In This Issue
Biofuel, what is it?
What's the forecast for this winter?
Get 50% off an energy audit
AND $50 off your fuel bill
Buttoning up for winter
Do you know how to read
your oil tank gauge?
Come see us at Touch-a-Truck
More Than Just Oil
Refer a Friend
Facebook
Come see us at
Touch-a-Truck

It's almost time for the annual Richie McFarland Children's Center's Touch-a-Truck event. Now celebrating its 10th year, this great family event is a once-a-year opportunity to blow horns, clamber through cabs, activate sirens, and meet some really cool people all in one place. It's an event that appeals to kids of all ages, and if you come by the Lamprey Energy trucks, you'll find free tattoos, face painting, and balloons. Come see us and support a great cause - the Richie McFarland Children's Center in Stratham, NH. Touch-a-Truck is October 18th, from 10am to 2pm, at the Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth, NH; rain date is October 19th.
More Than Just Oil
Did you know that at Lamprey Energy we also sell biofuel for heating systems, biodiesel and marine biodiesel for commercial use, AND propane? Why not call us today and ask about our different fuels? We're happy to help: 603.964.6703
Refer a Friend
Bring a new customer to Lamprey Energy and we'll give you a $50 credit on your account. Bring us 10 new customers and we'll give you a $500 credit!
Facebook
Have you liked us on Facebook yet? Be the 100th person to like us this month and we'll send you two tickets to sail on the gundalow Piscataqua.

Happy Fall!

Every so often in my position as a local business owner I am presented with opportunities that are both worthwhile and interesting.

In the spring of 2013, I was approached by a small group of innovative people from North Hampton asking if I would get involved in a grassroots effort to plan and raise money to build a 30 x 48' state-of-the-art greenhouse for the school.

The Greenhouse Project envisioned a future in which the kids of North Hampton could use a working greenhouse for lessons in science, technology, economics, food sourcing, and all-around life skills. Eighteen months later the North Hampton greenhouse has been completed with private funding and in-kind donations from many area contractors. It is heated, fully equipped, and ready to welcome its first class. At Lamprey we helped with the fundraising, construction management of the building, and donated the energy-efficient heating system. But we've received far more in return: In researching the needs for the Greenhouse Project we gained knowledge in a number of different energy-efficient technologies - knowledge that we are now using in our day-to-day work in helping our own customers.

Currently, we're in the midst of helping a very different local school improve its energy efficiency. The Cornerstone School in Stratham is a Montessori school with a student body of about 165 kids aged 18-months through 14. The school was looking for ways to reduce their energy use and improve efficiency. We started with an electrical audit of the entire school. We looked at how rooms were used; when, how, and why lights were turned on and off; when, how, and why spaces were heated. In response to the findings the school has upgraded its electrical fixtures, installed wireless motion-activated light switches, insulated heating pipes and converted two of the heating systems from oil to gas, improving efficiency by almost 15%.

Today, the school is working with ReVision Energy of Exeter, NH - an area leader in solar energy technology. By analyzing the school's past electrical costs and current energy usage it was determined that solar not only fit the school's philosophy, but also would save money - a solar array to be installed on the school's south-facing roof lines will provide up to 83% of the school's electrical power going forward. And the solar system will be attached to a digital display in the front lobby that will demonstrate, in real time, how much electricity the solar panels are producing and how much electricity the school is using, it will also be a teaching tool for multiple science and economics classes.

I'm excited that Lamprey Energy is involved in worthwhile local projects. I'm even more excited that we're learning new technologies and forging great new partnerships all the time. If you know of a project that's looking for some energy input, come talk to us ... maybe we can learn together.

Biofuel, what is it?

There are many definitions out there, but according to biofuelwatch.org, biofuel is alternative fuel 'attained from living or biological material that has just died.' Materials that are currently used in the production of biofuel include corn, sugar cane, soybeans, algae, flaxseed, rapeseed, vegetable oil, waste cooking oil, even cow manure. It's used to power vehicles, heat homes, cook food. And because it's non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable sources, it's kind to the environment.


But just how kind is biofuel? According to the EPA biofuel produced from waste oil (like the biofuel we sell at Lamprey Energy and at our sister company Simply Green Biofuels) results in an 86% reduction in greenhouse gases, when compared to traditional fuel oil.

Of course, the vast majority of homes and vehicles currently running on biofuel are not burning 100% biofuel but rather a mix of bio and fossil fuel oil. The typical range is between 5% and 20% bio - B5 and B20 Bioheat® and biodiesel. Traditional oil-fired heating systems can burn B5 or B20 without modifications, but because most boiler and furnace manufacturers will only honor warranties if a blend no higher than B5 is used, that's the standard product we sell. If a customer specifically requests a higher blend we can supply up to B20.

So, what is Lamprey Energy's B5? We take traditional fuel oil and blend it with 100% pure biofuel harvested from locally produced waste cooking oil. We have two principal suppliers: White Mountain Biodiesel in North Haverhill, NH - WMB's owner created the company to supply his other business, the Cog Railway on Mt. Washington - and Maine Standard Biofuels in Portland, ME, which supplies all the biodiesel to Oakhurst Dairy of New England.

