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

Why We Need Building Performance Standards in Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 @ 01:26 PM

Background

Recently, we posted a blog on one policy, the Clean Heat Standard, to decarbonize the building sector.  Consider it one tool in the tool chest and understand that it’s usually not possible to make anything with just one tool. With this blog, we will explore a complimentary policy – Building Performance Standards (BPS).

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electricity and the grid

What the Inflation Reduction Act Means for Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Posted by Anna Vanderspek on Monday, September 12, 2022 @ 12:53 PM

On August 16, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the largest investment in fighting climate change on the national level this country has ever seen. The IRA is a huge deal and fundamentally changes the game for our work here at the state level. On August 31, we held a webinar to discuss the IRA and its impact on three levels: on individual consumers who want to go green, on towns and cities, and on the state. Here is the webinar recording, as well as a summary and clips of each individual section. Enjoy!

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Electricity and the grid, Energy efficiency, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

We Like the Massachusetts Climate Bill. The Governor Must Sign It.

Posted by Larry Chretien & Anna Vanderspek on Friday, July 22, 2022 @ 07:00 AM

On Thursday, the Massachusetts House and Senate both passed a major new climate bill, An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind. The legislation now goes to Governor Baker for signature. The bill is basically what we expected: a combination of the House’s emphasis on offshore wind, the Senate’s emphasis on electric transportation, and some new policies in other areas. Overall, we are very pleased with the 96-page bill. Here are our views on some of the key provisions – and what you can do to get this over the finish line. 

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Electricity and the grid, Energy efficiency, Home heating, Climate change

How to "Shave the Peak" when the electric grid is dirtiest

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, July 18, 2022 @ 06:07 PM

Peak Alerts! Protect our climate by reducing your electricity use on weekdays from 5-8pm

Starting Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

According to Accuweather, we're headed for a prolonged stretch of hot weather through July 31st. Over the next few days, you might hear from your local utility or our electric grid operator, ISO-New England, that our electricity system will be stressed. If you care about air quality and the cost of electricity, the next two weeks are a time to pay attention to when you're using energy. In this blog, we’ll explain how weather affects the power grid, and how we can collectively try to cope.

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Tags: Electricity and the grid, Energy efficiency, Our programs

The Electric Sector in the Massachusetts Clean Energy & Climate Plan

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, July 14, 2022 @ 05:01 PM

This blog covers strategies outlined in Massachusetts’ final Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the electric power sector. For more background on the CECP for 2025 and 2030, read this blog.


Thanks to policies like the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the Clean Energy Standard (CES), the Commonwealth has made significant progress in cleaning up the electricity supply in Massachusetts. For the rest of this decade, we will need to build on and accelerate that progress to meet the GHG reductions required by the Climate Roadmap bill that passed in 2021. In this blog post, we’ll go over what the Clean Energy & Climate Plan (CECP) has in store for the electricity sector and Green Energy Consumers' thoughts on that plan!

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electricity and the grid, Green municipal aggregation

Massachusetts should follow Rhode Island to zero-emission electricity

Posted by Kai Salem on Monday, June 20, 2022 @ 12:01 PM

Rhode Island just passed legislation that requires the state’s electric suppliers to procure 100% renewable electricity by 2033, using the highest quality (“Class I” or “new”) Renewable Energy Certificates. The Massachusetts legislature, meanwhile, isn’t considering a Renewable Portfolio Standard update in the climate bills that have been passed by the MA House and Senate and are currently being negotiated in the conference committee. 

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electricity and the grid, Phasing out fossil fuels

3 Climate Policies to Get RI Back on Track for 2030

Posted by Kai Salem & Mal Skowron on Wednesday, June 08, 2022 @ 02:20 PM

UPDATE on June 8th: S2274 (100% Renewable) passed the Senate; all eyes are now on the House bill, H7277. The bill was amended to reach 100% by 2033, which would still make RI the first state to reach 100% renewable electricity. We need your help NOW to make sure this bill becomes law.

Contact your State Representative by Tuesday to ask them to vote yes on H7277.

S2583 (offshore wind procurement) also passed the Senate! Encourage your State Rep to support H7971 when you make your call. Thank you to the leaders who have worked to pass these bills. 

Originally published May 5th, 2022

Rhode Island is headed in the wrong direction when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. A month ago, the state released worrying emissions data that shows the state’s GHG emissions in 2018 were up 15% from 2016, including increases in all sectors, with one of the biggest jumps in emissions coming from our electricity sector. This new data puts into question whether the state will be able to meet its 2020 climate goal, set in the 2014 Resilient RI Act. And it underscores the challenge before Rhode Island in meeting the 2021 Act on Climate mandate of 45% emissions reductions from the 1990 baseline in 2030.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electricity and the grid, Rhode Island, Phasing out fossil fuels

Daily Beast: "Green" competitive suppliers are a rip-off

Posted by Green Energy Consumers Alliance on Wednesday, April 06, 2022 @ 07:30 PM

"I want to make sure that my electricity is coming from coal," said no one ever.

Renewable energy is different in that people do want to make sure it's on the grid, in ever increasing numbers. That's why so many people think about buying green electricity, and why they get duped by competitive electricity suppliers.

Our Executive Director Larry Chretien is quoted in a recent article by the Daily Beast that tackles the topic of competitive electricity suppliers, their shady practices, and their greenwashed products. Here we've reposted his comments from the article, and we recommend you read the whole thing.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Electricity and the grid, Our programs, Climate change

Rhode Islanders:  National Grid is still your utility, at least for now.

Posted by Kai Salem & Larry Chretien on Monday, April 04, 2022 @ 12:42 PM

On Friday, Superior Court Judge Brian Stern put a pause on PPL's purchase of Rhode Island's electric and gas utility from National Grid. This pause is temporary and will allow for the judge to hear the Attorney General's case on why the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers misunderstood the laws that govern this transaction. Specifically, the judge said that since the Division failed to take into account either potential ratepayer or climate change impacts of the sale, the Attorney General is likely to succeed in its appeal. Additionally, the judge determined that if he let the sale close prior to the appeal being done, there would be no reasonable way to undo the transaction, so it must be paused until he can finish a full review of the case.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electricity and the grid, Rhode Island

This Winter Adds to the Evidence: We’re Slow Walking on Climate Action

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, February 01, 2022 @ 02:29 PM

For those of us in the climate action movement, it’s tiring to ask the question, “What will it take to get policymakers to see the climate crisis as something deserving big, rapid changes in how we produce and consume energy?” Evidently, it’s not forest fires, melting glaciers, heat waves, or hurricanes. This winter, the climate crisis, and our fossil fuel addiction are leading to other consequences: expensive electricity and lots of oil burning. And yes, we’re still not seeing nearly enough action.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electricity and the grid, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels