Responses Due April 15: PPA Heating Fuel Member Survey: Bioheat Adoption
Just a reminder, responses are due April 15 to PPA’s member survey on Bioheat Adoption. The purpose of the survey is to help the PPA better understand your position on current and future biodiesel (Bioheat®) heating fuel adoption strategies within the state of Pennsylvania.
In January 2019 Governor Wolf signed an Executive Order to address climate change in Pennsylvania. The order sets a goal to achieve a 26% reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) statewide by 2025 from 2005 levels, and an 80% reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from 2005 levels.
Currently there is no active state policy as a result of this Executive Order that requires and/or incentives consumers who use fossil fuel energy sources (heating oil, natural gas, propane) to transition to electrification for the purposes of heating their home.
The 2021 Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan identifies 18 strategies—in electricity generation, transportation, agriculture, fuel supply, and residential and commercial buildings—that quantitative modeling shows will meet Governor Wolf’s goals.
In most cases, these strategies will need to be approved by the state legislature or go through a lengthy rulemaking process.
Surrounding states are progressing at a quicker pace to lower GHG emissions. In some cases, these states have already established a policy which legally requires specific emission reduction thresholds be met.
— New Jersey: NJ Energy Master Plan is in the process of being implemented via regulation. The plan in its current form would require future whole-house conversions from existing natural gas, heating oil, or propane systems to convert to electric heat pumps. The installation of an electric heat pump will be required when the existing fossil fueled heating system has to be replaced or a new housing unit constructed. More details on the EMP can be found here.
— New York: The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Action (CLCPA) was passed by the state legislature in 2019. The legislation establishes aggressive electric standards for both home usage and transportation over a 30-year period. Examples include new single-family homes using electric heat by 2025 and requiring all new cars sales to be EV by 2030. More details on the CLCPA can be found here.
— Maryland: A current legislative proposal in state Senate (SB 528) is one of several dangerous bills that would ban the use of natural gas, heating oil, and propane in new construction (starting as early as January 1, 2023), impose a “carbon tax” on buildings that do not meet strict emission standards, and require a transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Note: SB 528 has recently been amended to drop the requirement of outlawing fossil fuel-based heating systems in 2023.
A way to combat government policy targets GHG emission reduction is by pursuing industry supported initiatives to increase the adoption of low carbon liquid fuels.
For some Northeast states that has specifically included introducing mandates and incentives for energy marketers to sell higher blends of biodiesel (Bioheat).
For example, states with active biodiesel heating fuel policies can be found below:
— New York (mandate) B5 by 2022, B10 by 2025, & B20 by 2030
— Connecticut (mandate) B5 by 2022, B10 by 2025, B15 by 2030, B20 by 2034, & B50 by 2035
— Rhode Island (mandate) B10 by 2023, B20 by 2025, & B50 by 2030
— Massachusetts (voluntary incentive program) variable per gallon dealer payment for B10+ sold to consumer
The PPA is actively monitoring threats that impact the market share of both heating fuel and transportation fuels. We anticipate a continued increase in climate change-based policy to be introduced at both the state and federal level within the next decade. This will vary depending upon future administrations and legislative majorities.
In 2020 the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association Board of Directors established a greenhouse gas emission reduction goal over a 30-year period for heating oil. This forward-facing position generally aligns the industry with the state’s GHG reduction goals.
Your Feedback Needed
The PPA is considering potential policies that support meeting these goals. The feedback from this Bioheat Adoption survey will assist our Heating Fuels Committee in evaluating these options.