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

What’s New with Drive Green Webinar Overview

Posted by Devan DiLibero on Friday, February 15, 2019 @ 04:00 PM

Did you miss the “What’s New with Drive Green” webinar, but still want to know what’s new with Drive Green? We have you covered. Below is a brief overview of what we went over during our February 12th webinars.

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Tags: electric buses, electric vehicles, events, electric cars

Turning Diesel Fuel into Green Transportation: States use VW funds to add more charging stations and electric buses

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, February 11, 2019 @ 04:06 PM

Massachusetts and Rhode Island have both announced plans on how they intend to spend funds coming from the national Volkswagen “dieselgate” settlement. We’re seeing some solid ideas on how the states can use the VW settlement money to reduce air pollution from diesel fuel. This development is akin to turning swords into plowshares. While it’s horrible that VW deceived governments throughout the world about emissions from its diesel engines, there will be two lasting benefits from the settlement. Firstly, car-makers appear to be reducing their commitment to new diesels, as VW’s experience highlights the impossibility of making low-emission diesel vehicles. Secondly, the VW settlement money will help greatly to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. 

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Tags: electric buses, electric cars, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, electric vehicles

Recent Gas System Failures remind us that Gas Isn't Cheap

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons & Kai Salem on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

National Grid trucks line the street outside of Newport Fire Department Headquarters (Station One). Thousands of residents were left without heat when a pressure drop resulted in a gas service interruption.

Catastrophes like the September explosions in Massachusetts' Merrimack Valley and recent extended service disruptions  on Rhode Island's Aquidneck Island put into sharp relief the false economics of gas. Although many consider gas to be an abundant and inexpensive fuel, recent events remind us that the costs borne by individuals, communities, and the environment are much greater than we currently account for. We must transition off gas, but in the immediate term, we can minimize the frequency and impact of system failures by taking steps to reduce our reliance on natural gas, improve system safety, and prepare for potential emergencies.

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Tags: renewable energy, electric vehicles, electric buses, electric cars, environmental policy, energy efficiency

Why We Traveled 724 Miles for an Electric Car

Posted by Holly and Rich Reid-Shaw, Guest Bloggers on Friday, January 25, 2019 @ 02:51 PM

Edited by Mal Skowron


Holly Reid and Rich Shaw live in North Carolina.  They have driven a Prius since 2006, but their ever-growing interests in reducing energy consumption drove them to consider purchasing an all-electric vehicle.  They heard about the Drive Green program from their daughter, Indy, who worked at Green Energy Consumers Alliance in 2018. 

Holly and Rich explored their options using the Drive Green webpage and decided to purchase an EV—even if it meant traveling up to New England to complete the deal and driving it back to North Carolina.  And although their small town hosts six EV charging stations, the Reid-Shaws' plan to charge their vehicle at home using solar energy from the rooftop panels they installed on their historic home (ca. 1795). 

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Tags: electric vehicles, Member Spotlight, electric cars

Why efficiency matters for electric cars

Posted by Mal Skowron on Monday, January 07, 2019 @ 11:32 AM

Electric vehicles (EVs) are better for the environment than gas-powered cars not just because gas-powered cars rely on fossil fuels, but because EVs are more efficient.

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Tags: electric cars, electric vehicles, energy efficiency

Massachusetts and Rhode Island Issue Reports & Commitments on Energy & Transportation. Now what?

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons & Kai Salem on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 @ 05:01 PM

2018 is coming to a strong close for clean energy and climate policy in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Within a few days, the Baker administration in Massachusetts released two major reports on the future of the state's energy and transportation systems, while Rhode Island kicked off development of its 20-year Transit Master Plan, and both states announced participation in the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), a nine-state regional commitment to address transportation sector emissions.

These plans and commitments have been a long-time in the making and will inform efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the northeast going forward. Now, with a new year upon us, we must act on the recommendations made in the reports, develop policies, and implement programs that will move the needle on climate action.

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Tags: renewable energy, electric vehicles, electric buses, electric cars, environmental policy, energy efficiency

Tesla's competitors

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, December 17, 2018 @ 09:24 AM

Edited by Anna Vanderspek


In October, I wrote a few words about Tesla. I think my comments were very fair, but some asked why I was “picking on Tesla”. So I promised to write another blogpost to dig into what other companies are doing with electric vehicles (EVs).

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Tags: electric cars, electric vehicles

Green Energy Consumers' Statement on MOR-EV Program Extension

Posted by Anna Vanderspek on Friday, December 07, 2018 @ 12:12 PM

On December 6, 2018, the state of Massachusetts announced that it will extend the popular electric vehicle (EV) rebate program, Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV) through June 30, 2019. However, as of January 1, 2019, the rules of the program will change: only battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) with a sales price under $50,000 will qualify for the rebate, which will drop from $2,500 to $1,500. Though we applaud the state’s efforts to extend this important incentive, we know the Commonwealth needs to be doing more to spur electric vehicle adoption.

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Tags: electric cars, electric vehicles

Electrifying Cars, Buses, and Trains

Posted by Larry Chretien, Eugenia Gibbons, Kai Salem, and Anna Vanderspek on Wednesday, November 07, 2018 @ 02:58 PM

In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, emissions from transportation are our biggest climate problem. Although emissions from electricity generation aren’t dropping as fast as we need them to, energy efficiency programs, renewable energy development, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have put power-sector emissions on a downward trend. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about transportation emissions when almost all of our cars, trains, buses, and other vehicles run on petroleum internal combustion engines. Vehicle electrification is absolutely necessary for us to attain our climate goals.

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Tags: electric cars, electric trains, electric buses

What’s up with federal and state incentives for electric cars?

Posted by Larry Chretien & Anna Vanderspek on Thursday, October 25, 2018 @ 05:39 PM

We believe electric cars are great. They reduce emissions by about 75-80% compared to gasoline cars. And they cost less to run because it’s cheaper to run on electricity than petroleum and they require less maintenance. But for the time being, without governmental incentives, the cost of the battery generally makes electric vehicles (EVs) cost a bit more upfront. So federal tax credits and state rebates are important for the next few years until battery costs come down a bit more. If you’re in the market for a new car and considering an EV (as you should!), here’s news you can use.

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Tags: electric cars