The Senate on Tuesday approved another complex set of reforms to accelerate the spread of clean energy in Massachusetts, along the way hearing concerns about potential ratepayer burdens and embracing an expansion of the state’s bottle redemption law.

Senators voted 38-2 in favor of the third climate package in as many legislative terms. The latest measure addresses the siting and permitting process for clean energy projects, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the natural gas industry and electrified trains.

Republican Sens. Peter Durant of Spencer and Ryan Fattman of Sutton voted against the bill.

Reforms seek to modernize the electric grid to accommodate energy from cleaner sources, and change how Bay Staters receive power.

As he introduced the bill (S 2829), Sen. Michael Barrett recalled the new roof he put on his Lexington house at good expense a few years ago. Had he thought to take a picture of the completed work to share with his nine siblings in a WhatsApp channel, Barrett said it was doubtful “any of them would have written back and said, you know, 'cute roof.’ ”

“The energy grid is like that. It absolutely needs updating, absolutely needs renewing every 30 years. But it’s pretty boring stuff,” he said, adding that it’s decarbonization of buildings and vehicles that gets his constituents excited. “It’s a source of emotional reinforcement, to the people who vote for me, that we’re not only doing the esoteric thing -- which is the grid; important, but exotic -- we’re also getting off fossil fuels with respect to cars and houses.”

The Senate vote tosses another major bill onto the pile of partially complete legislation with just about five weeks remaining for significant business this term.

House Democrats have voiced interest in taking some kind of action, especially to reform the process of siting and permitting energy projects as Massachusetts moves toward a clean-energy future.

But it’s not clear if Speaker Ron Mariano and his deputies will match the Senate’s appetite for additional changes aimed at multistate clean energy procurement, third-party electric suppliers and natural gas regulations. Some last-minute changes senators made on the floor, including an expansion of the state’s bottle deposit law, also face an uncertain outlook.

Getting down to business

Senators had to work through a couple of false starts before they could actually begin debate on the bill.

Democrats tried to take up the 96-page draft Thursday, three days after it emerged from the committee level, but Republican Sen. Ryan Fattman used parliamentary tactics to delay any action until Tuesday.

Massachusetts has committed itself to ratcheting down greenhouse gas emissions to the net zero level by 2050, with checkpoints along the way. The primary strategy is to pivot energy generation towards cleaner sources like solar and offshore wind, and simultaneously maximize the electrification of buildings and transportation.

That will create significantly greater demand for electricity. The report from the governor’s Commission on Clean Energy Infrastructure Siting and Permitting said heating electrification demand “is expected to increase by a factor of 17 to 19 between 2023 and 2032” and that electric vehicle charging demand “is expected to increase by a factor of 13 by 2030.”

That means Massachusetts will need to more than double its supply of electricity from solar energy, install more than 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind and nearly as much additional energy storage by 2030, and make significant upgrades to the electrical grid.

Under the bill’s new, streamlined approach for permitting and siting clean energy projects -- which was developed by the Healey administration with input from lawmakers including Barrett -- regulators would newly offer a single, consolidated permit to approve clean energy infrastructure instead of multiple permits stretching across local, regional and state levels. Project reviews would be limited to one year for smaller projects with the consolidated permit to be issued (or denied) by the municipality, and 15 months for larger projects with the consolidated permit decision made by the Energy Facilities Siting Board.

The legislation also directs the Department of Public Utilities to weigh greenhouse gas emissions and the state’s climate targets when considering expanding access to new gas consumers or gas service territories, and allows gas companies to pursue geothermal projects.

Other reforms include initial steps towards addressing “embodied carbon,” or greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance and disposal of building and infrastructure materials. The bill would expand the powers of the Board of Building Regulations and Standards to include the development of uniform standards for the reduction of embodied carbon, which the Massachusetts Climate Action Network has said accounts for between 11 and 23 percent of annual global emissions.

‘A decade was enough’

Senators decided Tuesday to use the wide-ranging bill as the vehicle to revisit the state’s bottle redemption law.

On an unrecorded voice vote, the Senate adopted an amendment from Majority Leader Cynthia Creem that would double the five-cent deposit to 10 cents and expand it from just beer and soda to apply to most beverage containers.

Creem said the changes could more than double the bottle redemption rate in Massachusetts, which she called “the lowest in the nation” among states that have a similar law on the books, while generating up to $210 million in new revenue for the state in the first year and saving cities and towns more than $36 million annually.

Citing statistics from the Container Recycling Institute, Creem said the policy change would lead to 3.1 billion additional beverage containers being recycled in Massachusetts each year, which would have the same greenhouse gas emissions impact as removing almost 40,000 motor vehicles from the road.

“By expanding the deposit system to include nearly all beverage containers and increasing the deposit to 10 cents, Massachusetts can bring the bottle deposit law into the 21st century,” Creem said.

