efficiency

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Growing Clean Energy
by Sandy Levine

The recent massive snow storms provide a stark reminder of why we need more clean energy. The more fossil fuels we burn, the more global warming we face.  Fiercer and more frequent storms continue to march across New England wreaking havoc with the daily lives and pocketbooks of so many. Thankfully there are many efforts…

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The Time is Right for Affordable Heat
by Sandy Levine

Vermont is poised to take a big bite out of the high cost and pollution of heating our homes and businesses. Slashing a full one-quarter of both lies within our reach. Over the past decade, the cost Vermonters pay for staying warm has more than doubled. This strains our pocketbooks, our environment, our health and…

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Natural Gas Leaks: A Risky Business In Need of a Fix
by John Kassel

A few weeks ago, Springfield, MA, was rocked by a natural gas explosion that destroyed a building, ruined a city block, and was hailed as a miracle because no lives were lost. The pipelines that lie below our communities, always out of sight, came suddenly came into focus. The explosion reminded us of the sobering…

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Everything You Know Is Wrong: Growing the Economy Without Growing Electricity (and Energy) Demand
by Seth Kaplan

Back in the 1970’s the satirical and surreal Firesign Theater proclaimed that “Everything You Know is Wrong.” At the intersection of energy and economics, that absurdist assertion is a increasingly obvious reality that advocates, policy makers and industry must embrace. Throughout history, there are moments when prior assumptions and core beliefs have simply stopped being…

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Bringing Efficiency to the Natural Gas Niche
by John Kassel

My wife and I just moved into a new (to us) apartment in Cambridge and, as is often the case, were faced with a hodge-podge of leftover light bulbs in the fixtures – some too dim, some too bright and glaring, some dead. All were incandescents. New bulbs went on my shopping list. Much to…

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Ratepayers Subsidizing PSNH’s Addiction to Coal
by N. Jonathan Peress

The nation and New Hampshire are relying less and less on coal — our dirtiest, least efficient fuel — to meet our electric power needs. PSNH recently announced it is not operating its flagship coal plant, Merrimack Station in Bow; the plant will sit completely idle for six months of 2012. The two coal boilers at PSNH’s Schiller Station in Portsmouth will operate even less. Yet, PSNH customers continue to pay a premium to keep PSNH’s coal plants on life support, thanks to a regulatory system that protects PSNH’s interests over those of ratepayers.

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Saving Money and Electricity in Rhode Island: The Benefits of Decoupling
by Jerry Elmer

This week Rhode Island’s dominant utility, National Grid, made its first-ever filing with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) under Rhode Island’s newly enacted “revenue decoupling” statute. Grid’s filing resolves once and for all a debate that has been swirling around the environmental community in Rhode Island (and the rest of New England) for years – an argument over whether decoupling is a rip-off of utility rate-payers. CLF (and other environmental advocates) have argued for years that there are important environmental benefits to be reaped from decoupling. Opponents, including some ratepayer advocates, argued that decoupling would be bad for rate-payers because it would inevitably lead to unjustified rate hikes.

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Patrick Administration Proposes Nation-Leading Biomass Regulations
by Sue Reid

Last week, the Patrick Administration released new proposed final rules and guidance on the state’s incentives for biomass energy. It is a big win for our forests, for the role of science in policy making, for efficiency, and for environmental advocates across Massachusetts. I’m proud of the Patrick administration for their tireless work on this…

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Taking Care of Business By Taking Care of Ourselves, Our Friends
by John Kassel

The run-up to the holidays is always a busy time of year, and can make us all feel a bit overstretched. That’s certainly true at CLF. In fact, at times this fall it has felt like we’ve been at a pre-holiday pace since Labor Day. In preparing an internal President’s Report in December, I realized I could only capture a fraction of our accomplishments – the tip of a large iceberg of great work that we love to do.