Tag Archives: Carbon Emissions

Rooftop Solar in Belmont

In November 2015 the Belmont Light  Board implemented a new solar-friendly policy after years of discussion which provides a feed-in tariff for solar power that is fed back into the grid at 11 cents per kWh. This has spurred an explosion of solar installations in Belmont, mostly through the Belmont Goes Solar community campaign, which runs from January 2016 to March 2018, and has brought more than 290 new roof top solar systems into town so far.  The federal and state incentives are still very lucrative and together with the Belmont feed-in tariff makes solar systems affordable. State-level financial incentives which represent a third of the installation cost will be expiring very soon.  If you are interested in getting solar you can check out more information at BelmontGoesSolar.org, or contact Martin Plass (one of the Belmont Solar Coaches) at mplass@zeroplus.us.

Read more about Solar in Belmont:

Presentation: Kick Gas with Electric Vehicles

Wednesday, March 2
7 – 9 PM
Assembly Room, Belmont Public Library

Join us for a panel discussion with Belmont residents who have recently gone electric with their cars. Learn about the financial and environmental benefits and some of the challenges. Four different cars will be in the parking lot for viewing.

In MA, about 40% of greenhouse gas emissions are from the transportation sector. By transitioning away from petroleum to cleaner electric vehicles, emissions can be dramatically reduced. Learn how rooftop solar works with electric vehicle charging – charging and operating costs; financial and emissions benefits.

Come see how easy it is to kick gas!
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Learn about: General costs of operating an electric vehicle; Charging options; What’s cool about this technology; How EV’s lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Action Plan – 2016 Updates

Sustainable Belmont Meeting: Climate Action Plan Updated

Wednesday, April 6
7 PM
Assembly Room, Belmont Public Library

Join us for an overview of the recent updates to the Climate Action Plan based on the previous year’s work of the Town Energy Committee. Presenters include Energy Committee members, Ian Todreas, James Booth and Jan Kruse.

Free and open to the public.

Community Forum on Carbon Pricing in Massachusetts

This forum was held on December 3rd in Arlington; thank you to attendees, organizers and panelists. We will post the media link here as soon as it becomes available.

Aimed at Arlington, Belmont, and Cambridge residents, the forum is presented by 350 Massachusetts for a Better Future in association with nine cosponsoring organizations. Several advocates with expertise will clearly and accessibly explain carbon pricing, with ample time for questions or comments from the audience. Putting a price on carbon is increasingly in the news as a key way to curb emissions that would be fair to the state’s citizenry and economy alike, with support from many businesses as well as environmental groups for bills currently before the state legislature.

Forum cosponsors are Massachusetts Sierra Club, Arlington and Belmont chapters of League of Women Voters, Green Cambridge, Sustainable Arlington, Sustainable Belmont, Green Sanctuary Committee at First Parish UU of Arlington, and Arlington and Belmont Mothers Out Front.

After opening remarks by Launa Zimmaro on why and how the League of Women Voters is taking action on carbon pricing, Quinton Zondervan will show a brief animated film about carbon pricing that he made with the Climate Action Business Association. Then, economist and Arlington resident Marc Breslow will cover all the bases on carbon pricing, how it works and why it is increasingly widely-accepted. Cathy Buckley, Massachusetts Sierra Club Chair, will wrap up with thoughts on why putting a price on carbon is “the most sensible, sane thing we can do to protect our quality of life and our habitat here on Earth.” Together they will field questions and comments for the second half of the program, which will be followed with a half-hour of conversation and refreshments to end the evening.

Marc Breslow is Co-Director of ClimateXChange and formerly held posts in the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. He had a leading role in developing and writing the state’s Clean Energy and Climate Plan, and in 2014 co-authored a major state report on carbon pricing.

Cathy Buckley, in addition to her leading position with Sierra Club, is a speaker for Climate Reality, a Lead Ambassador for the Environmental Defense Fund, and a committee member with 350 Mass. She worked for the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization on transportation and climate change.

Quinton Zondervan has been a member of Cambridge’s Climate Protection Action Committee since 2008. A software engineer and entrepreneur, he cofounded and serves as President and Board Chair of the Climate Action Business Association, as well as President of Green Cambridge and member of the Cambridge node of 350 Mass.

Launa Zimmaro holds several positions within the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, serving on the Board, as the Energy and Resource Conservation Specialist on the League’s Legislative Action Committee, and on the Campaign Finance Reform Committee. She is also a member of the state Sierra Club Executive Committee.

Article 9 in Belmont

Town Meeting Members will vote on Article 9 during this Town Meeting season. The article reads:

Shall Belmont’s state representative and state senator be instructed to vote in favor of legislation requiring the municipal electric utilities: (1) to adopt the same net metering rates and policies that are applicable to investor-owned electric utilities in the state, and (2) to adopt rates and policies that do not discriminate against, or impose other financial or technical impediments upon customers who seek to generate their own electricity from solar power?

This type of non-binding resolution was recently passed in the South Shore. You can see the results from that fall election here.

The Energy Challenge – It’s All About You

This month students, faculty and staff of Belmont Public Elementary Schools will be participating in the Green Cup Energy Challenge. The goal is simple: to reduce energy consumption by 5% over a month long period. (So simple you can try this challenge at home!) How will these students and teachers do it?…by turning off lights, unplugging devices and shutting windows and doors.

Last year, one school in Massachusetts reduced its energy consumption by 13.6% and placed 2nd in this national energy competition – that school is Belmont’s Roger Wellington Elementary School. By achieving close to 15% reduction in energy consumption (compared to the same period the previous year), the school conserved 13,280 kilowatt-hours of electricity, reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 14,717 pounds, and saved $$ on its energy bill. If ALL the school building were to achieve this rate of success over a year, approximately 255 TONS of CO2 could be avoided.

One Ton of Carbon Visualized.

One Ton of Carbon Visualized.

This year, the Wellington is being challenged by the Burbank, Butler and Winn Brook Schools. For the Challenge, students, faculty and parent volunteers will be reading their School’s electric meters. From January 14-February 11, the data will be collected locally and nationally on a weekly basis.

In December, the Town of Belmont was designated a Green Community. This competition acts immediately toward achieving the 20% reduction goal set by the designation. The school population – its employees, students and related families – make up a significant portion of our Town. By reducing energy consumption in school buildings, we save money for our schools. We also decrease demand for harmful fossil fuel-based energy. And, through the Challenge we create real-world connections for our students; they will use right-level math concepts and gain an awareness of energy in our lives and environment.

The Green Cup Energy Challenge is sponsored nationally by the Green School Alliance. Locally, it is being coordinated by the Belmont PTA/PTO Green Alliance with support from the Town of Belmont, Sustainable Belmont and Belmont Light.

Congratulations to all of us!

We are officially a Green Community!

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Here are a few links to articles we’ve posted this year and soon to come, a full history of the making of a Green Community!

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