Natural gas is getting cheaper and is projected to stay cheaper than oil for the foreseeable future, due to reserves discovered in New England and new techniques for extraction (the infamous ‘fracking’).
Looking around in my town, Lexington, there are thousands of houses heated with oil and propane. The snug is that extension of gas service is very expensive, and a big portion of the cost for the extension is born by the end user initiating the extension. This is, however, not a Lexington centric problem.
Oil is dirty and causes much more pollution and CO2 emissions than natural gas. Propane is cleaner, but tends to be expensive. Using the online calculator at http://www.nstar.com/residential/home_calculators, I was able to estimate the difference in annual cost and in carbon footprint for oil, propane, heat pump and natural gas for my single family house.
I’d like to learn more about what can be done here – I am a town meeting member, but I bet this is not something solvable at the town level. My question is – what are the state regulations I should be looking at, which state agencies are involved with gas service extension, what reports have been published to your knowledge by state agencies and think tanks on this problem?
I’d really appreciate it if you could give me a start thread on this. I plan to write to my House and Senate reps with the same questions, but you have such a wonderful online forum that I thought I might as well start by asking the question here.