Consumer Affairs and SHOPP Coordinator, Department of Energy Resources
With Memorial Day fast approaching, so is the summer driving season. If you are like me and do the bulk of your car travel during the summer, you want to be aware of the predicted seasonal gas prices and ways to offset these costs. The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) just published its Short-Term Energy and Summer Fuels Outlook which predicts an average US price of $2.92/gallon from April 1-Sept 30, with periods when the price will top $3.00. EIA publishes a monthly update to the Short-Term outlook, with the next update due out May 11. EIA is also a great resource for comprehensive energy information including individual state profiles (MA is here).
Locally, DOER follows AAA for prices and its Fuel Gauge Report Website publishes both statewide and state regional averages from the Cape to Pittsfield. DOER publishes the past week’s average in Home and Auto Fuel Prices with a chart highlighting the prices compared to the previous year. The US EPA’s Fuel Economy site also posts Massachusetts links in its Where to Find the Lowest Prices. Fueleconomy.gov also provides information on buying fuel efficient vehicles, comparing your vehicle to others, and tax incentives for purchasing alternative fuel vehicles.
For tips on gasoline savings: the Governor’s office has a comprehensive tips page that includes references for biking, local vacations, and information for daily commuting. DOER also publishes the Driving More Efficiently Tip Sheet which highlights vehicle care and other ways to maximize gas efficiency. Being a prepared consumer can help you calculate the costs for summer driving before you head out on the road.
“Mass. Military Division” and “Energy Efficiency” Go Together posted on Jul 25
Energy measures implemented at a Mass. Military Divison site include improved lighting, high efficiency motors, HVAC controls and energy management system upgrades. Under the Accelerate Efficiency Plan, the Commonwealth is investing over $12 million at 29 state facilities throughout the Berkshires.
Solar a “No-Go” on Your Roof? Share Through Community Solar posted on Jul 16
Harvard residents who wanted solar on their homes and were unable to get it due to shading, sloping, or structural barriers, found a solution by sharing the Harvard Solar Garden, an approximately 250 kW project, provides 41 residents and six small businesses with sustainable, clean energy. .
Summer’s Here: Shed Layers and Shed Loads posted on Jul 11
Electricity usage throughout New England reaches its peak during summer heat waves, causing our electricity bills to spike. During periods of high demand, electric utilities typically call on more expensive “peaking” plants to provide extra power. These costs are passed onto larger, non-residential consumers through demand charges on their monthly electricity bill. Municipal buildings can save a significant sum of money if they shut off portions of their electricity during these peak periods.