Renewable heating oil is a fast and effective tool for reducing emissions in Finland

In Finland, around 130 000 homes use oil for heating. Their energy use makes up around 1,5 percent and their carbon emissions around 2 percent of the total amount for the country. The fastest and most efficient way to reduce their emissions is to start using renewable fuel that is available throughout the country. 

The slight modifications to the heating systems that may be needed to make the switch from conventional fossil heating oil to renewable alternative are modest and rather inexpensive.

Arto Hannula, the CEO of the Finnish Lämmitysenergia Yhdistys (The Association of Heating Energy) sees that renewable heating oil is the easiest way to reach greenhouse gas emission reductions immediately. He has also tested out the functionality of this solution in his own house, as he switched to renewable fuel in his own home this year.

- We finished our previous load of 1000 litres of fossil fuel at the beginning of the winter and made an order for 1500 litres of renewable heating oil. Neither the delivery nor using the fuel differs from before. We have an indoor oil tank, so we could have used summer-grade heating oil but got winter-grade that is useable in up to minus 32 Celsius. So even in Finnish winter weather and if you have an outdoor tank, there will be no issues, he says.

Arimax 17S mittausThe oil boiler in Hannula's house is a typical one for Finland. The pipework runs in a fully insulated space and the boiler has hot water integrated into it, so there is no self-contained water heater. Theirs is also a hybrid system, where they also have an air-to-water heat pump.

- In the winter it makes sense to use oil as the cost of electricity ends up being almost double what the cost of oil is. Around the end of April, the heat pump becomes more efficient.

For Hannula, no alterations were needed for the use of renewable heating oil , as they had already updated their burner. He is also keen to see how the efficiency of the burn develops, for now, the efficiency with renewable heating oil is at 94.7 per cent.

- One millimetre of soot increases fuel use by 5 per cent so if the burn is cleaner, it evens out the higher price of renewable fuel. If our consumption is around 2000 litres, we could save about 100 litres or 180 euros, he says.

Switching to renewable fuel is not an issue from an installer's perspective either. The newest generation of burners is suitable for renewable fuel as is.

- Burners made around 2015 and onwards need a new photoconductor, and those that are over 10 years old also require a new relay, says installer Henri Sormunen.

Around 15 to 18-year-old burners should be changed to new ones that are automatically suitable for renewable fuel use. All these alterations are relatively small and inexpensive, and can be done in conjunction with regular maintenance work.


Neste offers a more sustainable solution for home heating in Finland

Neste MY Non-Road Diesel™ that is suitable for heating, is available throughout Finland and can be ordered similarly to fossil heating oil. It is produced with a NEXBTL technology where sustainably sourced, 100% renewable raw materials, such as used cooking oils, animal fats and waste and residues from vegetable oil manufacturing are used.

All the raw materials used comply with the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (EU RED II) or the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements. 

- In the future, we believe that we may also use new types of raw materials, such as municipal waste, agricultural and forestry waste, and algae, for example. The different ratios of raw materials depend on many factors such as availability, price and the requirements of different markets, Petri Tiainen, Head of Product Management at Neste points out.

Neste sees that switching to renewable fuels is, among the existing solutions, one important solution to tackling climate change.

- With the switch to Neste MY Non-Road Diesel™ one can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90%* on the average in comparison to fossil fuel use. In 2022, Neste’s customers globally achieved a reduction of 11.1 million tons in greenhouse gas emissions with our renewable solutions, Tiainen says.

*) The life cycle emissions and emission reduction calculations complies with the EU Renewable Energy Directive II (2018/2001/EU).