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

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Demand Charge Alternatives for EV Charging in Massachusetts

Back in January, we wrote aboutthe approval by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) of $400 million for electric vehicle (EV) charging in Massachusetts. Since then, both National Grid and Eversource have rolled out new incentives for both infrastructure upgrades and charging hardware. (Our incentives pagedetails the incentives available to residential consumers; see this pagefor commercial incentives).In addition to approving these programs to address the upfront costs of installing charging, the DPU approved a new program through 2032 to address ongoing costs for commercial entities (including municipalities): specifically, demand charges.

Picture of Anna Vanderspek Anna Vanderspek

What’s Needed in Rhode Island Energy EV Filing

We have been attending Rhode Island Energy’s (RIE’s) quarterly Power Sector Transformation sessions for a few years to learn about and advise on electrification initiatives in the state. At the most recent session, we learned that Rhode Island plans to submit an Electric Vehicle Program Filing with the PUC this Fall. Given that transportation is the largest source of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in the state, RIE’s EV programming will be a key piece of Rhode Island’s approach to meeting the emissions reduction mandate of the Act on Climate. Recognizing this important role, we submitted this memoto key stakeholders detailing what we think RIE EV programs must include to result in adequate emissions reductions. Below are our four main points:

Picture of Amanda Barker Amanda Barker

Biodiesel & the Clean Heat Standard

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.

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien

Massachusetts Electric Car Charging Council Issues Report

Last month, we published a blog encouraging residents of Massachusetts to send in comments to the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Coordinating Council (EVICC) as it was preparing its initial assessment for the Legislature. Dozens of you responded and sent in your thoughts on the state of electric vehicle (EV) charging in Massachusetts – thank you! Now, EVICC has published its Initial Assessment. Here’s what’s in that report and what's next.

Picture of Anna Vanderspek Anna Vanderspek

The Bolt is Back! (Well, it will be.)

By far one of the most popular cars in the Drive Green program, the Chevy Bolt not only boasts a good electric range (259 miles) but is currently one of the most affordable electric vehicles (EVs) on the market (starting at $26,500 before incentives). This year has seen a ton of changes for the Bolt: first, we heard that the Bolt would be discontinued, but now, GM has announced they’re bringing it back. Here’s what we’ve learned.

Picture of Devan DiLibero Devan DiLibero

Three Big Changes to Massachusetts’ Rebate for Electric Cars

The wait is over! Massachusetts just announced three new changes to the state rebate program for electric cars, MOR-EV, that will make electric vehicles (EVs) more accessible to more people in Massachusetts. All three changes stem from last year’s climate law, which included several provisions to make EV access more equitable in the Commonwealth.

Picture of Anna Vanderspek Anna Vanderspek

Oil Prices on the Rise Again

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?

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien

Staying the Path Towards Offshore Wind in New England

There has been a lot of news about offshore wind in New England lately. First, some good news: Vineyard Wind 1, an 800MW project contracted with Massachusetts, is currently under construction and expected to be up and running by the end of the year. The project is expected to produce enough power for more than 400,000 homes and create approximately 3,600 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) job years. In Rhode Island news, The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)for Revolution Wind 1, a 704MW project with 400MW contracted with RI and 304MW contracted with CT. This FEIS is the second to last step before final approval, which is expected by the end of the summer.

Picture of Amanda Barker Amanda Barker

A good Clean Heat Standard would apply to gas, oil, and propane. Not electricity.

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.

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien