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

A Tax Break for You and Your Mother (Earth)

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 @ 01:10 PM

The tax man cometh. But if you participate in our Green Powered program, you can take a break. It’s a small one, but well deserved.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Our programs

How much is climate action dependent upon really big projects?

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 @ 01:40 PM

The following is the third blog in a trilogy. In early December, we explained the importance of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and how they are used to quantify and track the green attributes associated with renewable electricity supplied to our grid. In late November, we explained how state renewable energy standards work to clean up the grid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring the addition of certain qualifying resources, particularly wind and solar. Another way to reduce emissions from the electricity sector is to enable electricity suppliers to purchase and deliver large quantities of hydro and offshore wind to the region. But delays could significantly undermine fulfillment of our clean energy and climate requirements.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Climate change

How RECs Work to Clean New England’s Grid

Posted by Yaima Braga on Monday, December 03, 2018 @ 03:02 PM

The first thing most people do when they walk into a room is to turn the lights on. But most people do not think of how that power got there and where it came from. In reality, electricity is a complex system responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electrons. So how do we know if the electricity we’re using came from renewable energy or not? The answer: Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). But in order to understand how RECs work and how they do their part to clean our grid, we must first understand how the grid brings electricity to our homes and businesses, and how it operates as a whole.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Electricity and the grid

The Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) & Rhode Island Renewable Energy Standard (RES) in Plain English

Posted by Larry Chretien & Yaima Braga on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 @ 09:52 AM

As you may have heard by now, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are 2 out of 28 states that have a state mandate requiring retail electricity suppliers to provide a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable energy sources. And even though the RPS and RES are different as their names suggest, they have a common goal: to increase the amount of renewable energy in the region and to lower greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. They do so by requiring electric utilities and competitive power suppliers to include increasing amounts of renewable energy in their supply mixes each year. For purely political reasons, municipally-owned utilities are exempt.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy

There are Three Ways to Buy Green Electricity – Two Are Good and One is Bad

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, October 29, 2018 @ 12:06 PM

This is an update from previous blogs on the subjects covered here.

Have you recently received salespeople at your door or offers in the mail from competitive electricity suppliers? They lay the pitch on thick with too-good-to be true rates and feel-good energy mixes. It may seem hard to poke holes in the pitch, but under the smiling surface, many of these suppliers use smoke and mirror marketing to get their foot in the door and your signature on a contract.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Electricity and the grid, Green municipal aggregation

Puerto Rico Will Rise, Thanks to Renewables, Microgrids and Energy Storage

Posted by Yaima Braga on Thursday, September 20, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Our Climate Change Perspectives mini-blog series is a 3-part series that brings to light the personal impacts of climate change on Green Energy Consumers' staff members' lives. This series aims to clarify what is at stake for people around the world and how those realities influence the choices we make on a daily basis.

Yaima Braga is our Energy Programs Manager.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Electricity and the grid, Climate change

Are you getting greenwashed by your electricity supplier?

Posted by Erin Taylor on Tuesday, August 07, 2018 @ 10:17 AM

Been hearing from "green electricity" suppliers like CleanChoice Energy? You want to support the generation of electricity from renewable sources, but how do you know if a green power program will use your dollars to speed our transition to clean energy? How would you know whether your purchase of green power is actually contributing to shifting the mix of electricity that powers our electric grid away from fossil fuels?

These are valid questions that we, as a non-profit energy organization working in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and offering a program that allows you to make the switch to renewable energy, get asked every day. So here it is: Green Power Bootcamp, in a blog.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Electricity and the grid, Our programs

Landfills become solar power zones in northern Rhode Island

Posted by Yaima Braga on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 @ 10:25 AM

Solar projects have been popping up all over Rhode Island. This has been due to the enhancement of the Renewable Energy Standard and the Renewable Energy Growth program, as well as a recent call from Governor Gina Raimondo to have 1,000 Megawatts of renewable energy within the state by the end of 2020. We are excited about the possibilities these policy measures create for new, properly-sited projects.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Rhode Island, Our programs

Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons and Deborah Donovan on Thursday, July 19, 2018 @ 11:47 AM

This piece written by Eugenia Gibbons and Deborah Donovan was originally published by Commonwealth Magazine on July 15, 2018.

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Tags: Renewable energy, Energy policy & advocacy, Massachusetts

Nonprofit review: EnergySage for solar

Posted by Greg Ohadoma on Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 03:05 PM

As a non-profit focused on both climate change and consumers, we have noticed that the complexity of solar contracts and cost of solar panels prohibit some people from moving forward with solar installation.

For years we have helped consumers to install solar by interpreting state programs, teaming up with state and municipal programs like Massachusetts Solar Connect, and even buying solar RECs from projects built before 2010. Now we've vetted an all-in-one solution that we're excited to share with our members and friends: EnergySage. Together, we're helping more and more people install solar.

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Tags: Renewable energy