ELI5. Why do New England states use home heating oil while the rest of the country seems to use other sources?


They’re not the coldest states. Does it have to do with infrastructure? Thanks. (http://nhenergy.blogspot.com/2014_01_01_archive.html?m=1)

In: 164

My guess living here would be old houses, we have a lot of old houses here. It was one of the best/easiest/cheapest for good heating originally, so most of the older houses have that as their main source. Then as more houses came in, we had the infrastructure already in place. A lot of the newest homes are moving to other forms.

That being said, everyone I know has multiple heating options in their home. For instance we have wood stove, pellet stove, oil, and electric heaters. We use different ones at different times, but I’m a big fan of oil right in the coldest part of the season, because it heats the whole house evenly and doesn’t dry it out as much as the wood stove. I’m using the pellet stove right now to just take the chill out.

Most of my friends/family have at least two heating options, one for usual, and one that works when the power is out, and maybe a few others for other times.

combination of energy being expensive and old homes being built for oil based heating. the options for homeowners of older homes are to continue using oil or foot the bill to switch to gas, if gas is even available to tap off of in the street

Following world war ii, the northeast had some decent infrastructure and terminals for crude oil as the fuel was used for shipping and wartime effort from northeast shipyards. After the war, england owed the US a significant amount of money for our supplies, materials and support in the war. Brent sea crude was plentiful, possessed by england and easily transported to the northeast us. Many homes in the northeast were ready to be upgraded from wood and coal to a better (at the time) fuel source. Win – win for everyone.

Yes it does have to do with infrastructure! But also legislation.

If you look up a map of gas pipeline infrastructure in the United States (linked below), you will notice that all high-capacity has pipelines stop heading north in New York. This is largely due to their attempts to curb emissions and climate change, but causes significant harm to New England’s energy supply. In addition to this, the Jones Act makes it prohibitively expensive to ship Liquefied Natural Gas from another nearby state.

Since there is no pipeline-delivered gas reaching the region and it is not cost effective to ship the gas, there is a lot of drilling activity within the region for production of crude oil, which can largely be refined into Heating Oil with low losses. Canada also sells a lot of fuels to the region, but Canada does not produce a lot of natural gas, meaning that they are only able to really sell New England crude oil… which gets turned into Heating Oil.