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

The Energy Consumer's Bulletin

Communities choosing renewable energy is now a big thing

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, August 03, 2017 @ 12:07 PM

Massachusetts is one of a few states allowing cities and towns to aggregate consumers for the purchase of electricity. In the last year, we have seen a good number of communities take the opportunity to do just that in ways that are bringing on significantly more renewable energy than required by state law.  The first to commit was Melrose, followed by Dedham. Both started their programs in January 2016. But this year, many more are following suit in the world of “Green Municipal Aggregation” or “Community Choice Energy”.  This summer, programs are starting in Arlington, Brookline, Cambridge, Lexington, Somerville, Sudbury, and Winchester.

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Tags: Massachusetts, municipal aggregation

Electric cars – going mainstream faster than you think

Posted by Larry Chretien on Friday, July 28, 2017 @ 07:46 AM

When we started our Drive Green with Mass Energy & People's Power & Light program on November 2nd, we felt like we were catching a fast moving train. And nine months into the program, we can say that that’s an understatement. Month after month, sales in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, the US, and the world are significantly higher than a year before. Here in America, we have seen strong sales from Tesla (Models S and X), Chevrolet Volt and Bolt, Toyota Prius Prime, and Nissan LEAF.  But where is this all going?

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Tags: electric vehicles, electric cars

What does your electric bill tell you about where the money goes?

Posted by Loie Hayes on Sunday, July 16, 2017 @ 08:07 AM

The average Massachusetts and Rhode Island household uses about 600 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity every month. At about 20 cents for every kWh, this amounts to an electric bill of $120 a month. Here’s a guide to better understand where that money is going.

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Tags: renewable energy, electricity, energy efficiency

Green Power Member Spotlight: Michele Putko

Posted by Charlie Davies on Thursday, July 13, 2017 @ 10:16 AM

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.

While waiting in her car in Brookline to pick up one of her kids, Michele Putko noticed a lawn sign that read "I Switched to 100% Green Energy, and So Can You. Visit" Having previously ruled out solar panels for her home, Putko enrolled in Mass Energy’s New England GreenStart option with the information she gathered from the sign. In a world of unwanted and misleading solicitation regarding “green energy” and ambiguous energy rates, Putko found Mass Energy extremely transparent and reliable.

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Tags: Member Spotlight

Drive Green with Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light is here to stay!

Posted by Anna Vanderspek on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 @ 12:36 PM

It’s no fun taking away the punch bowl just as the party was getting good, so we decided that Drive Green with Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light, our newest program, is here to stay, rather than ending on June 30 as we previously indicated. Our board of directors voted unanimously to keep the program going. We see it as a great way to achieve our mission of making energy more sustainable and affordable. When we launched the program on November 2, we had a good feeling that it would go well and, truth be told, it has. We’re proud to say that over 130 people have purchased or leased electric cars, dozens more are in the process, and more people are registering every day. And the comments we have received from shoppers have been very positive. One thing that really makes us happy is when a new owner sends us a testimonial talking about how much they love their car or how they enjoyed our program. We know we’re not yet perfect, but we are confident we’re on the right track.

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Tags: electric vehicles

Mobility Options for Everyone in the 21st Century

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons & Anna Vanderspek on Friday, July 07, 2017 @ 01:14 PM


21st Century Mobility Runs on Electricity, the Greener the Better

We often write about the role of renewable energy in helping Massachusetts and Rhode Island ratchet down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to meet the goals of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and the Resilient Rhode Island Act. However, it is also true that climate compliance in our states, like elsewhere, hinges on the transformation of the transportation sector.

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Tags: environmental policy, electric vehicles

"Coal’s out” shouldn’t mean more gas is in.

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 12:03 PM

Image courtesy of Dynegy Inc.

With the closure of the Brayton Point, coal generation in MA is officially a thing of the past, but will it be replaced with a 21st century solution or more of the same?


May 31st marked the end of an era in Massachusetts when Brayton Point, the state’s last remaining coal-fired power plant closed. Located in Somerset, the 1500 MW plant was the largest coal-fired generator in New England. Its closure was first announced in 2013 with owners citing costs associated with maintaining the decades’ old facility and coal’s inability to compete economically with natural gas.

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Tags: renewable energy, energy efficiency

This online solar comparison platform is what you’ve been looking for: Mass Solar Connect is back

Posted by Loie Hayes on Thursday, June 08, 2017 @ 10:14 AM

Mass Solar Connect is going to simplify your solar shopping. This statewide initiative, directed by the Mass Clean Energy Center (Mass CEC), pairs Mass Energy’s strong social network with the rich on-line resources of our new partner, EnergySage. (Note: Rhode Island readers can also use EnergySage, but do not have access to the Mass Solar Connect program).

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Tags: solar

It’ll take more than a hybrid: Transportation is moving towards electrification, just in time

Posted by Timmons Roberts and Larry Chretien on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 @ 08:56 PM

Our executive director, Larry Chretien, and professor Timmons Roberts wrote this article for the Brookings Institution. Read the original article here.

A few years ago, we bought a Prius hybrid (Larry), and a diesel Jetta (Timmons). We got great mileage on both, but we couldn’t imagine then how electric vehicles would begin to crack the last tough nut of confronting climate change and cleaning up urban air with genuinely appealing and low-cost options.

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Tags: electric vehicles

New study confirms benefits to strengthening the Massachusetts’ Renewable Portfolio Standard

Posted by Eugenia T. Gibbons on Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 03:00 PM

 An Analysis of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, prepared by Synapse Energy Economics and Sustainable Energy Advantage, demonstrates that increasing the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2% to 3% per year better positions the state to comply with the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), while reducing costs to consumers and creating jobs.

Press Release and full report are available online.

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Tags: environmental policy, Massachusetts

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