The Energy Consumer's Bulletin- a New England energy news blog

A Tax Break for You and Your Mother (Earth)

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 @ 01:10 PM

The tax man cometh. But if you participate in our Green Powered program, you can take a break. It’s a small one, but well deserved.

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Tags: renewable energy

Why efficiency matters for electric cars

Posted by Mal Skowron on Monday, January 07, 2019 @ 11:32 AM

Electric vehicles (EVs) are better for the environment than gas-powered cars not just because gas-powered cars rely on fossil fuels, but because EVs are more efficient.

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Tags: electric cars, electric vehicles, energy efficiency

Massachusetts and Rhode Island Issue Reports & Commitments on Energy & Transportation. Now what?

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons & Kai Salem on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 @ 05:01 PM

2018 is coming to a strong close for clean energy and climate policy in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Within a few days, the Baker administration in Massachusetts released two major reports on the future of the state's energy and transportation systems, while Rhode Island kicked off development of its 20-year Transit Master Plan, and both states announced participation in the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), a nine-state regional commitment to address transportation sector emissions.

These plans and commitments have been a long-time in the making and will inform efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the northeast going forward. Now, with a new year upon us, we must act on the recommendations made in the reports, develop policies, and implement programs that will move the needle on climate action.

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Tags: renewable energy, electric vehicles, electric buses, electric cars, environmental policy, energy efficiency

Tesla's competitors

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, December 17, 2018 @ 09:24 AM

Edited by Anna Vanderspek


In October, I wrote a few words about Tesla. I think my comments were very fair, but some asked why I was “picking on Tesla”. So I promised to write another blogpost to dig into what other companies are doing with electric vehicles (EVs).

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Tags: electric cars, electric vehicles

How much is climate action dependent upon really big projects?

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 @ 01:40 PM

The following is the third blog in a trilogy. In early December, we explained the importance of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and how they are used to quantify and track the green attributes associated with renewable electricity supplied to our grid. In late November, we explained how state renewable energy standards work to clean up the grid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring the addition of certain qualifying resources, particularly wind and solar. Another way to reduce emissions from the electricity sector is to enable electricity suppliers to purchase and deliver large quantities of hydro and offshore wind to the region. But delays could significantly undermine fulfillment of our clean energy and climate requirements.

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Tags: renewable energy

Green Energy Consumers' Statement on MOR-EV Program Extension

Posted by Anna Vanderspek on Friday, December 07, 2018 @ 12:12 PM

On December 6, 2018, the state of Massachusetts announced that it will extend the popular electric vehicle (EV) rebate program, Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV) through June 30, 2019. However, as of January 1, 2019, the rules of the program will change: only battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) with a sales price under $50,000 will qualify for the rebate, which will drop from $2,500 to $1,500. Though we applaud the state’s efforts to extend this important incentive, we know the Commonwealth needs to be doing more to spur electric vehicle adoption.

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Tags: electric cars, electric vehicles

How RECs Work to Clean New England’s Grid

Posted by Yaima Braga on Monday, December 03, 2018 @ 03:02 PM

The first thing most people do when they walk into a room is to turn the lights on. But most people do not think of how that power got there and where it came from. In reality, electricity is a complex system responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electrons. So how do we know if the electricity we’re using came from renewable energy or not? The answer: Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). But in order to understand how RECs work and how they do their part to clean our grid, we must first understand how the grid brings electricity to our homes and businesses, and how it operates as a whole.

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Tags: electricity, renewable energy, RPS, RES, Renewable Energy Standard, Renewable Portfolio Standard

The Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) & Rhode Island Renewable Energy Standard (RES) in Plain English

Posted by Larry Chretien & Yaima Braga on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 @ 09:52 AM

As you may have heard by now, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are 2 out of 28 states that have a state mandate requiring retail electricity suppliers to provide a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable energy sources. And even though the RPS and RES are different as their names suggest, they have a common goal: to increase the amount of renewable energy in the region and to lower greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. They do so by requiring electric utilities and competitive power suppliers to include increasing amounts of renewable energy in their supply mixes each year. For purely political reasons, municipally-owned utilities are exempt.

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Tags: renewable energy, Renewable Portfolio Standard, Renewable Energy Standard

Electrifying Cars, Buses, and Trains

Posted by Larry Chretien, Eugenia Gibbons, Kai Salem, and Anna Vanderspek on Wednesday, November 07, 2018 @ 02:58 PM

In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, emissions from transportation are our biggest climate problem. Although emissions from electricity generation aren’t dropping as fast as we need them to, energy efficiency programs, renewable energy development, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have put power-sector emissions on a downward trend. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about transportation emissions when almost all of our cars, trains, buses, and other vehicles run on petroleum internal combustion engines. Vehicle electrification is absolutely necessary for us to attain our climate goals.

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Tags: electric cars, electric trains, electric buses

There are Three Ways to Buy Green Electricity – Two Are Good and One is Bad

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, October 29, 2018 @ 12:06 PM

This is an update from previous blogs on the subjects covered here.

Have you recently received salespeople at your door or offers in the mail from competitive electricity suppliers? They lay the pitch on thick with too-good-to be true rates and feel-good energy mixes. It may seem hard to poke holes in the pitch, but under the smiling surface, many of these suppliers use smoke and mirror marketing to get their foot in the door and your signature on a contract.

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Tags: competitive suppliers, renewable energy, electricity