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

How RECs Work to Clean New England’s Grid

Posted by Yaima Braga on Monday, December 03, 2018 @ 03:02 PM

The first thing most people do when they walk into a room is to turn the lights on. But most people do not think of how that power got there and where it came from. In reality, electricity is a complex system responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electrons. So how do we know if the electricity we’re using came from renewable energy or not? The answer: Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). But in order to understand how RECs work and how they do their part to clean our grid, we must first understand how the grid brings electricity to our homes and businesses, and how it operates as a whole.

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Tags: electricity, renewable energy, RPS, RES, Renewable Energy Standard, Renewable Portfolio Standard

There are Three Ways to Buy Green Electricity – Two Are Good and One is Bad

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, October 29, 2018 @ 12:06 PM

This is an update from previous blogs on the subjects covered here.

Have you recently received salespeople at your door or offers in the mail from competitive electricity suppliers? They lay the pitch on thick with too-good-to be true rates and feel-good energy mixes. It may seem hard to poke holes in the pitch, but under the smiling surface, many of these suppliers use smoke and mirror marketing to get their foot in the door and your signature on a contract.

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Tags: competitive suppliers, renewable energy, electricity

Are you getting greenwashed by your electricity supplier?

Posted by Erin Taylor on Tuesday, August 07, 2018 @ 10:17 AM

You want to support the generation of electricity from renewable sources, but how do you know if a green power program will use your dollars to speed our transition to clean energy? How would you know whether your purchase of green power is actually contributing to shifting the mix of electricity that powers our electric grid away from fossil fuels?

These are valid questions that we, as a non-profit energy organization working in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and offering a program that allows you to make the switch to renewable energy, get asked every day. So here it is: Green Power Bootcamp, in a blog.

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Tags: competitive suppliers, municipal aggregation, electricity, renewable energy

Boston’s Renewable Energy Play

Posted by Larry Chretien on Sunday, July 01, 2018 @ 07:42 AM

Earlier this month, Boston's Mayor Walsh called for cities around the country to explore a group purchase of renewable energy, apparently for municipal buildings and streetlights. The hope is that a lot of purchasing power could support the construction of large-scale and low-cost clean energy. According to news accounts, the cities might jointly buy from one or more facilities that could be located anywhere in the U.S. Boston City Hall plans to finalize a list of partnering cities and issue a request for information to renewable energy developers late in the summer.

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Tags: electricity, environmental policy, renewable energy, Massachusetts

What does your electric bill tell you about where the money goes?

Posted by Loie Hayes on Sunday, July 16, 2017 @ 08:07 AM

The average Massachusetts and Rhode Island household uses about 600 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity every month. At about 20 cents for every kWh, this amounts to an electric bill of $120 a month. Here’s a guide to better understand where that money is going.

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Tags: electricity, energy efficiency, renewable energy

New websites in MA & RI help you decode competitive electricity supply offers

Posted by Loie Hayes on Friday, January 06, 2017 @ 02:32 PM

One of our members called recently asking for help finding information on competitive electric suppliers, the electricity supply companies that often claim to offer cheaper rates – and sometimes greener powerthan the Basic Service offered by her electric utilitiy. More than likely, you’ve also received a knock on the door or something in the mail from competitive suppliers. So many suppliers had contacted our member that she felt she should find out what they were offering. She was particularly interested in renewable electricity options, but didn’t know who to trust.

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Tags: electricity, renewable energy, competitive suppliers

They knocked on my door! The competitive electricity supplier conundrum

Posted by Katy Kidwell on Saturday, June 04, 2016 @ 08:00 AM

Have you recently received salespeople at your door or offers in the mail from competitive electricity suppliers? They lay the pitch on thick with too-good-to be true rates and feel-good energy mixes. It may seem hard to poke holes in the pitch, but under the smiling surface, many of these suppliers use smoke and mirror marketing to get their foot in the door and your signature on a contract.

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Tags: renewable energy, electricity

Being positive about negative Texas wind prices

Posted by Jenny Marusiak, Synapse Energy Economics on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 @ 12:59 PM

In September, it was reported that wholesale electricity prices in Texas were negative during some evenings, largely a result of high wind production.  Wind makes up a higher percentage of Texas’ energy mix than in New England, but we want to see more wind here.  So what does it mean that there were negative electricity prices?  To get a good answer, we asked our expert friends at the Cambridge-based Synapse Energy Economics

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Tags: renewable energy, electricity

June electricity prices lowest in 12 years: So why more gas pipelines?

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, July 16, 2015 @ 01:02 PM

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Tags: natural gas, electricity

What’s Happening with Electricity Rates and What Can Be Done About it?

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons, Priscilla De La Cruz and Katy Kidwell on Thursday, May 28, 2015 @ 01:17 PM

Consumers have been on an electric rates rollercoaster ride this past year. Many have been left reeling from a freezing winter and higher-than-usual electric rates. The good news is that rates will be dropping back down this summer for utility basic supply customers. National Grid’s rate decreased more than 40% as of May 1st (for MA customers). Eversource customers will likely experience similar decreases beginning July 1st. These summer rate drops will provide much needed relief, but what needs to be done to ensure this does not continue to happen in winters to come?

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Tags: renewable energy, environmental policy, natural gas, electricity