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

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

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 cars

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: Massachusetts, Rhode Island

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: electricity, environmental policy, renewable energy, Massachusetts

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: electric cars, energy storage, renewable energy

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 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: competitive suppliers, environmental policy

Communities Hitting Home Runs with Green Power

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 03:56 PM

We’ve been saying for a while that communities should exercise their right to choose their electricity supply because it’s a cost-effective way to increase renewable energy content. Today we have further proof that Green Municipal Aggregation (GMA) or Community Choice Energy (CCE), whatever you want to call it, works!

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Tags: municipal aggregation

Time & speed are of the essence: the cost of clean energy is not a speed bump

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, September 25, 2017 @ 04:26 PM

Massachusetts and Rhode Island are nationally recognized as clean energy leaders. The gains made to date are impressive, but mitigating climate change necessitates even more substantial investment in efficiency, renewables, and emerging technologies.

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Tags: environmental policy

Communities choosing renewable energy is now a big thing

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, August 03, 2017 @ 12:07 PM

Massachusetts is one of a few states allowing cities and towns to aggregate consumers for the purchase of electricity. In the last year, we have seen a good number of communities take the opportunity to do just that in ways that are bringing on significantly more renewable energy than required by state law.  The first to commit was Melrose, followed by Dedham. Both started their programs in January 2016. But this year, many more are following suit in the world of “Green Municipal Aggregation” or “Community Choice Energy”.  This summer, programs are starting in Arlington, Brookline, Cambridge, Lexington, Somerville, Sudbury, and Winchester.

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Tags: Massachusetts, municipal aggregation