Uncertain times for Daloisio, Clean Energy Center
Climate bill, change in administration could impact agency
JENNIFER DALOISIO and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center are both facing a bit of uncertainty.
The agency, a key cog in the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is about to emerge from the bureaucratic shadows as the state prepares to dive into clean energy in a big way.
But how the agency will emerge remains a bit unclear as the legislative session came to an end on Sunday with climate change legislation still in play. The climate change legislation could provide a lot more funding to the Clean Energy Center, but how much is up in the air as the Legislature amended the governor’s amended version of the original bill and sent it back to him, putting him in the position of either having to veto it or letting it become law.
Daloisio joined the center after 20 years at Deloitte, working there with utilities, power plant operators, and clean energy startups. She spent seven years as the Clean Energy Center’s chief financial officer and about a year ago moved into the CEO position.
That’s an understatement.
The center was created to facilitate clean energy development in all sorts of ways. It operates the wind testing technology center in Charlestown and the offshore wind terminal in New Bedford. It is charged with promoting the decarbonization of the building and transportation sectors, facilitating the development of the offshore wind industry, and helping to train the workforce for clean energy industries.
Daloisio, sounding very much like a business consultant, said the center examines the clean energy market, identifies barriers to the adoption of new technologies, and then pursues solutions in the public and private sectors.
The center’s passive house challenge was a good example, she said. Reducing energy consumption of dwellings is a high priority for the state, so the Clean Energy Center offered financial incentives to developers who built so-called passive houses – houses that require ultra-low levels of energy for heating and cooling.
Daloisio said the center provided incentives for the construction of 540 passive house units, a process that demonstrated the standard for such dwellings could be met with just a 2 percent cost premium.
The center currently has a staff of 64 full-time employees and 13 interns and has a budget of $44 million, with more than half the revenue coming from assessments on electricity utility bills that add up to about 30 cents a month on the typical bill.
“This is really an interesting time to be in clean energy and climate,” she said. “I’m happy to be here and looking forward to continuing on.”