You might be surprised to learn that I believe we need to eliminate all fossil fuel use in the heating sector in order to reduce the irreparable harm that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are causing our environment. Since time is rapidly running out, the question is how best to accomplish that quickly and with the lowest cost, discomfort and disruption.
It is popular in some circles to simply say, “Electrify Everything.” In the case of homes, that would mean replacing natural gas-, oil- and propane-fired boilers and furnaces with heat pumps.
We face a few important challenges with this.
Heat pump conversions cost a lot of money and do not work very efficiently when the weather gets cold. According to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Council, despite big incentives, there were only 622 whole-house heat pump conversions from 2014 through 2019. The average cost was a whopping $20,428 per average 1,502 square foot home. Of these, 89% ended up keeping their existing heating systems as a backup. In other words, they did not even eliminate their fossil fuel consumption. And for good reason: 84% were unhappy with their heat pump’s performance in very cold weather!
What’s more, to produce the electricity that heat pumps consume, the utilities need to burn gas, nuclear and even coal. What about renewable energy? In 2019, only 9.4% of New England’s net electric load came from renewables. Realistically, this number is not going to change much in the next decade. And this doesn’t even address how the utilities would handle such an influx in demand when they can’t even prevent massive power outages under the current electric grid load.
Compare that to what we are able to do immediately with renewable biofuels.
Cubby Oil & Energy currently delivers Bioheat SuperPlus B40. This is a blend of 40% renewable biodiesel with 60% traditional heating oil. This blend immediately reduces your heating system’s GHG emissions by almost 30%. You don’t have to change a thing, or spend thousands of dollars.
We are currently testing a B50 blend with some customers who volunteered to be early adopters. We will test a B100 blend this coming season — no heating oil whatsoever! There is no better, cheaper, more feasible way to meet our environmental goals quickly than with Bioheat fuel, and Bioheat is produced here in the U.S. by American workers.
Our industry is committed to delivering this clean fuel to all of our customers. And no matter what, we will keep you nice and warm regardless of the weather.