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Is this the end of the line for gas?

EBEBRATT-Ed
EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,383
I get the "New England Progress" which is a 4 times a year magazine put out by the PHCC (plumbing heating cooling contractors)

An article with the above title was in this months issue which came in today's mail.

The article states: Ma State legislature is rapidly moving forward with the "Climate Road Map Bill" leading to the "Net Zero Energy Code"

They are going to allow individual cities and towns to make their own decisions regarding the use of natural gas as well as potential bans on new hook ups.

According to the article "a big part of the global warming is methane. Living in an old state, it's no surprise that we have over 15 thousand gas leaks under the streets which has offset all the good things we have done"



Seems to me the state has never held the gas utilities responsible for maintaining there infrastucture.

Now the rest of us will pay the price

Just so you know this article was written by Harry Brett a special rep for the union plumbers/pipefitters

So you know he doesn't want this to happen, but his tone in the article sounds like it's a done deal

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Comments

  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
    This stuff might fly in Brookline but I don't see it happening in Springfield or any of the other commonwealth communities where people work for a living.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
    kcopp
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,697
    It'll never fly without substantial upgrades to the electric grid. A few places have already gone this route, and will quickly find this out. See: Texas............
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    bucksnortSuperTechPC7060
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,383
    @Steamhead and @Brewbeer

    Agree with both those comments. Wait until everyone has to pay for electrical upgrades to their service to plug in their electric cars.

    Not to mention I am in a 40 unit condo now. I think I will just string a cord across the sidewalk so I can plug in my truck.

    Springfield is safe for a while. Boston thinks we are in the wild west and they barely know we are here :)

    Sometime I am glad I am old and won't have to deal with this nonsense
    PC7060
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,427
    Maybe the utilities are driving this and they have done the math and concluded it will cost less to only replace the electric infrastructure that they have neglected than to replace both the natural gas and the electric infrastructure.
    Canucker
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,186
    I agree, it’s just silly. What, ductless heat pumps are gonna heat all of the Northern states ? Seriously? I love installing minis but this is getting ridiculous. Brand new home ? Sure why not. Turn of the (last) century home- lol.  Whose going to pay for all of this conversion work? It’s huge money. Oh yea- I forgot: the money can be printed 

    Utilities crack me up- I asked BerkshireGas and Holyoke Gas “do y’all keep track of addresses that “lower their total BTU load” and I got a “no” from both. I’m just a wrench turner so what do I know. 

    Interesting times 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    bucksnortkcopp
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,313
    Perhaps the State will, for the moment, allow the various Towns to do their own thing. Don't count on that lasting. @EBEBRATT-Ed is right about the attitude of Boston to the rest of the State -- but Boston and vicinity has all the votes in the legislature. Maybe not in the next two or three years, but my own opinion is that Harry Brett is right -- it's coming. The fact that the electrical grid and alternative energy resources simply can't handle the load isn't going to bother the legislature one tiny little bit.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,836
    It seems regardless of the future energy sources, or upgrade and adding transmission capacity, be they pipes, wires, trucks or trains we the consumers will pay. It really doesn't matter who is responsible, the state, federal, local utility, CoOp, homeowners association, one way or another we all pay for building and maintaining infrastructure.
    When contractors over charge or do shoddy work on government contracts, we pay again.

    If you raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations, where do you suppose their money comes from? They pass the cost on to use. Rarely do billionaires go broke. The top 1% wealth grew by 4 trillion from '19- 2020, not from thin air I suspect.

    Texas was so proud of their own energy grid, yet I suspect federal tax dollars are paying for the problems they have and will continue to have with their isolated grid. Or maybe they can add repair & upgrade costs on to Mexicos tab :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Larry WeingartenHomerJSmithPC7060SuperTech
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,383
    I bought a big gas booster for a job a few years back. This thing was 28K so I was shopping around. I talked with a rep in Boston about his product.

    He told me "Boston is a great town for gas boosters, we still have some wooden pipe in the ground being used from the 1800s" I asked him if he was kidding and he said no.

