Showing posts with label electricity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label electricity. Show all posts

Sunday, May 29, 2022

"It is not the Commission’s role to choose one resource type over another"

In a classic 'bury the headline' move in front of a long weekend, the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) allowed ISO-New England to further delay moves to reduce dependence upon fossil fuels. The news was released at "10:17 PM · May 27, 2022·via Twitter Web App".

"Tonight, @FERC  voted to permanently end the use of the #MOPR as a tool to stymie state policies in @ISONewEngland .  
While I would have preferred this happen immediately, I voted to approve the filing with the 2 year transition.  
Full statement here:"

https://www.ferc.gov/news-events/news/chairman-glick-concurrence-regarding-iso-new-england-inc-tariff-revisions 

Shared from Twitter -> https://twitter.com/RichGlickFERC/status/1530372578929529185 


CommonWealth Magazine also provides coverage of this decision


This has been a recurring topic on our "Making Sense of Climate" series. You can find all the episodes (currently 10) here https://www.franklinmatters.org/2022/05/in-this-making-sense-of-climate-episode.html

https://www.ferc.gov/
https://www.ferc.gov/

Thursday, May 26, 2022

CommonWealth Magazine: "Pricing announced for latest offshore wind farms"

"BAKER ADMINISTRATION officials say the two latest offshore wind procurements are in compliance with the state’s price cap even though their electricity will probably end up costing more.

Under the cap, the price of electricity with each successive procurement must come in lower than the previous one. The cap has become somewhat controversial of late, with those wanting offshore wind companies to spend more on economic development initiatives advocating for elimination of the cap.  Gov. Charlie Baker and House leaders are in favor of eliminating the cap, but Senate leaders have expressed reservations about doing that."

Continue reading the article online

CommonWealth Magazine: "Pricing announced for latest offshore wind farms"
CommonWealth Magazine: "Pricing announced for latest offshore wind farms"

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

In this "Making Sense of Climate" episode - Brookline’s initiative, heat pumps, gas leaks, and the health and financial implications of these (audio)

FM #801 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 801 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Ted McIntyre, Franklin resident and climate activist. We recorded this via the Zoom conference bridge Thursday, May 19, 2022.  

Ted and I are joined by Lisa Cunningham and Wendy Stahl. They are climate activists and co-founders of ZeroCarbonMA.org/ 

This discussion continues our journey understanding the MA roadmap toward net zero and while it helps me “make sense of climate”, we hope it helps with your understanding as well. 

If you have climate questions or Franklin specific climate questions, send them in and we’ll try to answer them in a future session.  Wendy and Lisa are also happy to answer questions.

The recording runs about 50 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Ted, Lisa, and Wendy as we discuss Brookline’s initiative, heat pumps, gas leaks, and the health and financial implications of these.  

Audio file -> https://franklin-ma-matters.captivate.fm/episode/fm-801-making-sense-of-climate-10-05-19-22 

--------------

Contact information
* for Lisa or Wendy use  info@zerocarbonma.org  
* Conference committee members (3 from MA House & 3 from MA Senate)

House of Representatives: 

 MA Senate: 


Articles referenced

Stanford Study on gas leaks   

https://news.stanford.edu/press-releases/2022/03/24/methane-leaks-mues-fix-available/

and

https://woods.stanford.edu/news/stanford-scientists-find-climate-and-health-impacts-natural-gas-stoves-are-greater-previously


RMI article on gas stoves  https://rmi.org/insight/gas-stoves-pollution-health/ 


And to buy a low-cost induction cook plate to try induction cooking 

https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-portable-induction-cooktop/ 

We recommend the least expensive “no frills” – works great!  And cast iron pans are magnetic and low cost (Ikea and Amazon also have low-cost magnetic/induction cookware).  

