Director, Green Communities Division, Department of Energy Resources (DOER)
Because our mission is to serve as the clean energy hub for all 351 cities and towns, as well as other local governmental bodies, the DOER Green Communities Division has explored a number of ways to get helpful energy information to communities. One of the best ways we’ve found is through use of the webinar. From time to time, the Green Communities Division has hosted webinars on topics such as grant opportunities, the Stretch Code, and MassEnergyInsight - and the response has been terrific. We are able to share real time information with communities from Cape Code to the Berkshires and everywhere in between. And if someone missed one, we are able to post the webinars in their entirety on our website.
So, in an effort to share this energy information with cities, towns and other local governments on topics ranging from energy efficiency strategies to renewable energy options, the Green Communities Division recently began a monthly webinar series. Each webinar is available to municipalities, other local governments and the general public free of charge. Two – Navigating the Green Communities Designation Process and Stretch Code 201 – have already taken place and are posted here.
The Division’s upcoming webinars include:
Solar 101 – Dec 1 – Natalie Andrews, Renewables Energy Project Coordinator
Interested in putting up a solar array on a town building or closed landfill? We will cover the basics of solar photovoltaics, what makes for a good site, how to maximize incentives, and the basics of procurement. The session will put it all together and lay out a step-by-step checklist for getting your project built.
Energy Audits – Jan 5 – Aimee Powelka, Municipal Efficiency Coordinator
Want to have an energy audit but don’t know where to start? Join us for an overview on how to evaluate and track your energy usage, work with MassSave to identify energy efficiency opportunities, get the most out of the energy audit process and implement low- and no-cost measures to reduce energy usage.
Energy Management Services (Performance Contracting) – Feb 2 – Eileen McHugh, Municipal Programs Coordinator
Learn about Energy Management Services, how they work and where to get help. Join us for ‘ESCO projects 101’: how the process interacts with other energy efficiency opportunities, together with best practices for executing a performance contact.
Municipal Energy Success Stories & Lessons Learned – March 2 – Tom Witkin, Communications Coordinator
Many Massachusetts cities and towns have benefitted from energy projects ranging from improvements in lighting efficiency to demand response to photovoltaics arrays on landfills. Learn how municipalities have navigated the sometimes winding road to lower energy consumption, costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
I hope we’ve piqued your interest – and that your next question may be: “how do I sign up?” The best way to be notified of webinars and to register is to join the Green Communities listserv. As a listserv member, you will receive an invitation to each month’s webinar session, along with registration instructions.
Finally, we are always looking for new topics to cover and for suggestions on how best to communicate this information to our local governments. If you have any ideas or want to start a discussion about this topic, please post to this blog or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Banking on Residential Solar Power posted on Sep 16
“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 posted on Sep 5
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 posted on Aug 28
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.