MA Senate Co-sponsors (S.1834) for Community Empowerment

Julian Cyr Cape and Islands

Marc R. Pacheco First Plymouth and Bristol 2/3/2017

Sarah K. Peake 4th Barnstable 1/25/2017

John W. Scibak 2nd Hampshire 1/31/2017

Jack Lewis 7th Middlesex 1/31/2017

Brian Murray 10th Worcester 1/31/2017

Dylan Fernandes Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket 1/31/2017

Marjorie C. Decker 25th Middlesex 1/31/2017

Jason M. Lewis Fifth Middlesex 1/31/2017

Paul A. Schmid, III 8th Bristol 1/31/2017

Patrick M. O'Connor Plymouth and Norfolk 2/1/2017

Paul R. Heroux 2nd Bristol 2/1/2017

Denise Provost 27th Middlesex 2/1/2017

Mathew Muratore 1st Plymouth 2/1/2017

Anne M. Gobi Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex 2/2/2017

Barbara A. L'Italien Second Essex and Middlesex 2/3/2017

Ryan C. Fattman Worcester and Norfolk 2/3/2017

James B. Eldridge Middlesex and Worcester 2/3/2017

Jennifer L. Flanagan Worcester and Middlesex 2/10/2017

Cynthia S. Creem First Middlesex and Norfolk 2/24/2017

Carmine L. Gentile 13th Middlesex 3/15/2017

Michael J. Rodrigues First Bristol and Plymouth 3/17/2017

Peter V. Kocot 1st Hampshire 5/2/2017


Community Empowerment Receives Endorsements from Two Coalitions

The Community Empowerment bill has been named a policy priority from two separate advocacy coalitions; Mass Power Forward and the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES). 

The Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES) is a “coalition of coalitions” comprised of business groups, clean energy companies, environmental organizations, labor, health, and consumer advocates dedicated to advancing clean energy for Massachusetts. ACES is committed to ensuring that those charged with shaping Massachusetts’ energy policies have the most rigorous, current data on the benefits and costs of clean energy. 

ACES members include: Acadia Center, Alliance for Business Leadership, Climate Action Business Association, Clean Water Action, E4theFuture, Energy Storage Association, Environment Massachusetts, Environmental Entrepreneurs, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Health Care Without Harm, Mass Audubon, Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, Northeast Clean Energy Council, Northeast Energy Efficiency Council, RENEW Northeast, Solar Energy Business Association of New England, Union of Concerned Scientists, US Green Building Council Massachusetts Chapter, Vote Solar.

Mass Power Forward is led by Clean Water Action & Toxics Action Center.  To read the full list members in the coalition of supporters check out this page.  They are environmental leaders, community development organizations, clean energy businesses, faith groups, neighborhood health and safety advocates and Massachusetts families fighting for our future. They believe our state and region can power forward with clean, affordable, reliable energy and a thriving economy.



Senate Passes Amendement #3 - Community Empowerment - to bill S.2372

We achieved a great milestone.  The Senate passed the pilot version of Community Empowerment bill for the three south coast counties of Dukes, Barnstable and Nantucket.

Now the bill will go into Conference Committee negotiations to align both the House and the Senate versions of the clean energy bill. If signed into law, this bill will allow the 22 municipalities, located in the three counties, to enter into long term contracts with renewable energy developers on behalf of its residents.

October 20th, Municipality and Aggregation Hearings

On Tuesday, October 20th the MA Legislature Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, & Energy held hearings regarding municipalities, aggregation, and data access.

Testimony on behalf of Community Empowerment was given by State Representatives Madden, Peake, and Haddad, as well as former Chair of the Department of Public Utilities & current Vineyard Power Director, Anne Berwick and other advocates.  

Representative Haddad stated that this legislation would be a "win-win" for both municipalities and communities. In her words, if we "encourage communities to start doing things on their own, it is a good thing for all of us". She additionally mentioned that she would be happy to see Community Empowerment be "part of any big omnibus bill that comes out of committee" this session. 

Watch Representative Haddad and other testimonies on the Vineyard Power youtube channel.

Richard Andre (President, Vineyard Power) and Erich Stephens (Executive Vice President, OffshoreMW) testify on behalf of Community Empowerment. 

Richard Andre (President, Vineyard Power) and Erich Stephens (Executive Vice President, OffshoreMW) testify on behalf of Community Empowerment. 

September 29th, Clean Energy Hearings

On September 29, 2015, the MA Legislature's Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy held hearings on several vital proposed energy bills.  

Those testifying included Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton, Representative Patricia Haddad, BOEM Director Abigail Hopper, environment groups and advocates and many others.  The proposed Community Empowerment legislation was positively mentioned in several testimonies throughout the day, including Representative Patricia Haddad, Former DPU Chair Ann Berwick and Mass Energy.  Click here to read an article summarizing the events of the day.  

Representative Timothy Madden, Richard Andre, President of Vineyard Power and Tobias Glidden, Selectmen for the Town of Nantucket testified as a panel in support of Representative Haddad's offshore wind legislation (H. 2881) and Community Empowerment (H. 2895).   

A letter of support, signed by several environmental advocacy groups including the Conservation Law Foundation, Environment Massachusetts, Union of Concerned Scientists, Mass Energy, Environment Massachusetts, Clean Water Action, Self Reliance and the Climate Action Business Association, on behalf of Community Empowerment was also formally submitted to the Co-Chairs of the TUE Committee, Representative Golden and Senator Downing.  

We would like to thank all of the individuals and organizations who gave a positive mention to Community Empowerment during the hearings. 

(L-R) Nantucket Selectman Tobias Glidden, Representative Tim Madden and Vineyard Power President Richard Andre, give a positive testimony in favor of Community Empowerment

(L-R) Nantucket Selectman Tobias Glidden, Representative Tim Madden and Vineyard Power President Richard Andre, give a positive testimony in favor of Community Empowerment

Community Empowerment Hearing Date Set!

The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy has set a hearing date for Community Empowerment: 

Tuesday, October 20th
MA State House
1-5 PM, hearing room B-1

More information can be found on the committee's website. 
We encourage you to reach out to the committee members and vocalize your support prior to the hearing date:

Senate Information:
Senate Chair: 
Senator Benjamin B. Downing
Room 413-F
State House
Boston, MA 02133
Tel: 617-722-1625

House Information:
House Chair:
Representative Thomas A. Golden Jr
Room 473B
State House
Boston, MA 02133
Tel: 617-722-2263

Please contact us for more information, or if you would like to become more involved prior to the hearing. 

Community Empowerment: The Next Step in Expanding Renewable Energy in Massachusetts

Vineyard Power will be hosting an informal webinar to discuss Community Empowerment, a proposed piece of legislation to help municipalities and municipal aggregators meet their renewable energy goals, directly support renewable energy projects and offer electricity price stabilization opportunities. 

Speaker: Richard Andre, President, Vineyard Power

Tuesday, September 8, 1:00pm or

Wednesday, September 9, 10:00am

Register Now

Large Scale Renewable Energy Development in NY - A Letter to the NY Public Service Commission

On August 12, 2015, Vineyard Power submitted the following letter to the New York Public Service Commission in response to a new program the state of NY is developing to provide more renewable energy to their residents.  

Community Empowerment would be another tool in the toolbox for the state of New York in order to reach their renewable energy targets.  To read the full letter click here