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

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Green Power Member Spotlight: Susanne Altenburger

The “Member Spotlight” series highlights the individuals that make our organization great. Each post tells the story of an outstanding Mass Energy or PP&L member. By sharing their stories we hope to spread the word about their unique efforts and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

Meet Susanne Altenburger, New England GreenStart member since 2009 and long-time energy efficiency expert. As she explains “there is a certain philosophy behind the price you pay when you have bad habits.” Eliminating these energy “bad habits” through efficiency is key for Susanne. After researching the fundamentals of and determining what low-carbon construction is all about, she found that many of us spend way too much money on wasted energy. By minimizing her wasted energy and greening up the small amount of energy she does use with Mass Energy, Altenburger has forged a model energy lifestyle.

Puanoa A. Higginson

To Our Green Power Members: Mass Energy’s Take on Electricity Rate Increases

*If you live in Rhode Island read the People's Power & Light version of this article here.

You’ve been good enough to voluntarily sign up for one of Mass Energy’s green power products, New England Wind or New England GreenStart (if not, click here to learn how)By now, you have probably read or heard that electricity rates for customers of National Grid, NSTAR, and Western Mass Electric are all taking a big jump this winter. These rates will be in effect until the spring. At that point, we expect the rates to come back down. Below is some information on the electricity rate increases and Mass Energy’s response. 

The utilities buy electricity according to rules set by the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). Because this winter’s spike is so significant, the DPU has asked stakeholders for ideas on how to mitigate the rate increase and how to minimize its effects on consumers. Here’s what we had to say...

Mass Energy advocates for policies that are pro-consumer and pro-environment.

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien

Avoid carbon dioxide emissions: Doing the math on green power

If we can avoid burning fossil fuels to make electricity (or heat our homes), we can avoid carbon dioxide emissions which cause global warming.  Fortunately, we can do just that by buying green power and making our homes energy efficient.  Can we quantify the benefits of green power and efficiency?  Yes, we can!  Here’s how:

The organization that runs the New England power grid does an annual assessment of air emissions made by generators in the region.  The assessment reports on how much sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon dioxide are emitted in a given year, both on average per megawatt hour and at the margin.  By “at the margin” we mean the last megawatt hour (MWh) produced.  When we consider how avoiding emissions is a benefit, we calculate the benefit by looking at the marginal rate, which is the rate associated with the last megawatt hour we are using on the New England Power grid.  For those of who are concerned about climate change, we are interested in the marginal rate of carbon dioxide emissions because we want to replace that last megawatt hour of dirty energy with something that is zero-emission.   The point is that that we claim credit for avoiding the marginal rate rather than the average rate. 

Picture of Larry Chretien Larry Chretien

Western Mass Electric Co. Teams Up With Mass Energy to Offer Renewable Energy to Customers!


We’ll celebrate at Berkshire East Ski Resort & Canopy Tours on July 27th, and you’re invited.

Coming up on July 27th is Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light’s 4th annual Berkshire East Wind Turbine Festival in Charlemont, MA (get your tickets here). Local wind turbine power at Berkshire East is a huge success story—it literally helped keep this family-run ski and zip-lining resort from shutting its doors. Mass Energy/PP&L was able to play a role in Berkshire East’s success by contracting to purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) from their local wind turbine long-term.

Picture of Erin Taylor Erin Taylor

Welcome to Mass Energy and People's Power & Light’s Blog!

Today, we are excited to launch our blog. Mass Energy (MA) and People's Power & Light (RI) are sister organizations dedicated to making energy more affordable and environmentally sustainable. We have three energy programs for consumers: heating oil, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. We will use this space to post top energy news, local event information, and other media related to our program areas. Check back often to stay up to date on the energy industry in New England. Mass Energy and People's Power & Light’s blog will be one of many ways that we empower Massachusetts and Rhode Island energy consumers to make educated energy choices.

Tien Le