In a new report authored by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Massachusetts was named the most energy-efficient state for the second year in a row. The report ranked states in six major areas, including utility and public benefits programs and policies; transportation policies; building energy codes; combined heat and power (CHP) policies; state government-led initiatives around energy efficiency; and appliance and equipment standards to determine which state should receive the top honor. The ACEEE also recognized California, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, and Minnesota as highly energy-efficient states.
Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick cited the state’s efforts to reduce dependence on foreign energy sources and its pursuit of sustainable energy sources as key factors in the state’s overall efficiency rankings. In addition to making the state more energy-independent, the governor also stated that the Green Communities Act is contributing to the state’s employment rate and the overall health of its economy.
According to the report, most states are making some progress toward improving energy efficiency, with electricity efficiency receiving the most funding. Another area of interest to consumers and one that contributes significantly to improved energy efficiency is oil-to-gas conversion. The cost of heating oil is expected to rise significantly over the 2012-13 winter heating season, with many analysts predicting a per-gallon fuel price that will approach $4.50. In contrast, an abundant supply of natural gas has driven the price of that commodity to a 10-year low. Consumers in Massachusetts could not only improve their energy efficiency by switching to natural-gas fired heating equipment, they could also save an average of nearly $2,000 in heating expenditures over the winter.
Boston-area homeowners can still take advantage of 0% financing programs offered by MassSave on the purchase of certain high-efficiency furnaces. MassSave will make as much as $25,000 available to qualified borrowers on a “same-as-cash” basis. Earlier this year, homeowners were also offered the opportunity to receive huge rebates on high-efficiency gas-powered replacement boilers.
If replacing your heating equipment isn’t in the cards, you can still improve the efficiency of your current system with a program of regular maintenance and inspections. Clogged filters and dirty heat exchangers can significantly reduce the efficiency of forced air furnaces. Boilers should also be inspected and should undergo routine maintenance to ensure proper operation before every heating season.
If you would like more information about high-efficiency heating equipment, 0%-financing through MassSave or an oil-to-gas conversion, contact us at Boston Standard Plumbing and Heating at (617) 288-2911 anytime. We can arrange an on-site inspection of your current heating equipment and explain all available options. We also perform regular seasonal maintenance and provide repair services for most types of heating equipment.