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.
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.”
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.
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.
Tags: energy efficiency
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tags: energy efficiency
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.
Tags: energy efficiency
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.