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

The Energy Consumer's Bulletin

Larry Chretien

Executive Director of Mass Energy and People's Power & Light.

Recent Posts

Energy More Affordable Now than Ever, Greener Too

Posted by Larry Chretien on Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 01:07 PM

Americans are now spending less on energy as a percentage of income than ever recorded. That’s a finding from a recent study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. On average, consumers spend just four percent of their incomes on electricity, heat, and transportation. This statistic is a clear pushback against those who would say that “we cannot afford clean energy.” It also points out that our economy has changed over the years in such a way that we don’t need to burn as much stuff in order to make a living.

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Tags: renewable energy, energy efficiency

Labs of Democracy: the State's Role in Energy Policy

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, February 06, 2017 @ 02:28 PM

In a 1932 Supreme Court decision Judge Louis Brandeis famously wrote in a dissenting opinion, “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”

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Tags: renewable energy, environmental policy, electric vehicles, energy efficiency

Trump, Tillerson, and Putin

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, January 23, 2017 @ 12:28 PM

There’s a bromance going on between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. It’s bizarre and has all kinds of serious implications for national security, foreign policy, human rights, and more. The focus of this blog is about how their shared agenda would have us relapse into a deeper addiction to petroleum.

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Tags: oil import, oil market, foreign oil, environmental policy, world news

Why December is the Best Time to Get an Electric Car. Really.

Posted by Larry Chretien on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 @ 04:00 PM


If you have been thinking about getting a car in the next few weeks or months, let me see if I can persuade to act now through our Drive Green program before the New Year. Here are the reasons:

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Tags: electric vehicles

People Love Their Electric Cars!

Posted by Larry Chretien on Friday, November 25, 2016 @ 11:34 AM

Our Drive Green program is still very new, but already we have some participants who just love their new cars.  If you’ve been wondering whether an EV is right for you, check out what these folks have to say:

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Tags: electric vehicles

November 8 is One Big Reason Nonprofits Exist

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, November 14, 2016 @ 12:15 PM


The election results have many of us contemplating how we should respond, personally and professionally. I don’t have it all figured out, but here are some early thoughts.

November 8 notwithstanding, Americans strongly favor renewable energy and energy efficiency over fossil fuels and nuclear power. Opinion surveys demonstrate that quite clearly. Furthermore, surveys show that the more people know about things like wind power, solar, LEDs and electric cars, the more they prefer them over things that are hazardous to our planetary and bodily health. So whatever else it was, the election was not a referendum on energy issues.

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Tags: environmental policy

2016-2018 MA Efficiency Plan Updates: Utilities exceed expectations by aiming low

Posted by Larry Chretien on Friday, October 14, 2016 @ 12:23 PM

Half-way through the first year of the 2016-2018 Efficiency Plan and utilities are on pace to be handsomely rewarded as they surpass the low goals set for themselves.


Readers of this blog know that I represent Massachusetts’ nonprofits on the state’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC). The EEAC is the body responsible for overseeing development and monitoring implementation of the state’s utility-run energy efficiency programs. Readers will recall that a year ago I voted against the Three-Year Plan proposed by the utilities administering energy efficiency programs.

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Tags: environmental policy, energy efficiency

Arrogance and Greed of the Pipeline Tax

Posted by Larry Chretien on Monday, August 22, 2016 @ 09:36 AM

On August 17, 2016, we were thrilled to learn that the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court ruled that taxing electricity ratepayers to finance a natural gas (read – fracked methane) pipeline was illegal according to the 1997 Electric Restructuring Act.  We saw the scheme, jointly proposed by Spectra, Eversource, and National Grid, and strongly backed by the Baker Administration and House Speaker Robert DeLeo, as being awful for consumers and the environment.  Spectra Energy is the pipeline project developer.  Eversource and National Grid are investor-owned regulated monopoly utilities, that combined have a 60% financial stake in Access Northeast.

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Tags: environmental policy, pipeline

State High Court Rules in Favor of Global Warming Solutions Act

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 @ 05:19 PM

Unambiguous. That’s the word the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court used in it's unanimous decision to describe a requirement of the Department of Environmental Protection to write regulations ensuring that we see “declining aggregate emissions” of greenhouse gas emissions over time.  As a coplaintiff in this case, Mass Energy is  thrilled with the SJC’s order. We support the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), which requires greenhouse gas emissions of 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 (both compared to 1990). And the GWSA clearly states that the Department must write regulations to get the job done. We hope that the Department will move quickly to write strong regulations that will get us to the important first milestone of 25% by 2020.

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Tags: environmental policy

Having Our Cake and Eating It Too: How to use your heating oil savings wisely

Posted by Larry Chretien on Friday, January 22, 2016 @ 07:27 PM

Members of our discount heating oil program are enjoying prices that are about 40 cents less than the average full-service dealer in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Compared to last year, our members are paying over a $1 less per gallon. According to state surveys, the average price paid by consumers for heating oil has fallen about 75 cents, which is not quite as much as the savings for Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light members.

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Tags: heating oil, renewable energy, electric vehicles, energy efficiency

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