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

Two states & their Decarbonization challenges

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, December 27, 2022 @ 11:31 AM

Rhode Island and Massachusetts both have mandates to reduce statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels: 50% for Massachusetts and 45% for Rhode Island. Let’s take a look at the approaches they’re taking in the building sector, specifically – what they have in common, what’s different, and what might work.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Energy efficiency, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

Is Mass Save capable of phasing out natural gas?

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, November 07, 2022 @ 11:55 AM

Massachusetts and Rhode Island have both committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions economy-wide to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Achieving these required reductions means zeroing out emissions associated with heating our homes and businesses, which means phasing out the combustion of fossil fuels for heat.

Our two favorite states have had nation-leading energy efficiency programs for many years and those programs have saved an impressive amount of electricity, heating oil, propane, and natural gas. But are these programs up to the task of actually phasing out fossil fuels by 2050?

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Energy efficiency, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

Why We Need a (Good) Clean Heat Standard – a message for Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, September 15, 2022 @ 11:43 AM

Energy standards have changed our electricity and auto industries for the better. Now it’s time to bring the same idea to how we heat our buildings.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Energy efficiency, Home heating

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

Buildings in the Massachusetts Clean Energy & Climate Plan

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, July 14, 2022 @ 03:33 PM

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


Residential and commercial heating and cooling contributed 29.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents to Massachusetts’ emissions in 1990, or about 15% of total GHG emissions. The newest draft of the state's Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) now calls for a 49% emission reduction by 2030 relative to 1990 in the heating sector (virtually the same percentage decrease as the economy-wide target of 50%).

For the last several years, we have seen emissions fall significantly from within the electricity sector, while building emission reductions have been more stubborn. Here’s what the CECP says we’re going to do about that, and our take on those strategies.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Energy efficiency, Home heating

Finding great Heat Pump installers and advice

Posted by Loie Hayes & Larry Chretien on Friday, June 24, 2022 @ 06:00 AM

Green Energy Consumers has launched a new Heat Pump program designed to connect consumers with trusted expertise. As prices for heating oil and natural gas continue to respond to the worldwide supply shortage, this is a great summer to investigate whether a heat pump would make sense for your home.

If you've wondered how to assess your home's suitability for heat pumps, find installers, or compare their varying bids, we recommend you register for this new program by clicking below. And, of course, read on!

Get help with heat pumps

Find the best contractor for you

Because the heat pump market in Massachusetts and Rhode Island is still relatively young, it’s sometimes hard to know if an installer has enough experience to do a good job. Likewise, heat pump systems can be designed in various ways, and many consumers lack the training to be able to compare designs. Our program makes it easier for energy consumers to find trusted vendors and independent advice. 

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Tags: Energy efficiency, Home heating, Our programs

Cracking the Code on Building Sector Emissions

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, February 14, 2022 @ 03:00 PM

On February 8, Massachusetts energy officials proposed regulations that would require new residential and commercial buildings to be significantly more energy efficient. The proposal would establish a new energy code statewide, in addition to a more rigorous “stretch code” that cities and towns can adopt.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Energy efficiency, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

Going Live for Climate this #GivingTuesday

Posted by Erin Taylor on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 @ 09:18 AM

Don't miss Green Energy Consumers staff have been posting videos all week leading up to Giving Tuesday (November 30th)! Videos on important climate news and solutions will be posted on this blog, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and on greenenergyconsumers.org/donate all week.

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation, Energy efficiency, Green municipal aggregation, Our programs, Climate change