Falling oil prices undermine Malloy’s gas expansion plan
HARTFORD — Gov. Dan Malloy’s natural gas expansion project is faltering because of lower oil prices.
The cost savings between natural gas and oil is shrinking, prompting some homeowners and businesses to reconsider costly conversions of heating systems to gas from oil.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says Connecticut’s three gas utilities are expected to convert 16,500 residences and businesses this year. That’s 27 percent less than an initial projection of 22,500.
One gas utility, Eversource, says falling oil prices are not having an impact on gas conversions. And state energy officials say conversions exceeded their target last year and are expected to reach the 280,000 total over the project’s seven years.
Oil dealers say the price shifts support their argument that the state should stay out of energy markets.