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

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Energy policy & advocacy

Building & Transportation Emissions Heading in the Wrong Direction

At Green Energy Consumers Alliance, we’re all about that “think globally, act locally” thing. So it hurts to report that our beloved states, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have carbon emissions going up, not down as their laws and the planet require. Unfortunately, this is true at a global and national level as well. These sobering facts are a renewed call to action for all of us.

Massachusetts State Senate Passed a Good Climate Bill

On Tuesday, June 25, the Mass. State Senate passed, by a vote of 38-2, An Act Upgrading the Grid and Protecting Consumers. We appreciate the Senate’s good work. They’re doing the right thing for consumers by banning retail electricity suppliers. They’re supporting EV adoption. And they are authorizing the Department of Public Utilities to regulate gas utilities in alignment with our climate mandates.

Massachusetts Polling Shows Strong Support for Gas Utility Regulation and Electrification

Recent polling conducted by MassInc on behalf of Rewiring America and Green Energy Consumers Alliance shows strong public support for regulating gas utilities in ways that are compatible with the Commonwealth’s climate laws. The public also supports efforts aimed at switching from fossil fuel heating to electrification.

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien

Rhode Island Must Get Serious About Decarbonizing Buildings

The Act on Climate is one of the strongest climate policies in the nation, mandating that Rhode Island reduce its emissions 45% by 2030 and net-zero by 2050. However, the law is not self-implementing. For the state to meet these targets, it must implement additional policies, especially in the building sector, which accounts for nearly 40% of the state's greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Despite this significant contribution to GHGs, Rhode Island lacks a clear, actionable plan to decarbonize buildings.

Picture of Amanda Barker Amanda Barker

How the “Purchase of Receivables” System Drives Up Everyone's Electric Rates in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, customers of Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil receive electricity bills that are split into two sections: distribution (or delivery) and supply. The distribution section pays for the utility that physically puts up the wires that move power. When it comes to the supply side of bills, Massachusetts is one of a minority of states that allows residential customers to buy their electricity supply in three ways, from their utility (also known as basic service), from their community through a municipal aggregation plan, or a third-party supplier sometimes called a “competitive supplier.” Even when a customer has chosen to get their supply from a municipal aggregation program or a third-party supplier, they almost always receive one bill sent by their distribution utility with charges for both distribution and supply.

Picture of Carrie Katan Carrie Katan

Support the Rhode island Building Decarbonization Act!

UPDATE JUNE 6 2024: The Building Decarbonization Act urgently needs your help to pass in the House!

Call the Governor & Speaker:

Please take action by calling Governor McKee and Speaker Shekarchi’s offices before Friday, June 14! Speak to a staff member, or leave a message. They will be tallying your calls!

Governor McKee's office: (401) 222-2080 

Speaker Shekarchi's office: (401) 222-2447

Here's what to say:

"Hello, my name is [Name], and I live in [City/Town], RI.  I am calling to ask Speaker Shekarchi to support the Building Decarbonization Act (H-7617, and S-2952) and sign it into law this session." 

 


 

There are weeks not months left in Rhode Island’s 2024 legislative session, which means we must act urgently to pass crucial legislation for climate. 

This year, our top priority is the Building Decarbonization Act (H7617/S2952), as Rhode Island is not currently on track to achieve the emissions reductions required by the Act on Climate, and that is especially true in the building sector which makes up over a third of the state's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Picture of Amanda Barker Amanda Barker

Good Climate Bills in the Massachusetts House of Representatives

On February 7th, Massachusetts State Representatives on the Telecommunications, Utility, and Energy Committee (TUE) led by Representative Roy, House Chair of the Committee, sent several climate and energy bills forward to the next step of the legislative process, the House Ways and Means Committee. It’s taken two months to fully update all the information on the website, but now that all the info is available, we’re excited to highlight nine great sections in the House climate bills.

Picture of Carrie Katan Carrie Katan

WBUR/The Boston Globe: These energy suppliers say they can save you money. Regulators say it’s a scam.

This blog is a repost of a story that was produced by a partnership of the Boston Globe and WBUR. Published March 28, 2024

Across Massachusetts, the complaints sound similar: A person discovers their electric bills have spiked, and when they look into it, they find that the company providing their electricity isn’t who they expected — instead of a utility like National Grid or Eversource, it’s a third-party provider they’ve never heard of.

Sabrina Shankman & Miriam Wasser

Coordinating Mass Save with the Clean Heat Standard is Essential

This year, Massachusetts government agencies are working on major aspects of building decarbonization in three different arenas: Mass Save, the “Future of Gas” proceeding, and the Clean Heat Standard. The Commonwealth must coordinate these efforts to find the optimum set of policy solutions. This blog outlines our view on how state agencies should be coordinating these processes.

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien