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

The biggest barrier to EV charging you’ve never heard of

Posted by Anna Vanderspek on Thursday, September 29, 2022 @ 12:03 PM

This fall, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is considering proposals from National Grid, Eversource, and Unitil that could make it more economical to operate DC fast charging stations. The proposals could be a big step forward in expanding much-needed charging infrastructure in the Bay State.

But is the DPU considering how to maximize all potential co-benefits of the proposal? In this blog, we’ll explain the new ideas under consideration by regulators and what’s still missing to achieve a smart energy policy that will drive Massachusetts towards the emissions reduction needed to meet its climate goals.

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

What the Inflation Reduction Act Means for Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Posted by Anna Vanderspek on Monday, September 12, 2022 @ 12:53 PM

On August 16, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the largest investment in fighting climate change on the national level this country has ever seen. The IRA is a huge deal and fundamentally changes the game for our work here at the state level. On August 31, we held a webinar to discuss the IRA and its impact on three levels: on individual consumers who want to go green, on towns and cities, and on the state. Here is the webinar recording, as well as a summary and clips of each individual section. Enjoy!

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Electricity and the grid, Energy efficiency, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

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

Rhode Island leaps ahead towards 100% renewable electricity!

Posted by Kai Salem on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 @ 08:23 PM

Rhode Island makes history!  Late Tuesday afternoon, the RI House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing a bill to update the Renewable Energy Standard to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2033. Rhode Island is now set to become the first state to reach that total level of commitment towards wind, solar, and other qualifying power sources. This was Green Energy Consumers’ top priority this legislative session, and its passage builds on advocacy we have done for years to establish and increase the Renewable Energy Standard. 

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island, Phasing out fossil fuels

3 Climate Policies to Get RI Back on Track for 2030

Posted by Kai Salem & Mal Skowron on Wednesday, June 08, 2022 @ 02:20 PM

UPDATE on June 8th: S2274 (100% Renewable) passed the Senate; all eyes are now on the House bill, H7277. The bill was amended to reach 100% by 2033, which would still make RI the first state to reach 100% renewable electricity. We need your help NOW to make sure this bill becomes law.

Contact your State Representative by Tuesday to ask them to vote yes on H7277.

S2583 (offshore wind procurement) also passed the Senate! Encourage your State Rep to support H7971 when you make your call. Thank you to the leaders who have worked to pass these bills. 

Originally published May 5th, 2022

Rhode Island is headed in the wrong direction when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. A month ago, the state released worrying emissions data that shows the state’s GHG emissions in 2018 were up 15% from 2016, including increases in all sectors, with one of the biggest jumps in emissions coming from our electricity sector. This new data puts into question whether the state will be able to meet its 2020 climate goal, set in the 2014 Resilient RI Act. And it underscores the challenge before Rhode Island in meeting the 2021 Act on Climate mandate of 45% emissions reductions from the 1990 baseline in 2030.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electricity and the grid, Rhode Island, Phasing out fossil fuels

Getting to 100% Green Electricity: It’s only a matter of when.

Posted by Kai Salem & Larry Chretien on Thursday, May 05, 2022 @ 12:46 PM

Green Energy Consumers Alliance has a long history, going back to 1997, of supporting Renewable Energy Standards (RES), a policy that requires electric suppliers to deliver renewable energy. These mandates have worked in a large number of states to bring wind and solar power onto the grid, dramatically reducing its carbon intensity. Today, we can appreciate the immense potential our region has for offshore wind that delivers clean, affordable power to the states and creates jobs. In 2022, we see both the opportunity and necessity for the Bay State and Ocean State to leverage the power of the RES and the potential of offshore wind to make sure we meet our 2030 climate goals. We urge policymakers in both states to up the RES to 100% clean electricity by 2030. We further support policy that will accelerate offshore wind procurement. Offshore wind and 100% by 2030 are like peanut butter and jelly: good alone, but much better together.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Phasing out fossil fuels

Feebates:  A smart, fair way to fund EV rebates

Posted by Larry Chretien & Amelia Murray-Cooper on Monday, April 04, 2022 @ 10:04 AM

Without question, the electric vehicle (EV) revolution is underway.  At some point later this decade, we will see cost-parity, meaning that the upfront cost of an EV will be comparable to its fossil fuel-burning counterpart. Given that EVs cost so much less to operate and maintain, that point will be the tipping point. However, we have to reach that point and, for most consumers, state level incentives will be needed to spur adoption to the levels necessary for states to meet their greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2025 and 2030.   

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

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

Rhode Island Bill Creates Roadmap to Advance Future of Electric Transportation

Posted by Larry Chretien on Wednesday, March 09, 2022 @ 10:15 AM

Last week, Rhode Island legislators Sen. Alana DiMario and Rep. Terri Cortvriend introduced bills setting a target of 100% of new cars registered being electric vehicles by 2030. The legislation (H. 7653 and S. 2448) creates a process to plan for the infrastructure and other changes involving cars, trucks, and public transportation in order to meet the 2030 target, which is critical for the state to meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reductions under the Act on Climate. Following Rhode Island’s withdrawal from the Transportation and Climate Initiative, the bill represents a new approach to tackling pollution from transportation, the region’s largest source of emissions.

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

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