If the only color you associated with oil is black, you’re going to be surprised by what we tell you!
The heating oil used to keep homes in Sullivan, eastern Ulster and northern Orange counties isn’t black at all. It’s red.
This isn’t heating oil’s natural color. Heating oil is refined from crude oil, first by distillation. Then there is further refining of the oil, from which heating oil as well as kerosene, gasoline, diesel fuels, and jet fuels are produced. Once heating oil is refined, it is a light golden color, kind of like ginger ale or champagne.
The red dye is added before it is sold because of tax regulations. The dyeing is done so authorities can tell whether the fuel is heating oil or on-road diesel fuel.
The Internal Revenue Service requires heating oil, along with other similar refined distallate fuels that are not for highway use to be dyed red. The red identifies the fuel as exempt from federal, state and local taxes that are applied to fuels sold for road vehicles like cars, trucks and RVs.
Off-road diesel fuel, which is mainly used in farming and construction in equipment such as tractors, dump trucks and generators, is dyed red.
This regulation also applies to kerosene. In its natural state, kerosene is clear and colorless. But it is dyed red so it can’t be sold as an on-road diesel fuel substitute.
If you are worried that this red dye impacts how your heating oil burns, don’t be. The red dye has no effect on the performance of heating oil or kerosene, and does not damage your furnace or boiler.
Whether you use heating oil or kerosene to keep your home warm, Resnick Energy can meet your needs! We are the largest heating oil provider in the area, and offer same-day and next-day delivery. We also offer automatic delivery for peace of mind as well as a 5-cents-per-gallon discount!