Tag Archives: Carbon Emissions

Sustainable Belmont Votes

Sustainable Belmont Votes


At December’s meeting, Sustainable Belmont’s Advisory Group and Members met and voted on the following measures:

  • Approved efforts to make the new high school zero net energy, a building standard that will balance the energy consumed with energy generated, mainly by using solar collectors. The assumption is that the lower operating costs will save the town money.
  • Supports the PTA/PTO Green Alliance’s proposal to improve recycling, add food recovery and composting in Belmont Public Elementary and Middle School cafeterias.
  • Supports efforts to define a plastic shopping bag ban that preferably reduces carbon. Reducing plastic shopping bags will benefit wildlife and decrease litter problems.
  • Supports a proposed State law that requires municipal light plants such as Belmont Light to buy renewable energy, similar to rules that guide investor-owned utilities. This change is supported also by MA Climate Action Network and many of its affiliates. If enacted, this rule would further help de-carbonize Belmont’s electricity and support the Town’s Climate Action Plan.

Belmont Drives Electric!


This new community-run program, sponsored by Sustainable Belmont, Belmont Energy Committee, Belmont Light and Belmont residents, promotes the use of electric vehicles in Belmont. Based on the highly successful Belmont Goes Solar model, the program includes pre-negotiated deals with local car dealers, Belmont Light monetary incentives, and community volunteers available to answer your questions.

Converting from a gas-combustion powered car to an electric vehicle could cut your transportation carbon footprint by half.  Save money and help reduce Belmont’s carbon footprint.

Belmont Drives Electric is also working with Belmont Light and the town to implement public charging stations for EV’s in Belmont and get some electric cars for the town fleet. We will keep you updated on the progress. Please talk to your town representatives to support this program. Thank you!


Nov. 12, 2016
Belmont Drives Electric Information & Test Drive Event

Info Session: 1:30-2:30pm
Test Drives: 2:30-4:30pm
Belmont High School Cafeteria & Parking Lot

Why is now a great time to consider an EV in Belmont? How do electric vehicles (EVs) handle in the snow and cold? Are EVs budget friendly? Come find out answers to these questions and more at a free public educational event sponsored by Belmont Drives Electric on Saturday, November 12 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm. During the information session, Belmont residents can find out about time-sensitive cost-saving incentives, need-to-know information regarding charging an EV, the environmental benefits of EVs, and other important information, such as efficiency of EVs in cold weather as well as maintenance and overall cost. Belmont EV owners will discuss their experiences and there will be time for questions and answers.

After the one-hour information session, EVs will be available to test drive a variety of EVs and PHEVs (plug0in hybrid electrical vehicles) and there will be a live demonstration of how to charge an EV.

Refreshments will be served.
Rain or shine!

For more information, please see the flyer here: Flyer – BDE Nov 12 Info Event.

December 15, 2016
EV Info Event & Test Drives at Belmont Light Open House
Belmont Light, 40 Prince Street

Details to be announced

More info:  www.belmontdriveselectric.org
To talk to a volunteer EV coach 617-855-5405
or email: Help@BelmontDrivesElectric.org

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!
2013 nissan leaf

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.