Globe article on Senate Drive Forward act

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/04/07/science/senate-unveils-sweeping-climate-bill/


Electrify your home guide  https://www.rewiringamerica.org/electrify-home-guide 


IPCC report “Code Red”  “The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable."  

https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/08/1097362


Mass Clean Energy Center (MCEC) on heat pumps  https://www.masscec.com/blog/2021/09/13/masscec-pilot-showcases-success-whole-home-heat-pumps 


Talking Points on Section 65 of the Senate’s Drive Act (S. 2842)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XCxBnnmgBaGkDEsziqhzAgASJLCoOqxhUe5VZKF-9EY/edit 


Text of the MA Senate Drive Act 

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/S2819/BillHistory?pageNumber=2   or here

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TDKb_6gw9HjE8q7ZPbU2hhM9ZS1mU6q9/view?usp=sharing 


See the page that collects the “Making Sense of Climate” episodes -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2022/02/making-sense-of-climate-collection.html 

--------------

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.  

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.org/ or www.franklin.news/

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!

------------------

You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions - how to deal with rising heating and utility costs

The MA Attorney General's Office has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions page on how to deal with rising heating and utility costs this winter.
"Many residents are struggling to pay their bills, including their monthly utility bills. Electricity and Gas are essential services—that’s why it is important that customers know their rights and where they can go for help if they need it."


Frequently Asked Questions - how to deal with rising heating and utility costs
Frequently Asked Questions - how to deal with rising heating and utility costs




Tip of the hat to Tyngsborough for the info links ->

Saturday, June 5, 2021

"the aggregation rate is often lower than the utility rate"

"AROUND THE WORLD, in the White House, and at our State House, leaders are finally beginning to respond to the climate challenge. Here in Massachusetts, we can take pride in bold new legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions. And the nation’s first large-scale off-shore wind project, Vineyard Wind, has been given the go ahead by the federal government. Those are exciting developments, but there’s something happening at the local level that deserves our attention as well.

In Massachusetts, cities and towns are increasingly taking advantage of a process known as green municipal aggregation or community choice electricity, which allows municipalities to purchase electricity directly from suppliers (rather than relying on the utilities to do it for us). Through aggregation, communities can offer options that include more wind and solar than required by state law at affordable rates. Today about 50 cities and towns in Massachusetts have done so and dozens more are at various stages of the approval process. Communities that have been doing this for some time keep renewing and usually add more renewable energy as time goes on."
Continue reading the article online

Municipal aggregation was approved by Franklin in 2016 and in 2020 they finally implemented a contract with good pricing. Town Administrator Jamie Hellen provides the update and background to the Town Council in this audio segment. The link also contains link to the steps along the process from the archives.

Municipal aggregation is reported on quarterly and you can find those reports on the Town page  https://www.franklinma.gov/administrator/pages/municipal-aggregation

FM #208 - Jamie Hellen on Municipal Aggregation
FM #208 - Jamie Hellen on Municipal Aggregation

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

350 Mass Greater Franklin Node Meeting, Thursday, June 3, 7:00 PM

The  Greater Franklin Node of  350 Massachusetts will meet this week,  Thursday, June 3rd, at 7:00 pm.  Here is the Zoom link: 

Zoom link for the meeting, June 3, 7:00 PM
Join on Zoom.
Password: 350ma 
Audio by phone: +1 646 876 9923  
 
Residents of Franklin and nearby cities and towns are welcome to attend.
 
Meeting Agenda: We will discuss climate-related developments nationally, statewide, and locally. We will describe 350 Mass' campaigns to convert to clean, renewable energy sources in our homes, on the roads, and throughout the power grid. We will learn about the not-for-profit corporation ISO New England that is charged with managing electricity across the 6-state region; and hear about calls to change this entity so it does more to promote wind and solar power. 
 
We will continue our conversation about engaging our region in climate activism: working with residents and like-minded organizations, and advocating for actions and programs by our municipalities, including Franklin. Please join us to learn and contribute.    
 
350 Massachusetts for a Better Future ( https://350mass.betterfutureproject.org/ ) is building a powerful statewide social movement to confront the climate crisis, hold our politicians accountable and undermine the destructive influence of the fossil fuel industry. Our name comes from 350 parts per million, the safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 
 
350 Mass is made up of several local volunteer-led chapters we call "nodes" around the state that carry out both municipal-level and statewide campaigns, coordinated by a Statewide Steering Team (SST). The Greater Franklin Node includes Franklin and close to twenty nearby communities. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month, at 7:00 PM.
 
For questions and information, contact the node co-coordinators,  carolyncbarthel@gmail.com and/or  ralph.halpern@comcast.net.
 
