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

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

The Electric Sector in the Massachusetts Clean Energy & Climate Plan

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, July 14, 2022 @ 05:01 PM

This blog covers strategies outlined in Massachusetts’ final Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the electric power sector. For more background on the CECP for 2025 and 2030, read this blog.


Thanks to policies like the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the Clean Energy Standard (CES), the Commonwealth has made significant progress in cleaning up the electricity supply in Massachusetts. For the rest of this decade, we will need to build on and accelerate that progress to meet the GHG reductions required by the Climate Roadmap bill that passed in 2021. In this blog post, we’ll go over what the Clean Energy & Climate Plan (CECP) has in store for the electricity sector and Green Energy Consumers' thoughts on that plan!

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

Buildings in the Massachusetts Clean Energy & Climate Plan

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, July 14, 2022 @ 03:33 PM

This blog covers strategies outlined in Massachusetts’ final Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the buildings sector. For more background on the CECP for 2025 and 2030, read this blog.


Residential and commercial heating and cooling contributed 29.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents to Massachusetts’ emissions in 1990, or about 15% of total GHG emissions. The newest draft of the state's Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) now calls for a 49% emission reduction by 2030 relative to 1990 in the heating sector (virtually the same percentage decrease as the economy-wide target of 50%).

For the last several years, we have seen emissions fall significantly from within the electricity sector, while building emission reductions have been more stubborn. Here’s what the CECP says we’re going to do about that, and our take on those strategies.

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

Another Great Year for Climate Legislation in Massachusetts? Apparently. Let’s Hope.

Posted by Larry Chretien on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 @ 12:24 PM

In 2021, Governor Baker signed comprehensive climate legislation called An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy. That law set a more aggressive timeline for mandatory emissions reductions (50% by 2030, net-zero, and 85% by 2050), strengthened the definition of “environmental justice communities”, and will definitely impact the state. But while the ink is barely dry, it certainly appears that the House and Senate are moving towards yet another significant climate bill to send to the governor sometime in the next two to three months.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Climate change

Gas Tax Holidays: A Really Bad Idea

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, March 10, 2022 @ 01:28 PM

Some politicians in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are calling on their state governments to reduce or eliminate the gas tax in response to rising prices since Russia invaded Ukraine a couple weeks ago. That’s an awful idea and political pandering at its worst.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Rhode Island, Climate change

Rhode Island Bill Creates Roadmap to Advance Future of Electric Transportation

Posted by Larry Chretien on Wednesday, March 09, 2022 @ 10:15 AM

Last week, Rhode Island legislators Sen. Alana DiMario and Rep. Terri Cortvriend introduced bills setting a target of 100% of new cars registered being electric vehicles by 2030. The legislation (H. 7653 and S. 2448) creates a process to plan for the infrastructure and other changes involving cars, trucks, and public transportation in order to meet the 2030 target, which is critical for the state to meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reductions under the Act on Climate. Following Rhode Island’s withdrawal from the Transportation and Climate Initiative, the bill represents a new approach to tackling pollution from transportation, the region’s largest source of emissions.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Rhode Island, Phasing out fossil fuels

And so it goes – the relationship between fossil fuel dependence and war continues

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 @ 05:24 PM

I’m old enough to have been in junior high school when Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) imposed an embargo against the United States in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. That was the first of two serious “oil shocks” to the economy in that decade. 

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

Cracking the Code on Building Sector Emissions

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, February 14, 2022 @ 03:00 PM

On February 8, Massachusetts energy officials proposed regulations that would require new residential and commercial buildings to be significantly more energy efficient. The proposal would establish a new energy code statewide, in addition to a more rigorous “stretch code” that cities and towns can adopt.

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