    There was a post here on HH a few years back about a gas explosion in NYC where the old cast iron pipe was from the 1880s

    I had a personal experience with Berkshire Gas in Pittsfield about 20 years ago we were getting approval to install a large gas burner downtown. They told me 6" wc was all they had, wasn't going to work.

    I said "turn up the gas pressure" He said "we can't, if we do we give away a lot of free gas"

    I was so dumb I didn't realize what he was saying................old leaky pipe.


    The problem is we are paying for the old leaky pipe, and the lost gas and failed infrastructure. And we will pay over and over and over.

    Why isn't the state department of Public Utilities on these guys to fix the gas lines?? Look at the explosion in the Merimack Valley a couple years ago
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,084
    GW said:

    I agree, it’s just silly. What, ductless heat pumps are gonna heat all of the Northern states ? Seriously? I love installing minis but this is getting ridiculous. Brand new home ? Sure why not. Turn of the (last) century home- lol.  Whose going to pay for all of this conversion work? It’s huge money. Oh yea- I forgot: the money can be printed 

    Utilities crack me up- I asked BerkshireGas and Holyoke Gas “do y’all keep track of addresses that “lower their total BTU load” and I got a “no” from both. I’m just a wrench turner so what do I know. 

    Interesting times 
    I really don't understand the worry and concern here. Gary, you just said "Brand new home? Sure why not." And that is exactly what they are talking about...eliminating new gas hookups. So I guess you are in agreement with the greenies on this one.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,186
    Paul if you say so, the huggers are pushing to make fossil go away. "one step at a time".
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,327
    edited April 6
    Do you ever wonder why the infrastructure could be built from scratch 100 to 150 yrs ago and today can't even be maintained let alone modernized. Maybe you should understand that.

    When Germany unified and West Germany went into East Germany, they were shocked at the state of East Germany's infrastructural decay. The problem was Central Planning that never got planned and never got done.

    There is an old saying in economics, "You can have guns and you can have butter, you just can't have them at the same time." America has been trying to prove that wrong.

    What has happened to all the gas taxes, fuel taxes, sales taxes, income taxes and a sundry of other taxes that hot_rod says that are payed by us common folk that should have been used to improve the infrastructure? Just asking. hint: maybe that's where all the dough went. See the previous paragraph.

    Now the hooting average chimpanzees pulling the levers of governance want 2 TRILLION more in taxes to "build back better" the infrastructure?
    How is that going to work out? I'll go with History. Sorry if I don't expect this stuff will ever get fixed. But you will pay for the average Chimpanzees ignorance or out right stupidity, yup, you surely will.



  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,084
    edited April 6
    GW said:

    Paul if you say so, the huggers are pushing to make fossil go away. "one step at a time".

    I was quoting you, my friend :)

    What year do you think that it will become law somewhere that gas must be removed from an existing house due to regulation? If it ever happens, it will be a hundred years if it's a day. We're still burning coal for crying out loud (literally we should be crying)
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    PC7060
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,836
    Paul if you say so, the huggers are pushing to make fossil go away. "one step at a time".
    I was quoting you, my friend :) What year do you think that it will become law somewhere that gas must be removed from an existing house due to regulation? If it ever happens, it will be a hundred years if it's a day. We're still burning coal for crying out loud (literally we should be crying)
    Clean coal now😏
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    pecmsgethicalpaulCanucker
  • bucksnort
    bucksnort Member Posts: 112
    Remember "shovel ready jobs"?
    I'm really confused at the ones that oppose new, high voltage lines to provide all this "green" electricity so they can plug in their EV and charge their IPad. Much less run mini splits. It's a clown world for sure and you will be paying for the makeup and oversized shoes.
    HomerJSmith
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,186
    OK OK I don't do new construction; it was a whimsical statement. I'm just dumbfounded- where does the power come from at night/dusk/dawn/overcast days? BTW what ever happened to Hydro and Nuke? Those two can me managed 24-7.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,821
    I've been wondering, what's going to happen to all the gas, oil, etc. that remains if we switch over to (unicorn-powered?) electric? Is it just going to sit there in the ground? Or will it be restricted to a segment of the population that can afford to use it?

