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

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 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

The evolution of energy efficiency in Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons & Kai Salem on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 @ 06:00 PM

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Tags: energy efficiency, Massachusetts, Rhode Island

Introducing "Shave the Peak": A New Way to Green the Grid

Posted by Kai Salem on Thursday, June 28, 2018 @ 12:57 PM

At Green Energy Consumers, we talk a lot about the importance of energy efficiency and conservation. But, for a few hours every year, reducing our energy usage becomes especially important: on the hottest and coldest days of the year, energy use is the highest and electricity is dramatically more expensive and polluting. These high-demand days are called peak days, and we’re calling on our members to help us Shave the Peak by taking straightforward steps to reduce energy usage for a few hours on these days.

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Tags: shave the peak, energy efficiency

The Unbearable Lightness of Energy Efficiency

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, April 03, 2018 @ 12:37 PM

 

In a national ranking for energy efficiency, Massachusetts is number 1 and Rhode Island is number 3. Neither is doing enough. Please hear me out.

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Tags: energy efficiency

Are we finally prioritizing climate? Senate Committee Releases Comprehensive Energy Bill

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 04:07 PM

Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change released a comprehensive omnibus energy bill, An act to promote a clean energy future: to protect our public health, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bill is a compilation of several pieces of legislation filed this session, including the important RPS & the Appliance Efficiency Standards bills, but it also reflects public input provided during a series of Clean Energy Conversations that Committee Chair Marc Pacheco hosted throughout the spring and summer. Several of the bills have received favorable recommendations from the joint energy committee of the House and Senate (read more about this below).

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Tags: Massachusetts, energy efficiency, environmental policy

Appliance Standards: The mightiest energy saver you’ve never heard of

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons and Kat Burnham on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 @ 05:39 PM

When it comes to combatting climate change, energy efficiency is our first line of defense. It is an abundant, low-cost resource capable of curbing demand, reducing emissions, and saving consumers money. When we hear “energy efficiency,” insulation and weatherization, lightbulbs and power strips immediately come to mind; but energy efficiency takes many forms, which is why appliance standards just may be the best climate and energy policy tool you’ve never heard of.

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Tags: energy efficiency

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

"Coal’s out” shouldn’t mean more gas is in.

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 12:03 PM

Image courtesy of Dynegy Inc.
 

With the closure of the Brayton Point, coal generation in MA is officially a thing of the past, but will it be replaced with a 21st century solution or more of the same?

 

May 31st marked the end of an era in Massachusetts when Brayton Point, the state’s last remaining coal-fired power plant closed. Located in Somerset, the 1500 MW plant was the largest coal-fired generator in New England. Its closure was first announced in 2013 with owners citing costs associated with maintaining the decades’ old facility and coal’s inability to compete economically with natural gas.

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Tags: renewable energy, energy efficiency