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

Two states & their Decarbonization challenges

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, December 27, 2022 @ 11:31 AM

Rhode Island and Massachusetts both have mandates to reduce statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels: 50% for Massachusetts and 45% for Rhode Island. Let’s take a look at the approaches they’re taking in the building sector, specifically – what they have in common, what’s different, and what might work.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Energy efficiency, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

Our Comments on the Massachusetts Municipal Aggregation Manual & Best Practices Guide

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, December 06, 2022 @ 01:19 PM

On November 15, the Mass. Department of Energy Resources published a revised Municipal Aggregation Manual & Best Practices Guide and asked for public comments by December 7. For information, visit here.

The following are our comments.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Green municipal aggregation

Our Review of the Massachusetts Clean Heat Commission Report

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, December 05, 2022 @ 07:21 PM

On November 30, the Massachusetts Clean Heat Commission released its long-awaited report with recommendations for “strategies and policies to achieve deep emissions reductions from heating fuels in the state.” We’ve been waiting for this report for a long time (see our open letter to the Commission from January 2022 here), but it’s important to note that the report does not set policy itself.  We expect the report to be well-read by Governor-Elect Maura Healey and the legislature – the ultimate deciders for what happens now.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Climate change

Another Data Point in Favor of Municipal Aggregation: Eversource Rate Hike

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, November 21, 2022 @ 05:58 PM

Late on Friday afternoon, November 18, Eversource filed its Basic Service power supply rate (excluding delivery rates) for its eastern Massachusetts territory for the period of January 1 through June 30, 2023, with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). That supply rate came in at 26 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), up from 15.8 cents/kWh for the same period in 2022 and 11.8 cents/kWh in 2021.

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Tags: Electricity and the grid, Home heating, Green municipal aggregation

Renewable Natural Gas & Hydrogen are NOT the Answers to Home Heating

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 @ 08:51 AM

If you haven’t seen it yet, you will. Gas utilities everywhere are putting out propaganda that they can decarbonize the gas that flows through our pipes to heat our homes and businesses. National Grid, one of the major utilities in Massachusetts and New York, has produced a document with its vision of a clean energy future. If you read through the paper carefully, you will see how important it is to the gas utility to mix Renewable Energy Gas (RNG) and hydrogen with natural gas (fracked methane). Whether it’s in the public interest is a different question.

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Tags: Electricity and the grid, Home heating

Is Mass Save capable of phasing out natural gas?

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, November 07, 2022 @ 11:55 AM

Massachusetts and Rhode Island have both committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions economy-wide to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Achieving these required reductions means zeroing out emissions associated with heating our homes and businesses, which means phasing out the combustion of fossil fuels for heat.

Our two favorite states have had nation-leading energy efficiency programs for many years and those programs have saved an impressive amount of electricity, heating oil, propane, and natural gas. But are these programs up to the task of actually phasing out fossil fuels by 2050?

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Energy efficiency, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

Why are energy prices so high this winter & where are we headed?

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, October 31, 2022 @ 01:45 PM

In recent weeks, gas and electric utilities have been announcing steep price hikes for the next few months – some starting on November 1 and some starting later. Consumers of heating oil and diesel fuel have also seen extraordinary retail price increases compared to a year ago. It’s a topic that Green Energy Consumers Alliance has been monitoring with an eye toward the short run and the long run. So, when our good friends at Metro West Climate Solutions asked for a presentation on why energy prices are so high this coming winter and where are headed, we were happy to oblige and join them for a webinar on October 25. You can watch a recording of the webinar here.

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Tags: Home heating

Why We Need Building Performance Standards in Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 @ 01:26 PM

Background

Recently, we posted a blog on one policy, the Clean Heat Standard, to decarbonize the building sector.  Consider it one tool in the tool chest and understand that it’s usually not possible to make anything with just one tool. With this blog, we will explore a complimentary policy – Building Performance Standards (BPS).

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electricity and the grid

Why We Need a (Good) Clean Heat Standard – a message for Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, September 15, 2022 @ 11:43 AM

Energy standards have changed our electricity and auto industries for the better. Now it’s time to bring the same idea to how we heat our buildings.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Energy efficiency, Home heating

How to "Shave the Peak" when the electric grid is dirtiest

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, July 18, 2022 @ 06:07 PM

Peak Alerts! Protect our climate by reducing your electricity use on weekdays from 5-8pm

Starting Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

According to Accuweather, we're headed for a prolonged stretch of hot weather through July 31st. Over the next few days, you might hear from your local utility or our electric grid operator, ISO-New England, that our electricity system will be stressed. If you care about air quality and the cost of electricity, the next two weeks are a time to pay attention to when you're using energy. In this blog, we’ll explain how weather affects the power grid, and how we can collectively try to cope.

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Tags: Electricity and the grid, Energy efficiency, Our programs