    Maybe my cynical is showing, IDK.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,313
    "Or will it be restricted to a segment of the population that can afford to use it?"

    Got it in one, @ratio . All of this wonderful brave new world doesn't apply to the wealthy -- just us peasants. We're supposed to be appreciative of the benevolence of our betters(?).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    bucksnort
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,836
    ratio said:
    I've been wondering, I what's going to happen to all the gas, oil, etc. that remains if we switch over to (unicorn-powered?) electric? Is it just going to sit there in the ground? Or will it be restricted to a segment of the population that can afford to use it?

    Maybe my cynical is showing, IDK.

    The US is now the largest producer of NG, LNG and crude is exported, something like 22Bcf/d, of NG. No surprise that China is the largest customer. Many coal power plants have switched to NG, either the boiler burners or to turbines. NG power plants go up quickly and can be located close to or within cities. Power generation doesn’t seem to be the issue, the grid to distribute is the weak link.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Larry Weingarten
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,383
    Maybe someone should enlighten those at the top that there going to make Co2 to generate electricity. There isn't enough solar or wind to do the job yet.

    And when the wind turbines freeze up (Texas) or the sun isn't shining then what?

    Fools

    I hang out on one electrical forum. One of these car chargers are 40-50 amp 240v circuit to be able to charge a care reasonably fast
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,327
    edited April 6
    There is a trade off on any form of energy that one uses whether it's dams, wind, or solar, NG, nuclear or any other form of energy except maybe cold fusion and the consensus is out on that.

    We've squeezed all the "work" out of our energy sources that can be garnered. That has helped extend our energy resources, but the graph shows a declining trend that will only worsen over time.

    Today, solar, wind and other green sources of energy uses more energy to produce a product than one saves over the life time of that product. The only exception is probably hydo-electric.

    Didn't your Mom ever tell you, "There's no free lunch!" Well God's energy, solar, can grow your food, keep you warm, heat your water, cook your food, and give you light so you can see what you're doing and it's FREE. Mom you were wrong.

    As far as a deteriorating infrastructure not getting repaired, that's called "eating your seed corn".

    And as far as "Global Warming" goes, scientist have finally discovered a big contributing factor as to why that's happening. It all these menopausal women having "hot flashes".
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,084
    GW said:
    OK OK I don't do new construction; it was a whimsical statement. I'm just dumbfounded- where does the power come from at night/dusk/dawn/overcast days? BTW what ever happened to Hydro and Nuke? Those two can me managed 24-7.
    These articles are about limiting new gas hookups to residences. Even the greens agree that NG used to generate electricity is going to be the reality for a long time. But leaking pipes in so many towns isn’t great
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,084
    ratio said:
    I've been wondering, what's going to happen to all the gas, oil, etc. that remains if we switch over to (unicorn-powered?) electric? Is it just going to sit there in the ground? Or will it be restricted to a segment of the population that can afford to use it?

    Maybe my cynical is showing, IDK.

    Hopefully it will stay in the ground like coal and shale oil should. That’s the goal, to not put all that carbon into the atmosphere 
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,383
    @ethicalpaul

    To me the gas utilities are lining there pockets with money instead of fixing their junky pipe.

    Fine, that's standard corporate greed. Why are the States letting them get away with it? Underground leaks have been talked about for years. Running with 1880s pipe is a joke
    ethicalpaulSuperTechDayton_DudeHomerJSmith
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,084
    Total agreement 
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    EBEBRATT-Ed
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,313
    It's always interesting to read about lining the pockets. While it certainly is quite true that the executive types running the utilities do draw -- if not outrageous, at least very very generous pay -- a problem not with just utilities but with many corporations -- one needs to take a close and honest look at the relationship between the general public -- that's us -- the politicians, and the public utilities commissions before one gets too far along.

    It happens that I'm rather familiar with the finances of a large public utility in Connecticut. This utility has been asking for years to be able to charge enough for its service to be able to maintain its infrastructure.. When it asks, the GP -- that's us, remember -- howl long and loud about the price-gouging utility, and the PUC (that's the politicians and the Commission) hear the howls and deny the rate increase.

