Bio heating oil is the designation for liquid fuels that have at least 0.5 % (V/V) bio content. In particular, FAME according to SN EN 14214, HVO according to SN EN 15940 and other renewable products corresponding to SN EN 15940 can be considered as biogenic products for blending with fossil heating oil extra light. The ecological and social requirements for production are the same as for biofuel. The raw materials must not be in competition with food and animal feed.

The Swiss heating oil standard SN 181160-2 has been revised and supplemented with Bio heating oil. The new version was published on 27 July 2021 and can be obtained from the SNV in the Shop be obtained.

Further information on the subjectbiosprit.org/quality-management/a Standardisation can be found in the chapter Quality management.


Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) is biodiesel obtained by transesterification of vegetable or animal fats and oils. During transesterification, the alcohol component of an ester is exchanged for another; in the case of FAME, glycerol is replaced by methanol.

FAME from used cooking oils is in the foreground in Switzerland as a biogenic liquid fuel. By summer 2021, the heating oil standard SN 181160-2 will be expanded so that FAME can be added to heating oil extra light and sold as heating oil bio. The quantities demanded will be covered by Swiss production and imports.

The use of FAME increases the risk of microbial proliferation. The simplest method to prevent microbial proliferation is consistent drying and cleaning of the tanks. This can prevent the formation of the free water phases necessary for growth from scratch. In addition, cleaning the tanks can eliminate the microorganisms present in them, which makes it more difficult to reach critical germ concentrations.
Microbial growth can be prevented by adding biocides. In doing so, the biocide concentration must be adapted to the amount of microorganisms that may already be present. The biocide used stops the growth of the microorganisms, but the biomass produced up to the point of use is not reduced, so that organisms that have already multiplied can still pose a risk to the tank after biocides have been used. (Source: excerpt from DGMK research report 715)

Further documents on FAME as a fuel are currently being prepared. As soon as this information is available, it will be published here.

Bio heating oil - Questions and answers

HVO as a fuel

Hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO) are vegetable oils that are converted into hydrocarbons through a catalytic reaction with hydrogen (hydrogenation). Through this process, the properties of the vegetable oils are adapted to fossil fuels (especially diesel oil) so that they can supplement or completely replace them as an admixture. In the case of HVO, the good storage stability is particularly noteworthy.

Since HVO is also used as a fuel and is increasingly in demand, especially for air travel, the primary application of HVO is not expected to be in the heating sector.


The biogenic liquid fuels programme was relaunched in spring 2020 following the rejection of the application by the FOEN. The aim of the programme is to offset CO₂ through the use of biogenic liquid fuels such as FAME and HVO. In addition to Biofuels Switzerland, KliK and Avenergy Suisse are now also members of the working group developing the programme. Further information will follow in due course.




The MuKEn are an overall package of energy regulations in the building sector jointly developed by the Swiss cantons. The 2014 COCODE are the consistent further development of the 2008 and 2000 COCODE, as well as the 1992 Model Ordinance on the Rational Use of Energy in Buildings.

They aim to achieve a high degree of harmonisation in the area of cantonal energy regulations in order to simplify construction planning and licensing procedures for building owners and professionals working in several cantons. Harmonisation is further supported by the use of jointly developed forms and enforcement aids.

A new building constructed according to MuKEn 2014 will still consume around 3.5 litres of heating oil equivalents of thermal energy, comprehensively renovated buildings around 8 litres of heating oil equivalents. The consumption targets have been reduced by over 75 % since 1975.

However, the regulations will only become binding when the cantons adopt them in their energy laws. While some cantons have already done so, the political debate is still pending in others.


Each canton implements the MuKEn individually. In some cantons, the regulations are moving in the direction of recognising organic heating oil as a solution. This is currently being discussed in the following cantons: AG, GL, SG, SH and TG.

Biofuels - Fact sheet Bio heating oil


The Ordinance on Air Pollution Control (LRV) is intended to protect humans, animals, plants, their biotic communities and habitats as well as the soil from harmful or nuisance air pollution. Among other things, it regulates Annex 5 the requirements for fuels and combustibles.

Natural vegetable oil as well as vegetable oil methyl ester that meets the requirements of the SN EN 14214 standard are equivalent to "Extra light eco" heating oil.


Biofuels Switzerland
Swiss Biofuels Association
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