How Massachusetts Households Heat Their Homes

Breaks down how Mass households heat by fuels including comparison to rest of New England.

How Massachusetts Heats

Since the 1970's, Massachusetts has seen a steady shift to heating with natural gas in a majority of households, from a greater reliance on heating oil in the past. This shift is despite not all Mass. communities having access to natural gas service. Among the factors driving the switch to natural gas: prices for heating oil are traditionally more volatile, especially over the past decade and extraction of shale gas has helped lower natural gas prices over the same period. 

The latest U.S. Census data breaks down Mass. households’ heat by fuel type.  

Mass Household Heating by Fuel Type


Massachusetts Household Heating

Fuel Type # of Households Percentage
utility gas 1,355,613 51.8%
bottled, tank, LP 88,827 3.4%
electricity 421,586 16.1%
fuel oil, kerosene 678,224 25.9%
coal or coke 2,371 0.1%
wood 34,390 1.3%
solar 2,993 0.11%
other fuel 21,087 0.8%
no fuel 12,406 0.5%
total 2,617,497  

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015-2019, American Community Survey 5-year estimates


How New England Heats

In New England as a whole, heating oil remains a primary heating fuel. Lack of infrastructure (Maine, Vermont, and parts of New Hampshire) means less access to natural gas supplies. These states are looking into ways to bring in more natural gas to offer their residents a choice of heating fuel. The following breaks out how all the New England States combined heat their homes

New England Household Heating by Fuel Type


New England Household Heating

Fuel Type # of Households Percentage
utility gas 2,320,230 39.9%
bottled, tank, LP 391,390 5.7%
electricity 846,872 14.6%
fuel oil, kerosene 1,979,188 34.0%
coal or coke 3,985 0.1%
wood 183,227 3.2%
solar 6,870 0.08%
other fuel 54,742 0.9%
no fuel 26,297 0.5%
total 5,812,801  

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2019 American Community Survey 1-year estimates