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Slowing Down the Electrification Train…

electrifying everything massachusettsDid you know that power outages are twice as common today as they were a decade ago and five times as common as they were in the 1980s?

It seems as though several times every year, a storm knocks out power somewhere in the U.S., leaving tens of thousands of families without energy for days—or even weeks. Incidents like the devastating outages in Texas this winter, which left 4.3 million people in the cold and dark – are becoming common occurrences. Just weeks ago, a power outage in Pittsburgh left more than 100,000 people without power – while in New York City, a heatwave caused the city to issue a desperate emergency text alert requesting a slowdown in electrical usage to prevent massive power outages.

All of this information is important for many reasons, but it’s especially troubling when you consider that many state governments – including our own – are rushing forward on plans to “electrify everything” in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. That “everything” includes the way you heat your home, which means that if plans go through you will – sometime soon – have to convert your home heating system to electricity (at your expense).

We believe that we must take aggressive steps to address climate change—which is why we have invested our time, effort, and money into converting our fuel supply from traditional heating oil to B20 Bioheat Plus® fuel.

The problem is that however well-intended the “all electric” movement is, it is relying on breakthroughs in technology that are still years away – not to mention an electrical grid that has proven time and again to be unreliable under strain. If we’re having these problems with storms and air conditioners, imagine what will happen when we’re in the midst of a three-week New England cold snap, with each of us having nothing but electric heat pumps to keep us warm? And that’s not even taking into account the additional demand placed on electrical generation by cars, office buildings, stadiums, and other structures.

A more reasonable approach for everyone, including us as fuel suppliers and you as energy consumers, is to lean on solutions that can immediately and dramatically reduce our collective carbon footprint without extensive taxes and new equipment investment. This includes improving efficiency, using alternative fuels, and making lifestyle changes – all of which we frequently talk about on this blog.

The bottom line: We need thoughtful policy and thoughtful actions that address our climate needs without putting all our eggs in one fragile energy basket. At Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling, we’re doing what we can to be a part of that more sensible solution.