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By John DiNapoli, municipal and community services manager for Unitil

If you are like me, you’ll use your heating bill as a barometer as to whether it was a cold and long winter.  While the price of fuel is important, luckily the cost of natural gas is down; I always take a look at how much fuel I use for heating season.

If you added the insulation, caulked and sealed, there aren’t many low-cost things you can do except turn down the thermostat or take the plunge and upgrade your heating system.

Based on our experience, a new heating system will pay for itself fairly quickly. I’ve included a range of savings, from the very best to what is typical.

Department of Energy research found that by upgrading an existing system that is only 50 percent efficient to 90 percent, the average homeowner will save $44 for every $100 currently spent on fuel cost. In the interest of full disclosure, this would be the best-case savings.

According to the government’s website, upgrading a furnace or boiler from 56 percent to 90 percent efficiency in an average cold-climate house will save 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year if heating with gas — or 2.5 tons if oil.

While it is difficult to find 90 percent efficient oil-fired boilers, just moving from 60 percent to 85 percent efficiency will cut a heating bill by 33 percent, which is substantial. If a homeowner spends $2,500 annually on heating oil, that is a savings of $825, which will pay for a new system fairly quickly.

We have customers who experience these types of savings through our energy efficiency programs. While it is a commercial application, the most notable savings was a school, which upgraded a system that was only 10 years old to a new super-energy efficient system, saving 49 percent annually in the number of therms consumed.

To help you save energy, MassSave is currently offering no interest loans and rebates, up to $500 on new heating systems. In addition, the federal government is offering a tax credit of up to $150. 

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About Unitil Corporation

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering natural gas and electricity in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to the delivery of dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 105,600 electric customers and 82,700 natural gas customers. For more information about our people, technologies, and community involvement please visit https://unitil.com.


For more information please contact:
Alec O'Meara

Media Relations Manager
OMeara@unitil.com
Phone: 603-773-6404

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