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

Put on a Sweater and Unplug the Second Fridge – Energy this Winter is Going to Be Expensive

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, October 18, 2021 @ 05:58 PM

Oil and natural gas prices are on the rise globally in a big way and that means electricity and heating fuel rates will go up too.  When you add it all up, this is going to be an expensive winter. 

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Tags: Electricity and the grid, Home heating

Here’s What We Know About the Chevy Bolt Recall

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, August 23, 2021 @ 05:43 PM

General Motors recently issued a recall and stop-sale for all Chevrolet Bolt EVs and Bolt EUVs. In addition to being the Executive Director at Green Energy Consumers, I’m also a Bolt driver, so this news hits personally. Here's what you need to know about the recall, and how I and my family are feeling about it. 

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation

Should Massachusetts phase out rebates for new oil- and gas-fired systems for heat and hot water?

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, July 06, 2021 @ 02:31 PM

Recently I was asked by the Boston Globe to write 350 words on why the Mass Save energy efficiency program should phase out rebates for new oil-fired systems for heat and hot water. Another writer took the opposite view and readers were invited to vote for their preferred argument. The Globe’s request was reasonable and so I wrote my piece, but in this expanded blog, I can better address some important points in the discussion.

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Tags: Energy efficiency, Home heating, Climate change

Be A Fan Of Fans

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 @ 09:28 AM

Compared to parts of the country that have much greater summer cooling needs, New Englanders have more options to keep ourselves comfortable affordably and sustainably. Unless you have someone in your home who needs central air conditioning for health reasons, we encourage you to look to room air conditioners and fans, particularly ceiling fans. Here are some tips, offered by the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy.

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Tags: Massachusetts, Electricity and the grid, Energy efficiency, Rhode Island

Why state policy should favor municipal aggregation

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, April 12, 2021 @ 03:21 PM

A priority for Green Energy Consumers Alliance is increasing New England’s clean energy supply while delivering lower costs to consumers. In both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the following facts prevail about our  electricity supply options: 

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Tags: Massachusetts, Green municipal aggregation, Rhode Island

The Texas power problem – our perspective

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 @ 11:35 AM

Our hearts go out to Texans. The cold, snow, ice, power outages, and water shutoffs have gone way past inconvenient for people there. It’s caused death and misery.  Although we’re not experts on the Texas grid system as much as we are in New England, we’ve noticed a lot of confusion and deliberate misinformation surrounding the blackouts

The confusion about the power system is understandable; it's complicated and largely operates behind-the-scenes. It’s only until there’s a major crisis that we take a look behind the curtain. Unfortunately, the grid’s complexity makes it a ripe opportunity for the financially and politically motivated to spread “alternative facts.”  

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Home heating

How good is the Mass. Clean Energy and Climate Plan for cleaning up the grid?

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, January 28, 2021 @ 07:45 AM

The Baker administration released their ten-year Clean Energy & Climate Plan (CECP), which is open for comment through February 22. The comment period for the CECP is an excellent opportunity to set the Baker Administration on course to tackle climate emissions within multiple sectors of the economyYou can read the whole plan here. 

We’re working on our formal comments on the whole plan and will share them soon. Meanwhile, here are our comments on how the plan would treat the electricity sector. 

February 12 Update: The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to March 22, 2021, but Green Energy Consumers Alliance submitted our feedback early. Read it here. 

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts

Governor Baker - your climate bill veto was based on bad accounting

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, January 21, 2021 @ 05:35 PM

On January 14, Governor Baker pocket vetoed Senate Bill 2995, An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Climate PolicyThe bill was passed by the legislature too late in the session to override the veto.  The governor wrote a five-page letter of explanation that we did not find persuasive. Already, the bill has been refiled and we are optimistic that the bill will be passed again andif it is vetoed, the legislature will override.  

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts

Going Beyond 100% Green Power

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, January 04, 2021 @ 01:34 PM

As wind and solar projects proliferate and people acknowledge the benefits of renewable energy, more consumers are voluntarily choosing 100 percent green power. Some have done that through our Green Powered program and others through their city or town municipal aggregations (also known as community choice programs). If you are in that growing minority, we applaud you. But please consider going above and beyond 100%. This blog explains why and how easy it is to do.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Green municipal aggregation, Climate change

Larry went on the Energy Nerd Show to Talk about Smart Charging EVs

Posted by Larry Chretien on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 @ 08:00 AM

It’s imperative that we all switch from internal combustion engines to electric cars for several compelling reasons. The most important is that reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions enough to save the planet depends upon it. But what’s particularly exciting is: we can magnify the benefits of EVs by managing when we charge them.

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation, Climate change