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Mark Sylvia

Mark Sylvia

Director, Green Communities Division, Department of Energy Resources (DOER)

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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 mark.sylvia@state.ma.us.

 

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As Deputy Director of DOER's Green Communities Division, Lisa helps lead a team devoted to working with Massachusetts cities and towns to realize environmental and cost benefits of municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy. Prior to joining DOER, Lisa worked in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs from 2007 to 2012, first as Press Secretary and then as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Public Affairs. Her previous communications and public relations experience includes both government and the private sector, where, as principal of upWrite Communications, she served clients such as The Trustees of Reservations, The Nature Conservancy, and Partners Health Care/North Shore Medical Center. She began her career as a journalist, covering Beacon Hill for the State House News Service, and later wrote for a variety of other publications including The Boston Globe, Teacher Magazine, Animals Magazine, and The Gulf of Maine Times. The author of two books, Lisa serves on the board of the Saugus River Watershed Council and resides with her family in Melrose.

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