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

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Rhode Island

What’s Needed in Rhode Island Energy EV Filing

We have been attending Rhode Island Energy’s (RIE’s) quarterly Power Sector Transformation sessions for a few years to learn about and advise on electrification initiatives in the state. At the most recent session, we learned that Rhode Island plans to submit an Electric Vehicle Program Filing with the PUC this Fall. Given that transportation is the largest source of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in the state, RIE’s EV programming will be a key piece of Rhode Island’s approach to meeting the emissions reduction mandate of the Act on Climate. Recognizing this important role, we submitted this memoto key stakeholders detailing what we think RIE EV programs must include to result in adequate emissions reductions. Below are our four main points:

Picture of Amanda Barker Amanda Barker

Rhode Island Update: DRIVE EV & E-Bike Rebate Programs

UPDATE: The DRIVE EV and Erica Niedowski e-bike rebate programs have paused application acceptance until the week of September 18, 2023, due to funding issues.

 

July is a big month for Driving Rhode Island to Vehicle Electrification (DRIVE EV) announcements! Last July, Rhode Islanders were thrilled to learnthat the DRIVE EV rebate had been re-instated. This July, we learned that the program is taking a brief pause (as of July 11) before it resumes on August 1, 2023.

Picture of Devan DiLibero Devan DiLibero

Rhode Island Must Increase its Capacity to Make Climate Progress

Rhode Island has committed to combating climate change by adopting one of the strongest climate policies in the nation: An Act on Climate, committing the state to 45% emissions reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050. While Rhode Island is at the forefront of aggressive climate policy, it is not alone. California, New York, and Massachusetts all have similar emissions reductions targets and the ultimate goal of net zero by 2050. The difference is that these states have all backed up their commitment by making budgetary allocations for decarbonization. Rhode Island has just recently taken a modest step towards funding its decarbonization efforts.

Picture of Amanda Barker Amanda Barker

Victory in New Building Decarbonization at the Eleventh Hour!

Late into the last night (early morning on June 16, actually) of session, the RI General Assembly passed S855 Sub A requiring the RI building code commission to adopt the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) within 3 months of its publication, which is expected this Fall. Rhode Island is now set to become the first state to adopt the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). This legislation was one of Green Energy Consumers’ top priorities this legislative session, especially since the state currently uses only the 2018 IECC with weakening amendments. Adopting this code will mean that new buildings in Rhode Island will be more energy efficient and have much lower emissions than ever before.

Picture of Amanda Barker Amanda Barker

Rhode Island Picks up the Pace on Clean Cars & Trucks

A little over a month ago we published a blog celebrating Massachusetts’ formal adoption of the Advanced Clean Cars II standard and pointing out that Rhode Island was slow-walking on the standard. We are happy to report that Rhode Island has since picked up the pace! Governor Dan Mckee has announced that Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) will adopt the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) and Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) standards. This is great news – and a big thank you goes out to Governor Mckee and the RIDEM team, as well as to Senator DiMario and Representative Cortvriend for sponsoring legislation (S195/H6055) calling for Rhode Island to implement the standards. And thank you to all of you who submitted written testimony and showed up at the hearing in support!

Anna Vanderspek and Amanda Barker

Rhode Islanders: Take Action for Clean Cars

Important legislation is being heard TODAY in Rhode Island that would direct the Ocean State to adopt advanced vehicle emissions standards out of California as long as they are more stringent than federal law. Adopting such standards, like Advanced Clean Cars II and Advanced Clean Trucks, is crucial to Rhode Island’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 45% by 2030, as required by an Act on Climate. Rhode Islanders can take action to support this important legislation by testifying at a hearing TODAY (Thursday, March 30) or submitting written comments. Here are all the details you’ll need.

Anna Vanderspek and Amanda Barker

Municipal Aggregation Comes to Rhode Island! Greener power at lower cost.

We're excited to announce the start of something good in Rhode Island. Seven cities and towns have adopted “green municipal aggregation” as a way to add more renewable energy to their electricity supply affordably. Here’s the Magnificent Seven: Barrington, Central Falls, Narragansett, Newport, Portsmouth, Providence, and South Kingstown. Better yet, starting in May, customers enrolled in these aggregations will pay a lower rate than what would be charged by Rhode Island Energy.

Green Energy Consumers Alliance

Rhode Island Can & Must Phase Out Gas Cars

Rhode Island has led the nation in the electric sector, with the first offshore wind farm in the country off of Block Island and the groundbreaking law to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2033. Unfortunately, concerning the transportation sector, the state is lagging behind several states. This year, we are advocating for Rhode Island to adopt a key set of regulations coming out of California: the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) standards. 

Anna Vanderspek and Amanda Barker

New Electric School Buses Coming to Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Earlier this summer, we wrote about applications being open for the Clean School Bus Program. Now, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced who got awarded – and school districts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are on the list!

GECA staff and partners with an electric school bus in Beverly, MA.

Malia Ching