Green Energy Consumers Alliance has been supporting a bill in the Massachusetts legislature that would stop retail electricity suppliers from signing up new customers on an individual basis. The bill would not affect municipal aggregation. The legislation has been sponsored by Rep. Frank Moran and Senator Brendan Crighton in collaboration with Attorney General Campbell and with the support of Governor Healey. The bill is a common sense reaction to the fact that the Attorney General’s office has solid data showing how consumers receiving power from competitive electricity suppliers have collectively paid over a half billion dollars more over six years than if they received service from their utility. Low-income families and people of color have been disproportionally targeted and harmed.
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Green Energy Consumers Alliance has been supporting a bill in the Massachusetts legislature that would stop retail electricity suppliers from signing...Read more
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Executive Director of Green Energy Consumers Alliance
Our newest report shows how Green Municipal Aggregation (GMA) allows a municipality to contract for cleaner, more affordable electricity for residents. Green Energy Consumers Alliance serves GMA programs in 21 Massachusetts communities and seven Rhode Island communities by providing additional renewable energy above and beyond what is required by state laws.
Green Energy Consumers Alliance and our allied organizations are certain that more legislation is needed if Massachusetts is to meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction mandates. This is especially true when it comes to the state's second-largest source of emissions, the residential and commercial building sector. No one bill or policy proposed in this session is sufficient by itself to meet these objectives. However, several complementary policies have been proposed together that would move us away from fossil fuels and towards electrification.
In previous blogs, we expressed strong support for a Clean Heat Standard (CHS) as a policy to decarbonize the building sector. We have also expressed vehement opposition to the notion put forth by gas utilities of allowing renewable natural gas and hydrogen to be considered clean heat. This blog covers the question of whether biodiesel ought to be given credit as clean heat when blended with regular heating oil. Biodiesel is a renewable, biodegradable fuel manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease.
If you’ve been following the economic news, you know that inflation has generally subsided and employment has been strong. But in recent weeks, we have seen a rise in oil prices. Nationally, gasoline prices have risen almost a penny per day for the last month. In New England, wholesale heating oil prices have risen almost two pennies per day. What’s going on?
In Massachusetts, both the legislative and executive branches are considering a Clean Heat Standard (CHS) to reduce emissions in the building sector. We’ve been writing a lot about the CHS lately – how it wouldhelp get climate funding for public housing, should encourage electrification, and would allow consumersmore flexibility in home electrification. As the state starts getting into specifics, one thing is clear: a good CHS would apply to gas, oil, and propane, not electricity.
Decarbonizing buildings means putting an end to burning stuff in order to stay warm – whether methane, oil, or propane. The sustainable way to keep ourselves warm is through high-efficiency heat pumps (air-source or ground-source). That’s not just us talking, that’s the conclusion that Massachusetts has come to with its Clean Heat Commission report and Clean Energy and Climate Plans for 2030 and 2050. It’s also now policy for the state of New York. But this blog is not about whether we should electrify the heating sector. It’s this: People will switch to heat pumps and away from fossil fuels faster if we reduce electricity rates to make heat pumps more affordable.
Most of us still burn fossil fuels to heat our buildings, make hot water, cook, and dry our laundry. But recently, there’s been a welcome surge of interest among consumers in ways to switch to cleaner, more efficient heat pumps, induction stoves, and electric clothes dryers. To reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, we have to keep it up until we zero out our use of methane, oil, and propane. Towards that end, we have been giving many presentations on how federal and state incentives can make home electrification more affordable and how a Clean Heat Standard (CHS) would set us on a steady path toward zeroing out those emissions. In this blog, we want to highlight one particular benefit of a CHS: the flexibility it gives consumers in when and how they get off fossil fuels.
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.
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.