Berkshire Gas & Future of Clean Heat

Berkshire Gas is sending out a request to customers for input on what direction they think the company should be going in response to the DPU 20-80 order (search “20-80” at the DPU file room here for details).

Keep in mind that they are REQUIRED to do this kind of public outreach by that DPU 20-80 order to look into business models that eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. 

All the gas utilities in the state are working together on a response, under the “Future of Gas” website, to this DPU demand for new business models – one that lets them keep their pipeline systems operational for decades to come. 

The idea of cleaner energy is put forward by this joint response is promoting hydrogen and “renewable natural gas” in the pipelines. Hydrogen is not safe, and will cost customers more to switch the system to lined pipelines, new meters and new appliances that can handle hydrogen. Renewable natural gas comes from landfills, farms, etc. There will never be enough to replace fracked gas and has all the same environmental and health problems.

The utilities don’t talk about the dangers of hydrogen:
– ebrittlement of pipelines, the need to coat or replace pipelines
– meters need to be replaced, because hydrogen doesn’t transport at the same pressure as gas and interacts with meters differently
– home appliances need to be replaced to handle hydrogen
– jury is still out on safety of it’s use for indoor appliances
– higher leak rate because it’s a smaller molecule that can escape more easily than methane (regular fracked gas)
– can only be blended in at about 8 – 20% safely, so the remaining 80+% of what’s in the pipeline is still gas
– health impacts for burning hydrogen indoors (produces nitrogen oxides)

This is some of the lowdown on the problems with the push for hydrogen:
BEAT’s presentation by Cathy Kristofferson of PLAN-NE
»» The Hydrogen Hoax

What we need is a Future of Clean Heat
What we really need them to do is help people switch to clean energy like heat pumps and solar to help power them, OR geothermal micro districts, which use ground source heat pumps and use existing pipelines for geothermal energy throughout the system.

» More info on clean heat options are here
at Mothers Out Front’s Future of Clean Heat
This is what people should be asking for in response to Berkshire Gas’s request for input.

Future of Clean Heat Act – Call legislators to support.
» House Bill –
» Senate Bill –


» Sign the petition
» See the info flyer here!

“Future of Clean Heat” Action Call on Zoom, Oct. 27

sponsored by BEAT and led by Mothers Out Front, Amherst and Northampton.

(Short link for this page is