Stories

Electrical lines in Dracut, Massachusetts.

Why electricity prices are rising unevenly across New England

September 8, 2022

You may have noticed that your most recent electric bill is higher than usual — and if that change hasn’t happened yet, it’s probably coming this fall. These price spikes are occurring across New England, but bills are rising more in some places than others. Some ratepayers in New Hampshire saw the price of electricity double…

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‘Flash droughts’ and weather ‘whiplash.’ Welcome to New England’s climate future

August 26, 2022

To put it bluntly, it kinda just stopped raining this summer. Parts of the northeast that typically get about 9 inches over June, July and August have gotten a fraction of that. Rivers are running low and many streams have gone dry or become a series of disconnected puddles. Lawns are crunchy, vegetation is shriveling and groundwater levels are…

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Want to help the planet? Rethink your lawn

August 22, 2022

When Erica Tharp and her husband bought their home in Framingham four years ago, the lawn needed some work. Tharp looked at the scraggly grass with its dying tree, and decided she wanted something that was less work and more eco-friendly. “That was the goal — minimal maintenance and as least harm as possible,” she said.…

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So you’re in the market for an electric vehicle? Here’s how the new federal and Mass. laws will help

August 18, 2022

August has been a big month for the environment. At the national level, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which allocates over $360 billion to help fight climate change. And more locally, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a sweeping state climate and clean energy bill into law. Both laws cover a lot of ground. But one notable…

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Conservationists say New England’s drought is another wakeup call about climate change

August 12, 2022

Alicea Charamut went for a hike last weekend to a place where she thought her dog would have a chance to cool off with a swim. Devil’s Hopyard State Park, in East Haddam, Connecticut, has a big waterfall. But on this day, the water was barely flowing and Charamut’s dog found no relief. “There was…

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‘Old Ladies’ dive into Cape ponds seeking trash, emerge triumphant

August 8, 2022

People normally aren’t excited to find garbage on the bottom of a pond, but for an unusual group of underwater trash collectors on Cape Cod, there’s a certain exhilaration when the biggest discovery of the day suddenly appears 8 feet below the surface. “We found the tire!” exclaims Diane Hammer, who sits in a kayak…

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Biden pledges executive action on climate change, opens Gulf of Mexico to offshore wind

July 21, 2022

In a visit to Somerset’s Brayton Point on Wednesday, President Biden pledged to take executive action on climate change if Congress won’t act. “This is an emergency,” he said. “An emergency. And I will look at it that way.” But he stopped short of declaring climate change a national emergency, something Senate Democrats and other…

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Two turbines of the Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island.

Electricity grid operator expecting more demand and renewables in New England

July 6, 2022

New England’s electricity grid is in for major changes, according to a yearly report from ISO New England, the organization that manages the region’s grid. The report says decarbonization will become the way of life in New England, with heating and transportation becoming electrified through technology like heat pumps and electric vehicles. That will increase regional demand…

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Federal court rules against part of New England grid operator reliability plan

June 23, 2022

A federal appeals court has thwarted part of a plan to improve the reliability of New England’s electric grid during the winter that would pay electricity generators extra for keeping fuel on-site. As climate change causes more unreliable weather and conflict in Ukraine pinches energy markets, ISO-New England, the organization in charge of keeping the region’s lights…

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Offshore wind turbines at sunset.

Feds approve plan to delay scrapping a New England energy rule that harms renewables

May 28, 2022

A controversial rule that makes it harder for renewable energy projects to participate in one of New England’s lucrative electricity markets will remain in place for another two years. Late Friday night, federal energy regulators approved a plan from the regional grid operator, ISO New England, to keep the so-called minimum offer price rule — or…

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