    There is no free lunch, folks, and if there is no money for maintenance and repairs, maintenance and repairs don't get done. Yes, the executives in charge are overpaid (and underqualified, but that's a different matter) -- but their combined salaries are a drop in the bucket in relation to what should be available for maintenance and reapir.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaulEBEBRATT-EdPC7060
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,313
    Oh and one other thing. Can someone explain to me how, when something does go wrong, exacting a fine or a penalty helps (or, worse -- and it's happened -- a rate reduction)? The recipient of the money (the State) isn't going to do anything useful with it, and the penalized no longer has that money to fix the problem. Might it make more sense to require that the sum of money be used to repair something, or work to prevent the next problem?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Larry WeingartenbucksnortPC7060
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,084
    Then I think you incentivize companies to purposely avoid budgeting for maintenance because they will know that if something goes wrong, the fine will pay for the repair or maintenance. And if nothing goes wrong, they will profit.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • RyanD
    RyanD Member Posts: 20

    I get the "New England Progress" which is a 4 times a year magazine put out by the PHCC (plumbing heating cooling contractors)

    An article with the above title was in this months issue which came in today's mail.

    The article states: Ma State legislature is rapidly moving forward with the "Climate Road Map Bill" leading to the "Net Zero Energy Code"

    They are going to allow individual cities and towns to make their own decisions regarding the use of natural gas as well as potential bans on new hook ups.

    According to the article "a big part of the global warming is methane. Living in an old state, it's no surprise that we have over 15 thousand gas leaks under the streets which has offset all the good things we have done"



    Seems to me the state has never held the gas utilities responsible for maintaining there infrastucture.

    Now the rest of us will pay the price

    Just so you know this article was written by Harry Brett a special rep for the union plumbers/pipefitters

    So you know he doesn't want this to happen, but his tone in the article sounds like it's a done deal

    On the other hand when they do need to do work they have no problem digging into a street that was paved 6 months prior.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,474
    If we are getting rid of gas as a fuel something is wrong in the Condo complex I live in. They are right now digging up the streets and lawn running brand new plastic mains and services to all the condos. I think it is going to take a lot longer than anyone can predict. here in RI it is required for the utility (National Grid) to run five (5) miles of new pipe every year. That hopefully in the next hundred years will eliminate all the gas leaking into the atmosphere.

    I have been a part of the gas industry now since I was 9 years old. I used to empty 5 trash cans after school everyday at a place called Citnic Fuel. That was then manufactured gas and natural gas was just getting started. It is going to take a lot longer than anyone can predict to stop all fossil fuels as a primary source.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,313

    Then I think you incentivize companies to purposely avoid budgeting for maintenance because they will know that if something goes wrong, the fine will pay for the repair or maintenance. And if nothing goes wrong, they will profit.

    If the utilities could charge enough to cover maintenance, repair, and replacement in the first lace, maybe things wouldn't go wrong so often? In the utility of which I am thinking, the initial engineering and construction was absolutely first class (granted, for the time, but nonetheless first class). There are, for example, devices which make it possible, in the event of a catastrophe, to serve the customers in many different ways. Much of the network is triply redundant. However... to keep the costs to the ratepayers down, people have retired and not replaced. With the result that no one in the firm -- no one -- is left who actually knows, in the field, where most of the devices are. Further, they are supposed to be exercised at least yearly. There is one person left -- one person -- (the job requires a crew of 10 to do properly) who is assigned to do that, but only as a small part of their job.

    But the ratepayers and the PUC are very happy.

    The company has asked for enough money to do the job properly -- and gotten turned down every time.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaul
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,327
    edited April 7
    EBEBRATT-ED, "To me the gas utilities are lining there pockets with money instead of fixing their junky pipe.

    Fine, that's standard corporate greed. Why are the States letting them get away with it? Underground leaks have been talked about for years. Running with 1880s pipe is a joke."

    Ahhh, No, hell No. It's easy to blame the greedy companies, they're the ones providing the services to you. They're the ones in your line of sight. Usually, utilities are guaranteed a profit by state commissions that regulate their services because it is so important to the community.

