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

What Candidates for RI Governor Think about Phasing Out Gasoline

Posted by Mal Skowron on Friday, August 12, 2022 @ 08:15 AM

Last week, the Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI) hosted a forum for candidates running RI Governor to discuss their plans for the environment if elected. The forum covered several of Rhode Island’s most pressing environmental issues, including environmental justice and implementation of the Act On Climate. But one question stood out.

Moderator Ed Fitzpatrick of the Boston Globe asked: To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, should Rhode Island set an end date for the last sales of new gasoline-powered automobiles like some other states?

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

We Like the Massachusetts Climate Bill. The Governor Must Sign It.

Posted by Larry Chretien & Anna Vanderspek on Friday, July 22, 2022 @ 07:00 AM

On Thursday, the Massachusetts House and Senate both passed a major new climate bill, An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind. The legislation now goes to Governor Baker for signature. The bill is basically what we expected: a combination of the House’s emphasis on offshore wind, the Senate’s emphasis on electric transportation, and some new policies in other areas. Overall, we are very pleased with the 96-page bill. Here are our views on some of the key provisions – and what you can do to get this over the finish line. 

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Electricity and the grid, Energy efficiency, Home heating, Climate change

A murky future for RI's electric vehicle programs

Posted by Mal Skowron on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 @ 09:25 AM

Rhode Island is in good shape to reduce emissions from the power sector after a successful 2022 legislation session. But it’s slow-going on policy to support vehicle electrification, which is an absolute necessity to displace gasoline use and meet 2030 climate goals.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation

The Electric Sector in the Massachusetts Clean Energy & Climate Plan

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, July 14, 2022 @ 05:01 PM

This blog covers strategies outlined in Massachusetts’ final Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the electric power sector. For more background on the CECP for 2025 and 2030, read this blog.


Thanks to policies like the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the Clean Energy Standard (CES), the Commonwealth has made significant progress in cleaning up the electricity supply in Massachusetts. For the rest of this decade, we will need to build on and accelerate that progress to meet the GHG reductions required by the Climate Roadmap bill that passed in 2021. In this blog post, we’ll go over what the Clean Energy & Climate Plan (CECP) has in store for the electricity sector and Green Energy Consumers' thoughts on that plan!

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electricity and the grid, Green municipal aggregation

Buildings in the Massachusetts Clean Energy & Climate Plan

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, July 14, 2022 @ 03:33 PM

This blog covers strategies outlined in Massachusetts’ final Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the buildings sector. For more background on the CECP for 2025 and 2030, read this blog.


Residential and commercial heating and cooling contributed 29.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents to Massachusetts’ emissions in 1990, or about 15% of total GHG emissions. The newest draft of the state's Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) now calls for a 49% emission reduction by 2030 relative to 1990 in the heating sector (virtually the same percentage decrease as the economy-wide target of 50%).

For the last several years, we have seen emissions fall significantly from within the electricity sector, while building emission reductions have been more stubborn. Here’s what the CECP says we’re going to do about that, and our take on those strategies.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Energy efficiency, Home heating

Transportation in the Massachusetts Clean Energy Climate Plan

Posted by Anna Vanderspek on Thursday, July 14, 2022 @ 02:03 PM

This blog covers strategies outlined in Massachusetts’ final Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector. For more background on the CECP for 2025 and 2030, read this blog.


Transportation is the largest source of GHG emissions in Massachusetts and the state’s ability to meet its 2025 and 2030 GHG requirements will hinge largely on this sector. The final CECP requires reductions in the transportation sector of 18% by 2025 and 34% by 2030. In 2020, with all the reduced travel due to the pandemic, we reached 22% reductions under 1990 levels. But otherwise, transportation emissions have remained stubborn, as the green bar in the graph below demonstrates.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation

Final Massachusetts Clean Energy & Climate Plan is Out. Now What?

Posted by Larry Chretien & Anna Vanderspek on Thursday, July 14, 2022 @ 12:56 PM

On June 30, 2022, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) released the final draft of the Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) for 2025 and 2030. This document outlines the key strategies the Commonwealth will use to reach the statutorily-required 50% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under 1990 levels by 2030. We have been advocating for a strong CECP since the first version was published at the very end of 2020. It includes the "how" on reducing emissions from buildings, transportation, and electric power.

Here’s our take on this final version, and what advocacy is needed moving forward.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts

The RI General Assembly is taking the climate crisis seriously: a recap of the busiest legislative session

Posted by Kai Salem & Mal Skowron on Tuesday, July 12, 2022 @ 10:13 AM

A note from Larry Chretien, Executive Director: This blog was written by Kai Salem and Mal Skowron as a wrap up of the super strong 2022 legislative session of the Rhode Island General Assembly. Kai is moving on from Green Energy Consumers to attend law school at Columbia University. There’s a huge need for energy lawyers who put people and the planet first. In her four years here, Kai made her mark as an energy advocate working in the public interest. We wish her the best and are thankful for what she accomplished. 

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island

Massachusetts should follow Rhode Island to zero-emission electricity

Posted by Kai Salem on Monday, June 20, 2022 @ 12:01 PM

Rhode Island just passed legislation that requires the state’s electric suppliers to procure 100% renewable electricity by 2033, using the highest quality (“Class I” or “new”) Renewable Energy Certificates. The Massachusetts legislature, meanwhile, isn’t considering a Renewable Portfolio Standard update in the climate bills that have been passed by the MA House and Senate and are currently being negotiated in the conference committee. 

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electricity and the grid, Phasing out fossil fuels

Rhode Island leaps ahead towards 100% renewable electricity!

Posted by Kai Salem on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 @ 08:23 PM

Rhode Island makes history!  Late Tuesday afternoon, the RI House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing a bill to update the Renewable Energy Standard to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2033. Rhode Island is now set to become the first state to reach that total level of commitment towards wind, solar, and other qualifying power sources. This was Green Energy Consumers’ top priority this legislative session, and its passage builds on advocacy we have done for years to establish and increase the Renewable Energy Standard. 

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island, Phasing out fossil fuels