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

The Energy Consumer's Bulletin

Three Steps to a Better Heating System

Posted by Loie Hayes on Saturday, April 01, 2017 @ 08:03 AM

Now that spring is here, we have plenty of time to prepare for next heating season. Heating system upgrades are a great way to help you save energy and money. Though upgrading may seem like an intimidating project, you can break it down into manageable steps.

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Tags: energy efficiency, heat pumps

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

Guest Blog: Demand Response 101 with Mass Energy Volunteer Expert, Elisa Grammer

Posted by Elisa Grammer, Guest Blogger on Saturday, November 19, 2016 @ 08:23 AM

For the past year, Elisa Grammer has been helping Mass Energy intervene in proceedings at the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). She has assisted our Clean Energy Program Director, Eugenia Gibbons, and Executive Director, Larry Chretien, in writing pleadings related to the Massachusetts three-year energy efficiency plan and electric grid modernization. We have also benefitted from Elisa’s expertise and time in opposing the proposed electricity ratepayer financing of new fracked gas pipeline construction. Even before the release of the reliability study by Analysis Group (commissioned by the AG’s office), Elisa helped Mass Energy argue that utilities should be investing more substantially in energy efficiency and demand response rather than looking to saddle ratepayers with the costs of new gas infrastructure. The Analysis Group report, further validated this point of view and determined that even in a stressed scenario, energy efficiency and demand response both ensure reliability in the cheapest way possible and while delivering environmental benefits, too.

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Tags: environmental policy, Massachusetts, energy efficiency

Even Renters can take advantage of a free home energy assessment!

Posted by Sophia Wright on Friday, November 11, 2016 @ 08:00 AM

As a twenty-something renting an apartment, I personally don’t have much incentive to update my heating system or install insulation for the sake of energy efficiency. In fact, since I do not own the apartment, I would need my landlord to authorize any large scale construction projects. That being said, it was still worth the two hours I took out of a workday to get a no-cost home energy assessment of my two-bedroom apartment.  And it paid off!  The time was well spent.

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Tags: energy efficiency

Drive an EV now: group buy discounts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Posted by Larry Chretien & Erin Taylor on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 @ 03:38 PM

Electric vehicles (EVs) are ready today. And in the nick of time. Experts now say that widespread adoption of electric cars is necessary to solve the problem of climate change. Through Drive Green with Mass Energy (MA) and Drive Green with People's Power & Light (RI), you can purchase or lease an EV at a discounted price.

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Tags: renewable energy, energy efficiency

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

3 Ways to Prepare for this Heating Oil Season

Posted by Sophia Wright on Friday, August 12, 2016 @ 12:25 PM

As non-profit consumer advocacy organizations that have been running a Discount Heating Oil Service for 34 years, Mass Energy and People’s Power & Light want our members to save money. Savings that could be put towards making your home more energy efficient and reducing its carbon footprint. Here are some steps you can take to maintain your heating system’s efficiency, reduce your home’s energy consumption, and spread out your oil bills into predictable monthly payments.

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Tags: heating oil, energy efficiency

Mass Save: New Energy Saving Incentives for Renters

Posted by Loie Hayes on Tuesday, August 09, 2016 @ 02:33 PM

Mass Energy is proud of our role in advocating with the Green Justice Coalition for the creation of Mass Save’s 2016 initiatives to better serve renters and moderate-income households. This blog post by Loie Hayes, Mass Energy’s resident energy efficiency expert, describes the new renter-specific Home Energy Assessments.

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Tags: energy efficiency

Save Energy: Update Your Heating Equipment

Posted by Loie Hayes and Anna Vanderspek on Sunday, March 27, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

If your heating system leaves your home too cold or burns too much fuel, it might be time to look into an upgrade.  Consumers in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island should pay close attention to incentives being offered by utilities.  Gas and oil prices have been low the last couple of years, which makes now a good time to invest some of your fuel savings into making your home more efficient.  The payoff will be big when fuel prices rebound (not if, when). Read on to learn more about the incentives and rebates in your state.

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Tags: energy efficiency

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