Energy Smarts

Working to create a cleaner energy future for Massachusetts

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Banking on Residential Solar Power

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solar loan process flow

“It’s a house, it’s a car, it’s a … solar panel?” In the coming months, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is hoping a new residential solar loan program will spark that question and interest in renewable power at local lending institutions across the Commonwealth.   …Continue Reading Banking on Residential Solar Power


Building Efficiency Gurus Exchange Ideas on Just About Everything

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Faces of Green Communities

The American Council for Energy Efficient-Economy (ACEEE) selected me to present a paper on the Commonwealth’s Green Communities Program at ACEEE’s Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. It felt like going to college – the seniors all knew each other, while the freshmen were   …Continue Reading Building Efficiency Gurus Exchange Ideas on Just About Everything


Comparing Homes – Energy-Saving Enters the Equation

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home mpg logo

Until recently, there was no way to easily figure energy efficiency into a home buying decision. Enter HomeMPG, a Massachusetts energy-saving initiative to pilot an energy performance score (EPS) in residential homes. This “asset” rating that’s analogous to a car’s MPG rating. Behavior is taken out of the equation so that any home’s energy use can be compared to any other home, allowing for an apples-to-apples comparison.


Massachusetts Milestone: 15,000 Solar Installations

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map id towns that were visited in solstice tour

Massachusetts has just surpassed an exciting milestone of 15,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, proving that solar energy has become a smart, popular choice here. In fact, as of August 21, there were 15,762 systems installed across Massachusetts, a twenty-fold increase from 2007 when Governor Deval   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Milestone: 15,000 Solar Installations


Solarize Mass – Big Scale Impact for Small Scale Solar

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Solarize Mass community

The results of the Solarize Mass 2013-2014 two rounds managed to surpass numbers from the previous two years. Close to 1,500 contracts were signed and a total of nearly 10 megawatts of solar installed. During 2013’s first round, ten communities participated, and for the second round that ended this past June, another fifteen communities were chosen.


Carbon Neutral? A Closer Look at University Claims

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UMass Amherst LEED Gold Police Station

The five UMass university campuses have made enormous progress towards carbon neutrality. In particular, UMass Amherst has demonstrated impressive environmental leadership and received an Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Leading by Example award for achieving a 26 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions three years ahead of its 2012 goal.


Door-to-Door Campaign Reaps Energy Efficiency Gains

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Doorhanger used in canvassing program

Greenfield sent program specialists from Energy Smart Homes door-to-door to answer questions, explain the energy auditing process, and plan retrofit projects. So far, home energy assessments in Greenfield have taken place at four times the statewide rate.


Market-Based Program Designed to Continue Solar Growth

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image for SREC-II blog post

This April, the Commonwealth launched its second Solar Carve- Out Program. Built on the success of the first solar carve-out program, SREC II is designed to continue to drive Massachusetts’ solar growth and particularly provide incentives for smaller solar projects, building mounted units, community shared solar, solar canopies, emergency power and low income housing.


“Mass. Military Division” and “Energy Efficiency” Go Together

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Pittsfield Arory

Energy measures implemented at a Mass. Military Divison site include improved lighting, high efficiency motors, HVAC controls and energy management system upgrades. Under the Accelerate Efficiency Plan, the Commonwealth is investing over $12 million at 29 state facilities throughout the Berkshires.


Solar a “No-Go” on Your Roof? Share Through Community Solar

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Worth Robbins, project's driving force and Steve Strong, head of Solar Design Associates, throw the switch

Harvard residents who wanted solar on their homes and were unable to get it due to shading, sloping, or structural barriers, found a solution by sharing the Harvard Solar Garden, an approximately 250 kW project, provides 41 residents and six small businesses with sustainable, clean energy. .