Massachusetts has one of the oldest natural gas systems in the country, with over 25% of the pipes under the ground considered ‘leakprone’. In Boston, that number is over 40%, and there are pipes currently operating that were put in the ground in Lincoln’s Presidency. At the current cost per mile, replacing all these pipes statewide is estimated to cost over $15.5-16.6 billion over the next 20 years. This bill will be paid by us, the gas customers, and our children, and won’t be paid off until 2080.
Given our state’s mandate to reduce emissions 80% by 2050 and the rising popularity of heat pump technology, are we really likely to be using gas widespread decades later? Is sinking this much money into fossil-fuel infrastructure really wise?
At HEET we propose that our existing gas system be TRIAGED through our leak emissions reduction efforts, and that we then direct our resources towards TRANSITION. So we have spent several years talking with all stakeholders, including the gas distribution industry, to try to develop a transition plan Beyond Gas that works for all. We call this effort Energy Shift.
> Our proposed replacement technology: The GeoMicroDistrict
> Our effort to gather data needed for transition planning: Electric Capacity Assessment
> Our effort to inform and engage the public: Taste the Future
> Here’s a financial analysis showing gas heating is becoming more expensive than electricity.