 
350 Mass Greater Franklin Node Meeting, Thursday, June 3, 7:00 PM
350 Mass Greater Franklin Node Meeting, Thursday, June 3, 7:00 PM
 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Tri-County Electrical Students Go For Gold In Wiring Competitions at District SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure that America has a skilled workforce. They provide educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education in the nation’s classrooms. “SkillsUSA is an investment in student success and its impact on student learning will be felt over the coming years,” said Tri-County electrical instructor, Robert Sprague.

1st Competition: Industrial Motor Control

The contestant is required to install electrical wiring and other devices used in an industrial setting as well as design and troubleshoot electrical diagrams using the proper testing instrument. 

  • Gold - Jack Whittlesy, Sherborn
  • Silver - Ryan Nawn, Franklin
  • Bronze - Sean O’Reilly, Bellingham

2nd Competition: Residential Wiring

Contestants in residential wiring are tested on their ability to install wiring in a residence, working from drawings and specification sheets. 

  • Gold - Alex Majewski, North Attleborough
  • Silver - Alan Zheng, North Attleborough

SkillsUSA State Competition 

Students who earned gold and silver medals in the district competition now qualify for the state SkillsUSA competition, which will be held April 29th - May 1st. “This is the industry that I am in and I can tell you that there is a great demand in this field,” said Tri-County Advisory Committee Chairman, John Rainone. “Tri-County students will continue to ‘work hard because today counts,’ just as our school motto states,” commented Tri-County electrical instructor, Francis McKeown. 

Back Row: Sean O'Reilly  Jack Whittlesy  Alex Majewski  Front Row: Ryan Nawn  Alan Zheng

Back Row: Sean O'Reilly, Jack Whittlesy. Alex Majewski - Front Row: Ryan Nawn,  Alan Zheng



Thursday, April 8, 2021

Town of Franklin, MA: Quarterly Aggregation Report


"The ToF's Quarterly Aggregation Report provides a summary of the Nov & Dec electrical savings vs National Grid rates. Franklin chose a 100% green product that supports renewable energy, with 100% of the power supply being offset by National Wind Renewable Energy Certificates. " https://t.co/saIwgNIsmO

 

"This report has been prepared by Colonial Power Group with information/data being provided by the Competitive Supplier and National Grid. The purpose of the report is to provide information about the Town of Franklin's Community Choice Power Supply Program, which currently provides competitive power supply to approximately 9,850 customers in the Town. The data provided by the Competitive Supplier is not available until three months after the month it is used. For example, power is Used in January, Invoiced in February, Paid in March and Reported in April" 

Read the full report on the Town of Franklin page:   https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/uploads/franklin_quarterly_aggregation_report-q4_2020.pdf

By my calculations, for the simple act of not opting out, Franklin residential rate payers saved approx. $12 in Nov and $11 in Dec 2020. Not bad at all. Even if there is a more conservative savings estimate of $10/month, that works out to be $1200/year for green (wind) electricity.

(Understanding oi course, that some residential electric user have existing contracts from which they could not change. Once those agreements reach their end of life, the option to opt in will still be available.)


Town of Franklin, MA: Quarterly Aggregation Report
Town of Franklin, MA: Quarterly Aggregation Report113602


Sunday, December 6, 2020

Town of Franklin, MA: Storm emergency reminder


"Residents should consider downloading the ⁦@nationalgridus⁩ app on their phones where you can report power outages, monitor restoration and much more. ⁦@FranklinMAFire⁩ "

Shared from Twitter: https://t.co/VgQcVSQ9pb

nationalgrid web page = https://login.nationalgridus.com/

@nationalgridus⁩ app
Town of Franklin, MA: Storm emergency reminder


Monday, October 26, 2020

"The project was not always easy"

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA)

"Twelve towns in Franklin County and one in Hampshire County have come together to form a municipal electricity aggregation program with the goal of combating climate change and providing residents with more renewable energy options.

The 13 towns – Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Gill, Huntington, New Salem, Northfield, Shelburne, Sunderland, Warwick and Whately – recently entered into a 41-month contract with municipal energy consultant Colonial Power Group to develop and manage the Community Choice Power Supply Program, with Dynegy Energy Services to supply electricity.

