|Massachusetts SB 1970 - Heating and Cooling with Renewable Fuels||
Great news! In February 2014, SB 1593 was voted out of the Joint Committee on Telecommunication, Utilities, and Energy. Due to the inclusion of a few new amendments, the bill is now SB 1970. These amendments have strengthened the original bill and include guidelines on biomass eligibility, as well as a provision that will allow the MA Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to establish different alternative energy credits for certain renewable thermal technologies in order to stimulate the development of these sources.
There are a few more steps needed until this bill becomes MA law. These steps include:
If you're interested with helping pass the bill, please contact our team here. We need help with two things.
Key Letters of Endorsement
To donate money, join the coalition, get email updates about the bill, or schedule a press update, click here to go to the contact page.
2013 Campaign to Add Thermal Renewable Energy to the Massachusetts Alternative Portfolio Standard
In the beginning of 2013, members of the biomass, geothermal heat pump, solar thermal, renewable natural gas, bio fuel and traditional oil suppliers came together to create a campaign to enact legislation that would include a Thermal Energy component in the Massachusetts Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (APS). Adding a Thermal Energy component to the existing APS will provide a powerful financial incentive to invest in and develop these technologies with significant public benefits, including increased energy independence, retention of economic wealth through reduced fossil fuel imports, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and creation of jobs.
On January 18 2013, SB 1593 (now SB 1970) was filed by Sen. Finegold of Andover. Click here to read the SB 1593 bill’s full text.
Click here to read SB 1970, the current version of the bill.
Massachusetts Senate Bill 1593 (now SB 1970) would add heating and cooling with renewable fuels to the technologies eligible for Alternative Energy Credits under MGL c. 25A. These technologies produce useful thermal energy using fuels such as sunlight, biomass, bio-gas, bio-liquids and temperature differences in the ground and air. They currently get credits when used to produce electricity, but no credits when used to produce thermal energy.
Production of thermal energy with renewable fuels is given some form of energy credit by fifteen states. The two most recent additions occurred last year when both Maryland and New Hampshire enacted legislation awarding credits to such activities as heating water with sunlight, heating buildings with geothermal energy or wood pellets, blending heating oil with bio-diesel fuel or using biogas produced by anaerobic digesters and at landfills.
Such legislation, if enacted in Massachusetts, would reduce energy costs for customers and for utilities, spur local economic development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
· It will save money for consumers and utilities.
Businesses and homes that install these technologies will reduce their energy costs, especially compared to the use of petroleum fuels.
Utilities will have more sources from which to purchase their alternative energy supplies, increasing price competition, and will avoid the need to make expensive “alternative compliance payments” to the state. These market corrections will ultimately reduce costs to electricity ratepayers.
· It will spur in-state economic development.
Installation, operation, fuel delivery and maintenance for these technologies are all handled by local vendors.
· It will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
The environmental benefits of replacing fossil fuels with clean, renewable fuels are well-recognized. It lowers greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.
Despite these advantages, businesses and homeowners are hesitant to replace or duplicate existing heating and cooling systems that use fossil fuels. Enactment of this legislation would give them the economic incentive they need to switch to systems that partly or entirely use renewable fuels.
Key Sponsoring Organizations