Energy Smarts

Working to create a cleaner energy future for Massachusetts

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Summer’s Here: Shed Layers and Shed Loads

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Electricity usage throughout New England reaches its peak during summer heat waves, causing our electricity bills to spike. During periods of high demand, electric utilities typically call on more expensive “peaking” plants to provide extra power. These costs are passed onto larger, non-residential consumers through demand charges on their monthly electricity bill. Municipal buildings can save a significant sum of money if they shut off portions of their electricity during these peak periods.

Massachusetts Rebates Supercharge Electric Vehicle Market

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Electric vehicle charging

The MOR-EV initiative provides rebates of up to $2,500 for electric, fuel cell vehicles and plug-in vehicles with large batteries, and $1,500 for plug-in electric vehicles with smaller batteries. All Massachusetts residents are eligible to receive incentives on purchased and leased new electric vehicles until the rebate funds are gone.

Community Adoption of Energy Efficient Building Codes Stretches to 143

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maps of stretch code towns

Eight more municipalities (Dalton, Goshen, Halifax, Holliston, Upton, Wellfleet, Lanesborough, and Stoughton) recently adopted the Stretch Energy Code, criterion five for Green Community designation, and will now work to ensure that new construction and major renovations are more energy efficient. With these additions, the total number of participating municipalities has reached 143.

DOER Staff Picks: What We Do To Save Energy

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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions isn’t just about installing solar panels on your roof or buying an electric car. While some actions to reduce your carbon footprint are too costly for most, saving energy is certainly something that everyone can do. There are many ways to   …Continue Reading DOER Staff Picks: What We Do To Save Energy

Post-Tornado Reconstruction Continues in Monson

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New town hall-police station under construction on downtown Main Street in Monson.

June 1st marked the anniversary of the destructive tornadoes that touched down in Western Massachusetts just three years ago. Monson was one of several towns that experienced severe damage as the tornadoes blew through that part of the state. Monson worked hard to help raise money to rebuild the town. Despite Monson’s strong efforts, however, the town was not able to reach all of its reconstruction goals on its own.

Support Clean Energy Resources Today for a Better Tomorrow

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Energy is complicated, but it’s an issue that impacts each one of us. According to ISO-New England, more than 8,000 megawatts of electricity generation capacity — or nearly 25 percent of the region’s generation fleet — is at risk of retiring by 2020. With that   …Continue Reading Support Clean Energy Resources Today for a Better Tomorrow

Planting Trees to Save Energy

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5/19/14 Chelsea, MA - A young tree ready to be planted lies on its side at Bellingham Hill Park, Chelsea.

Trees are commonly associated with environmental benefits: they’re pleasing to the eye, they purify the air by removing carbon dioxide and adding oxygen, and they reduce water run-off. But did you know that trees can help nearby communities save energy as well? Both energy and   …Continue Reading Planting Trees to Save Energy

Connecting Cities and Towns with the Right Energy Solutions

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Massachusetts cities and towns have had remarkable success executing energy projects that range from solar installations large and small to energy management systems in schools to replacing lights in buildings and on streets with efficient LED technology. Still, so many options are available that negotiating   …Continue Reading Connecting Cities and Towns with the Right Energy Solutions

Boston Latin School Honored for Sustainability, Health, Environmental Education

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Congratulations to Boston Latin School, recipient of a 2014 U.S. Department of Education (USED) Green Ribbon Schools recognition award. The Green Ribbon Schools program, launched by USED in 2011, honors the highest performing schools for sustainability, health and environmental education in the U.S. This year,   …Continue Reading Boston Latin School Honored for Sustainability, Health, Environmental Education

Toward Zero Net Energy

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holyoke community college

In late February I had the opportunity to attend the Toward Zero Net Energy (TZNE) Retrofit Program “Charrette” ‒ a collaborative session in which a group of designers drafts a solution to a design problem ‒ at Holyoke Community College (HCC). The purpose of this charrette   …Continue Reading Toward Zero Net Energy