Energy/Energy Efficiency Coordinator, Department of Agricultural Resources
Shortly before this year’s shortened maple sugaring season ended, I was fortunate to not only visit a local producer, but also able to “assist” in an afternoon of maple syrup production. My intention to visit Justamere Tree Farm, a family-owned maple sugaring and diversified farming operation in Worthington, was to review new energy efficient equipment funded in part by DAR’s Ag-Energy Grant Program. The grants help fund projects to improve energy efficiency and facilitate adoption of alternative clean energy technologies. Justamere’s new additional reverse osmosis (RO) equipment separates out and reduces the water content of the raw sap, thus reducing evaporation time and saving energy. Concurrently, water is recovered that is used for cleaning purposes. Justamere also uses an advanced gasification wood furnace that results in overall boiler efficiencies of 75 to 80 percent. This allows Justamere to use less than half of the wood conventional operations utilize. Energy and our valuable forest resources are saved and greenhouse gas emissions reduced. Possible next step – photovoltaics to help offset the maple syrup production’s electrical requirements!
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.