The Energy Consumer's Bulletin- a New England energy news blog

The Violence of Pollution: The Injustice of Rolling Back Clean Air Protections

Posted by Paola Massoli on Thursday, July 02, 2020 @ 02:11 PM

It is mid-June 2020 and another day of unrest in America. As I scan the news, I learn that the environment has been under attack. Again. President Trump recently signed an executive order to dismantle the process requiring environmental reviews of large infrastructure projects, including oil and gas pipelines. I also learn that the administration is proposing restrictions that would further weaken air pollution controls. As I dig more, I find out that it could get a lot worse for clean water too.

Sadly, I am not surprised. It has been 4 years of chipping away at environmental protections; it’s a long list covering everything under the sun, from vehicle efficiency standards to wildlife protection. I shut down my laptop and step outside. I need fresh air.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Climate change

The surprising overlap between heat pumps and electric cars

Posted by Mal Skowron on Wednesday, July 01, 2020 @ 10:02 AM

We at Green Energy Consumers Alliance like to connect the dots between technology, markets, and policy to help people make smart green energy choices. Electric cars help dramatically lower the carbon footprint of passenger vehicles, just as electric heat pumps replace the fossil fuels used to heat our homes; this is why we’re helping people to make the switch to both. But there’s an overlap between these two technologies that we find interesting and important.

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation

Massachusetts Expands MOR-EV Program

Posted by Anna Vanderspek on Saturday, June 27, 2020 @ 09:15 AM

At yesterday's Massachusetts Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Commission's quarterly meeting, the state announced a change to the MOR-EV rebate program. This important electric vehicle incentive will now be available to commercial fleet owners, as well as individual residents of the Commonwealth. We applaud the state for taking this step and are encouraged by conversation that further program changes may follow. In fact, we have a couple of ideas...

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation

Municipal Aggregation in Massachusetts is Being Slowed Down by State Government: Consumers & The Environment Are Paying The Price

Posted by Larry Chretien on Friday, June 26, 2020 @ 03:30 PM

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, about 85% of the population is served by investor-owned electric utility distribution companies - Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil. By law, their customers have three options for how they would get their electricity supply. The first option is to stick with the utility’s Basic Service. The second is to select, by yourself for just yourself, a “competitive power supplier”. And the third is to receive the supply service from a community’s municipal aggregation program.

Although municipal aggregation has proven itself to be the superior option for consumers both economically and environmentally, Massachusetts government, especially the Department of Public Utilities, has failed to support the model to the extent necessary to achieve important policy goals.

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

The EVs of the Seas - Cargo Ships, Sailboats, Yachts, and ferries

Posted by Tori Yanco on Friday, June 26, 2020 @ 10:00 AM

When we think of pollution and the emissions associated with transportation, planes, trains, and automobiles are often the first modes of mobility that come to mind. Cars in particular have been at the forefront of the electrification conversation, for good reason -- according to the EPA's 2017 report on US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a cumulative 82% of transportation emissions came from passenger vehicles and medium to heavy duty trucks combined. (Transportation accounted for 29% of overall GHG emissions, so that 82% of transportation emissions translates roughly to ~24% of total GHG emissions.) We've written extensively on vehicle electrification, and our Drive Green program works to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). Now we'd like to take a look at EVs nautical counterpart -- boats.

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation

Shave the Peak in the Era of COVID: Summer is Coming

Posted by Kai Salem & Yaima Braga on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 @ 02:53 PM

Last month, we covered some of the impacts that COVID-19 and the resulting stay-at-home orders have had on our electric grid. This month, the pandemic has continued to drive low electricity demand and record low electricity prices. Even better, low demand and higher than ever solar production has led to a greener grid. But as temperatures rise and stay-at-home orders relax this summer, can we expect low demand, prices, and emissions to continue?

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Tags: Electricity and the grid, Energy efficiency, Climate change

5 things I learned from buying a used electric car

Posted by Mal Skowron on Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 12:03 PM

Due to the popularity of certain electric luxury sedans and SUVs, electric cars have the reputation of being expensive and inaccessible to most consumers. In reality, many new EV models are priced around what the average car-buyer is paying for a new car in the U.S. these days (i.e. $37,000) even before federal and state incentives.

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Spend less on car maintenance with an EV

Posted by Mal Skowron on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 @ 03:48 PM

Most people still don’t know anyone who has switched to an electric vehicle or can’t name any electric models available for sale besides Tesla. There are a lot of factors contributing to the gradual rates of EV adoption, but it is in part due to the myth that gasoline cars are “easy” for consumers.

According to several studies and the personal experiences of EV drivers who have switched through Drive Green, electric vehicles have lower maintenance costs and better reliability than gas-powered cars. Though gasoline-powered cars are familiar, they are by no means the easier or better option for consumers. Here’s why.

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation

Climate Change & Racism: Two Inconvenient Truths

Posted by Green Energy Consumers Alliance on Monday, June 08, 2020 @ 09:26 AM

For over one hundred years, the fossil fuels we’ve spewed into the sky have wreaked havoc on the planet. We can say with equal certitude that for over four hundred years, institutional racism has wreaked havoc on people of color.

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Tags: Climate change

Ask an EV Owner Webinars

Posted by Devan DiLibero on Monday, June 01, 2020 @ 02:06 PM

Electric vehicles (EVs) are always a great topic of discussion! We know you have questions and we’ve done our best to get the answers for you. Recently we held two “Ask an EV Owner” webinars and they were a hit! Experienced EV owners acted as panelists to answer any and all EV-related questions. But don’t worry if you couldn’t be there, we recorded the sessions and they’re linked below.  Let’s take a look at some of the questions asked at these webinars.

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation