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

Buildings in the Massachusetts Clean Energy & Climate Plan

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, July 14, 2022 @ 03:33 PM

This blog covers strategies outlined in Massachusetts’ final Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the buildings sector. For more background on the CECP for 2025 and 2030, read this blog.


Residential and commercial heating and cooling contributed 29.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents to Massachusetts’ emissions in 1990, or about 15% of total GHG emissions. The newest draft of the state's Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) now calls for a 49% emission reduction by 2030 relative to 1990 in the heating sector (virtually the same percentage decrease as the economy-wide target of 50%).

For the last several years, we have seen emissions fall significantly from within the electricity sector, while building emission reductions have been more stubborn. Here’s what the CECP says we’re going to do about that, and our take on those strategies.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts, Energy efficiency, Home heating

Final Massachusetts Clean Energy & Climate Plan is Out. Now What?

Posted by Larry Chretien & Anna Vanderspek on Thursday, July 14, 2022 @ 12:56 PM

On June 30, 2022, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) released the final draft of the Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) for 2025 and 2030. This document outlines the key strategies the Commonwealth will use to reach the statutorily-required 50% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under 1990 levels by 2030. We have been advocating for a strong CECP since the first version was published at the very end of 2020. It includes the "how" on reducing emissions from buildings, transportation, and electric power.

Here’s our take on this final version, and what advocacy is needed moving forward.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts

Green Power at Lower Cost: Municipal Aggregation is a Huge Success in Massachusetts

Posted by Larry Chretien & Mikaela Hondros-McCarthy on Saturday, July 02, 2022 @ 10:20 AM

As recently covered by the Boston Globe, Green Energy Consumers is excited to present our new report on the great economic and environmental benefits brought to the Commonwealth through what we call Green Municipal Aggregation (GMA) programs. Our report includes data on over 200 communities and we show how there are opportunities to build upon a great record of success to achieve even more if the state government provides the support aggregation deserves.

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Tags: Massachusetts, Green municipal aggregation

Massachusetts should follow Rhode Island to zero-emission electricity

Posted by Kai Salem on Monday, June 20, 2022 @ 12:01 PM

Rhode Island just passed legislation that requires the state’s electric suppliers to procure 100% renewable electricity by 2033, using the highest quality (“Class I” or “new”) Renewable Energy Certificates. The Massachusetts legislature, meanwhile, isn’t considering a Renewable Portfolio Standard update in the climate bills that have been passed by the MA House and Senate and are currently being negotiated in the conference committee. 

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

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