- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Releases First Comprehensive Energy Plan
Jessica Ridlen, Communications Director, Mass DOER
Boston — The Baker-Polito Administration today released the first-ever Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP), which analyzes Massachusetts’ energy supply and demand and outlines priorities and strategies for achieving a clean, affordable, and resilient energy future for the Commonwealth. The report found that thermal and transportation sector energy efficiency policies, as well as a clean electric grid, are needed to reduce emissions, lower costs, and ensure regional reliability. The Comprehensive Energy Plan was commissioned as part of Governor Baker’s Executive Order No. 569, Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth.
“The recommendations and analysis produced in this plan illustrate a changing energy landscape that will require a focus on energy efficiency improvements and the utilization of electricity to heat our homes and power our transportation sector,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Commonwealth will use this plan to build upon major advancements like securing cost-effective, large-scale clean energy procurements of hydro-electricity and offshore wind energy and implement policies to help keep Massachusetts competitive in the region while ensuring residents and businesses have access to clean and reliable energy options."
“The Comprehensive Energy Plan provides planning guidance for state and local government to reach energy savings and emission reductions goals while balancing affordability and reliability,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Developed with robust stakeholder engagement, this strategic plan is the next step in our administration’s nation-leading work to combat climate change and promote clean energy.”
The Comprehensive Energy Plan was developed by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) using modeling for multiple scenarios for potential amounts of clean energy and energy efficiency between now and 2030 to evaluate the impact on cost, emissions and reliability.
The Plan recommends that policies should focus on reducing emissions in the thermal and transportation sectors, and take advantage of investments the Commonwealth has made in clean electricity by electrifying transportation and building heating through newer technologies like air source heat pumps. Additionally, analysis showed that Massachusetts may lower electricity rates to below predicted levels through reduction of consumption at peak periods and cost-effective procurements of clean energy. Policies that support supply energy diversity available in the winter, like the Commonwealth’s recent procurements of hydroelectric energy and offshore wind energy, demonstrated significant cost and emission benefits during cold winter days.
“The Commonwealth is already implementing the Comprehensive Energy Plan recommendations in our 2019-2021 Three Year Energy Efficiency Plan by prioritizing fuel switching and active demand reduction,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “This plan provides a smart, clear blueprint for Massachusetts and New England to follow over the next decade to reduce emissions, improve reliability and ultimately lower consumers’ fuel costs.”
In order to meet the Commonwealth’s energy and emissions objectives, the Plan recommends a policy strategy that continues to increase cost-effective renewable energy supply, prioritize electric energy efficiency and peak demand reductions and support grid modernization and advanced technologies. Future policy strategies should target reductions in thermal sector consumption, drive consumer demand for energy efficiency measures, promote fuel switching from expensive, higher carbon intensive fuels to lower cost, lower carbon fuels, and invest in research and development for clean heating fuels.
“The most cost-effective way to reduce emissions while maintaining affordable energy costs for consumers is to ensure that as we increase the amount of energy supplied by clean renewable sources, we also combine our efforts with greater building energy efficiency and peak demand reduction strategies,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “We need to not only change how we supply energy, but how we use energy through greater efficiency and reducing our consumption during peak periods.”
The Comprehensive Energy Plan is designed to contribute to larger planning efforts including the 2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) process that establishes the policies the Commonwealth will use to achieve its greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and the recently announced long-range comprehensive study outlining strategies to achieve 80 percent reductions by 2050.
“Under the Baker-Polito Administration, Massachusetts has been recognized as a national leader in developing policies to promote cleaner and more efficient energy usage,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “The Comprehensive Energy Plan released today charts a course for the Commonwealth to continue to build on that success and to take additional steps that will benefit not only the environment but also the state’s ratepayers through reduced emissions and potential cost savings.”
“Having a comprehensive state energy plan is essential to projecting energy demand and then meeting it with reliability, cost-effectiveness and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said State Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). The creation and maintenance of this plan will guide our state government to better decisions and strategies for consumers, our environment and our economy.”
“I applaud the Baker-Polito Administration, Secretary Beaton, and Commissioner Judson for the significant undertaking of creating a Comprehensive Energy Plan to help guide Massachusetts’ energy choices in the coming years,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. “I look forward to working collaboratively with the Administration to achieve the next level of emission reductions, energy conservation, and diversification, all of which will enable Massachusetts to continue along the path of pursuing cost-effective and reliable energy.”
Multiple stakeholder sessions were held throughout the development process, and DOER hired a consultant, Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. to assist in the modeling and development of the CEP. More information on the development of the CEP and other details can be found here.