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

2016-2018 MA Efficiency Plan Updates: Utilities exceed expectations by aiming low

Posted by Larry Chretien on Friday, October 14, 2016 @ 12:23 PM

Half-way through the first year of the 2016-2018 Efficiency Plan and utilities are on pace to be handsomely rewarded as they surpass the low goals set for themselves.


Readers of this blog know that I represent Massachusetts’ nonprofits on the state’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC). The EEAC is the body responsible for overseeing development and monitoring implementation of the state’s utility-run energy efficiency programs. Readers will recall that a year ago I voted against the Three-Year Plan proposed by the utilities administering energy efficiency programs.

Read More

Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Energy efficiency

3 Ways to Prepare for this Heating Oil Season

Posted by Sophia Wright on Friday, August 12, 2016 @ 12:25 PM

As non-profit consumer advocacy organizations that have been running a Discount Heating Oil Service for 34 years, Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light want our members to save money. Savings that could be put towards making your home more energy efficient and reducing its carbon footprint. Here are some steps you can take to maintain your heating system’s efficiency, reduce your home’s energy consumption, and spread out your oil bills into predictable monthly payments.

Read More

Tags: Energy efficiency, Home heating

Mass Save: New Energy Saving Incentives for Renters

Posted by Loie Hayes on Tuesday, August 09, 2016 @ 02:33 PM

Mass Energy is proud of our role in advocating with the Green Justice Coalition for the creation of Mass Save’s 2016 initiatives to better serve renters and moderate-income households. This blog post by Loie Hayes, Mass Energy’s resident energy efficiency expert, describes the new renter-specific Home Energy Assessments.

Read More

Tags: Massachusetts, Energy efficiency

Save Energy: Update Your Heating Equipment

Posted by Loie Hayes and Anna Vanderspek on Sunday, March 27, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

If your heating system leaves your home too cold or burns too much fuel, it might be time to look into an upgrade.  Consumers in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island should pay close attention to incentives being offered by utilities.  Gas and oil prices have been low the last couple of years, which makes now a good time to invest some of your fuel savings into making your home more efficient.  The payoff will be big when fuel prices rebound (not if, when). Read on to learn more about the incentives and rebates in your state.

Read More

Tags: Energy efficiency, Home heating

Having Our Cake and Eating It Too: How to use your heating oil savings wisely

Posted by Larry Chretien on Friday, January 22, 2016 @ 07:27 PM

Updated: August 10, 2017.
Compared to many years ago, the last few heating seasons have shown moderate prices and very little fluctuations. According to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA), the inventory of distillate oil (which covers heating oil and diesel fuel) is high. As a result, the likelihood of a price spike is quite low. However, the EIA does project a modest price increase of about 20 cents per gallon on average in the US between now and mid-winter.

Read More

Tags: Renewable energy, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Energy efficiency

Top 10 Real Life Energy Saving Tips

Posted by Katy Kidwell on Thursday, December 17, 2015 @ 01:10 PM

On Earth Day 2014 we compiled a list of 10 energy saving tips from Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light members. We wanted to repost these amazing tips because now more than ever we know that energy efficiency is one of the most important and cost effective things you can do to reduce green house gas emissions.

Read More

Tags: Energy efficiency, Our programs

What's a Heat Pump and How Can it Reduce My Oil or Gas Usage?

Posted by Maura O'Gara on Monday, November 30, 2015 @ 05:30 PM

What is a heat pump?

Heat pumps are a heating technology that can be installed in a room (or several rooms) in your home and move heat into or out of a space. A heat pump can both HEAT and COOL the air in your home. A heat pump can also be used to heat water.

Chances are you already have a heat pump in your home! Refrigerators and air conditioners use heat pumps to cool. It sounds strange to use a “heat” pump to cool, but your refrigerator or air conditioner is actually pulling the heat out of the space you want to keep cool and putting it somewhere else. When you use a heat pump for heat, it’s like running your refrigerator or air conditioner in reverse!

Are there different types of heat pumps?

Yes! All heat pumps move heat, but that heat can come from different sources. Heat pumps can use the temperatures of either the outdoor air or the ground to heat or cool homes or buildings. Heat pumps that utilize outside air are known as "air-source heat pumps." Heat pumps that use the nearly constant temperature underground are known as "ground-source heat pumps." Ground-source heat pumps require a trench or well to operate. Air sour

Read More

Tags: Energy efficiency, Home heating

Why I voted against the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Three Year Plan

Posted by Larry Chretien on Friday, October 30, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

In Massachusetts, three-year plans for energy efficiency are developed by the utilities with input and oversight from the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC). Right now, the next plan’s final draft is filed with the MA Department of Public Utilities for approval, accompanied by a recommendation from the Council. As a member of the EEAC, representing the Mass. Nonprofit Network, I was the sole vote on October 26 against the plan for 2016-2018. This post will explain why.

Read More

Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Energy efficiency

Massachusetts’ Three Year Energy Efficiency Plan Update: Where will the country’s most efficient state take EE next?

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 @ 03:30 PM

The Massachusetts Green Communities Act (GCA) requires investor-owned gas and electric utilities to capture all efficiency and demand reduction resources that are less expensive than supply. Proposed savings through efficiency are detailed in what is referred to as Three Year Efficiency Plans (3YP). The plan for 2016-2018 has been in development for the last ten months. The utilities released their most current draft plan on September 23rd and the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC), a group of appointees tasked with overseeing plan development, has yet to approve what has been proposed or to make its recommendation to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) regarding plan approval.

Read More

Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Energy efficiency

How to Take Advantage of Mass Save's Early Heating System Replacement Rebate

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 @ 12:15 PM

If you have an old, inefficient heating system, you could be throwing away a lot of money. There’s still time to take advantage of the Mass Save® Early Heating System Replacement Rebate!

Read More

Tags: Massachusetts, Energy efficiency, Home heating