A little over a month ago we published a blog celebrating Massachusetts’ formal adoption of the Advanced Clean Cars II standard and pointing out that Rhode Island was slow-walking on the standard. We are happy to report that Rhode Island has since picked up the pace! Governor Dan Mckee has announced that Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) will adopt the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) and Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) standards. This is great news – and a big thank you goes out to Governor Mckee and the RIDEM team, as well as to Senator DiMario and Representative Cortvriend for sponsoring legislation (S195/H6055) calling for Rhode Island to implement the standards. And thank you to all of you who submitted written testimony and showed up at the hearing in support!
What’s Needed in Rhode Island Energy EV Filing
We have been attending Rhode Island Energy’s (RIE’s) quarterly Power Sector Transformation sessions for a few years to learn about and advise on...Read more
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Energy policy & advocacy (2)
Most of us still burn fossil fuels to heat our buildings, make hot water, cook, and dry our laundry. But recently, there’s been a welcome surge of interest among consumers in ways to switch to cleaner, more efficient heat pumps, induction stoves, and electric clothes dryers. To reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, we have to keep it up until we zero out our use of methane, oil, and propane. Towards that end, we have been giving many presentations on how federal and state incentives can make home electrification more affordable and how a Clean Heat Standard (CHS) would set us on a steady path toward zeroing out those emissions. In this blog, we want to highlight one particular benefit of a CHS: the flexibility it gives consumers in when and how they get off fossil fuels.
In Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and most other states, the building sector is second only to transportation in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For states that have already passed laws committing to serious GHG reductions, there is no way to avoid making a timely transition to clean heat (i.e. switching from methane, heating oil, and propane to electrification).
But what’s a decarbonizer to do, exactly? Let's assess some of the options that are on the table for state governments. Spoiler alert: These are all excellent policies, but each one is insufficient. None of them are capable on their own of reducing building sector emissions 50% by 2030 or to net zero by 2050. But together they can.
Update from July 2023: We do not have a firm date by when to expect many of the changes described in this blog. The MOR-EV website says: “Rebates for eligible plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will be phasing out of the MOR-EV program. Eligible PHEVs purchased or leased on or before June 30, 2023 will have 90 days from the purchase or lease date to submit their application for a $1,500 rebate. PHEVs purchased or leased after this date will not be eligible for a MOR-EV rebate. Stay tuned for additional information about expanded MOR-EV programs to be launched during the summer of 2023.”
We will keep this blog updated as we learn more!
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released historic new proposed emissions standards for vehicles, both light-duty and medium- and heavy-duty. To meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, the US as a whole must phase out the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. So far, the US is not on track to meet this challenge, but these new standards would set the country on the path to meeting this goal. These proposed regulations are the strongest emissions standards ever proposed by the EPA and the federal government’s “most aggressive climate regulation” ever.
Today (March 31, 2023), the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that Massachusetts has formally adopted the Advanced Clean Cars II standards (ACCII). This is great news – and a BIG thank you goes out to all of you who submitted comments in support of these standards at DEP’s hearing earlier this year! The ACCII standards will ensure that Massachusetts residents have access to the full range of electric vehicle model choices and that the Commonwealth phases out the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. Rhode Island, meanwhile, is slow-walking on these important standards.
Important legislation is being heard TODAY in Rhode Island that would direct the Ocean State to adopt advanced vehicle emissions standards out of California as long as they are more stringent than federal law. Adopting such standards, like Advanced Clean Cars II and Advanced Clean Trucks, is crucial to Rhode Island’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 45% by 2030, as required by an Act on Climate. Rhode Islanders can take action to support this important legislation by testifying at a hearing TODAY (Thursday, March 30) or submitting written comments. Here are all the details you’ll need.
Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Department made a change to the federal tax credit for electric vehicles (EVs) that changes the list of eligible vehicles for 2023. This is the second big update to the federal tax credit this year, following the January decision to postpone the implementation of the complicated battery and mineral requirements in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently filed the regulations needed to adopt the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) regulations. As we’ve written before, these regulations are crucial for Massachusetts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030. Now, there’s a chance for YOU to support these key rules, either by testifying in person before DEP on January 30 or submitting written comments by February 9. Here’s all you need to know to act.
Way back in the summer of 2021, the electric utilities in Massachusetts – Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil – proposed bold new electric vehicle programs to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). For the next year, the DPU engaged in a formal process to weigh the utilities’ proposals. Green Energy Consumers served as an official “intervenor” in this docket, which means we advocated for what we thought the DPU should approve. Now, finally, a year and a half later, the DPU has issued its order, unleashing hundreds of millions of dollars for electric vehicle charging infrastructure over the next four years via Make Ready programs and rebates for charging installation (those are two separate but complementary things, as we’ll talk about below!).
May 2023 update: The utility programs are now live and taking applications! You can learn more about how much is available in incentives for residential consumers (single family, 2-4 unit buildings, and 5+) and how to apply here on our website.