EFFICIENCY: Massachusetts has been an energy conservation leader, but climate advocates want its energy efficiency program to refocus on accelerated decarbonization. (Energy News Network)

• By March 1, Massachusetts’ governor must release her state budget recommendation, which observers say will likely include “unprecedented” investment in the state’s clean energy center. (WBUR)
• The New Hampshire House of Representatives advances a bill stopping utilities from using unregistered renewable energy credits to offset their clean energy requirements. (New Hampshire Bulletin)

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• In New York, a Finger Lakes-area county receives a $10,000 state grant for clean energy projects, as county legislators pass a unanimous resolution encouraging local landowners to use “marginal lands” over prime farmland for solar arrays. (Finger Lakes Times)
• Supporters of a 240 MW solar development in northern New York encourage local acceptance of the project, citing projected local economic benefits and unlikely negative environmental impact. (North Country Now)

• Maryland climate advocates question the new governor’s decision to nominate a gas industry official to a utility regulation commission that oversees the fossil fuel sector. (Washington Post)
• A South Portland, Maine, committee renews its call for improved air emissions monitoring around petroleum tanks located in South Portland through a final report to the city council. (Portland Press Herald)
• Boston-area restaurants discuss the pros and cons of switching to electric kitchen equipment in an industry that has long used gas. (Boston Globe)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The head of New York City’s firefighters union says more protections need to be put in place to ensure firefighters aren’t breathing in toxins from the smoke of ignited lithium-ion batteries. (New York Daily News)

• A Maine “conservation cemetery” touts the climate benefits of green burials over cremation or traditional burials. (Maine Public Radio)
• A newly introduced Vermont bill would set up a climate mitigation, resilience, and adaptation fund overseen by the state treasurer. (WCAX)

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• The cost of upgrading New York’s power grid shouldn’t fall on upstate ratepayers, since the work is helping relieve bottlenecks of power headed downstate, argue representatives of upstate’s industrial sector. (Times Union)
• The Vermont Public Power Supply Authority disperses $5 million to 50 communities to pay for smart meters. (WCAX)

AFFORDABILITY: In Connecticut, an emergency energy assistance program says it can’t keep up with demand from hard-pressed ratepayers and has to pause its work through March. (Connecticut Public Radio)

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Bridget is a freelance reporter and newsletter writer based in the Washington, D.C., area. She compiles the Northeast Energy News digest. Bridget primarily writes about energy, conservation and the environment. Originally from Philadelphia, she graduated from Emerson College in 2015 with a degree in journalism and a minor in environmental studies. When she isn’t working on a story, she’s normally on a northern Maine lake or traveling abroad to practice her Spanish language skills.