BOSTON – Massachusetts’ massive efforts to reduce its dependence on natural gas to quell the effects of climate change are asking customers for feedback.
The utilities – including National Grid, Eversors and Unit – will host webinars to measure public opinion on a new order issued by the State Department of Public Utilities.
The National Grid, which serves more than 900,000 Massachusetts gas customers in Boston, including tens of thousands, says the state will seek “new technologies” to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050, dry clothes and heat their homes.
“These new technologies could affect home appliances such as heating systems, heaters, gas stoves and water heaters and various commercial and industrial appliances that use natural gas,” he told customers via email. “This is a big job, and it needs the support and input of the people to be successful.”
Environmentalists say the state should not build new gas infrastructure once it is out of fossil fuels and should not be built at the expense of consumers.
In addition to environmental impacts, green groups raise concerns about the state’s aging gas infrastructure. Public concerns about the safety and security of the system were exacerbated by a gas explosion and fire in the Merimak Valley in September 2018, which killed a teenager and injured dozens more.
Many utilities are experimenting with geothermal systems to determine whether renewable energy sources – largely employed – can help Massachusetts homes reduce their dependence on natural gas and oil.
Geothermal systems use underground wells and pumps installed in buildings to heat the buildings during the winter or to transfer heat from the buildings to the ground.
However, industry officials say the state will continue to use natural gas for large-scale power generation, even as it transforms into more renewable energy sources.
According to ISO New England, which controls the region’s energy grid, about half of New England’s energy comes from natural gas.
The law, signed by Charlie Baker, requires at least 50% of carbon emissions by 2030 and 75% by 2040.
The law requires the state to meet a number of criteria over the next three decades, including a major update on the 2008 Global Warming Solutions.
Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
To do this, it will include higher efficiency standards for domestic and commercial goods, offshore wind development and expanded solar energy use, as well as new emissions restrictions on electricity, transportation, commercial heating and cooling and other economic sectors. .
Last year, the Department of Public Utilities, which oversees power companies operating in the state, began reorganizing its operations and exploring how natural gas companies could help achieve those goals.
“This transition will reduce the dependence of common resources on natural gas and may require the department to consider new policies and structures to protect taxpayers and to make significant changes to local distribution companies’ plans and business models,” the order said.
Utilities should hire an independent consulting firm to determine what steps can be taken to reduce natural gas dependency in accordance with DPU orders. Each company must submit its regular plans to state regulators next March.
The facilities will hold two webinars on “Dec. 15 from 6:30 to 7:30 PM and Dec. 16 to 1 pm on” Natural Gas Futures “.
For more information and to register https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3557563749292437261
Christian M. Wood Massachusetts State House covers North Boston Media Group newspapers and websites.Sites. Email him at cwade @ northofboStone.com