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

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

What’s Plan B for active mobility?  

Posted by Anna Vanderspek & Mal Skowron on Friday, February 11, 2022 @ 10:30 AM

The Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) is a multi-state effort to phase down our dependence on gasoline and diesel fuels and to kickstart investments for cleaner, more affordable transportation options. In November 2021, the governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island withdrew support for the program. We're disappointed because without TCI, it's unclear how the states will achieve the emissions reductions needed to meet their climate goals. 

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

This Winter Adds to the Evidence: We’re Slow Walking on Climate Action

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, February 01, 2022 @ 02:29 PM

For those of us in the climate action movement, it’s tiring to ask the question, “What will it take to get policymakers to see the climate crisis as something deserving big, rapid changes in how we produce and consume energy?” Evidently, it’s not forest fires, melting glaciers, heat waves, or hurricanes. This winter, the climate crisis, and our fossil fuel addiction are leading to other consequences: expensive electricity and lots of oil burning. And yes, we’re still not seeing nearly enough action.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electricity and the grid, Climate change, Phasing out fossil fuels

Is the RI budget good for climate action?

Posted by Kai Salem & Mal Skowron on Thursday, January 27, 2022 @ 12:22 PM

RI’s administration needs to get real on climate funding, because the Governor’s budget doesn’t.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island, 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

Stand up for Clean Trucks!

Posted by Ryan Corvese on Monday, January 10, 2022 @ 09:49 AM

Updated March 2022 - If you’re a Massachusetts or Rhode Island resident, you may have taken action in February in support of heavy-duty vehicle electrification. Medium- and heavy-duty trucks not only contribute to climate change but also release nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) which are hazardous to human health. Massachusetts is considering adopting two important regulations coming out of California that will help bring down these emissions – the Advanced Clean Trucks rule (ACT) and the Heavy-Duty Omnibus rule (HDO). (Rhode Islanders, we need you to push for the adoption of these rules too!) Here’s everything you need to know to make your voice heard in either state.

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

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

Act On Climate was a big step for RI. Now let’s work quickly to implement it

Posted by Mal Skowron on Friday, November 05, 2021 @ 03:15 PM

You may be reading more about climate policy in the news because of COP26, the global conference in Glasgow to address the climate crisis hosted by the United Nations. This work is important for the sake of international cooperation and because climate change is a global issue. However, work on the international scale doesn’t replace the need for strong leadership on the local and state level to enact policies that align with the vision of COP26, as I recently argued in the Boston Globe alongside our allies at The Nature Conservancy. 

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Rhode Island, 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