Massachusetts energy providers, consumers and climate advocates presented contrasting visions of what solutions should be included in a clean heat standard (CHS) that is currently being developed by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), as shown by public comments published last week.

“Our top priorities for a CHS for Massachusetts are ensuring adequate equity protections and an electrification-only compliance program, particularly for gas utilities,” wrote a coalition of 37 environmental groups, led by the Conservation Law Foundation, Acadia Center, Green Energy Consumers Alliance and Pipe Line Awareness Network for the Northeast. “Alternative gases are not a long-term solution for the buildings sector, so incentives should not encourage buildout of these wasteful processes in the near term.”

The coalition said that the greenhouse gas emission reductions associated with replacing natural gas with hydrogen and RNG would be marginal, and that a dependence on these fuels would increase the overall costs associated with reaching net-zero emissions.

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