Energy Smarts

Working to create a cleaner energy future for Massachusetts

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Getting Started and Gaining Insight into Energy Storage

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I joined the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) team a few months ago and, as you might imagine, have been introduced to a mountain of new information. Before I joined DOER, I had a very general understanding of what the department actually did for the   …Continue Reading Getting Started and Gaining Insight into Energy Storage


Leading By Example Earns EPA Award

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EPA New England Deputy Regional Administrator, Deb Szaro, DOER Leading by Example Program Sustainability Project Coordinator, Trey Gowdy, DOER Green Communities Division Acting Director, Lisa Capone, and EPA New England Regional Administrator, Curt Spalding at the 2015 EPA New England Environmental Awards ceremony

This spring, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s New England Office chose this historic hall to recognize bold action and innovation of a different kind. It recognized Massachusetts state government’s Leading by Example (LBE) program during a 2015 Earth Day event at Faneuil Hall, awarding LBE a 2015 Environmental Merit Award in the governmental category.


“L-E-D”ing by Example – Illuminating Energy Efficiency on Earth Day

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Streetlight retrofit

On what was a beautifully sunny Earth Day, a crowd gathered at Lynn Heritage State Park to watch local electrical contractor, Coviello Electric, install a shoebox LED lighting fixture, the last of 30 at the site to make the transition to LEDs. The conversion took just five minutes and, once complete, the crowd cheered as the new LED light was switched on for the first time – a symbolic act that highlighted the two phased Department of Conservation and Recreation project to retrofit approximately 4,500 outdoor lighting fixtures.


HVAC Challenges? How Arlington Gets Answers

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Screen shot from Arlington's FDD

I wanted to understand, day or night, on site or off, if my heating and cooling systems were operating efficiently. While not at the same scale as software giant, Microsoft, Arlington is utilizing the same fault detection and diagnostics software program, to analyze operations and upgrade HVAC efficiency.


Supporting Massachusetts Agriculture Through Energy Grants

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dan burgess on the farm

Growing up on a small dairy farm in New England, I experienced both the joys and challenges that family farms face on a daily basis. I know firsthand the impact fuel and maintenance costs or water and electricity bills have on the viability of a   …Continue Reading Supporting Massachusetts Agriculture Through Energy Grants


Monson Town Hall Rebuilt Efficiently After Tornado

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town offices

Dark clouds have yielded a silver lining in Monson—one of several towns that suffered serious damage when tornadoes blew through southwestern Massachusetts in June 2011, flattening trees, ruining buildings, and leaving many homeless. Monson town officials are looking to an April 11th Dedication Ceremony and   …Continue Reading Monson Town Hall Rebuilt Efficiently After Tornado


Dam Ice

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commercial building with icicles

You may have noticed many “falling ice” signs around town. Personally, I recently counted five of them on my way to the coffee shop. The icicles and falling ice are actually caused by ice dams, and the Building Science Corporation (BSC) and Massachusetts Department of   …Continue Reading Dam Ice


Fish Need Clean Energy, Too

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Trout at the McLaughlin Hatchery in Belchertown

Running a fish farm is an intense operation, one that requires a lot of labor and a large amount of energy. Currently, the McLaughlin Hatchery uses a significant amount of oil to heat its facility. The facility is going to replace its oil furnace with a renewable energy heating system, a new high efficiency wood pellet boiler and pellet storage silo that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 92 percent, save an estimated $11,432 annually, and reduce annual oil use by more than 5,000 gallons.


Wood Pellets are the New Oil for Regional Schools Reducing Fuel Costs

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wood pellets

Did you know that it is possible to heat buildings in the northeast using wood biomass, a renewable energy fuel? With nearly one-third of total energy costs going toward heating our buildings, it is no wonder that Massachusetts school districts are searching for cheaper and   …Continue Reading Wood Pellets are the New Oil for Regional Schools Reducing Fuel Costs


Natural Wildlife Setting Enhanced by New Zero Net Energy Building

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Bristol Community College ZNEB Lab Design

Constructing a commercial zero net energy building (ZNEB) is no easy task, especially one that is 45,000 square feet and sits in Massachusetts where the winters are cold and summers often hot and humid. This is why over 100 people gathered enthusiastically in December in   …Continue Reading Natural Wildlife Setting Enhanced by New Zero Net Energy Building