We at NEEP spend most of our time in a pretty wonky universe. We work to advance energy efficiency policies and programs, but rarely do we get the chance to talk directly to “real people.” That is why it was so refreshing to attend the Local Environmental Action Conference over the weekend at Northeastern University in Boston.
Author Archives: Natalie Hildt
We have been fortunate to have another terrific intern on our team since last fall. Tung Huynh recently completed his masters degree in environmental policy from Clark University in Worcester, Mass. A native of Vietnam, Tung brings excellent analytical and writing skills, and is working on a number of projects relative to state efficiency investments and reported savings. Tung’s master’s thesis was entitled “Carrots for Utilities: Evaluating the Use of Regulatory Mechanisms to Remove Financial Barriers and Incentivize Utility Energy Efficiency Investment.” Thank you Tung for your contributions to NEEP! We are excited to see what your career path holds.
To say that the stars appear to be aligning over New Hampshire wouldn’t give due credit to the long, hard work of many energy efficiency proponents in the Granite State. But as an advocate who has spent a good deal of time and thought on how to bring the state’s policies and funding levels in line with neighboring states, I have to say that I’m optimistic.
Increasing severe weather events. Increasing plug load. An aging infrastructure. Cyber security concerns. The advance of electric cars. The trend toward more distributed and renewable energy generation. Smart appliances. Smart users. And an increasing focus on energy efficiency in buildings and products. So what will the power grid of the future look like? What will it mean for customers? And who should pay for these upgrades?
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) recently kicked off a Grid Modernization Working Group to examine the policies that will enable the state’s electric distribution companies and their customers to harness the new technologies and best practices of our increasingly dynamic and sophisticated electric system. Admittedly, the electric grid that we live with today was designed for much simpler times.
NEEP has worked long and hard on whole-building, all-fuel energy efficiency solutions. Recently the Boston Globe ran Natalie Hildt’s opinion piece in its online section called The Podium. Below is the full text.
It’s a heartbreaking but all-too familiar story: hardworking, self-sufficient family falls on tough times. Wife is disabled, husband loses good-paying job. And then, the ancient oil boiler finally dies, at the worst possible time.
At a recent planning summit on energy efficiency in Massachusetts, a crowd of 250 heard this account, delivered by a brave woman from Randolph. A family friend who is an oil dealer told the couple about help provided by National Grid and the local Community Action agency. Continue reading
See WGBH’s report on the home energy assessment here.
It’s not always easy to take advice from your kid. And when it comes to energy efficiency, I’ve got plenty to offer. After many visits to my father’s 19th century house when I’d grouse about the drafts and bee-line for the wood stove, I finally hatched a plan to help my dad David Hildt and his wife Kate Broughton figure out how to make their home more efficient.
The goal: get a Mass Save Home Energy Assessment, and then actually figure out how to put recommendations to action while taking advantage of incentives, tax credits and loans. To up the ante, why not turn the media spotlight on things? I figured it would help educate others while encouraging follow-through. This is the first of periodic installments on their journey. Continue reading