Does having 100% of your electricity come from clean and local energy sources sound too good to be true? It’s not. That is exactly what Mass Energy Consumers Alliance has been offering to rate payers for over a decade. Started as a community heating oil service in 1982, Mass Energy, as it is commonly known, began its work as a green power supplier in the early 2000s.
Working with utilities they have built a strong green electricity membership base from Gloucester to Williamstown, MA driven by their mission “… to make
energy more affordable and environmentally sustainable for the consumers of
Located in the Jamaica Plain(JP) neighborhood of the City of Boston for over 30 years, Mass Energy has maintained a locally focused drive in their work. In addition to fostering strong partnerships throughout the commonwealth and New England, the green power arm of Mass Energy provides its members with clean energy from projects developed in Massachusetts and New England.
With wind power coming from projects in Gloucester, Hull, Medford, Princeton, Worcester, and Charlemont to name a few, their commitment to local is clear. These projects were developed with the help of clean energy advocates, environmental organizations, and partners like Mass Audubon and Clean Water Action.
Mass Energy offers two green power options to consumers. Both programs provide 100% renewable electricity. Here is a short breakdown of each:
New England GreenStart:
- price per kw/h, 2.4 cents in addition to basic service charges
- renewables used: Massachusetts wind, solarPV, low-impact hydro power, biogas
- average additional monthly cost to consumers, $14
New England Wind:
- price per kW/h, 3.8 cents in addition to basic service charges
- renewables used: Massachusetts wind
- average additional monthly cost to consumers, $23
Now I know what many of you are thinking, “ $14-$23 more each month is no chump change”, however, Mass Energy’s status as a non-profit green power supplier gives them the designation as the only supplier whose consumers can write off 100% of their clean energy costs!
As a member of the green power team, it is my job to help energy consumers understand these programs, and the benefits they offer. Since many homeowners are not able to put solar on their property, buying electricity from a green supplier might be a good alternative way to support renewables.
When I am not entering new members into the database or answering the phones at our Jamaica Plain office, I am usually attending events around Massachusetts helping residents better understand their energy options.
The best part of my job is the opportunity I get each day to have an honest and positive dialogue with people about the difficult energy issues we face and the important part they can play in changing our energy future.
I am encouraged by the number of people who are motivated to support clean energy. Nowhere was that motivation more energetic (no pun intended) than at Mass Energy’s Wind Turbine event in Gloucester MA on September 28th. Dozens of residents and their mayor turned out to take a tour of their community’s most beautiful visible representation of a cleaner energy future.
There are plenty of distressing and disconcerting news reports about the increasingly destructive effects of climate change on everything from butterfly populations to ocean acidification. So many in fact, that is easy for people, especially environmental students, to become depressed and resigned to a gloomy outlook that would mirror our projected gloomy future.
Thankfully, my overwhelmingly positive experience with Mass Energy has helped to inoculate me from most of these doom and gloom reports! Not only do I get to go out and see the progress being made first hand, but I am able to head home from JP each night knowing my efforts have helped to move the ball forward, one yard at a time.