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

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Massachusetts

Massachusetts Polling Shows Strong Support for Gas Utility Regulation and Electrification

Recent polling conducted by MassInc on behalf of Rewiring America and Green Energy Consumers Alliance shows strong public support for regulating gas utilities in ways that are compatible with the Commonwealth’s climate laws. The public also supports efforts aimed at switching from fossil fuel heating to electrification.

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien

How the “Purchase of Receivables” System Drives Up Everyone's Electric Rates in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, customers of Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil receive electricity bills that are split into two sections: distribution (or delivery) and supply. The distribution section pays for the utility that physically puts up the wires that move power. When it comes to the supply side of bills, Massachusetts is one of a minority of states that allows residential customers to buy their electricity supply in three ways, from their utility (also known as basic service), from their community through a municipal aggregation plan, or a third-party supplier sometimes called a “competitive supplier.” Even when a customer has chosen to get their supply from a municipal aggregation program or a third-party supplier, they almost always receive one bill sent by their distribution utility with charges for both distribution and supply.

Picture of Carrie Katan Carrie Katan

Looking Back on QARI Drives Green

Way back in July 2022, we published a blog announcing QARI Drives Green, our two-year partnership with Quincy Asian Resources, Inc, better known as QARI. Our partnership was funded through a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center through its Accelerating Clean Transportation For All (ACT4All) program. Now, nearly two years later, that particular grant has run its course, so it’s time to celebrate what we’ve achieved and look to what’s next!

Picture of Anna Vanderspek Anna Vanderspek

New EPA Vehicle Standards & What They Mean for Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Recently, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final vehicle emissions regulations for vehicle model years 2027 through 2032. You’ve likely seen lots of headlines about this. As the New York Times put it, “in terms of lowering the emissions that are heating the planet, this regulation does more than any other climate rule issued by the federal government and more than any measure planned in the remainder of Mr. Biden’s first term." In this blog, we’ll cover what these regulations are, why they’re so important, and how they interact with electric vehicle (EV) policies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Picture of Anna Vanderspek Anna Vanderspek

Good Climate Bills in the Massachusetts House of Representatives

On February 7th, Massachusetts State Representatives on the Telecommunications, Utility, and Energy Committee (TUE) led by Representative Roy, House Chair of the Committee, sent several climate and energy bills forward to the next step of the legislative process, the House Ways and Means Committee. It’s taken two months to fully update all the information on the website, but now that all the info is available, we’re excited to highlight nine great sections in the House climate bills.

Picture of Carrie Katan Carrie Katan

WBUR/The Boston Globe: These energy suppliers say they can save you money. Regulators say it’s a scam.

This blog is a repost of a story that was produced by a partnership of the Boston Globe and WBUR. Published March 28, 2024

Across Massachusetts, the complaints sound similar: A person discovers their electric bills have spiked, and when they look into it, they find that the company providing their electricity isn’t who they expected — instead of a utility like National Grid or Eversource, it’s a third-party provider they’ve never heard of.

Sabrina Shankman & Miriam Wasser

Coordinating Mass Save with the Clean Heat Standard is Essential

This year, Massachusetts government agencies are working on major aspects of building decarbonization in three different arenas: Mass Save, the “Future of Gas” proceeding, and the Clean Heat Standard. The Commonwealth must coordinate these efforts to find the optimum set of policy solutions. This blog outlines our view on how state agencies should be coordinating these processes.

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien

Time to Comment on the Clean Energy Transition in Massachusetts

For many years, there has been a lot going on in terms of Massachusetts energy and climate policy, but this year may top them all. We are seeing an unprecedented number of opportunities for citizens in the Commonwealth to speak out on a wide range of issues – grid modernization, strengthening the Clean Energy Standard, establishing a Clean Heat Standard, and energy policy in general. We encourage you to comment on topics that interest you. Here’s a list for your perusal, with text from the relevant agencies.

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien

How to Get Trusted Advice on Heat Pumps for your Home

Converting our heating systems from fossil fuels to electric heat pumps is an urgent step in our process of cleaning up our act in the face of mounting climate catastrophes. Both Massachusetts and Rhode Island have ambitious goals and generous incentives to speed that transition, but figuring out when and how to make the switch for your own property remains a complicated question.

Loie Hayes