What the Massachusetts Fuel Ban Means for You
You may have heard that on August 11th, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker signed the “Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind” bill into law. This new legislation builds on 2021 climate action by offering a more detailed description on how the state can meet its climate goals and clean energy targets for the year 2050. Here’s what this new climate law means for your property and your fuel choices.
FAQs about the New Climate Bill
Q: What does the Clean Energy bill do?
The bill includes a pilot program that gives 10 local cities and towns the ability to ban fossil fuel hookups in new construction or major renovation projects. This means that the minute fossil fuels are banned, new properties would need to operate solely on more expensive energy sources like electricity.
In addition, changes are being made to Mass Save, the state’s energy efficiency program. Starting in 2025, Mass Save can no longer offer incentives or rebates for oil or propane heating systems, unless they are a backup to an electric heat pump or meet some selective exceptions.
Q: What is a fossil fuel?
A fossil fuel is defined as a hydrocarbon-containing material found naturally in the Earth’s crust, typically created by decomposing plants and animals. Frequently, legislation considers propane gas and Bioheat® fuel to be fossil fuels—but we’re here to help you understand why these energy options are lower-carbon than the typical fossil fuels that the laws are really aiming for.
First of all, propane fuel has a lower carbon content than conventional gasoline and diesel—that’s why it was listed in the Clean Air Act of 1990 as a clean alternative fuel. Propane is simply a by-product of natural gas processing—which the new legislation is promoting. There’s no reason to stop harvesting propane when the product that produces it (natural gas) is still being collected.
Secondly, Bioheat® fuel has been continuously reducing its carbon content ever since its production began years ago. You may have heard of the terms B2, B5, B10, B20, and so on. These represent the percentage of biodiesel that is blended into ultra-low sulfur heating oil to make Bioheat® fuel. B10 Bioheat® fuel contains 10% biodiesel, which means 10% fewer emissions and reduced carbon content for our environment. This is the only fuel that can continually reduce its carbon content over time, which means that B100 will eventually offer net-zero carbon heating.
It’s for these reasons that propane and Bioheat® fuel are in better standing than other fuels classified as “fossil fuels.” Unfortunately, they are thrown under the umbrella and treated the same as more harmful energy options that are impacting the climate.
Related Post: Propane as an Alternative Fuel
Q: What are the consequences of the bill?
WBUR reports that “The governor said repeatedly that he had concerns about how [the pilot program] would affect housing prices and availability.” Since the towns being given permission to ban fossil fuel hookups surround FSi’s service area, the possibility of the bill spreading into our neighborhoods is high. You should be prepared for changes to take place in your area. Other consequences of removing your ability to choose your power source include:
- Expensive conversions for homeowners
- Unreliable power and heat that cannot stand up to cold temperatures
- Local companies in your community going out of business
- Low quality service from an anonymous utility
Q: What should I do if I have more questions?
We recommend researching more about Bioheat® fuel and propane by visiting MyBioheat.com and Propane.com, two resources that provide updated and detailed information about the progressions of these domestic fuels.
Related Post: What is Bioheat® Fuel?
FSi is Your Local Propane & Bioheat® Fuel Supplier
You can also get in touch with an FSi representative if you would like to speak more about new fuel hookups and appliances while it is still an option for your home and family. No matter what happens in Massachusetts energy landscape in the upcoming years, you can trust that we’ll be by your side with your best interests in mind.