions about Oregon’s Self Serve legal change please feel free to reach out to Star Oilco.  If we do not have the answer to your questions we will find it for you.

 

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Understanding the Benefits of Renewable Diesel 1024 683 Star Oilco

Understanding the Benefits of Renewable Diesel

In an era of environmental consciousness and sustainable alternatives, the need for renewable energy sources has become increasingly evident. One of the notable contenders in this field is renewable diesel —a clean-burning, low-emission fuel that could revolutionize the transportation sector. We will dive into renewable diesel, exploring its production process, environmental benefits, and potential to replace petroleum-based diesel. 

What is renewable diesel? Renewable diesel, also known as green diesel or second-generation biodiesel, is a next-generation alternative fuel derived from sustainable feedstocks such as vegetable oils, animal fats, and waste fats and oils. Unlike traditional biodiesel, which is typically produced through transesterification, renewable diesel is synthesized through hydro-treating. This process removes oxygen from the feedstocks, resulting in a cleaner and more energy-dense fuel that is chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel. 

Environmental Benefits: 

  1. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions: One of the primary advantages of renewable diesel is its significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Studies have shown that renewable diesel can reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 80% compared to petroleum diesel. This reduction is attributed to the use of sustainable feedstocks, which have a lower carbon intensity than fossil fuels.
  2. Improved air quality: Renewable diesel has lower levels of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur emissions than conventional diesel. Renewable diesel combustion produces fewer harmful pollutants, leading to improved air quality and a decrease in respiratory and cardiovascular health risks for both urban and rural communities.
  3. Sustainable feedstock utilization: Renewable diesel can be produced from a wide range of feedstocks, including used cooking oil, animal fats, and waste oils. By utilizing these feedstocks, the fuel industry can promote the circular economy by reducing waste and repurposing materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. Furthermore, growing dedicated energy crops for renewable diesel production can be done sustainably, without deforestation or compromising food production. 

Advantages Over Traditional Biodiesel:  

  1. Compatibility with existing infrastructure: Unlike traditional biodiesel, renewable diesel can be seamlessly blended with petroleum diesel or used as a drop-in replacement without modifications to existing diesel engines or distribution infrastructure. This characteristic makes it an attractive option for achieving immediate emissions reductions in the transportation sector.
  2. Superior cold-weather performance: Renewable diesel exhibits excellent cold-weather performance compared to conventional biodiesel. It has a lower cloud point and a higher cetane number, which ensures better ignition and combustion even in cooler climates. This attribute makes it a more reliable fuel choice, particularly in regions with frigid winters.
  3. Higher energy density: Renewable diesel has a higher energy density than biodiesel, resulting in increased fuel efficiency and mileage. This benefit translates to longer driving distances per gallon of fuel, making renewable diesel an economically viable choice for vehicle owners and fleet operators. 

Renewable diesel represents a groundbreaking alternative to petroleum-based diesel, offering a host of environmental benefits and paving the way for a greener and more sustainable future. With its significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality, and compatibility with existing infrastructure, renewable diesel presents a strong case for a need and desire for a widespread adoption in the transportation sector. As renewable energy technologies continue to evolve, embracing renewable diesel can be a crucial step towards reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

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Star Oilco Speaks On Decarbonizing Heavy Duty Trucks 1024 768 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. Mark spoke 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 for Decarbonizing My Own Fleet?

Star Oilco uses The Vector System developed by Pittsburgh-based Optimus Technologies. The Vector System allows upgrades for any medium or heavy-duty engine to operate on 100% biodiesel. This is the only EPA-compliant biodiesel engine system and can be installed in as little as 12 hours. Contact Optimus Technologies or reach out to Star Oilco locally to learn more about The Vector System.

Star Oilco’s Field Test

Star Oilco fielded the Optimus Technologies system on our 105,500 GVW truck and trailers.  We 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.

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.  Neither drivers nor our Elog system noticed differences in mileage and power.  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.

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5 Strategies to Control Fuel Theft and Track Fuel Spending 1024 554 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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7 Ways to Stop Fuel Theft Before it Happens 1024 556 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.

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