The aggregation program allows the towns to purchase electricity as a group, giving them greater bargaining power when selecting their supplier. The towns were able to select a range of different renewable energy products to offer their residents, with each town deciding its own default option from the portfolio assembled through the bidding process.

“It’s something that would be very difficult for a tiny town to do, but because we could get multiple towns together, we could make it work,” said Conway Selectboard Member Bob Armstrong, who leads the project. “We were able to get a bid that was lower cost than Eversource, and which offered more green options – something that we had promised the towns.”

Continue reading the article online
 
From the Archives:
 
February 12, 2020 in this audio segment of the Town Council meeting, Town Administrator Jamie Hellen talked of the contract and bid price reached (finally)
 
Aggregation Plan released for Town Council meeting review and discussion
https://www.franklinmatters.org/2016/02/municipal-aggregation-program.html

Link to Municipal Aggregation docs on Town of Franklin page
https://www.franklinma.gov/administrator/pages/municipal-aggregation-documents
 
 
 
municipal aggregation program
municipal aggregation program
 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Municipal Aggregation - Information Session Video

The recent Information Session on the Municipal Aggregation agreement the Town of Franklin has implemented for Franklin residents was recorded and available for video replay.
 
 
Town Administrator Jamie Hellen at the Town Council meeting announcing the deal in Feb 2020 https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/02/fm-208-jamie-hellen-on-municipal.html

 


Saturday, October 3, 2020

Municipal Aggregation Program Informational Session - Oct 5

Municipal Aggregation Program Informational Session

  • Event Date: Monday, October 5, 2020 - 10:00am


Zoom Information

 
Program Announcement
 
 
Municipal Aggregation Program Informational Session - Oct 5
Municipal Aggregation Program Informational Session - Oct 5

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Franklin Announces Renewable Energy Program To Stabilize Electricity Costs And Lower Carbon Emissions

The Town of Franklin is implementing an electricity program for residents and small business owners designed to reduce the community’s carbon footprint, enhance local control, and achieve more affordable pricing.

The Franklin Community Choice Power Supply Program is an electricity aggregation program that allows for the bulk purchase of electricity for a community on behalf of its residential and small business customers. This type of program was authorized in 1997 by Massachusetts General Law. Electricity customers in Franklin are estimated to collectively save more than $2.0 million over the term of the three-year contract.

Renewable Energy Program

The Town of Franklin was designated as a Green Community in 2018. Its new renewable energy program, which utilizes 100% National Wind Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and aligns with the community’s efforts regarding the use of renewable energy.

By creating this program, Franklin aims to help displace fossil fuel generation and consumption, increase local control in its energy purchasing, and stabilize electricity costs for local residents and small business owners.

Franklin signed a 36-month contract with energy consultant Colonial Power Group and electricity supplier Dynegy Energy Services to design, implement, manage, and supply its electricity program. The Franklin program is slated to begin with the November 2020 meter reads, which will be reflected in ratepayers’ December 2020 invoices.

“In these challenging fiscal times for all families to pay their bills, this is an opportunity to save on electricity costs this winter and residents do not even need to do a thing” said Jamie Hellen, Franklin Town Administrator. “Also, as a certified Green Community, I know many Franklin residents are concerned about our carbon footprint. This new electricity program will allow us to reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources and decrease our carbon emissions, while also stabilizing electricity bills during a difficult economic period.”

By implementing a renewable energy program for electricity, Franklin is helping to meet the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act goal of 80 percent emissions reduction by 2050.

Ease of Transition


Most electricity customers never notice that their electricity is being supplied by a new source. There is no change to electric meters; all service and billing questions still go to National Grid; and bills are still paid to and processed by National Grid. The only change is that the name of the electricity supplier on the bill will be Dynegy Energy Services.

Franklin electricity customers currently on National Grid’s basic rate plan will be automatically enrolled in Franklin’s Community Choice Power Supply Program unless they decide to opt-out. Importantly, there are no fees for enrollment or cancellation. Franklin customers can enter and leave the Franklin Community Choice Program at will. However, anyone switching from a contract with a third-party supplier may be subject to penalties or early termination fees charged by that supplier. Ratepayers should verify terms before switching.

