AFUE – stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE refers to the percentage of heating oil that the furnace converts to heat. Needless to say, the higher the AFUE, the more efficient your home will be.

Automatic delivery – automatic delivery uses a computer program to monitor local temperatures and estimate heating oil consumption. When calculations show you’re running low on oil, we’ll send you a delivery—you don’t even need to be home!

Biofuel heating oil – biofuel is a blend of petroleum-based heating oil and fuels derived from plants such as soybeans, corn and wood byproducts. Biofuel is becoming increasingly popular as it releases less carbon than petroleum based heating oil, making it more environmentally friendly.

Budget plan – budget plans are a payment option that allow you to spread the cost of heating oil payments over the year at a locked-in or variable rate. This allows you to easily make a budget for yourself as you pay one flat rate all year instead of paying for oil when it’s delivered.

Cash on delivery (COD) – a pay-as-you-go service that allows you to buy home heating oil with no long term commitments or contracts.

Conventional oil – oil derived from wells dug into the earth’s surface. This is the most common method of getting oil out of the ground, hence the term “conventional”.

Crude oil – also called petroleum, crude oil is oil as it is found in the ground. Created from organic material that is thousands or millions of years old, crude oil is relatively useless in its natural state but can be refined into gasoline, diesel fuel and, of course, heating oil!

Distillates – heavy to middle-range fuels derived from crude oil. Heating oil and diesel fuel are examples of distillates—they require more distillation than gasoline because it is lighter and less viscous.

End user – this is the individual who uses the purchased product and isn’t going to resell it.

Energy Information Administration (EIA) – a United States agency within the Department of Energy that develops and creates energy-related data, forecasts, and analyses that are used in policy making, public education, and assisting the market.

Full Service Heating Oil – a method for consumers to get home heating oil from a dealer. Typically, people pay more for this, but they are also covered for heating system maintenance, routine deliveries, emergency service, and are generally given a price-lock or price-cap.

Heating oil boiler – also called a hydronic boiler, heating oil boilers are used in hot water systems to heat water and circulate it through piping into radiators, baseboard heaters and radiant heat systems before returning to the boiler and being reheated.

Heating oil burner – key component of the heating oil system that ignites the oil and air mixture in the combustion chamber, generating heat.

Hydrofracking – short for hydraulic fracking, hydrofracking is a drilling technique that uses chemicals to break up underground rocks to allow easier access to resources. Because of the toxic nature of many of the chemicals, fracking is a highly controversial technique.

International Energy Agency (IEA) – this intergovernmental organization in Paris advises 28 countries on securing reliable and affordable energy.

New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) – the largest physical commodity futures exchange, it serves as a venue for people to trade many things, including crude oil, heating oil, and natural gas.

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – an intergovernmental organization of 13 oil producing nations that aims to stabilize global oil prices and eliminate the manipulation of prices.

Shale Gas – this is a natural gas that is trapped beneath shale rock underground. A common method for retrieving this gas is hydrofracking.

Shale Oil – a type of unconventional oil derived from shale gas.

Unconventional Oil – also known as non-conventional oil, this is petroleum obtained by any means other than the conventional method of drilling and pumping it from the ground.