A priority for Green Energy Consumers Alliance is increasing New England’s clean energy supply while delivering lower costs to consumers. In both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the following facts prevail about our electricity supply options:
New Incentive for Electric Trucks in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) recently announced that the popular rebate program for electric vehicles, MOR-EV, will now offer incentives for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks too. This is great news for the climate and public health in Massachusetts.
In December 2020, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs filed its first draft of the 2030 Clean Energy & Climate Plan (CECP). The plan outlines specific strategies to ensure that the state’s carbon emission limit is met by 2030.
Although it's a good first draft, public comment and participation can steer the final draft to be even better. The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to March 22, 2021. In addition to the blogposts we've already written about the transportation and electricity sections of the CECP, we’ve submitted all of our feedback on the plan early, which you can read here. Here are our main takeaways.
The Baker administration released their ten-year Clean Energy & Climate Plan (CECP), which is open for comment through February 22. The comment period for the CECP is an excellent opportunity to set the Baker Administration on course to tackle climate emissions within multiple sectors of the economy. You can read the whole plan here.
We’re working on our formal comments on the whole plan and will share them soon. Meanwhile, here are our comments on how the plan would treat the electricity sector.
February 12 Update: The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to March 22, 2021, but Green Energy Consumers Alliance submitted our feedback early. Read it here.
If you follow Massachusetts climate policy, you’re probably not very happy with Governor Baker for his recent veto of the Climate Roadmap bill. Though we’re disappointed with his decision, we’re optimistic that lawmakers are ready to refile the legislation and override another veto if necessary.
On January 14, Governor Baker pocket vetoed Senate Bill 2995, An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Climate Policy. The bill was passed by the legislature too late in the session to override the veto. The governor wrote a five-page letter of explanation that we did not find persuasive. Already, the bill has been refiled and we are optimistic that the bill will be passed again and, if it is vetoed, the legislature will override.
Although 2020 did not go as we expected, it looks like we may be reaping the rewards of hard work on climate policy in the early days of 2021. In the past few days, the Massachusetts executive and legislative branches have made steps toward sweeping policy changes, some of which are the culmination of lots of hard work by legislators and advocates. This blog was edited on January 15 to reflect legislative updates since its original posting.
State leaders in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as well as Connecticut and Washington, D.C., recently signed an agreement to pursue a regional Transportation & Climate Initiative program. The goal of the policy is to reduce emissions from transportation, the sector that's responsible for over a third of climate-warming emissions in each state. Green Energy Consumers Alliance applauds the leadership of Governors Gina Raimondo and Charlie Baker for their commitment to rein in a growing source of carbon pollution and invest in clean transportation.
We’re big advocates for incentivizing electric vehicle (EV) drivers to charge their cars off-peak by offering them a lower retail price per kilowatt-hour (kWh). “Off-peak” periods refer to times when demand for electricity is low. At these times, wholesale electricity prices and emissions per unit of energy are lower as well. Shifting EV charging demand by setting a price signal — sometimes called a “time-varying rate” (TVR) or “time-of-use rate” (TOU) — is a win for everyone: EV drivers, non-EV drivers, the environment, and our electric grid. Right now, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is considering whether and how to move forward on this issue — and we wanted to give you an update on progress made so far. (Fair warning: if ever there was a blogpost for the policy wonks, this is it!)
This week, after about four months of lower-than-usual demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, demand is climbing to normal hot weather levels—enough to cause a potentially expensive and polluting peak day.
On peak days, we remind New Englanders to turn up the thermostat, turn off lights, and delay charging devices or electric vehicles—all to attempt to lower the peak electricity usage of the day and avoid turning on dirty power plants. But efficiency and conservation are important year round—in fact, as we have written many times, energy efficiency is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce emissions and save consumers money.
What if there were a simple, free policy that would save money, water, and energy year round, all without any effort from consumers or any impact on the economy? This magical policy exists, and it’s called appliance standards! In the coming weeks, we need your help to update appliance standards in Massachusetts.