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr added his voice in support of the bottle redemption law expansion, as did Barrett.

Ten years ago, voters decimated a ballot question that would have applied the 5-cent deposit to drinks other than beer and soda by a 73 percent to 27 percent margin.

“I think many had supposed Massachusetts would not revisit the issue after the [2014] referendum,” Barrett said Tuesday. “To the enormous credit of the Senate president and the chair of Senate Ways and Means, we decided that a decade was enough time, that there was an opportunity to revisit this idea, and now, we’ve modernized something that is very important.”

No one spoke in outright opposition to the amendment Tuesday, though Sen. Marc Pacheco of Taunton pointed out the possible political complications that could stem from the 2014 ballot question history.

Another change senators made Tuesday revisits a highlight from the climate legislation they approved last term.

An amendment filed by Sen. Patricia Jehlen of Somerville and Sen. Jo Comerford of Northampton adds one more spot to a pilot program allowing 10 cities and towns to restrict fossil fuel infrastructure in new construction and major expansion, pushing the roster to 11 spots.

Nine cities and towns locked in their participation in the program already, and both Somerville and Northampton are vying to take the final open slot. If the House and Healey support the change, the pair of cities could both gain admission.

Senators approved the amendment on an unrecorded voice vote with no discussion.

They also shot down by a near-unanimous margin a proposal that would have committed $1 billion from the state’s “rainy day” savings fund, which is projected to approach $9 billion next year, toward upgrading and retrofitting buildings with cleaner energy infrastructure.

Pacheco, who filed the amendment, argued that lawmakers needed to “make it financially feasible” for Bay Staters to embrace options like heat pumps or else “it just won’t happen in the time period in which we need it to happen.” He was the only one to vote in favor of his amendment as it sunk to a 38-1 defeat.

Cost concerns take center stage

As senators began to dig into the bill, concerns emerged on both sides of the aisle about the burden that increasing electrification stands to put on the bills residents pay across the state.

Barrett said Tuesday that updating the grid is going to cost a “significant amount” of money and that “the people who pay monthly electric bills are going to, in the end, shoulder the expense there, cough up every penny.” That’s why, he said, the Senate bill’s provisions altering gas system investment programs and curtailing some expansions are key.

“We can’t avoid paying for the new roof. We can’t avoid paying for a new electric system, so we have to balance it with reductions elsewhere,” he said.

Tarr, the chamber’s top Republican, used much of his introductory speech Tuesday to stress that the Senate pushing forward with a clean energy expansion absent a similar expansion in supply is equivalent to “subjecting household budgets to the fourth-highest cost of electricity in the United States of America.”

“That’s an important thing to remember. Again, I think we all want to move forward here. ... But just a reminder that we need to also think about the cost to consumers, and the need to provide relief for that cost,” Tarr said.

Barrett has for years been warning that focusing on electrification without corresponding relief for ratepayers could turn residents against clean energy projects, especially given the state’s already high electricity prices. He said the Senate bill was written keeping in mind “that no state, however progressive, is immune to a rebellion that can crop up when people feel they’re really, really pushed to the extreme in terms of their household budgets.”

He used his earliest days in the Massachusetts Legislature (first elected to the House in 1978) as an example.

What was a “very blue” state influenced by the Kennedys and “committed as a state to many good things” in the 1970s took a shift as the 1980s arrived and “people had reached the end of their rope in terms of property taxes,” Barrett said. In 1980, Massachusetts voters approved of Proposition 2½ to limit the total annual property tax revenue a municipality can raise and to prevent property tax hikes of more than 2.5 percent a year without first securing voter approval.

“It was a shock at the time that a blue state could go to the right. Some would say to the center, but it was in the rightward direction. That could happen with electricity prices,” Barrett said. “That’s why there’s such a focus here on providing relief in the form of making sure the gas system isn’t expanding the way that it’s done in the past.”

Last year, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center projected that “fossil fuel jobs will decrease slightly from 58,090 to 56,121 jobs, or a net decrease of 3.4%” from 2022 to 2030.

Barrett mentioned the workforce assessment work of MassCEC and appeared to be citing the number of jobs the report projected would be lost in the “natural gas” (loss of 84 jobs) and “natural gas distribution” (loss of 57 jobs) fields. The report also projected a loss of 1,274 gas station attendant jobs, 733 natural gas generation jobs, 458 other fossil fuel generation jobs, and an increase of 637 jobs in petroleum fuels.

Sen. Mark Montigny voiced concerns about ratepayer burdens and told other senators to “be mindful that the rebellion is here, the public is fed up.”

“What matters is the feeling. You can spend all day talking to your constituents and try to convince them, based on statistics, that things aren’t that bad,” he said. The New Bedford Democrat added, “If we are to do this properly, we better be mindful of that transition and the impact on jobs. And we better be mindful on the impact on those that pay the rates in Massachusetts as one of the highest in the country.”