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

The Energy Consumer's Bulletin

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

Getting the Sulfur Out of Heating Oil – A Win-Win for Consumers and the Environment

Posted by Phil Lindsey & Loie Hayes on Friday, January 20, 2017 @ 06:40 PM

For decades, the federal Clean Air Act has caused sulfur levels in electricity-generating gasoline and oil to fall dramatically. The results have been enormous. According to one study, the benefits of EPA regulations on sulfur (and nitrogen) have exceeded costs by 30 to 1. Most of these benefits have to do with public health.

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Tags: heating oil, oil market, environmental policy, biodiesel

Emissions from Electric Cars Will Decrease Every Year – Isn’t that Cool? Here’s how.

Posted by Larry Chretien & Katy Kidwell on Monday, January 16, 2017 @ 03:27 PM

Before we get into how electric cars can run on sunshine and wind power, let’s talk about old-fashioned cars that run only on gasoline engines. Some good news is that because of federal fuel efficiency standards (known as Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency), cars in 2025 will be much more efficient, on average, than today. Officially, carmakers will have to meet a standard of 54.5 miles on average for passenger cars and light trucks in 2025, which is about what a Toyota Prius (the version that does not plug-in) gets today. If we focus on emissions of carbon dioxide, the average new non-electric car in 2030 will emit about 182 grams per mile, down from 248 grams in 2017. That’s a nice reduction in carbon emissions of about a third.

The bad news is that we need to do much better. Don’t despair, because we have more good news. We can do much better, by adopting electric vehicles, whether they are plug-in hybrids (like the Chevy Volt or Prius Prime (which does plug-in) or all-electric battery powered (like a Tesla, the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Bolt).

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Tags: electric vehicles

Mid-Winter Heating Oil Price Update

Posted by Phil Lindsay on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 @ 05:44 PM

After last winter’s relative warmth and Mass Energy/PP&L prices mostly under $2 per gallon, this year we’re experiencing colder weather and somewhat higher prices. Both the colder weather and today’s prices are still lower than ‘normal’ by historical standards. Here’s our take on what we see happening in the oil markets.

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Tags: heating oil, oil market

New websites in MA & RI help you decode competitive electricity supply offers

Posted by Loie Hayes on Friday, January 06, 2017 @ 02:32 PM

One of our members called recently asking for help finding information on competitive electric suppliers, the electricity supply companies that often claim to offer cheaper rates – and sometimes greener powerthan the Basic Service offered by her electric utilitiy. More than likely, you’ve also received a knock on the door or something in the mail from competitive suppliers. So many suppliers had contacted our member that she felt she should find out what they were offering. She was particularly interested in renewable electricity options, but didn’t know who to trust.

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Tags: renewable energy, electricity, competitive suppliers

Community-Scale Wind power: A Case Study for the Holidays

Posted by Loie Hayes on Thursday, December 22, 2016 @ 12:45 PM

The 600-kilowatt wind turbine at Holy Name Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School is one of the wind turbines in our green power portfolio. The driving force behind the project was Mary E. Riordan, the school’s former biology teacher and headmaster, and now its Director of Institutional Advancement. According to Kevin Schulte of Sustainable Energy Developments Inc., who consulted on the development of this and many other turbine installations, “For a project to succeed, it needs a real champion; for the Holy Name wind turbine project, that champion is Mary Riordan.”

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Tags: renewable energy, community organizing, Massachusetts

Why You Can Start Heating with Biodiesel Today

Posted by Sophia Wright on Saturday, December 17, 2016 @ 07:12 AM

We’ve come a long way in understanding the best practices for using biodiesel in our home heating system. Unlike biodiesel used in cars, home biodiesel does not require any do-it-yourself retrofitting for safe use. By reading this blog we hope you can get a better understanding of the benefits of biodiesel and the steps you can take to begin using bio-heat in your home heating oil system!

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Tags: biodiesel

Mass Energy & People’s Power & Light 2016 Recap

Posted by Eugenia Gibbons and Kat Burnham on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 @ 01:35 PM

 

2016 has been a tremendous year for Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light. Our organizations have done great work, have launched several new initiatives, and together with collaborative partners we will continue to rise to the challenges ahead. We take a moment here to look back at 2016.

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Tags: events, environmental policy, electric vehicles, pipeline

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

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