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Forced Electrification Isn’t the Answer

I have dedicated significant resources and time to reducing greenhouse gas emissions for Cubby customers, principally by delivering Bioheat SuperPlus™ fuel — a cleaner, greener form of heating oil — since 2010. I also served on the Governor’s Clean Heat Commission as an energy retailer with actual experience in installing and servicing heat pumps and conventional heating and cooling equipment.

So, it is extraordinarily frustrating that the state now seems to be opting for the most narrow, expensive and disruptive path to impact GHG reduction, namely forced electrification. If these measures are implemented, they will be so costly, painful and risky that they will trigger a backlash from everyday people who will turn their back on climate change efforts.

Here’s what they’re now considering:

  1. A “Clean Heat Standard” and “Cap and Invest” Program. These would add a new tax on all heating oil, propane and natural gas sold in the state. This could add as much as $1.00 per gallon to your heating oil price!
  2. A plan to force all energy retailers, like Cubby, National Grid and Eversource, to convert a percentage of our customers to heat pumps each year or pay a fine. These fines will be passed along to all consumers. It amazes me that they want to penalize us for something the state has been unable to accomplish, despite large incentives. We install heat pumps; a full heat pump conversion will cost homeowners tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, electric rates are expected to rise even further as demand increases.
  3. Efforts intended to drive up electricity use. Massachusetts’ electric grid has one of the highest carbon intensity scores in the Northeast and already suffers from unreliability. ISO New England, our grid operator, has warned of winter rolling blackouts if demand for electricity continues to rise.
  4. There is also talk of banning replacement heating equipment, leaving you no choice but to convert, no matter how much it costs or how much you don’t like the heat from a heat pump.

It’s been discouraging to watch the state continue to ignore the cost-effective benefits of Bioheat® fuel while Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York mandate increased blend levels in every gallon of heating oil sold. Bioheat SuperPlus fuel reduces emissions in a significant way, at much less cost and disruption than narrow electrification. Instead, the state seems bent on eliminating all on-site combustion — including gas stoves and dryers, gas fireplaces and any fossil-fuel heating system — regardless of risks, costs and personal preferences. And they have been disingenuous (to say the least) about how much this will cost everyone.

I know this is an important topic for many of you, and I would be happy to discuss it with you. I’m a big fan of reducing GHG emissions. I’m not a fan of the state’s game plan, and you shouldn’t be, either. Please reach out to your state legislators to let them know you value choice and oppose these efforts. Our future depends on it.

Thank you for being a loyal customer. My family appreciates the trust and confidence you have placed in us to be your home comfort provider.