Winter 2022

Six GeoGrid demos planned for Massachusetts 

Watch HEET’s new video on the GeoGrid.

GeoGrids are taking off! Eversource Gas and National Grid, the two largest utilities in Massachusetts, have both received approval to install demonstration projects using HEET’s GeoGrid model: non-emitting systems of networked ground source heat pumps. 

The Mass. Attorney General’s Office is running a Request for Proposals to design, install, own and operate an additional GeoGrid in the Merrimack Valley, funded by a settlement with the former Columbia Gas. We are thrilled to see this progress in-state, plus the growing interest in GeoGrids across the country. 

P.S. Wondering how the GeoGrid works? Check out our new video to learn how this innovative energy solution has captured the attention of utilities and climate activists alike. Please share on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram!

Environmental justice communities in Massachusetts have a higher density of gas leaks, new research by Salem State University and HEET finds

Marcos Luna and HEET director Dominic Nicholas examined over 26,000 utility-reported leaks in relation to demographic groups. Their findings show that low-income and communities of color, as well as renters, limited English-speaking households and adults with lower levels of education, have a higher density of gas leaks and that leak repairs are comparatively slower for these populations. 

The paper is freely accessible in the peer-reviewed journal, Energy Policy.

Our report on year two of the Shared Action Plan is here! 

The Shared Action Plan (SAP) is the unique collaboration between gas utilities, HEET, and our allies to prioritize finding and repairing distribution system gas leaks with the highest environmental impact. The SAP goal? Cut distribution pipe leaks in half fast. The good news is – it’s working! 

HEET continues to verify both the measurement and identification of leaks and their successful repair. Read the full report.

Massachusetts state house allocates $5M of ARPA funds to networked geothermal research 

This October, HEET received the exciting news that $5 million of Massachusetts’ ARPA funding has been allocated to researching networked geothermal energy. With six GeoGrid demonstration installations moving forward in-state, rigorous independent data and analysis of the results  is essential.  

We are so grateful for Senator Barrett and his team for their leadership in securing this critical funding and ensuring that demonstration project results are science and data based. 

Rising winter heating costs and the importance of addressing energy burdens

Households across the Northeast region are feeling the effects of higher heating costs on their utility bills. The pandemic, seasonal demand, and inflation are some contributing factors.

High fuel prices place the greatest burden on families in under-served communities that live in older, less energy-efficient homes. One solution is weatherizing and retrofitting homes to make them more energy-efficient and drastically reduce utility bills.

Save money on your heating bills with Mass Save’s free insulation programs 

Good News for renters! Good News for landlords! Good News for people who want to stop climate change! 

MassSAVE is offering free insulation to two and three family buildings if the WHOLE building gets properly weatherized. Building science says you have to insulate and air-seal an entire house to get the most heat-loss reduction. Get your whole house insulated and the work is completely free.

In Other News…

Fall 2021

HEET Awarded Boston’s Community Clean Air Grant 

We are so pleased to announce that HEET and the East Boston chapter of Mothers Out Front were selected as the two recipients of Boston’s first Community Clean Air Grant! The grants are awarded to support Boston’s clean air and carbon neutrality goals.

Funds will allow HEET to distribute induction cooktops to Boston residents with gas stoves who are being treated for asthma, as a part of Boston’s Breathe Easy at Home program

Charrette Update: Growing the GeoGrid 

HEET’s charrettes bring together utility representatives, environmental advocates, legislators, geothermal experts and other stakeholders to share knowledge on the best path forward for the GeoGrid (networked ground source heat pumps).

This fall, stakeholders gathered over Zoom to discuss what legal and regulatory changes will be necessary to allow the GeoGrid to expand, plus the most cost-effective way to transition away from fossil fuels.

EJAir Partners with All In Energy to Support Weatherization in Boston Communities

Our newest program, EJAir (Environmental Justice Air), is partnering with the non-profit All In Energy to help improve the connection between environmental justice communities and Mass Save’s weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades.

A Deep Dive Into Recent Methane Emissions Research

Methane emissions in Massachusetts are six times higher than the state’s estimates, according to research published this November by Harvard University and Boston University scientists (Sargent, M.R., Floerchinger, C., McKain, K., Budney, J., Gottlieb, E.W., Hutyra, L.R., Rudek, J., and Wofsy, S.C.). Their research also finds that methane emissions have not decreased significantly between 2015 and 2020. Why? And what does this mean? 

Reducing Food Waste with the Boston Area Gleaners

In November, the HEET team put our efficiency skills to the test with a trip to the Boston Area Gleaners. Gleaners is a wonderful nonprofit that harvests surplus farm crops and distributes them to communities facing food insecurity. Gleaners has been a key partner in Our Table, an initiative launched by Lawrence community leaders with HEET’s support to bring fresh food to families. 

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)

HEET is receiving national news coverage. Check out co-founder Audrey Schulman’s feature in The Washington Post, “From novelist to climate crusader: How one woman is working to put a stop to natural gas.” Or read our summary.

Gas Leak Allies hosted a webinar on their new report predicting GSEP gas pipeline replacements will exceed $20 billion. Watch here