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

Another Great Year for Climate Legislation in Massachusetts? Apparently. Let’s Hope.

Posted by Larry Chretien on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 @ 12:24 PM

In 2021, Governor Baker signed comprehensive climate legislation called An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy. That law set a more aggressive timeline for mandatory emissions reductions (50% by 2030, net-zero, and 85% by 2050), strengthened the definition of “environmental justice communities”, and will definitely impact the state. But while the ink is barely dry, it certainly appears that the House and Senate are moving towards yet another significant climate bill to send to the governor sometime in the next two to three months.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Climate change

The Code is the Key

Posted by Kai Salem on Monday, March 14, 2022 @ 09:58 AM

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote that DOER had announced its proposed regulations to up the energy requirements in Massachusetts’ base and stretch energy codes. DOER has also proposed a new “specialized opt-in,” which municipalities may choose to opt-up to and which complies with the Climate Roadmap Statute’s requirement for a definition of net-zero to be added to code. 

We call upon you to write to DOER by March 18th with your comments on the code. Read on for our thoughts on the code as well as a few talking points for your comments.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Phasing out fossil fuels

Gas Tax Holidays: A Really Bad Idea

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, March 10, 2022 @ 01:28 PM

Some politicians in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are calling on their state governments to reduce or eliminate the gas tax in response to rising prices since Russia invaded Ukraine a couple weeks ago. That’s an awful idea and political pandering at its worst.

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

Powering Municipal Aggregation with Offshore Wind

Posted by Kai Salem & Larry Chretien on Tuesday, March 08, 2022 @ 09:35 AM

Last week, with a resounding vote of 144-12, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the Offshore Wind and Clean Energy bill. It will now go to the State Senate. We are especially thrilled because we worked hard to get provisions introduced that would help municipal aggregations access offshore wind. With the championship of Rep. Tommy Vitolo and Rep. Dylan Fernandes, and the support of Speaker Ron Mariano and Energy Committee Chair Jeffrey Roy, our provisions were adopted!  

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Green municipal aggregation, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

Cracking the Code on Building Sector Emissions

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, February 14, 2022 @ 03:00 PM

On February 8, Massachusetts energy officials proposed regulations that would require new residential and commercial buildings to be significantly more energy efficient. The proposal would establish a new energy code statewide, in addition to a more rigorous “stretch code” that cities and towns can adopt.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Energy efficiency, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

An open letter to the Massachusetts Clean Heat Commission

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, January 20, 2022 @ 09:15 AM


As the Boston Globe recently reported, the Baker administration has appointed a “Clean Heat Commission” (CHC) charged with making recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the building sector. To the appointees, we humbly ask that you consider this open letter. 

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Phasing out fossil fuels

Survey: MA residents are ready for a smarter electricity system

Posted by Mal Skowron on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 @ 06:00 PM

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), the government body responsible for overseeing the operation of gas and electric utilities, is considering proposals by National Grid and Eversource to modernize the electric grid and support the buildout of EV charging infrastructure.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electricity and the grid

The Public Gets It: We Have to Phase Out Gas-Powered Cars

Posted by Larry Chretien & Anna Vanderspek on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 @ 09:03 AM

There’s so much climate-related news right now that it’s hard to keep up: from the negotiations in Glasgow to the details of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the still-to-be-determined future of the Build Back Better Act. But here’s one piece of good news you don’t want to miss: a recent poll demonstrates that the public gets it. We have to phase out gas-powered cars.

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Tags: Massachusetts, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

Say Yes at the DPU part Two: A Modern Grid and Smart Meters for Massachusetts

Posted by Kai Salem on Friday, September 03, 2021 @ 07:58 PM

Updated October 8th. Recently, we posted a blog about the proposals by Massachusetts’ investor-owned utility companies (Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil) to expand their electric vehicle (EV) programs through 2025. Alongside the proposals for what the utility companies can do to support EVs, the utilities have filed their second round of Grid Modernization Plans (GMPs), continuing the work begun in grid modernization filings in 2018. This time, the filings include plans for the statewide roll out of smart meters. In the coming months, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will deliberate over the utilities’ Grid Modernization Plans and Advanced Meter Implementation Plans.  

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

Massachusetts needs more EV charging. Electric utilities have a plan.

Posted by Mal Skowron on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 @ 10:47 AM

Updated October 8th. More electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure is on the horizon in Massachusetts. The investor-owned utility companies (Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil) recently submitted proposals to expand their EV programs through 2025.

In the coming months, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU), the public agency responsible for utility oversight, will review the ideas and decide whether the proposals will be executed as is or with modifications.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Phasing out fossil fuels