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Decarbonized Heating and Geothermal Energy

We're committed to decarbonizing the heating sector by bringing new, innovative technologies to our customers.

Why Decarbonize? 

The natural gas we deliver to customers provides a critical service, especially during cold New England winters. Yet, we recognize the importance of innovating and exploring cleaner technologies to help meet our region's decarbonization goals. Decarbonization is the process of lowering your carbon footprint by reducing your greenhouse gas emissions.

While we work towards decarbonization, we're considering factors like environmental benefits, reliability, comfort, cost, social and environmental justice and the need to train our workforce. Throughout this transition, we remain committed to providing a safe and reliable natural gas system to keep our customers warm and comfortable. 

Geothermal Energy

A geothermal system uses water, wells, piping and pumps to pull heat out of the ground to warm buildings in winter, and pump heat from those buildings back into the ground in summer to cool them using heat pump technology.

Heat pumps are an energy-efficient alternative to fossil fuel heating systems, which efficiently use electricity to heat in the winter and cool in the summer.

This system is significantly more efficient than traditional heating systems, and could be a great way to bring decarbonized heating and cooling to our customers. This energy can be used to heat and cool indoor spaces and produce hot water in conjunction with ground source heat pumps.

Framingham pilot project

On June 12, 2023, we hosted state and local leaders in the environmental justice community of Framingham for the groundbreaking of our first-of-its-kind networked geothermal pilot.

The event marked the start of construction on this innovative project, which is expected to be complete around October or early November in time for the heating season. 

Once in service, the pilot is intended to run through two heating and cooling seasons (24 months). The planned route consists of  37 buildings, 32 of which are residential homes. 

The pilot will help us understand the potential for offering larger geothermal programs as an alternative energy source across our service territory.

Learn more about the Framingham geothermal pilot

Increasing Heat Pump Adoption

To help customers transition to this new technology, we are expanding our incentives and streamlining the customer experience of buying and installing a heat pump. 

Our Heat Pump Installer Network (HPIN) was launched in 2022 to help customers easily find an installer to work with, assuring high-quality heat pump installation process, and that your installer is up-to-date on the numerous benefits available to contractors, including rebate and financial support, technical and training newsletters, sales tools and a monthly e-newsletter. We've promoted this network at over 100 industry events and trainings in 2022, and enrolled more than 1,000 qualified HVAC companies across Massachusetts and Connecticut. 

We've also conducted over 1,000 post-installation inspections to ensure a safe and high-qualify customer experience, and our training program courses were completed more than 5,000 times.  

Heat pump rebates and information

Our 2022 Sustainability Report

See the progress we made in environment, social and governance commitments with our latest annual report. 

Read the report