Again according to the EPA, B5 reduces CO2 emissions by 3.92% - over the course of the winter an average home burning B5 would reduce CO2 emissions by 483 lbs. Plus, Bioheat contains 11% oxygen by weight so it burns cleanly and it contains less sulfur than fossil fuel, which reduces the production of particulates and greenhouse gases. It's all good news for the environment but it's also good news for your heating system.

And the final piece of good news? If you buy your biofuel from Lamprey, it's the exact same price as traditional Number 2 heating oil.

What's the forecast for this winter?

Amongst weather forecasters there seems to be cautious agreement that this coming winter will be 'normal to colder.' According to Meteorologist John Bagioni of Fax-Alert Weather Service, there are three principal factors that will drive the winter pattern: El Nino, the North Pacific Warm Pool, and High-Latitude Blocking.

First, El Nino. Contrary to popular belief this is not an ocean current but an anomaly caused by the greater or lesser effect of the South Pacific trade winds. When the easterly trade winds weaken, warmer waters of the western Pacific migrate eastward and eventually reach the South American coast where it replaces the cool nutrient-rich sea water normally found along the coast of Peru. El Nino not only affects the plant and animal life in those coastal waters, but it can also greatly affect our winter temperatures. Strong El Nino events (also known as 'El Nino Years') can produce warmer than normal winters across the US, while weak to moderate events can result in normal, and sometimes significantly colder, winters. At the time of writing, forecasters and other experts are currently predicting a weak to moderate El Nino event for this coming winter.

Normal Weather Pattern

El Nino Weather Pattern

Second, the North Pacific warm pool has been present since last fall and is thought to be responsible for rerouting the polar jet stream and allowing cold Arctic air to penetrate south - remember last winter's much-talked of Polar Vortex? So far the warm pool shows no sign of going away.

Third, high-latitude blocking. This is probably the least predictable of the three, but currently the blocking would seem to indicate at least normal temperatures with, to quote John Bigioni, "the potential for another significantly colder than normal winter."

In layman's terms, the Old Farmer's Almanac has put it quite succinctly: "Winter will be much colder than normal, with near-normal precipitation and below-normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be in mid- and late December, early and mid-January, and mid- to late February. The snowiest periods will be in mid- to late November, mid- and late December, and early to mid-March." But when it comes to forecasting, maybe the old ways are worth remembering: one Native American saying claims that the higher the sunflowers grow, the deeper will be the snow; and another unattributed suggestion is that the presence of unusually large numbers of spiders in the house foretells a harsh winter!

Get 50% off an energy audit
AND $50 off your fuel bill

At Lamprey Energy we're always looking for ways to help with the expense of winter. Sometimes it's not enough to have clean fuel and a well-maintained boiler or furnace. Sometimes we have to do a little more to save money and become more efficient. That's why we've joined forces with Yankee Thermal Imaging.

If you call 603.330.9568 before October 31, 2014 Yankee Thermal Imaging will give your home a complete energy audit for just $150 - that's a 50% discount off their normal fee!

AND ... after you've had the audit, we'll give you $50 off your next fuel delivery. That's right, you'll earn $50 just for taking the first step to improved energy efficiency! Call 603.330.9568 today, or click here.

Buttoning up for winter

It's that time ... winter's coming and there are things we can all do to prepare for the inevitable. Here's a check list:

Shut off outdoor faucets
Check storm windows and doors
Clean the chimney if needed; shut the fireplace dampers when not in use
Get the generator tuned up and ready to go and check how much propane is in the tank
If you use well water, store some in case of power outage
How is your heating fuel level? Need more? If you're on automatic delivery, no need to worry!
Check the sump pump
Organize an emergency box for power outages: flashlight(s), batteries, candles, matches, propane camp stove, hard-wired telephone that requires no power
If you have a programmable thermostat, check and maybe replace its batteries
•  Vacuum the fins on your baseboard heaters or radiators to improve their efficiency

Do you know how to read
your oil tank gauge?

It may seem obvious, but when you're down in the basement and the spider webs are tickling your nose and the family's upstairs yelling about being cold, reading an oil gauge for the first time may not be the best idea. Don't wait until you have to read it, check it out when you have plenty of time and it's not an emergency.

Your oil tank is likely down in the basement; if not, it's outside somewhere close to the house - you can't miss it, it's a big metal tank.


Sticking up on the top of the tank is a clear (glass or plastic) tube with a red float inside and markings on the outside: F, ¾, ½, ¼. The numbers reflect how much of the tank is full. The red float will be aligned with the appropriate mark. If the float is aligned with the ½ mark, you have half a tank. If the float is at the bottom of the gauge or not visible then your tank is empty or close to empty.

But how much is half a tank?
Most oil-heated houses have a 275-gallon tank which, when full, holds approximately 225 gallons. So, if the gauge is reading you have about 110 gallons, if it's at ¼ you have about 55 gallons, and at ¾ you have about 170 gallons.

How fast will you burn that?
If the outside temperature averages 32° over a 24-hour period, the average 2,500 sq.ft house will burn about 6.5 gallons per day. So if you have half a tank and it's cold out, you'll burn through it in about 17 days.

To make sure the gauge is actually working, carefully remove the outer case and gently press the float down and then let go. If it bobs back up to the original position, the gauge is working. If the gauge is not working, call us, and we'll come take a look. Either way, don't forget to replace the case.