Lead Sponsor: Senator Jamie Eldridge
Summary: This bill will create an Oil Heat Energy Efficiency Fund paid for with a 2.5 cent assessment on each gallon of heating oil sold for heating in the state, producing estimated annual revenue of nearly $20 million that will in turn lower consumers’ energy bills by more than $120 million annually. The bill will enable oil heat retailers to offer broad energy efficiency solutions to their customers in tandem with electric utility programs. It was greatly expand efficiency offerings for customers of municipal electric companies.
Why This Matters: For many residents and business, oil is their only heating fuel option with natural gas infrastructure out of reach and renewable energy systems not yet viable. Homes and business in Massachusetts have limited access to energy-saving programs, spending between $2.5 and $3 billion a year on heating oil. This bill will create a fund to serve the millions in Massachusetts who depend on heating oil, so they can cut energy expenses, improve comfort, and upgrade to efficient new oil-fired heating equipment. Several additional benefits include:
- Thousands of jobs will be created both within and independent of the energy efficiency sector.
- Consumes save money as every $1 invested in energy efficiency pays the customer back over $7.60 in direct oil heat savings.
- More of our energy dollars will be circulated in-state, thus boosting our local economy.
- There will be a reduction in greenhouse gases, keeping the commonwealth on track of our goals to reduce carbon emissions and pollutants.
What this Bill Would Do: The bill will establish the Oil Heat Energy Efficiency Fund, which will be administered by the commissioner of energy resources. There will be a $0.025 per gallon assessment on oil heat fuel sold for residential or commercial use in Massachusetts that is collected at the point of sale of oil heat fuel by a wholesale distributor. The revenue generated will be deposited into the Oil Heat Energy Efficiency Fund and expended towards cost-effective and energy efficient management plans. At least 20% of funds collected will be spent on comprehensive low-income residential oil heat energy efficiency and education programs. Every 3 years, program administrators are to prepare an oil heat efficiency investment plan that is cost-effective and submit it to the energy efficiency advisory council.
View the full text of the bill and track its history here.