Thank You for Attending our December 2020 Teach-in
New England’s electricity system is more expensive and polluting than it should be. But the region is moving to achieve its ambitious climate goals and we have an opportunity to reshape our system to promote affordable clean energy, healthy communities, and climate protection. The AGO hosted a virtual “teach-in” to help the public better understand how decisions are made about the markets today and in the future as we transition to affordable clean energy. Slides from each presentation and the full recording of the "teach-in" are provided below:
Other Ways to Get Involved
Here are some other ways that you can help the Attorney General’s Office work with ISO New England to reform our power markets.
Sign Our Petition
The Attorney General’s Office represents electricity users like you before ISO New England.
Make your voice heard. Tell ISO New England that you want market rules to promote affordable clean energy, healthy communities, and climate protection. Sign the petition today.
Attend a Consumer Liaison Group Meeting
The Consumer Liaison Group, or CLG, is a forum for sharing information between ISO New England and electricity users in New England. Meetings are an opportunity for ISO New England to learn about electricity users’ issues, needs, and concerns. Meetings are open to the public and occur quarterly.
Join the New England States in rethinking the relationship between the ISO and the States.
On October 14th, 2020, the Governors of five New England states released a statement on electricity system reform. In the coming months, the States will convene open and accessible forums to ensure that all interested stakeholders have an opportunity to participate in further refinement of the states' vision for market reform, system planning, reliability, and governance.
Learn More About ISO New England and the Region's Electricity System
By making smart choices now, we can reshape New England’s electricity system to be more affordable, reliable, safer, and fairer for our climate and our health.
What is the “electricity system”?
Everything you do – from turning on the lights, to heating your home and fueling your car – requires energy. We meet many of our energy needs with electricity. Electricity flows to our homes and businesses over a large network of wires. That network connects electricity users, like you, with electricity generators, such as power plants, wind farms, and solar energy facilities. The whole system is also known as the “electric grid.” For more detail, see
- Energy 101: ISO New England’s Primer on How Electricity is Produced and Consumed
- Energy 201: Energy Information Administration’s Electricity Explained
- Energy 301: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Energy Primer
What fuels our electricity system?
Fossil fuels such as gas and oil have historically been used to generate much of New England’s electricity. Wind, solar, and other renewable resources provide a small, but quickly growing share, of the region’s generation.
Whether our energy system uses clean energy or fossil fuels matters. Dirty fossil fuels cost Massachusetts residents more in pollution, health harms, and climate impacts.
What is ISO New England?
Keeping electricity flowing across Massachusetts requires a lot of coordination.
Independent System Operators (or “ISOs”) are independent, not-for-profit organizations that manage, monitor, and plan the day-to-day operations of regional energy systems.
ISO New England is the system operator for the New England region, which includes Massachusetts, as well as Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and most of Maine.
ISO New England makes the rules for buying and selling energy in New England. Those rules influence what types of energy power our electric grid. Right now, those rules give a leg up to older, dirtier energy sources and make it harder for cleaner sources to provide electricity.
ISOs were formed at the recommendation of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC is an independent federal agency that regulates and oversees ISO New England’s activities.
AGO Advocacy on Power Market Reforms
Staff at the Attorney General’s Energy and Environment Bureau work on these issues full time. Among other things, we have:
- Hosted a symposium with leading experts and regional stakeholders on wholesale markets, and issued recommendations on how to modernize them.
- Proposed enhancements to ISO-NE’s Energy Security Initiative to “right size” the program.
- Contested a fuel-security proposal which pays fossil fueled power plants to store oil/gas but fails to recognize the energy-security attributes of clean and renewable resources.
- Attained greater transparency in transmission rates.
- Worked with an 11-state coalition to ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to work cooperatively with states as they pursue energy and climate policy goals.
- Drafted an amicus brief discussing the benefits of energy storage and how wholesale markets should be updated to allow for its meaningful participation.
- Undertook 200 actions against the Trump Administration’s agenda to undermine basic environmental protections, including numerous actions related to power-sector emissions and other health and environmental impacts of our energy system.