Recently I was asked by the Boston Globe to write 350 words on why the Mass Save energy efficiency program should phase out rebates for new oil-fired systems for heat and hot water. Another writer took the opposite view and readers were invited to vote for their preferred argument. The Globe’s request was reasonable and so I wrote my piece, but in this expanded blog, I can better address some important points in the discussion.
As mayors representing a diverse group of communities across Massachusetts, we are in a unique position to be on the front lines of how the big global issues manifest from block to block in our neighborhoods. One of the many ways we see this is in how our residents want to power their homes and businesses. Their message to us is clear: they want cost-effective solutions that speed our transition to clean and renewable energy, and they want innovative and meaningful ways to help them combat the climate crisis.
Compared to parts of the country that have much greater summer cooling needs, New Englanders have more options to keep ourselves comfortable affordably and sustainably. Unless you have someone in your home who needs central air conditioning for health reasons, we encourage you to look to room air conditioners and fans, particularly ceiling fans. Here are some tips, offered by the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy.
As frequent readers of our blog will know, transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts. The cars, trucks, and buses on our roads are also responsible for pollution that causes direct and widespread harm to human health – harm that disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color. Right now, there’s something you can do about it: get your legislator to attend an upcoming briefing on bills that will work on these issues!
A few months ago, news broke that National Grid planned to sell the Narragansett Electric and Gas Companies to a Pennsylvania-based company named PPL. In its deal with PPL, National Grid hopes to gain PPL’s business in the United Kingdom in exchange for Rhode Island’s electric and gas customers. However, this is not a done deal: over the coming year, Rhode Island regulators are charged with reviewing whether the sale is in the “public interest.” The Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities’ decision will have significant impacts not just on the two companies, but on consumers, state policy, and climate action.
There are only a few weeks left in Rhode Island’s legislative session, which means we must act urgently to pass crucial legislation for climate action.
From 1982 to 2016, Green Energy Consumers Alliance focused our attention on building energy for homes and businesses. But in 2016, alarmed at the rise in greenhouse gas emissions from cars, we became aware of the potential of vehicle electrification as a measure to reduce those emissions. Since we are an alliance of consumers and, at our core, connect energy users to cleaner options through our program offerings, we looked outside the house and began our Drive Green program in order to educate people about electric vehicles (EVs) and to give them a chance to get one at a more affordable price.
If you’re like 99% of Massachusetts and Rhode Island drivers, the car you own now has an internal combustion engine (ICE) that runs on gasoline. Now might be a smart time to trade in your gas-powered car for an EV. Here’s why.
I often hear EV skeptics say some variation of, “Unless electric vehicles are charged with 100% renewables, they’re still contributing to pollution.” That seems intuitive, but we don’t have to wait for 100% zero-emissions electricity to have a huge impact on the climate by transitioning to electric vehicles.