Tag Archives: Energy

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:

Gas Leaks Presentation

Gas Leaks in Belmont: A Presentation with Belmont Chapter of Mothers Out Front and Sustainable Belmont

Wednesday, April 27
7 PM
Assembly Room, Belmont Public Library

Did you know that within its 4.6 square miles Belmont has 80 gas leaks, with the oldest dating back to 1996? Of these, only 7 are scheduled to be fixed within the next 12 months. Gas leaks are coordinated with road repairs as much as possible, but still, every year the numbers increase. Here is a link to a map showing Belmont’s gas leaks as of December 2015, when there were 90 leaks.

Why should we be concerned about gas leaks? Public health and climate change. Gas leaks are a threat to health – they exacerbate asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Methane – the gas leaked – is an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Who pays for the leaked gas? We do. The costs for lost gas are passed on in billing and the gas company has little financial incentive to fix all but the worst leaks. Learn about efforts to hold gas companies accountable for fixing leaks and what you can do to help.

Free and open to the public.

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.

Belmont is Going Solar!

Residential rooftop with solar panels installed on a sunny day.

Belmont Goes Solar Challenge: 100 solar rooftops in 2016!

Attend an information event, contact volunteers, receive an assessment, learn more here.  Read more here. Join Belmont Goes Solar and Direct Energy Solar at these “Meet the Installer” events (light snacks provided).

  • January 13, 2016, 7:30 – 9:00 pm in the Auditorium, Belmont Town Hall.
  • January 23, 2016, 2:00 – 3:30 pm at the Beech Street Center.

Solar is a win-win for residents, businesses and the environment. Act Now! For more info. or to request a free solar assessment, visit:www.BelmontGoesSolar.org

Now’s the Time for Belmont to Go Solar!

Why? Belmont Goes Solar* has paved the way for Belmont homeowners and businesses to evaluate their potential for solar electricity. The group met with several installers, negotiated a discount price, and offers free information sessions to guide you through the process. You can:

Work with the installer selected by Belmont Goes Solar and act fast to get the best discounts:

  • A 20% (or more) discount from Direct Energy Solar, the installer carefully selected by Belmont Goes Solar, will expire in April 2016.
  • The first 20 signed contracts with Direct Energy Solar will receive an additional $500 discount.
  • The 30% Federal Tax Credit requires systems to be in service by December 31, 2016. Don’t delay; installers will be booked ahead due to this deadline.

Join us and Direct Energy Solar at these “Meet the Installer” events (light snacks provided).

  • January 13, 2016, 7:30 – 9:00 pm in the Auditorium, Belmont Town Hall.
  • January 23, 2016, 2:00 – 3:30 pm at the Beech Street Center.

Solar is a win-win for residents, businesses and the environment. Act Now! For more info. or to request a free solar assessment, visit: www.BelmontGoesSolar.org

*Belmont Goes Solar is a volunteer group of Belmont residents knowledgeable and enthusiastic about solar. The group is supported by the Board of Selectmen, and formed by members of the Belmont Energy Committee, Mothers Out Front, Sustainable Belmont and Belmont Light. After a rigorous selection process, Belmont Goes Solar chose Direct Energy Solar as Belmont’s installer partner due to price, installation capacity, and deep experience in community solar programs.

Belmont Goes Solar Campaign is Kicking Off!

Can you volunteer?

Under the management of the town’s Energy Committee, and in collaboration with Sustainable Belmont, the Belmont Goes Solar campaign will be working with DirectEnergy, one of the premier solar vendors in Massachusetts, to encourage residents and businesses to go solar in 2016. The Energy Committee has selected DirectEnergy to work within Belmont. They will provide both discounted prices and help to residents in deciding whether solar provides financial benefits. The campaign will formally begin in January 2016, with sign-ups expected to continue through approximately April 30, 2016 (exact end date TBD based on interest in the Belmont community); in the meantime, planning is well underway, and Belmont needs your help!

If you are interested in supporting this effort, please send your contact information by writing to admin@BelmontGoesSolar.org. There will be volunteer opportunities of various types and involving various levels of time commitment. Please sign up!

The Energy Committee is also looking for a SOLAR COACH. That person will be a key player in helping to implement the program. The main responsibilities of the coach will be:

(1) To serve as an independent resource for Belmont citizens and business thinking of going solar, answering questions and serving as a general solar advocate;

(2) To work closely with the selected vendor to monitor progress and serve as an interface between the steering committee and the vendor;

(3) To engage with the Belmont Goes Solar steering committee about ongoing activities, and, as needed, coordinate with other volunteers who will be leading specific outreach efforts (e.g. public “meet your installer” events).

This role could require about 10 hoursof work a week during the campaign. The SOLAR COACH may be paid a small stipend.

If you might be interested in helping the campaign in this in this role, please contact admin@BelmontGoesSolar.org by Wednesday December 16th. 

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.