All of us are relieved that we can finally see some light ahead, even though much remains uncertain. Like many of you, we’ve struggled to do our jobs with the constant threat of COVID-19 hovering over our heads.

Snowstorms and 10-degree temperatures are unforgiving adversaries. With the uncertainty, periodic quarantines and sickness of staff, the past year has been a true test of our fortitude.

Perhaps, because of that reason, I’ve never been prouder of our team. They have managed to keep people warm despite dealing with many personal challenges themselves. We’ve always had a pitch in, do whatever it takes culture here at Needham. And it has served us well through the pandemic.

I’m also proud of the contribution we’re making to fight climate change by using 20% biodiesel in the fuel we deliver to you (See next article.) Most initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint involve spending hundreds of millions of dollars on incentives and systemic changes. We reduced our footprint dramatically almost overnight, and it didn’t cost our customers a penny.

Stay well.

Q: Why does Bioheat fuel generate fewer carbon dioxide emissions than regular heating oil?

A: Ultra-low-sulfur Bioheat fuel mixes low-carbon renewable liquids like biodiesel with conventional heating oil. Biodiesel is a gallon-for-gallon substitute for petroleum-based fuels, which have a higher carbon intensity. By 2030, it’s estimated that biodiesel will have displaced 529 million gallons of heating oil.

Q: How is biodiesel made?

A: Biodiesel is a nontoxic, biodegradable, renewable, liquid fuel. The biodiesel that’s blended with heating oil is generally produced by agricultural byproducts, including used cooking oil, animal fats, inedible corn oil, soybean oil and canola oil. Food isn’t sacrificed for fuel in the production of biodiesel. Oils and fats for biodiesel are a minor byproduct of producing food.

Q: How much can we reduce carbon emissions by using Bioheat fuel?

A: The Northeast’s use of Bioheat fuel annually prevents more than 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions. To put that in perspective, 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions is the equivalent of the emissions from the annual energy use in 180,000 homes.

Read more about Bioheat fuel.


Our drivers are experts at maneuvering their trucks, but safety codes prohibit us from navigating our vehicles on slippery driveways. That’s why we request that you remove snow and ice from your driveway when a delivery is scheduled.

We also need you to clear a path to your fuel tank after it snows so our driver can reach it quickly. When you’re outside clearing the way, please make sure any vents (like the one from your gas dryer) are not blocked by snow. If they are, use a broom—not a shovel—to brush the snow away so you can avoid damaging the vents.

We received words of praise from William and Patricia S., of Watertown, after we installed a new Buderus oil boiler in their home last fall.

“The installers were very friendly and followed all of the proper COVID protocols,” says Patricia. “We always felt like we were in good hands.”

William was impressed with how quickly our crew got organized and down to business only a few minutes after their arrival.

“It was almost like watching a professional, highly choreographed dance team,” William told us. “Everyone had a part to play. All work was completed with minimal disruption and mess. I was a little worried about them getting the old boiler out of the basement because the space is so cramped, but they got through it with flying colors. It’s nice to know we don’t have to worry about our boiler breaking down again during the winter. Thanks, Needham!”

Read about our expert equipment installation service.

We welcome Stephanie Herson, who joined our new accounts sales team in September.

“I have lived in Needham for 15 years and been a customer of Needham Oil Complete for all that time,” she says. “They were just what I was looking for—a well-known local, woman- and family-owned company that provides excellent customer service. It has been a pleasure to have the opportunity to spend more time with my family while also becoming part of a stellar local company.”

Stephanie says she looks forward to getting out into the community after health experts sound the “all-clear” on connecting with current and potential customers.

Off the job, Stephanie cherishes her time with her 12-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter, both of whom enjoy music, sports, and arts and crafts, and, of course video games.

Last fall, Mara D., of Brookline, left us after 11 years because another heating oil company offered her a lower rate.

“It wasn’t worth it,” she says. “They didn’t do my annual cleaning as promised, and I could never get anyone to speak with on the phone. When I finally got someone and said I was leaving them, they told me I was breaking my contract with them and it would cost several hundred dollars to be released from it.”

We do business a different way at Needham Oil Complete, where our relationships with our customers is based on our performance. We’ll never lock you into a contract.

We’re happy to say Mara has rejoined us after finding that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side.

Mara says she looks forward to once again getting the type of be-right-over service that she has received from us for so long.

Q: I need to upgrade my heating system but it’s a big expense. Are there rebates or financing available?

A: Yes. More than 50% of the new equipment we install is subsidized by the Mass Save program. You may qualify for thousands of dollars in rebates, loans to cover replacements, and 0% financing for 7 years.

Q: Will these subsidies always be available?

A: They have to be reauthorized every year, and they are not guaranteed to continue at this rate, especially given the current economic situation. So if you are thinking about replacing your system, now may be the best time to do that.

Q: What kind of rebates are people applying for?

A: They apply in different rebate amounts for heat pumps (which can be used as air conditioners too), oil and gas boilers and furnaces. Because we install all types of equipment, no matter the fuel source, we can help you choose the best options. Read more about financing and rebate opportunities and then call us or reach out through our website to request a free estimate.

No one knows what this fall will bring us, but it is possible we will face a resurgence of COVID-19 in our area, with all its attendant challenges.

We are working hard to anticipate and prepare for potential disruptions. We have an unbelievable team here, who make me proud every day with their willingness to take care of our customers when it matters most. They have been extraordinarily flexible and committed, and I could go on for hours with stories of how they put the needs of our customers first.

We are taking many steps to minimize the risks to them and to you. We ask that you look at the next article about our protocols, so you can see how you can help them work safely in your home.
We will all need to be flexible and patient with each other as we adapt to the new challenges we face. I appreciate the trust you’ve placed in our family to keep you warm, more than words can convey.

Be well.

Erinn Woodcock, President

When one of our technicians enters your home, we want both of you to feel as comfortable as possible. That’s why take the following precautions:

These are challenging times. But you can count on us to be there for you, and to be Completely safe.

For more information about our safety protocols, please visit our website.

As you know, for a few months, we were prevented from doing tune-ups for customers. Though we are working very hard to catch up, there are likely to be long delays in scheduling.

Fortunately, because we deliver a combination of Bioheat® fuel and ultra-low-sulfur fuel, our customers’ systems burn cleaner, enabling them to go longer without tune-ups.