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

The Texas power problem – our perspective

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 @ 11:35 AM

Our hearts go out to Texans. The cold, snow, ice, power outages, and water shutoffs have gone way past inconvenient for people there. It’s caused death and misery.  Although we’re not experts on the Texas grid system as much as we are in New England, we’ve noticed a lot of confusion and deliberate misinformation surrounding the blackouts

The confusion about the power system is understandable; it's complicated and largely operates behind-the-scenes. It’s only until there’s a major crisis that we take a look behind the curtain. Unfortunately, the grid’s complexity makes it a ripe opportunity for the financially and politically motivated to spread “alternative facts.”  

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Home heating

Mass. residents, we need you to act on the Clean Energy & Climate Plan

Posted by Mal Skowron on Thursday, February 11, 2021 @ 02:15 PM

In December 2020, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs filed its first draft of the 2030 Clean Energy & Climate Plan (CECP). The plan outlines specific strategies to ensure that the state’s carbon emission limit is met by 2030.

Although it's a good first draft, public comment and participation can steer the final draft to be even better. The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to March 22, 2021. In addition to the blogposts we've already written about the transportation and electricity sections of the CECP, we’ve submitted all of our feedback on the plan early, which you can read here. Here are our main takeaways.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts

Get Excited for these upcoming Energy webinars

Posted by Adrianna Lovegrove on Monday, February 08, 2021 @ 06:46 AM

In addition to our BIG DEAL panel on Phasing Out Gasoline later this month, we've got awesome webinars coming up on climate policy, installing solar, and electric cars. And they're all free!

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Climate change

How good is the Mass. Clean Energy and Climate Plan for cleaning up the grid?

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, January 28, 2021 @ 07:45 AM

The Baker administration released their ten-year Clean Energy & Climate Plan (CECP), which is open for comment through February 22. The comment period for the CECP is an excellent opportunity to set the Baker Administration on course to tackle climate emissions within multiple sectors of the economyYou can read the whole plan here. 

We’re working on our formal comments on the whole plan and will share them soon. Meanwhile, here are our comments on how the plan would treat the electricity sector. 

February 12 Update: The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to March 22, 2021, but Green Energy Consumers Alliance submitted our feedback early. Read it here. 

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts

What Mass. gets right (and wrong) about transportation in the Clean Energy & Climate Plan

Posted by Anna Vanderspek & Mal Skowron on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 @ 04:45 PM

If you follow Massachusetts climate policy, you’re probably not very happy with Governor Baker for his recent veto of the Climate Roadmap bill. Though we’re disappointed with his decision, we’re optimistic that lawmakers are ready to refile the legislation and override another veto if necessary.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electric vehicles/Transportation

Governor Baker - your climate bill veto was based on bad accounting

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, January 21, 2021 @ 05:35 PM

On January 14, Governor Baker pocket vetoed Senate Bill 2995, An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Climate PolicyThe bill was passed by the legislature too late in the session to override the veto.  The governor wrote a five-page letter of explanation that we did not find persuasive. Already, the bill has been refiled and we are optimistic that the bill will be passed again andif it is vetoed, the legislature will override.  

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts

New Massachusetts climate Policy and what advocates must do now

Posted by Kai Salem & Larry Chretien on Thursday, January 07, 2021 @ 03:53 PM

Although 2020 did not go as we expected, it looks like we may be reaping the rewards of hard work on climate policy in the early days of 2021.  In the past few days, the Massachusetts executive and legislative branches have made steps toward sweeping policy changes, some of which are the culmination of lots of hard work by legislators and advocates. This blog was edited on January 15 to reflect legislative updates since its original posting. 

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts

TCI: a regional agreement to spur climate action

Posted by Mal Skowron on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 @ 08:15 AM

State leaders in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as well as Connecticut and Washington, D.C., recently signed an agreement to pursue a regional Transportation & Climate Initiative program. The goal of the policy is to reduce emissions from transportation, the sector that's responsible for over a third of climate-warming emissions in each state. Green Energy Consumers Alliance applauds the leadership of Governors Gina Raimondo and Charlie Baker for their commitment to rein in a growing source of carbon pollution and invest in clean transportation.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Rhode Island

Can Massachusetts Make EV Charging even More Affordable?

Posted by Anna Vanderspek on Friday, November 27, 2020 @ 10:09 AM

 We’re big advocates for incentivizing electric vehicle (EV) drivers to charge their cars off-peak by offering them a lower retail price per kilowatt-hour (kWh). “Off-peak” periods refer to times when demand for electricity is low. At these times, wholesale electricity prices and emissions per unit of energy are lower as well. Shifting EV charging demand by setting a price signal — sometimes called a “time-varying rate” (TVR) or “time-of-use rate” (TOU) — is a win for everyone: EV drivers, non-EV drivers, the environment, and our electric grid. Right now, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is considering whether and how to move forward on this issue — and we wanted to give you an update on progress made so far. (Fair warning: if ever there was a blogpost for the policy wonks, this is it!) 

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electric vehicles/Transportation

Offshore Wind puts Rhode Island back on track — but it has to be done right

Posted by Kai Salem on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 @ 01:32 PM

Green Energy Consumers Alliance welcomes the recent announcement that Rhode Island will look to procure up to 600 MW of offshore wind. In January, we applauded Governor Raimondo’s goal of achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2030.  Since becoming the first state in the nation with offshore wind turbines, Rhode Island has fallen behind on our clean energy goals. The offshore wind procurement is a necessary and clear step to getting us back on track to a low-carbon future.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island