What Is the Clean Heat Standard?

A radical strategy to inflate fuel prices and take away energy choice in MA

When it comes to climate change, we all share the same goals. We need to find a smart, effective way to reduce harmful emissions and reverse the destructive effects on our planet. Yet, while there are many viable paths to combating climate change — including advances in clean home heating fuels already lowering emissions in Massachusetts — state environmental regulators are plowing ahead with a plan that could be financially devastating for everyday families.

They call this a Clean Heat Standard, but it really amounts to a new energy tax that will dramatically increase costs for Massachusetts residents. It’s vital that you understand what this plan entails, because your family will be left paying the bill for it.

One possible element of the proposed regulation could force companies that provide traditional fuels to convert 3% of their customers to heat pumps each year or face onerous fines.

In 2022, the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy & Climate Plan and the Massachusetts Commission on Clean Heat recommended a Clean Heat Standard, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is now working on implementing the regulation.

This plan will require entities that supply natural gas, propane, heating oil and other traditional heating fuels to purchase “credits” on a Clean Heat Standard marketplace. The cost of these “credits” will end up on customers’ bills in the form of new surcharges for every gallon of heating oil or propane and every therm of natural gas they buy.

The result is more expensive energy rates for all Massachusetts consumers — and that is intentional.

The plan aims to make certain energy sources pricier, to force Massachusetts households to pay for costly conversions to electric heat pump systems. Over time, the standard for generating these credits will become more stringent, increasing fuel costs. The standard will have a dramatic impact on the finances of every homeowner and business statewide.

How are you supposed to pay for everyday expenses when the cost to heat your home will keep increasing under a Clean Heat Standard?

Electric heat pump systems often struggle to keep families comfortable in frosty New England winters, but the MassDEP is proposing an additional mechanism to force you to convert your current natural gas, heating oil or propane heating system to a heat pump.

One element of the proposed regulation could force companies that provide traditional fuels to convert 3% of their customers to heat pumps each year or face onerous fines.

Do you currently have a high-efficiency boiler or furnace? Doesn’t matter.

Do you receive Bioheat® fuel with a high percentage of renewable biofuel from your heating oil retailer that is already reducing greenhouse gas emissions? The MassDEP doesn’t care. It is proceeding with a radical, expensive and risky electrification plan.

If Massachusetts residents don’t make their voices heard about the Clean Heat Standard, policymakers will only be aware of the most extreme viewpoints. You can take action right now.

Please reach out to your legislator and tell them that the Clean Heat Standard goes too far and costs too much. Massachusetts families deserve a reasonable, balanced energy plan.