I had the pleasure of being at Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Maura Healey’s press conference at which she released a report detailing how 500,000 residential consumers who chose competitive electricity suppliers have been ripped off and green-washed.
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...Read more
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Electricity and the grid (5)
On January 17, 2018, ISO New England (“ISO”) released a draft of its Operational Fuel Security Analysis. This study lays out many different possibilities for a 2024/25 winter, assessing the electric grid’s reliability under a varying array of assumptions. ISO’s main finding is clear: adding more renewables and more imports, and increasing the availability of LNG deliveries and backup oil during supply emergencies, will all contribute to improved system reliability.
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.
We’ve written several blog posts about the environmental, health, and economic benefits of electric vehicles. Understanding these benefits helps to drive consumer demand for EVs, which helps to accelerate their adoption. When it comes to fully transitioning away from gas-powered cars, consumer demand is one piece of the equation, but the build-out of charging infrastructure is the other. There are important decisions to be made in this regard. Here I explain what is taking place and how you can weigh in to the public process.
Before we get into how electric cars can run on sunshine and wind power, let’s talk about old-fashioned cars that run only on gasoline engines. Some good news is that because of federal fuel efficiency standards (known as Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency), cars in 2025 will be much more efficient, on average, than today. Officially, carmakers will have to meet a standard of 54.5 miles on average for passenger cars and light trucks in 2025, which is about what a Toyota Prius (the version that does not plug-in) gets today. If we focus on emissions of carbon dioxide, the average new non-electric car in 2030 will emit about 182 grams per mile, down from 248 grams in 2017. That’s a nice reduction in carbon emissions of about a third.
The bad news is that we need to do much better. Don’t despair, because we have more good news. We can do much better, by adopting electric vehicles, whether they are plug-in hybrids (like the Chevy Volt or Prius Prime (which does plug-in) or all-electric battery powered (like a Tesla, the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Bolt).
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 power – than 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.
For the past year, Elisa Grammer has been helping Mass Energy intervene in proceedings at the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). She has assisted our Clean Energy Program Director, Eugenia Gibbons, and Executive Director, Larry Chretien, in writing pleadings related to the Massachusetts three-year energy efficiency plan and electric grid modernization. We have also benefitted from Elisa’s expertise and time in opposing the proposed electricity ratepayer financing of new fracked gas pipeline construction. Even before the release of the reliability study by Analysis Group (commissioned by the AG’s office), Elisa helped Mass Energy argue that utilities should be investing more substantially in energy efficiency and demand response rather than looking to saddle ratepayers with the costs of new gas infrastructure. The Analysis Group report, further validated this point of view and determined that even in a stressed scenario, energy efficiency and demand response both ensure reliability in the cheapest way possible and while delivering environmental benefits, too.
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.
Have you recently stumbled across a news article, email, or blog post about Net Metering Caps in Massachusetts? Don’t be discouraged. Chances are the net metering caps do not actually apply to your residential solar installation. Even so, net metering caps are a pressing issue in the solar industry, and here in Massachusetts, right now.