Northeast Clean Energy Council Recognizes Rep. Benson and Former Sec. Beaton on Massachusetts Clean Energy Day

16 May 2019

The Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) awarded State Representative Jennifer Benson and former Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Mathew Beaton the prestigious Clean Energy Champion awards.

“Representative Benson and Secretary Beaton are true champions for the clean energy economy,” said Peter Rothstein, President of NECEC. “Thanks to their leadership, Massachusetts has established itself as a global leader in clean energy, creating a vibrant sector of our economy while also saving money for energy consumers and addressing the challenges of climate change.”

Representative Benson is recognized for her sponsorship of multiple bills in the legislature designed to grow the clean energy economy, update our infrastructure and accelerate the adoption of clean vehicles.  Of note for the current session she is sponsoring several important bills including:

In his tenure as Secretary, Mathew Beaton helped to lead the largest clean energy procurements of hydropower and offshore wind in state history. Under his leadership, Massachusetts led the country as the most energy efficient state, including nation-leading goals for energy savings, investing over $220 million in grid modernization technologies, and over $60 million in funding through the Green Communities program.

The awards were accepted at a ceremony at the Massachusetts State House during NECEC’s annual Massachusetts Clean Energy Day. During the event, numerous stakeholders joined NECEC in educating legislators on the evolution of the Commonwealth’s clean energy industry and the need for a number of important clean energy legislative improvements including:

Empowering customers to create a modern, clean, and resilient electric grid:

  • Establish standards to ensure reasonable costs and timelines for interconnection of renewable resources

  • Establish common-sense property tax rules to provide clarity and predictability for the mutual benefit of municipalities, assessors, project developers, and customers

  • Enact ambitious but achievable long-term targets for energy storage and clarify property and sales tax exemptions for energy storage systems

  • Enhance access to solar and net metering for low and moderate income (LMI) customers and increase net metering access for commercial scale customers

Bolstering commitments to offshore wind and large-scale renewable procurements:

  • Provide greater flexibility for the DPU to evaluate contract prices taking into account waning federal tax credit availability

  • Authorize Massachusetts to solicit additional competitive bids for offshore wind in addition to continued solicitations for Class I renewables

Re-anchoring our climate policies to the latest scientific consensus: net zero emissions by 2050:

  • Create a 2050 roadmap to a clean and thriving Commonwealth with net-zero emissions, the new global scientific standard

  • Establish 2030, 2040, and 2050 emissions limits and guide the development of both the Commonwealth’s decarbonization and its clean economic growth

Kick-starting clean transportation with critical near- and long-term policy frameworks:

  • Establish the process and criteria for the expenditure of future program revenues from the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI)

  • Promote transit fleet electrification, create an EV dealership rebate program, codify consumer ZEV rebates, and create smart rates for fast-charging;

  • Codify a statewide right to install EV charging stations at Associations, Historic Districts (HDCs), and Neighborhood Conservation Districts (NCDs)

  • Facilitate public-private clean transportation facilities