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

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Energy policy & advocacy (5)

Two states & their Decarbonization challenges

Rhode Island and Massachusetts both have mandates to reduce statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels: 50% for Massachusetts and 45% for Rhode Island. Let’s take a look at the approaches they’re taking in the building sector, specifically – what they have in common, what’s different, and what might work.

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien

Rhode Island Can & Must Phase Out Gas Cars

Rhode Island has led the nation in the electric sector, with the first offshore wind farm in the country off of Block Island and the groundbreaking law to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2033. Unfortunately, concerning the transportation sector, the state is lagging behind several states. This year, we are advocating for Rhode Island to adopt a key set of regulations coming out of California: the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) standards. 

Anna Vanderspek and Amanda Barker

Our Review of the Massachusetts Clean Heat Commission Report

On November 30, the Massachusetts Clean Heat Commission released its long-awaited report with recommendations for “strategies and policies to achieve deep emissions reductions from heating fuels in the state.” We’ve been waiting for this report for a long time (see our open letter to the Commission from January 2022 here), but it’s important to note that the report does not set policy itself.  We expect the report to be well-read by Governor-Elect Maura Healey and the legislature – the ultimate deciders for what happens now.

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien

Seriously, hydrogen is not for heating homes & businesses

A few weeks ago, we wrote a blog explaining why renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen should not be mixed in with natural gas (methane) and sent through pipes to heat buildings. That blog focused on RNG – how there’s not enough to go around, that we don’t really know how much it will cost, and that getting to net-zero carbon emissions means phasing out combustion in all its forms. This blog will focus on the other fuel some stakeholders are pushing: hydrogen.

Picture of Larry Chretien & Anna Vanderspek Larry Chretien & Anna Vanderspek

Is Mass Save capable of phasing out natural gas?

Massachusetts and Rhode Island have both committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions economy-wide to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Achieving these required reductions means zeroing out emissions associated with heating our homes and businesses, which means phasing out the combustion of fossil fuels for heat.

Our two favorite states have had nation-leading energy efficiency programs for many years and those programs have saved an impressive amount of electricity, heating oil, propane, and natural gas. But are these programs up to the task of actually phasing out fossil fuels by 2050?

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien

What's Up With the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Rebate?

Massachusetts’ rebate program for electric vehicles, MOR-EV, has been critical to the growth of electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the Commonwealth. This summer, Governor Baker signed into law An Act Advancing Clean Energy and Offshore Wind, which made important changes to the state EV rebate program. Those changes, however, have not yet come into effect. Here’s a summary of what changes are coming, when we think they might actually happen, and what’s causing the delay. 

Update: On November 17, 2022, the Department of Energy Resources announced that the MOR-EV rebate for battery-electric vehicles has been increased to $3,500. The DOER press release also stated that plug-in hybrids will continue to be eligible for a $1,500 rebate as long as they have at least 25 miles of electric range. DOER has not yet increased the final sales price limit from $50,000 to $55,000. You can read more about these changes in this more recent blogpost.

Picture of Anna Vanderspek Anna Vanderspek

Why We Support the Fair Share Amendment

Green Energy Consumers is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, which means we cannot support or endorse a candidate running for public office in an election. However, we can – and do – support policy proposals, including ones being decided via a ballot question in an election. This fall, we urge you to VOTE YES on Question 1, the Fair Share Amendment. We see it as an important tool in the toolbox in the race to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Here’s why. 

Picture of Anna Vanderspek Anna Vanderspek