Maine is kicking its heating oil habit, down to levels not seen since 1984
Posted by David Brooks | Thursday, September 13, 2012
Maine, perhaps the country's most heating-oil-dependent state, is kicking the habit, reports the Portland Press-Herald's energywriter, Tux Turkel:
The total amount of heating oil burned in Maine households was cut by more than half from 2004 to 2010, to about 189 million gallons. In fact, oil consumption in Maine homes has declined to levels not seen since at least 1984, federal figures show.
Turkel says the fall is due to high prices, home-weatherization efforts and switching from oil to gas, propane and wood pellets have all contributed.
Maine has long been the state most dependent on oil for home heating, as the 2000 Census noted: 80 percent of Maine homes used oil then, followed by NH and Vertmont in the high 50s. Almost 80 percent of the home heating oil used in the US is used in the Northeast, says Heat USA.
Here's a nice bit of the story: "As part of Maine's Energy Action Plan, the energy office set a goal in 2004 of cutting Maine's overall oil use in half by 2050. That goal now appears timid."
The wood pellet stove we put in our living room a few years ago cut out hearing oil use by between a third and a half. It's hard to be precise because of changes in the weather and the kids coming and going. (When they're gone we can basically shut off the heat and live in the living room much of the time.)