Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page By Jon Chesto Globe Staff September 18, 2018 After explosions and fires killed one man and destroyed dozens of homes in the Merrimack Valley last week, Columbia Gas has started the laborious task of rebuilding miles of pipelines to prevent a similar disaster.But figuring out who’ll pay for all of that work — Columbia Gas’s shareholders or its customers in Massachusetts — remains an open question.Traditionally, utility companies in Massachusetts are allowed to recover the costs of improvements to their networks from customers, in the form of higher rates. Penalties for negligence, however, are borne by the company and its shareholders, as are liability costs from legal settlements. Advertisement Noting that regulators already have the power to punish the company with a hefty fine, a former Department of Public Utilities commissioner, … [Read more...] about Who’ll pay to rebuild Columbia Gas network? Maybe the customers.
Pay national grid bill
Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Katie Johnston Globe Staff September 11, 2018 EVERETT — As a National Grid crew worked to fix a gas leak near the Silver Fox function hall on a steamy early September morning, more than a dozen union members stood across the street with picket signs, harassing the workers replacing them.“We’ve got company rats working here,” Fred Naumann, a 29-year veteran of the gas company, yelled into a bullhorn. “Disgusting!”Between taunts, Naumann, who said he has taken just three days off from picketing in the past 11 weeks, filmed the crew with his phone, zooming in on a replacement worker struggling to operate a saw. Before long, the work came to a halt as the crew waited for a backhoe to arrive. Advertisement “All our people out of work and they’re just standing there doing nothing,” another longtime union member, … [Read more...] about Unions taking an old-school stand against National Grid
Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Katie Johnston Globe Staff July 11, 2018 As the lockout at National Grid stretches into its third week, 1,250 out-of-work gas employees around the state are grappling with the loss of income and health insurance following the utility company’s decision to bar employees from working when contract negotiations stalled.One employee in Lowell who just found out he has a cancerous tumor in his bladder is unsure how he’s going to pay for surgery; another worker in Northborough is scrambling to get MassHealth to cover a biopsy for her 9-year-old daughter, who suffers from a rare lung disease.At the same time, the unions representing workers say that safety violations are piling up as contractors and managers fill in for locked-out workers. Advertisement “They’re trying to pressure people into accepting the final offer,” said John … [Read more...] about Locked out National Grid workers grapple with loss of income, health insurance
Energy bills are a necessary evil: you can’t live without energy but it’s difficult when the prices keep going up and up. But, where there’s a problem, tech wants to offer a solution. There’s a raft of start-ups on the scene that are here to tackle how we approach energy and Verv is one to watch. The London-based company is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that underpins bitcoin, to change how we approach and use energy. Verv’s mission? Bring everyone’s energy bills down to zero. We spoke to Verv’s CEO Peter Davies to find out how it all works. What you need to know about smart energy start-up Verv Launched in 2009, Verv built a smart home metre that analyses your energy usage and can break down your electricity bills per appliance. Left your straighteners on or the fridge door open? The smart home metre will realise that … [Read more...] about One innovative start-up wants to get your energy bills down to zero
Over the past couple of months, Europeans have noticed time slipping away from them. It’s not just their imaginations: all across the continent, clocks built into home appliances like ovens, microwaves, and coffee makers have been running up to six minutes slow. The unlikely cause? A dispute between Kosovo and Serbia over who pays the electricity bill. To make sense of all this, you need to know that the clocks in many household devices use the frequency of electricity to keep time. Electric power is delivered to our homes in the form of an alternating current, where the direction of the flow of electricity switches back and forth many times a second. (How this system came to be established is complex, but the advantage is that it allows electricity to be transmitted efficiently.) In Europe, this frequency is 50 Hertz — meaning a current alternating of 50 times a second. In America, it’s 60 Hz. Since the 1930s, manufacturers have taken advantage of this feature to … [Read more...] about Clocks are running slow across Europe because of an argument over who pays the electricity bill