Rhode Island Renewable Thermal Market Development Strategy

The Renewable Thermal Market Development Strategy considered benefits, impacts, barriers, and opportunities to promote “renewable thermal” technologies in Rhode Island.

For more information on the Renewable Thermal Market Development Strategy, please contact Danny Musher at danny.musher@energy.ri.gov.


Thermal energy use - the energy used to heat our homes and businesses - is a significant component of Rhode Island’s energy economy. The thermal sector accounts for about one-third of Rhode Island’s total annual energy consumption and carbon emissions, as well as approximately $1.1 billion in annual energy expenditures. Today, fossil fuels such as natural gas, heating oil, and propane supply nearly all thermal energy needs in the state.

"Renewable thermal" technologies - such as cold climate air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, solar thermal, biodiesel, and high-efficiency biomass - offer an emerging opportunity for consumers to access new, affordable, and clean alternative heating options. In 2016, OER worked with a consultant team and stakeholder task force to evaluate strategies to grow renewable thermal markets in Rhode Island. The resulting white paper examines the benefits and impacts to scaling renewable thermal adoption, identifies key market barriers to deployment, and proposes a series of policy recommendations to promote renewable thermal technologies in Rhode Island.