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

3 Ways to Prepare for this Heating Oil Season

Posted by Sophia Wright on Friday, August 12, 2016 @ 12:25 PM

As non-profit consumer advocacy organizations that have been running a Discount Heating Oil Service for 34 years, Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light want our members to save money. Savings that could be put towards making your home more energy efficient and reducing its carbon footprint. Here are some steps you can take to maintain your heating system’s efficiency, reduce your home’s energy consumption, and spread out your oil bills into predictable monthly payments.

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Tags: Energy efficiency, Home heating

Electric vehicles and heat pumps are key to achieving significant emissions reductions

Posted by Patrick Knight of Synapse Energy Economics on Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 03:28 PM

Preface from Larry Chretien, Executive Director:

Readers of this blog should be aware that we are enthusiastic supporters of electric vehicles and air-source heat pumps. Costs of these products have come down in recent years while quality has gone up. We see them as economically sensible ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to the point that we see them as essential parts of any climate action plan. That would mean for a plan for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, any other state, your city or town, and your family. In our work, we are lucky to come in contact with experts who have figured all this out and who are kind enough to explain their findings to the rest of us. So please enjoy this blog from our guest, Patrick Knight of Synapse Energy Economics.

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation, Home heating, Climate change

Save Energy: Update Your Heating Equipment

Posted by Loie Hayes and Anna Vanderspek on Sunday, March 27, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

If your heating system leaves your home too cold or burns too much fuel, it might be time to look into an upgrade.  Consumers in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island should pay close attention to incentives being offered by utilities.  Gas and oil prices have been low the last couple of years, which makes now a good time to invest some of your fuel savings into making your home more efficient.  The payoff will be big when fuel prices rebound (not if, when). Read on to learn more about the incentives and rebates in your state.

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Tags: Energy efficiency, Home heating

New Program and Added Incentives: Mass Energy’s Greater Boston Heat Pump Program Launches!

Posted by Maura O'Gara on Thursday, March 17, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

After a successful pilot program in the Pioneer Valley and a survey of interest to our members, Mass Energy has decided to run our new heat pump program in the Greater Boston area. It will cover 80 cities and towns.

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Tags: Home heating, Our programs

Member Spotlight: Ricard Torres-MateLuna and Christine Hatch, happy heat pump owners

Posted by Anna Vanderspek on Friday, December 11, 2015 @ 06:00 AM

If you’re looking to reduce your energy consumption and want an example of how Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light can help, look no further than the family of Ricard Torres-MateLuna and Christine Hatch. As Massachusetts residents, they joined Mass Energy in 2014. Since then, these members have reduced their environmental footprint and cut down their energy bills not only by making their home more energy efficient, but also by participating in our Discount Heating Oil Service, our Mass Solar Connect program, and our pilot Heat Pump Program (MA only). A RI solar program is coming soon! Subscribe to this blog to hear all about it when it happens.

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Tags: Home heating, Guest blog/Member spotlight

What's a Heat Pump and How Can it Reduce My Oil or Gas Usage?

Posted by Maura O'Gara on Monday, November 30, 2015 @ 05:30 PM

What is a heat pump?

Heat pumps are a heating technology that can be installed in a room (or several rooms) in your home and move heat into or out of a space. A heat pump can both HEAT and COOL the air in your home. A heat pump can also be used to heat water.

Chances are you already have a heat pump in your home! Refrigerators and air conditioners use heat pumps to cool. It sounds strange to use a “heat” pump to cool, but your refrigerator or air conditioner is actually pulling the heat out of the space you want to keep cool and putting it somewhere else. When you use a heat pump for heat, it’s like running your refrigerator or air conditioner in reverse!

Are there different types of heat pumps?

Yes! All heat pumps move heat, but that heat can come from different sources. Heat pumps can use the temperatures of either the outdoor air or the ground to heat or cool homes or buildings. Heat pumps that utilize outside air are known as "air-source heat pumps." Heat pumps that use the nearly constant temperature underground are known as "ground-source heat pumps." Ground-source heat pumps require a trench or well to operate. Air sour

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Tags: Energy efficiency, Home heating

A New Bio-Heat Program: Heat Leaner & Cleaner with Biodiesel

Posted by Priscilla De La Cruz on Thursday, November 12, 2015 @ 04:54 PM

Today, People’s Power & Light (PP&L) and Mass Energy are excited to reinvigorate our Bio-Heat program. Joined recently by Newport Biodiesel, our program provides members in certain areas of Massachusetts and Rhode Island with a cleaner fuel option: biodiesel.

We have offered biodiesel options in Massachusetts for some time, launching our original Bio-Heat program in 2005. But over the years, the program has not grown much—until today.

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Tags: Home heating

Feds Forecast a Less Expensive Heating Oil Winter: What does that mean for state policies?

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, October 08, 2015 @ 12:23 PM

On October 6, the Federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected that heating your home with oil will cost 25 percent less than last year and heating your home with natural gas will cost 10 percent less due to a nice combination of lower prices and a forecast for warmer weather.  Temperatures for each month from October through March are expected to be higher than the 10-year average.  For heating oil customers, this winter could cost $500 or $1000 less than last winter.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Home heating

Great Heat Pump Prices Are Here: A New Pilot Program in Western Mass

Posted by Maura O'Gara on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

There is good reason why the popularity of heat pumps has risen dramatically in recent years.  Advancements in technology have made Cold Climate Air-Source Heat Pumps (ccASHPs) a safe, comfortable, convenient, and efficient source of heating, even in cold climates like Massachusetts. Much like your refrigerator, air-source heat pumps work by moving heat into or out of a building. Because they don’t burn fuel, they can improve air quality, both indoor and out. Furthermore, ccASHPs can also cool, dehumidify, and integrate nicely with solar PV systems.

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Tags: Massachusetts, Home heating, Our programs

Heating Oil Budget Plan: Set Yours Up Now!

Posted by Erin Taylor on Friday, August 21, 2015 @ 11:42 AM

Is there such thing as peace of mind when it comes to heating oil bills? A budget plan may be the answer. Signing up for a heating oil budget plan through your oil dealer is a good way to spread out your oil bill into 10 to 12 monthly payments, making oil bills more like a regular utility. Your cost is fairly even and there are no surprise huge oil bills that sneak up on you. It also helps dealers plan, reduce their costs and become more efficient.

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Tags: Home heating