Bill Would Upgrade Oil Heat Systems, Reduce CO2 Emissions and Establish Fuel Assistance Fund
BOSTON— Legislation that would establish a new Oil Heat Energy Efficiency Fund sponsored by Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) today received a favorable report from the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. The bill would help homeowners and businesses install new energy-efficient oil heat systems through a 2.5 cents per gallon surcharge on oil heat, and would dedicate revenue to weatherization of homes and fuel assistance for low-income residents.
“Since the passage of the Green Communities Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2008, Massachusetts has led the nation in energy efficiency and made significant progress on reducing carbon emissions,” said Senator Eldridge. “However, there are tens of thousands of homes that have outdated oil heat systems that are emitting more carbon than they should, contributing to global warming. S.1586 would help homeowners upgrade their oil heaters, reduce emissions, use less oil and create long-term savings for residents across Massachusetts.”
S.1586, An Act Further Promoting Energy Efficiency and Green Jobs, filed by Senator Eldridge and Representative Frank Smizik (D-Brookline) would 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. Twenty percent of the Oil Heat Efficiency Fund would be devoted to low-income residents and education programs, including fuel assistance.