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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Recently I was asked by the Boston Globe to write 350 words on why the Mass Save energy efficiency program should phase out rebates for new oil-fired systems for heat and hot water. Another writer took the opposite view and readers were invited to vote for their preferred argument. The Globe’s request was reasonable and so I wrote my piece, but in this expanded blog, I can better address some important points in the discussion.
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.
Protecting and strengthening energy efficiency programs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island have been core components of Green Energy Consumers’ advocacy for years. We urge utility efficiency administrators and state officials to build energy efficiency programs that have ambitious energy savings targets, incorporate equity, and invest in deep, innovative efficiency measures.
This summer marks a pivotal moment in energy efficiency programs in Rhode Island: 2020 has already seen the publication of an Efficiency Programs Potential Study—that is, the first study in ten years to identify new efficiency opportunities—as well as a revision of the regulations governing efficiency programs. Now, National Grid, alongside stakeholders (including Green Energy Consumers), is working to draft the next Three Year Efficiency Plan, which will guide the programs from 2021 through 2023.
Unfortunately, the first draft of the 2021 – 2023 Three Year Plan is insufficient to meet RI policy goals or comply with state law that efficiency programs be “cost-effective, reliable, and environmentally responsible.”