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Heating Oil Reserve

The Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve is a one million barrel supply of ultra low sulfur distillate (diesel) that provides protection for homes and businesses in the northeastern United States should a disruption in supplies occur.

The Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve is a one million barrel supply of ultra low sulfur distillate (diesel) that provides protection for homes and businesses in the northeastern United States should a disruption in supplies occur.

Of all the households in the United States that use heating oil to heat their homes, the majority reside in the Northeast region of the country - making this area especially vulnerable to fuel oil disruptions. The Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve (NEHHOR), a one million barrel supply of ultra low sulfur distillate (diesel), provides protection for homes and businesses in the northeastern United States should a disruption in supplies occur.

The heating oil is stored in three terminals in the Northeast:

  • 300,000 barrels at the Buckeye terminal in Groton, Connecticut.
  • 300,000 barrels at the Buckeye terminal in Port Reading, New Jersey.
  • 400,000 barrels at the Global terminal in Revere, Massachusetts.

Guidelines on how and when heating oil can be released from the reserve are defined by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).  A Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve Trigger Weekly Report – developed by the Energy Information Administration – is posted during Heating Oil Season to monitor levels and track against the threshold of possible release.

Releasing Heating Oil

The U.S. Department of Energy has developed an online bidding system – an anonymous auction program – for the sale of product from the NEHHOR. Prospective bidders and other interested parties are invited to try out the system and give us feedback.

  • You should review the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve - Guidelines for Release.
  • You must register to use the system to practice or to participate in an actual emergency sale.
  • Registration assures that you will receive email alerts of sales or other pertinent news. You will also have the opportunity to establish a user ID and password to submit bids.
  • If you establish a user ID, you will receive a temporary password by email, which you must then change to one of your own choosing.

The online bidding system is available as a non-binding demonstration. You can use the system to become more familiar with the bidding process in a realistic environment.

The Department plans to run simulated one-day sales, open to all interested registrants. When you register on the next page, you will receive email alerts describing simulations and providing more specific directions.

To register or practice on the demonstration system, proceed to the Heating Oil Online Bidding System.