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Massachusetts Polling Shows Strong Support for Gas Utility Regulation and Electrification

Recent polling conducted by MassInc on behalf of Rewiring America and Green Energy Consumers Alliance shows strong public support for regulating gas utilities in ways that are compatible with the Commonwealth’s climate laws. The public also supports efforts aimed at switching from fossil fuel heating to electrification.

As sponsors of the surveys, we were optimistic that Bay State residents understood the need to phase out fossil fuels in favor of cleaner energy options and to do so by 2050. The results certainly affirmed our expectations. 

In March of 2024, two questions were asked—the first regarding new construction and the second regarding a policy requiring emissions reductions from large buildings.


Question 1: How much would you support or oppose requiring newly constructed buildings in Massachusetts to use efficient electric appliances instead of fossil fuel appliances?

  • 57% said they supported that policy, while just 14% opposed. 29% neither supported, opposed, or answered the question.
  • People are indicating that they see new construction as being relatively easy to electrify, which is true.


question 1


Question 2: Would you support Massachusetts passing a policy requiring owners of big buildings, like office buildings and apartment buildings with more than ten units, to phase out their air pollution that causes climate change, by 2050?

  • 63% expressed support, while just 11% opposed. 26% neither supported, opposed, or answered the question.
  • Our sense is that people understand that large building owners are generally in a better position to take emissions reduction measures and that they consume a disproportionate amount of fossil fuels.


question 2


In June of 2024, two more questions were polled regarding gas utility regulation.

Question 3: In part due to the age of the state’s gas pipes, thousands of new gas leaks are reported each year. The state’s gas utilities are overseeing a program to replace leak-prone pipes that is expected to cost customers roughly $34 billion between 2022 and 2039. With this in mind, how much do you support or oppose prohibiting the construction of new gas pipelines, to prevent additional pipeline costs and give way to cost-effective clean energy alternatives? 

  • 49% supported the policy, with 17% opposed, and 33% neither supporting, opposing, or answering the question.
  • Respondents are demonstrating that they understand the need to phase-out gas consumption over time and how that needs to be reconciled with the fact that the gas distribution system is very expensive to maintain.


question 3


Question 4: How much do you support or oppose requiring utilities to retire heavily damaged parts of the gas system and switch the customers impacted over to electric heat pumps?

  • 54% supported that policy, 12% opposed, with 34% neither supporting, opposing, or answering the question.
  • Here respondents have the expectation that utilities must evolve away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy, in this case, heat pumps.


question 4


In conclusion, answers to the four questions that we posed in March and June indicate that Massachusetts residents understand how imperative it is to switch from gas to electrification. It is clear to a strong majority that the time is now to accelerate the clean energy transition. And to do that, we must place greater obligations on gas utilities, new construction, and large building owners.