There will be no change in electricity service received. Franklin customers will continue to receive one bill from National Grid for both supply and distribution of electricity, and National Grid will process all payments. The selected electricity supplier for Franklin’s energy program, Dynegy Energy Services, will be listed under the “Supply Services” heading on residents’ monthly National Grid bills.

Basic Service rates change twice a year or more, depending on rate class. As a result, the aggregation rate may not always be lower than the Basic Service rate. The goal of the aggregation is to deliver savings over the life of the program against National Grid Basic Service. However, such savings and future savings cannot be guaranteed.

Approximately 150 Massachusetts communities, to date, have chosen to develop community choice electricity programs to benefit their residents and small business owners. Note: Residents and business owners with a supplier block on their account must contact National Grid to request that the block be removed to participate in Franklin’s Community Choice electricity program.

The Town and representatives of Colonial Power Group will hold two Zoom information sessions on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7 PM and Monday, October 5, 2020 at 10 AM.

The links can be found on colonialpowergroup.com/franklin and
 https://www.franklinma.gov/administrator/pages/municipal-aggregation

If you are unable to attend, recordings will also be posted to these sites and will be rebroadcast on Franklin TV and the Town’s YouTube page.

For more information on the Franklin’s Community Choice Power Supply Program, you may visit colonialpowergroup.com/franklin or call (866) 485-5858 ext. 1 

 
 
File can be found on the Town of Franklin page
 
This is the long awaited municipal aggregation program proposed and approved in 2016 and finally the bids were able to reach a good price early in 2020.
 
From the Archives:
 
February 12, 2020 in this audio segment of the Town Council meeting, Town Administrator Jamie Hellen talked of the contract and bid price reached (finally)
 
Aggregation Plan released for Town Council meeting review and discussion
https://www.franklinmatters.org/2016/02/municipal-aggregation-program.html

Link to Municipal Aggregation docs on Town of Franklin page
https://www.franklinma.gov/administrator/pages/municipal-aggregation-documents
 

municipal aggregation program
municipal aggregation program


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

FM #208 - Jamie Hellen on Municipal Aggregation

This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 208 in the series. We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm).

During the Town Administrator’s Report segment of the Town Council meeting, Feb 12, 2020, there was a good piece of news. Municipal aggregation is finally here with a good deal.

What is municipal aggregation?
“It seeks to aggregate consumers in the Town to negotiate rates for power supply. It brings together the buying power of over 32,000 consumers. Furthermore, the Town seeks to better manage energy prices.

Participation is voluntary for each eligible consumer. Eligible consumers have the opportunity to decline service provided through the Plan and to choose any Competitive Supplier they wish.“
On your electric bill, there are two sections, one for delivery services, and one for the cost of the electricity itself. With aggregation, Franklin has just signed a contract to deliver electricity at a cost of only 10.5 cents for three years. This is one, an improvement over the current rate (around .14 cents) and two, confirms the rate for three years.

This is a good deal. More will be forthcoming on this as we get closer to Sep/Oct 2020. There will be additional information shared, info on how to opt out (accepting a rate other than the 10.5 cents confirmed for three years), etc.

Let’s listen to Jamie Hellen talk about the municipal aggregation deal at the Town Council meeting.

Additional info will be provided at the Town Council meeting on March 4, 2020.

Links to the archives for prior posts on municipal aggregation which was initially approved by the Town Council in 2016 are provided in the show notes


Audio file  https://player.captivate.fm/episode/d8099baa-7dc9-49c7-b55a-cfdb619a52d2



From the archives:

Aggregation Plan released for Town Council meeting review and discussion
https://www.franklinmatters.org/2016/02/municipal-aggregation-program.html

Link to Municipal Aggregation docs on Town of Franklin page
https://www.franklinma.gov/administrator/pages/municipal-aggregation-documents

Embedded copy:




From the Town Council meeting where this was approved
http://www.franklinmatters.org/2016/03/live-reporting-legislation-for-action.html

Aggregation Presentation doc - March 9, 2016
https://www.slideshare.net/shersteve/franklin-community-choice-aggregation-program




--------------

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but I can't do it alone. I can always use your help.

How can you help?
  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like this, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements.
Thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.org/
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!

------------------

You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

FM #208 - Jamie Hellen on Municipal Aggregation
FM #208 - Jamie Hellen on Municipal Aggregation