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

It’s Time to Get Charged Up: Getting Ready for Electric Vehicles and Modernizing the Grid

Posted by Larry Chretien on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 10:16 AM

We’ve written several blog posts about the environmental, health, and economic benefits of electric vehicles. Understanding these benefits helps to drive consumer demand for EVs, which helps to accelerate their adoption. When it comes to fully transitioning away from gas-powered cars, consumer demand is one piece of the equation, but the build-out of charging infrastructure is the other. There are important decisions to be made in this regard.  Here I explain what is taking place and how you can weigh in to the public process.

Read More

Tags: renewable energy, Massachusetts, electric vehicles

Trump Inspires the People’s Climate March

Posted by Larry Chretien on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 @ 11:18 AM

As a nonprofit organization, we’re not here to tell you how to vote, but we can speak out on the president’s policies. We’ve already commented on his appointees. A truly comprehensive article covering the range of his energy policies would be quite long, so for this piece, I will cover just a few of the more recent announcements of particular relevance to consumers and the environment. 

Read More

Tags: renewable energy, community organizing, environmental policy

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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

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.

Read More

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:

Read More

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:

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Tags: environmental policy, pipeline

Leave a comment on this article...