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

Massachusetts and Rhode Island Issue Reports & Commitments on Energy & Transportation. Now what?

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons & Kai Salem on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 @ 05:01 PM

2018 is coming to a strong close for clean energy and climate policy in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Within a few days, the Baker administration in Massachusetts released two major reports on the future of the state's energy and transportation systems, while Rhode Island kicked off development of its 20-year Transit Master Plan, and both states announced participation in the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), a nine-state regional commitment to address transportation sector emissions.

These plans and commitments have been a long-time in the making and will inform efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the northeast going forward. Now, with a new year upon us, we must act on the recommendations made in the reports, develop policies, and implement programs that will move the needle on climate action.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy

Green Energy Consumers' Statement on MOR-EV Program Extension

Posted by Anna Vanderspek on Friday, December 07, 2018 @ 12:12 PM

On December 6, 2018, the state of Massachusetts announced that it will extend the popular electric vehicle (EV) rebate program, Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV) through June 30, 2019. However, as of January 1, 2019, the rules of the program will change: only battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) with a sales price under $50,000 will qualify for the rebate, which will drop from $2,500 to $1,500. Though we applaud the state’s efforts to extend this important incentive, we know the Commonwealth needs to be doing more to spur electric vehicle adoption.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation

How RECs Work to Clean New England’s Grid

Posted by Yaima Braga on Monday, December 03, 2018 @ 03:02 PM

The first thing most people do when they walk into a room is to turn the lights on. But most people do not think of how that power got there and where it came from. In reality, electricity is a complex system responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electrons. So how do we know if the electricity we’re using came from renewable energy or not? The answer: Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). But in order to understand how RECs work and how they do their part to clean our grid, we must first understand how the grid brings electricity to our homes and businesses, and how it operates as a whole.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Electricity and the grid

The Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) & Rhode Island Renewable Energy Standard (RES) in Plain English

Posted by Larry Chretien & Yaima Braga on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 @ 09:52 AM

As you may have heard by now, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are 2 out of 28 states that have a state mandate requiring retail electricity suppliers to provide a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable energy sources. And even though the RPS and RES are different as their names suggest, they have a common goal: to increase the amount of renewable energy in the region and to lower greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. They do so by requiring electric utilities and competitive power suppliers to include increasing amounts of renewable energy in their supply mixes each year. For purely political reasons, municipally-owned utilities are exempt.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy

What’s up with federal and state incentives for electric cars?

Posted by Larry Chretien & Anna Vanderspek on Thursday, October 25, 2018 @ 05:39 PM

We believe electric cars are great. They reduce emissions by about 75-80% compared to gasoline cars. And they cost less to run because it’s cheaper to run on electricity than petroleum and they require less maintenance. But for the time being, without governmental incentives, the cost of the battery generally makes electric vehicles (EVs) cost a bit more upfront. So federal tax credits and state rebates are important for the next few years until battery costs come down a bit more. If you’re in the market for a new car and considering an EV (as you should!), here’s news you can use.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation

The evolution of energy efficiency in Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons & Kai Salem on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 @ 06:00 PM

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Energy efficiency, Rhode Island

Massachusetts energy bill passes House and Senate, heading to Governor Baker's desk for signature

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Wednesday, August 01, 2018 @ 08:53 AM

Massachusetts lawmakers vote to pass H.4857, An act to advance clean energy. The final bill was released from conference committee late Monday afternoon.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts

Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons and Deborah Donovan on Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 11:47 AM

This piece written by Eugenia Gibbons and Deborah Donovan was originally published by Commonwealth Magazine on July 15, 2018.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts

The countdown is on! But several key energy issues still need to move through the Legislature before July 31.

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Tuesday, July 03, 2018 @ 06:05 PM

 

With less than a month to go in the legislative session, several clean energy bills have yet to be decided. The following could use an extra push to get over the finish line.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy

Transforming the Power Sector in Rhode Island: Top Rate Settlement

Posted by Kat Burnham on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 @ 11:16 AM

How do we upgrade our electric grid to accommodate more renewables and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring affordability for all customers? This is a question PP&L and others in the energy community have been tackling through the ongoing electric and gas rate case proceedings at the Public Utilities Commission. In 2017 National Grid submitted a proposal to the Public Utilities Commission to increase gas and electric rates to maintain service reliability and upgrade the system. And now after several months, it appears that a consensus has been reached.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electricity and the grid, Rhode Island