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

Kai Salem

Recent Posts

Massachusetts should follow Rhode Island to zero-emission electricity

Posted by Kai Salem on Monday, June 20, 2022 @ 12:01 PM

Rhode Island just passed legislation that requires the state’s electric suppliers to procure 100% renewable electricity by 2033, using the highest quality (“Class I” or “new”) Renewable Energy Certificates. The Massachusetts legislature, meanwhile, isn’t considering a Renewable Portfolio Standard update in the climate bills that have been passed by the MA House and Senate and are currently being negotiated in the conference committee. 

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electricity and the grid

Rhode Island leaps ahead towards 100% renewable electricity!

Posted by Kai Salem on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 @ 08:23 PM

Rhode Island makes history!  Late Tuesday afternoon, the RI House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing a bill to update the Renewable Energy Standard to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2033. Rhode Island is now set to become the first state to reach that total level of commitment towards wind, solar, and other qualifying power sources. This was Green Energy Consumers’ top priority this legislative session, and its passage builds on advocacy we have done for years to establish and increase the Renewable Energy Standard. 

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island

The Code is the Key

Posted by Kai Salem on Monday, March 14, 2022 @ 09:58 AM

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote that DOER had announced its proposed regulations to up the energy requirements in Massachusetts’ base and stretch energy codes. DOER has also proposed a new “specialized opt-in,” which municipalities may choose to opt-up to and which complies with the Climate Roadmap Statute’s requirement for a definition of net-zero to be added to code. 

We call upon you to write to DOER by March 18th with your comments on the code. Read on for our thoughts on the code as well as a few talking points for your comments.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Phasing out fossil fuels

What the Sale of Narragansett Electric Means for RI's Clean Energy Future

Posted by Kai Salem on Thursday, February 17, 2022 @ 12:03 PM

Update (March 9, 2022): Green Energy Consumers Alliance strongly supports the work of RI Attorney General Peter Neronha and MA Attorney General Maura Healey to make sure this sale is fully vetted before being going through. Last week, Attorney General Neronha appealed the Division's decision, which will bring it to the review of the Superior Court. And the Massachusetts Supreme Court granted Attorney General Healey's motion for a stay on a permit for the sale, which means that the transition to PPL is currently on hold. The RI Superior Court's review begins this month.

Update (February 23, 2022): The Division of Public Utilities and Carriers issued an order today to approve the sale with no additional conditions. Although we think this was the wrong decision for Rhode Islanders, we will work with PPL, regulators, and the General Assembly to ensure that PPL can help the state meet its Act on Climate goals. 

One of the biggest questions in Rhode Island’s clean energy future is on the verge of conclusion: will Pennsylvania-based utility PPL succeed in buying National Grid’s Rhode Island electric and gas utilities? If the sale goes through, PPL will become the new utility company for almost all Rhode Islanders.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island, Phasing out fossil fuels

Say Yes at the DPU part Two: A Modern Grid and Smart Meters for Massachusetts

Posted by Kai Salem on Friday, September 03, 2021 @ 07:58 PM

Updated October 8th. Recently, we posted a blog about the proposals by Massachusetts’ investor-owned utility companies (Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil) to expand their electric vehicle (EV) programs through 2025. Alongside the proposals for what the utility companies can do to support EVs, the utilities have filed their second round of Grid Modernization Plans (GMPs), continuing the work begun in grid modernization filings in 2018. This time, the filings include plans for the statewide roll out of smart meters. In the coming months, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will deliberate over the utilities’ Grid Modernization Plans and Advanced Meter Implementation Plans.  

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electricity and the grid, Energy efficiency, Phasing out fossil fuels

RI Action Alert: Key clean energy legislation coming to a vote in Rhode Island! 

Posted by Kai Salem on Thursday, May 27, 2021 @ 09:04 AM

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

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island

An Opportunity for RI: Four Bills to Act on Climate

Posted by Kai Salem on Friday, April 16, 2021 @ 02:16 PM

Green Energy Consumers policy coordinator Kai Salem speaks at a distanced rally for Act On Climate at the State House this April.

Last weekend, Governor McKee signed the 2021 Act On Climate. Now, Rhode Island has an exciting and urgent challenge ahead of it: meeting the binding climate goals set by this landmark legislation.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island

Governor McKee, Rhode Island needs you to sign the Act On Climate

Posted by Kai Salem on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 @ 12:25 PM

Last week was a huge step forward for climate action in New England. 

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island, Climate change

Offshore Wind puts Rhode Island back on track — but it has to be done right

Posted by Kai Salem on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 @ 01:32 PM

Green Energy Consumers Alliance welcomes the recent announcement that Rhode Island will look to procure up to 600 MW of offshore wind. In January, we applauded Governor Raimondo’s goal of achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2030.  Since becoming the first state in the nation with offshore wind turbines, Rhode Island has fallen behind on our clean energy goals. The offshore wind procurement is a necessary and clear step to getting us back on track to a low-carbon future.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island

What should we do about gas heat? A problem from Newport to Northampton

Posted by Kai Salem on Friday, November 06, 2020 @ 04:25 PM

Over the past week, many of us here in New England might have turned on our heat as temperatures dipped to near freezing for the first time this fall. For the slight majority of us in Rhode Island and Massachusetts who heat our homes with natural gas, we’re relying on a centrally distributed fossil fuel to keep our homes and businesses warm in winter. On the one hand, natural gas is cheap, and a growing economy calls for more customers to hook up to the pipeline. On the other, we are way over our budget for greenhouse gases. Natural gas releases carbon when burned and causes an even bigger problem when leaked in the form of methane. We have a conundrum on our hands: how do we urgently reduce emissions from our buildings when most of us rely on the natural gas system to supply needed warmth during the winter?

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Home heating