Energy and climate change issues are at the core of ELM’s policy advocacy work. We work to defend and strengthen policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase local, renewable energy options for Massachusetts customers. We also monitor the state’s progress on reducing emissions and investing in local energy resources along with our partners in the Global Warming Solutions Project (GWSP).
A diversified energy portfolio will keep energy dollars in our state, create local jobs, and protect Massachusetts residents. Although climate change is a global challenge, our energy investments on the state level represent some of the most important decisions in protecting our communities from climate change. Investments made today will either lock us into fossil fuel infrastructure or create a viable pathway to meeting our emissions reductions requirements under the Global Warming Solutions Act.
An Act relative to Home Energy Efficiency
ELM supports legislation that would require home sellers to obtain an energy efficiency rating and disclose it to potential buyers. This could be accomplished via the existing home inspection process or an electric utility program that offers free home energy audits
Lift the Cap on Solar Net Metering
In order to meet the requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act, provide stable and long-term incentives for the development of renewable resources, and continue robust growth in renewable energy sector jobs, ELM supports removing the existing caps on solar net metering.
Increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard
The current RPS statute requires that utilities increase by 1% each year the amount of renewable power they provide. This annual increase is insufficient and should be doubled from 1% per year to 2% to help ensure that Massachusetts meets its legally binding greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements, increase the number of jobs in the renewable energy sector, and provide stable and long-term incentives for the development of new renewable resources.
Working in conjunction with CERES, A Better City, and Healthcare Without Harm, ELM secured significant corporate participation in a sign-on letter supporting legislative efforts to increase renewable energy resources.
An Act Combating Climate Change
ELM supports the development of a fuel-based carbon fee and rebate system designed to reduce the carbon content of the fuels we use in our homes, businesses, and vehicles.
ELM is a founding member of a new coalition– Massachusetts Campaign for a Clean Energy Future – uniting groups statewide around the goal of driving down global warming pollution by placing a price on carbon emissions. Together with allies in environmental, business, labor, faith, health and civic groups across the state, ELM is working to advance this next milestone in climate leadership.
Campaign for a Clean Energy Future Goals
- Win a new state policy to reduce carbon pollution and make real progress in combating climate change
- Maximize economic progress by returning money to Massachusetts residents and businesses
- Accelerate the growth of the Commonwealth’s clean energy sector
- Keep more of our state’s energy dollars local rather than allow all of the $20 billion we spend on energy imports every year to leave the state economy
- Ensure that low and moderate income residents benefit from the program
Are We on Track?
Recent assessments show that Massachusetts has reduced 11% of its carbon pollution below 1990 levels. However, we’re not yet on track to reach the GWSA initial mandate of a 25% reduction of global warming pollution by 2020. Additional new tools and systems are needed to keep our longer term mandate in our sights: at least 80% pollution reductions by 2050.
The Next Step in Climate Leadership
Analysis shows the best way to achieve additional carbon pollution reductions is to place a price on carbon emissions in a tailored policy that reflects Massachusetts’ climate, business, worker, equity and institutional needs.