    I'm reminded of Frédéric Bastiat, 1850 essay "Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas" ("What is seen and what is not seen"). What is seen is the companies that provide the goods and services. What is not seen is the pricing mechanism behind the goods and services provided and the value of money.

    Companies are saddled with all kind of cost: competition, regulations, taxes, material costs, transportation costs, infrastructure costs to name a few. A company makes a profit or goes out of business, unless subsidized by governments (ie, taxpayers) or borrowing. These costs are priced into the product or service. How many of you would price a hydronic job below cost? Are you greedy for wanting a profit? Can you charge a price higher than the competition. Yes, but you won't get much business, your competition who will do it for a lower cost will steal business away from you.

    I ask how the infrastructure could be built from scratch 150 yrs ago and can't be maintained, today. The answer is easy, they had honest money where value could be determined and today we don't. Because today we don't, one way that companies can increase the profit margin is to defer maintenance. How many of you would be willing to pay $15 for a Therm of nat gas or $20 for a gallon of gasoline? I didn't think so. If you price in replacement & maintenance costs that is probably what you would be paying. Damn, greedy companies. Ya!

    Ya, there is greed here, you can't assign blame if it's "not seen".

    I just bought 7 Caleffi Twist Flo manifolds, boy, was that expensive. Greedy, Caleffi! I could have bought Riefling, but, I chose quality over price. I was willing to pay for that.
    Canucker
  • woobagooba
    woobagooba Member Posts: 118
    A bit long, but a sobering read ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Bruno_pipeline_explosion. BTW just replaced my the NG feed to a new NG boiler in MA. Cheers
    ethicalpaul
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,383
    edited April 7
    Bottom line is there is no excuse for all the underground piping to be leaking.

    Many of the big cities are limited to 6" wc or so. When that happens you know they have underground leaks.

    There is no excuse for 1880s cast iron pipe in NYC to cause explosions or even older wooden pipe in Boston


    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/nyregion/beneath-cities-a-decaying-tangle-of-gas-pipes.html

  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,327
    edited April 7
    "Bottom line is there is no excuse for all the underground piping to be leaking." Actually, Bottom line is there is no 'reason' for all the underground piping to be leaking. Well, yes there is, a lack of maintenance. I tried to explain the 'excuse' for lack of maintenance in my previous post.

    There is a limit at what the market will pay for a good or service.

    There is probably more methane going into the atmosphere from leaking pipes than all the cow farts in NY city.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,084
    Very true because there are very few cows in NYC!
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    HomerJSmithZman
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 16,313
    I'm right with you there, @HomerJSmith !
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,383
    It's like Quabbin Resivoir in MA. Quabbin is in Western Ma. It was built in the late 30s and is huge. They close 4-5 towns and moved all the people bought their property for next to nothing moved cemetaries dammed up the Swift river and created Quabbin.

    Most all the water is for the Boston area (of course) 90 miles away. The claim for years is that the pipe going to Boston leaks more water than they use. What a waste
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 184
    edited April 8
    It's like Quabbin Resivoir in MA. Quabbin is in Western Ma. It was built in the late 30s and is huge. They close 4-5 towns and moved all the people bought their property for next to nothing moved cemetaries dammed up the Swift river and created Quabbin. Most all the water is for the Boston area (of course) 90 miles away. The claim for years is that the pipe going to Boston leaks more water than they use. What a waste
    The MWRA fixed the major leaks years ago. The Hultmann Aqueduct was indeed leaking badly, so they built the MetroWest Tunnel to replace it. The plan was then to repair the Hultmann for redundancy, though I don’t know if they did.

    The horrible leakage rates on the old MDC water system were immensely reduced by that and other repairs. The system went from exceeding its sustainable yield rate to well beneath it, even with population growth.

    Bburd
  • woobagooba
    woobagooba Member Posts: 118
    Might be of interest to those following this thread ... https://blog.heatspring.com/to-electrify-or-not-to-electrify-a-new-free-course/
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,474
    Somewhere I read that more methane leaks into the atmosphere from rotting vegetation than from any other source. Sorry I can't remember where I read that.
    HomerJSmith