The Energy Consumer's Bulletin- a New England energy news blog

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Home heating (4)

Member Spotlight: Ricard Torres-MateLuna and Christine Hatch, happy heat pump owners

If you’re looking to reduce your energy consumption and want an example of how Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light can help, look no further than the family of Ricard Torres-MateLuna and Christine Hatch. As Massachusetts residents, they joined Mass Energy in 2014. Since then, these members have reduced their environmental footprint and cut down their energy bills not only by making their home more energy efficient, but also by participating in our Discount Heating Oil Service, our Mass Solar Connect program, and our pilot Heat Pump Program (MA only). A RI solar program is coming soon! Subscribe to this blog to hear all about it when it happens.

Picture of Anna Vanderspek Anna Vanderspek

What's a Heat Pump and How Can it Reduce My Oil or Gas Usage?

What is a heat pump?

Heat pumps are a heating technology that can be installed in a room (or several rooms) in your home and move heat into or out of a space. A heat pump can both HEAT and COOL the air in your home. A heat pump can also be used to heat water.

Chances are you already have a heat pump in your home! Refrigerators and air conditioners use heat pumps to cool. It sounds strange to use a “heat” pump to cool, but your refrigerator or air conditioner is actually pulling the heat out of the space you want to keep cool and putting it somewhere else. When you use a heat pump for heat, it’s like running your refrigerator or air conditioner in reverse!

Are there different types of heat pumps?

Yes! All heat pumps move heat, but that heat can come from different sources. Heat pumps can use the temperatures of either the outdoor air or the ground to heat or cool homes or buildings. Heat pumps that utilize outside air are known as "air-source heat pumps." Heat pumps that use the nearly constant temperature underground are known as "ground-source heat pumps." Ground-source heat pumps require a trench or well to operate. Air sour

Maura O'Gara

A New Bio-Heat Program: Heat Leaner & Cleaner with Biodiesel

Today, People’s Power & Light (PP&L) and Mass Energy are excited to reinvigorate our Bio-Heat program. Joined recently by Newport Biodiesel, our program provides members in certain areas of Massachusetts and Rhode Island with a cleaner fuel option: biodiesel.

We have offered biodiesel options in Massachusetts for some time, launching our original Bio-Heat program in 2005. But over the years, the program has not grown much—until today.

Priscilla De La Cruz

Feds Forecast a Less Expensive Heating Oil Winter: What does that mean for state policies?

On October 6, the Federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected that heating your home with oil will cost 25 percent less than last year and heating your home with natural gas will cost 10 percent less due to a nice combination of lower prices and a forecast for warmer weather.  Temperatures for each month from October through March are expected to be higher than the 10-year average.  For heating oil customers, this winter could cost $500 or $1000 less than last winter.

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien

Great Heat Pump Prices Are Here: A New Pilot Program in Western Mass

There is good reason why the popularity of heat pumps has risen dramatically in recent years.  Advancements in technology have made Cold Climate Air-Source Heat Pumps (ccASHPs) a safe, comfortable, convenient, and efficient source of heating, even in cold climates like Massachusetts. Much like your refrigerator, air-source heat pumps work by moving heat into or out of a building. Because they don’t burn fuel, they can improve air quality, both indoor and out. Furthermore, ccASHPs can also cool, dehumidify, and integrate nicely with solar PV systems.

Maura O'Gara

Heating Oil Budget Plan: Set Yours Up Now!

Is there such thing as peace of mind when it comes to heating oil bills? A budget plan may be the answer. Signing up for a heating oil budget plan through your oil dealer is a good way to spread out your oil bill into 10 to 12 monthly payments, making oil bills more like a regular utility. Your cost is fairly even and there are no surprise huge oil bills that sneak up on you. It also helps dealers plan, reduce their costs and become more efficient.

Picture of Erin Taylor Erin Taylor

Three insights on recent volatility in the heating oil market

Oil truck drivers trudge through record snowfall to keep tanks full.

This heating season, not quite done, has been one for the record books. Huge amounts of snow, very cold weather, but also a big drop in oil prices compared to last year categorized the winter. And it’s been the best year for Mass Energy/People’s Power & Light Discount Heating Oil Service members in a long time. Compared to surveys conducted by the state energy offices in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, throughout this winter our members have paid 44 cents less than full-service dealer prices in Massachusetts and 35 cents less than full-service dealer prices in Rhode Island, after adjusting for heating degree days. 

Phil Lindsay & Larry Chretien