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

Larry Chretien

Executive Director of Mass Energy and People's Power & Light.

Recent Posts

Turning Diesel Fuel into Green Transportation: States use VW funds to add more charging stations and electric buses

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, February 11, 2019 @ 04:06 PM

Massachusetts and Rhode Island have both announced plans on how they intend to spend funds coming from the national Volkswagen “dieselgate” settlement. We’re seeing some solid ideas on how the states can use the VW settlement money to reduce air pollution from diesel fuel. This development is akin to turning swords into plowshares. While it’s horrible that VW deceived governments throughout the world about emissions from its diesel engines, there will be two lasting benefits from the settlement. Firstly, car-makers appear to be reducing their commitment to new diesels, as VW’s experience highlights the impossibility of making low-emission diesel vehicles. Secondly, the VW settlement money will help greatly to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. 

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation

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, Our programs

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 vehicles/Transportation

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: Renewable energy, Electricity and the grid, Green municipal aggregation

A few words about Tesla

Posted by Larry Chretien on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Given the work that we do on green energy, people frequently ask us what we think about Tesla and Elon Musk. Because there’s so much to Tesla and its main man, we have several separate but related points to make.

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation, Our programs

Why We Changed Our Name

Posted by Larry Chretien on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 @ 02:33 PM

Here’s some news!  Our organization has legally changed its name to Green Energy Consumers Alliance, Inc. This single new name better reflects our nonprofit mission: to harness the power of energy consumers to speed the transition to a low-carbon future. 

By way of history, Mass Energy Consumers Alliance (Mass Energy) and People’s Power & Light were once two separate nonprofit organizations. Mass Energy actually began as the Boston Fuel Consortium in 1982, while People’s Power & Light started in 2002. Pursuing similar missions, we merged in 2006 as Energy Consumers Alliance of New England, but continued to operate with separate brands in each state until this week.

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Tags: Our programs

Boston’s Renewable Energy Play

Posted by Larry Chretien on Sunday, July 01, 2018 @ 07:42 AM

Earlier this month, Boston's Mayor Walsh called for cities around the country to explore a group purchase of renewable energy, apparently for municipal buildings and streetlights. The hope is that a lot of purchasing power could support the construction of large-scale and low-cost clean energy. According to news accounts, the cities might jointly buy from one or more facilities that could be located anywhere in the U.S. Boston City Hall plans to finalize a list of partnering cities and issue a request for information to renewable energy developers late in the summer.

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Tags: Renewable energy

More and more renewable energy comes with batteries included

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, June 14, 2018 @ 02:42 PM

For over a hundred years, the rap on electricity was that you could not store as usefully as you could store oil, gas, coal, and wood. That has made matching power supply with demand a challenge. More recently, we have been told by New England utilities and their ally, the so-called “Independent Operator of New England” (ISO-NE) that increasing amounts of wind and solar, intermittent resources, will make the challenge even harder.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Electricity and the grid

The Unbearable Lightness of Energy Efficiency

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, April 03, 2018 @ 12:37 PM

 

In a national ranking for energy efficiency, Massachusetts is number 1 and Rhode Island is number 3. Neither is doing enough. Please hear me out.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Energy efficiency

AG Healey’s Right About Electricity Suppliers

Posted by Larry Chretien on Saturday, March 31, 2018 @ 02:05 PM

I had the pleasure of being at Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Maura Healey’s press conference at which she released a report detailing how 500,000 residential consumers who chose competitive electricity suppliers have been ripped off and green-washed. 

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Tags: Electricity and the grid