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

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

Survey: MA residents are ready for a smarter electricity system

Posted by Mal Skowron on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 @ 06:00 PM

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), the government body responsible for overseeing the operation of gas and electric utilities, is considering proposals by National Grid and Eversource to modernize the electric grid and support the buildout of EV charging infrastructure.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electricity and the grid

Put on a Sweater and Unplug the Second Fridge – Energy this Winter is Going to Be Expensive

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, October 18, 2021 @ 05:58 PM

Oil and natural gas prices are on the rise globally in a big way and that means electricity and heating fuel rates will go up too.  When you add it all up, this is going to be an expensive winter. 

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Tags: Electricity and the grid, Home heating

Say Yes at the DPU part Two: A Modern Grid and Smart Meters for Massachusetts

Posted by Kai Salem on Friday, September 03, 2021 @ 07:58 PM

Updated October 8th. Recently, we posted a blog about the proposals by Massachusetts’ investor-owned utility companies (Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil) to expand their electric vehicle (EV) programs through 2025. Alongside the proposals for what the utility companies can do to support EVs, the utilities have filed their second round of Grid Modernization Plans (GMPs), continuing the work begun in grid modernization filings in 2018. This time, the filings include plans for the statewide roll out of smart meters. In the coming months, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will deliberate over the utilities’ Grid Modernization Plans and Advanced Meter Implementation Plans.  

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

Be A Fan Of Fans

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 @ 09:28 AM

Compared to parts of the country that have much greater summer cooling needs, New Englanders have more options to keep ourselves comfortable affordably and sustainably. Unless you have someone in your home who needs central air conditioning for health reasons, we encourage you to look to room air conditioners and fans, particularly ceiling fans. Here are some tips, offered by the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy.

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Tags: Massachusetts, Electricity and the grid, Energy efficiency, Rhode Island

National Grid wants to Sell Its Rhode Island Business. Is that in the public interest?

Posted by Larry Chretien, Kai Salem & Mal Skowron on Monday, June 14, 2021 @ 06:00 PM

A few months ago, news broke that National Grid planned to sell the Narragansett Electric and Gas Companies to a Pennsylvania-based company named PPL. In its deal with PPL, National Grid hopes to gain PPL’s business in the United Kingdom in exchange for Rhode Island’s electric and gas customers. However, this is not a done deal: over the coming year, Rhode Island regulators are charged with reviewing whether the sale is in the “public interest.” The Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities’ decision will have significant impacts not just on the two companies, but on consumers, state policy, and climate action.

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Tags: Electricity and the grid, Rhode Island

We Saw A Peak: Will We See More?

Posted by Kai Salem & Yaima Braga on Saturday, August 01, 2020 @ 10:46 AM

Last month, we predicted that summer temperatures might drive high demand — high enough to cause a peak day! Indeed, despite the depressive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on regional electricity demand, weeks that saw 90+ degree days across New England were enough for us to call peaks on July 20th, 27th, and 28th. A peak electricity demand day is a day on which extreme weather (usually hot temperatures) leads to a spike in electricity demand; these spikes are associated with more expensive and polluting electricity than usual.

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

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