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

Recent Gas System Failures remind us that Gas Isn't Cheap

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons & Kai Salem on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

National Grid trucks line the street outside of Newport Fire Department Headquarters (Station One). Thousands of residents were left without heat when a pressure drop resulted in a gas service interruption.

Catastrophes like the September explosions in Massachusetts' Merrimack Valley and recent extended service disruptions  on Rhode Island's Aquidneck Island put into sharp relief the false economics of gas. Although many consider gas to be an abundant and inexpensive fuel, recent events remind us that the costs borne by individuals, communities, and the environment are much greater than we currently account for. We must transition off gas, but in the immediate term, we can minimize the frequency and impact of system failures by taking steps to reduce our reliance on natural gas, improve system safety, and prepare for potential emergencies.

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Tags: renewable energy, electric vehicles, electric buses, electric cars, environmental policy, energy efficiency

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: renewable energy, electric vehicles, electric buses, electric cars, environmental policy, energy efficiency

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: Massachusetts, environmental policy

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: Massachusetts, environmental policy

Boston’s Renewable Energy Play

Posted by Larry Chretien on Sunday, July 01, 2018 @ 07:42 AM

Earlier this month, Boston's Mayor Walsh called for cities around the country to explore a group purchase of renewable energy, apparently for municipal buildings and streetlights. The hope is that a lot of purchasing power could support the construction of large-scale and low-cost clean energy. According to news accounts, the cities might jointly buy from one or more facilities that could be located anywhere in the U.S. Boston City Hall plans to finalize a list of partnering cities and issue a request for information to renewable energy developers late in the summer.

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Tags: electricity, environmental policy, renewable energy, Massachusetts

Member spotlight: Joel Gates

Posted by Gloria Kostadinova on Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 09:30 AM


Joel Gates and his daughter, Sarah, volunteering to showcase their Chevy Bolt at Audubon's Raptor Weekend in September 2017. 

For Joel Gates, living sustainably is more than just greening his electricity, it is a way of life. A resident of Glocester Rhode Island, Joel has been a part of People’s Power & Light (PP&L) for 13 years. From greening his electricity with ground-mount solar panels and PP&L’s green power programs to driving an all-electric vehicle and advocating for clean energy in Rhode Island, he epitomizes what it means to be a PP&L member.  For these reasons, we are honoring Joel for his dedicated support as the 2018 Member Spotlight Awardee at our 16th Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 17th at the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel. Get your tickets at: RIpower.org/16years

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Tags: Rhode Island, electric cars, Member Spotlight, electric vehicles, environmental policy, renewable energy, events

National Grid’s Rate Increase in Rhode Island: Will it Transform the Power Sector?

Posted by Larry Chretien & Kat Burnham on Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 03:53 PM

Original artwork from Mass. College of Art and Design student, Erin MacEachern, created for People's Power & Light/Mass Energy

Rhode Island is actively adding more solar, electric vehicles (EVs), and other distributed sources of energy across the state. These clean technologies are essential to reach our greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and offer more choices to consumers. These sources also create unique costs and benefits, as well as new demands on our antiquated electric grid.

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Tags: Rhode Island, environmental policy

AG Healey’s Right About Electricity Suppliers

Posted by Larry Chretien on Saturday, March 31, 2018 @ 02:05 PM

I had the pleasure of being at Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Maura Healey’s press conference at which she released a report detailing how 500,000 residential consumers who chose competitive electricity suppliers have been ripped off and green-washed. 

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Tags: competitive suppliers, environmental policy

Are we finally prioritizing climate? Senate Committee Releases Comprehensive Energy Bill

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 04:07 PM

Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change released a comprehensive omnibus energy bill, An act to promote a clean energy future: to protect our public health, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bill is a compilation of several pieces of legislation filed this session, including the important RPS & the Appliance Efficiency Standards bills, but it also reflects public input provided during a series of Clean Energy Conversations that Committee Chair Marc Pacheco hosted throughout the spring and summer. Several of the bills have received favorable recommendations from the joint energy committee of the House and Senate (read more about this below).

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Tags: Massachusetts, energy efficiency, environmental policy

Time & speed are of the essence: the cost of clean energy is not a speed bump

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, September 25, 2017 @ 04:26 PM

Massachusetts and Rhode Island are nationally recognized as clean energy leaders. The gains made to date are impressive, but mitigating climate change necessitates even more substantial investment in efficiency, renewables, and emerging technologies.

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Tags: environmental policy