After an election season like this, we all need a little fun, and a little hope. There is plenty to celebrate, plenty to do, and plenty of people who want to do it to ensure a safe and livable climate for us all. So on December 7th, let’s get together!
We’ll start with a cocktail hour that will include warm appetizers, holiday cookies, and a celebratory update on the success of Drive Green with Mass Energy, our brand new discount EV buy/lease program. You’ll enjoy catching up with some of the brightest and most active minds in the local energy world, and then we’ll assemble for some ideas for action delivered by none other than Greg Watson.
Keynote Speaker: Greg Watson
“The cohesiveness, the networking, the wholeness of community is an integral part of sustainability… If we allow the wisdom of the community to emerge and really are honest about tapping what folks know, in most cases solutions that are applied [to challenges] are at least in part sustainable.”
-Greg Watson in 1999 interview with National Housing Institute
Greg Watson, now Schumacher Center’s Director of Policy and Systems Design, is remarkable. His lifetime work has focused on the natural but not always visible liaison between economic equality and sustainability. Greg has held various positions in government, including as the Commissioner of the Mass. Dept of Food & Agriculture and as Senior Advisor for Clean Energy Technology within the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, where he worked on offshore wind. His earlier work as director of Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, through which he emphasized urban agriculture and energy savings as part of the vitality of the Roxbury community, is a major inspiration to us all. You can check out what Greg is up to these days at his Civic Synergy web site.
After some Q&A with Greg, we’ll get down to honoring some really cool organizations and people with Energy Leadership Awards. Our awardees exemplify the kind of work that is necessary for a livable climate. Here’s a glance at their amazing accomplishments:
Energy Leadership Awardees
Boston Nature Center (BNC)
BNC, a Mass Audubon Society sanctuary, has switched nearly 100 people to clean energy and teamed up with Mass Energy to install a solar array this year alone. Their commitment to educating the public about renewable energy is incredible.
Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET)
HEET hails from Cambridge and has been doing energy efficiency “barn raisings” for 8 years. But HEET’s most recent accomplishment has been to shed light on thousands of leaks in our natural gas pipeline infrastructure, painstakingly documenting them one by one and making leakage maps available to the general public. They’ve mobilized other groups and legislators to do something about these leaks, and this summer legislation finally passed to fix the super-emitters.
Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)
Mass Energy honors MAPC especially for drastically streamlining and demystifying the municipal aggregation process, which allows cities and towns to choose a competitive electricity supplier for their residents. MAPC has encouraged and institutionalized the addition of Class 1 renewable energy to an aggregation, which means residents of these communities are using MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY and are supporting its local development. Two communities, Dedham and Melrose, kicked off their aggregations this year with MAPC’s help, and in 2017 several others will follow suit.
The Town of Amherst
Sustainability Coordinator Stephanie Ciccarello and her colleagues have worked hard to switch parts of their municipal fleet to electric vehicles, build a solar array on a landfill, and run numerous educational sustainability programs, groups, and fairs for residents. In 2014, the Town teamed up with Mass Energy to offer residents yet another option: green your electricity. 88 residents made the switch, which prompted Mass Energy to donate $3500 to Amherst in order to assist them with the purchase of another electric vehicle.
For the past year, volunteer Elisa Grammer has been helping Mass Energy intervene in proceedings at the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). She has assisted in writing pleadings related to the Massachusetts three-year energy efficiency plan and electric grid modernization. We have also benefitted from Elisa’s expertise and time in opposing the proposed electricity ratepayer financing of new fracked gas pipeline construction.
More than a year ago Andy Zucker asked Larry Chretien whether it would be useful if he volunteered to help Mass Energy lobby the state legislature to increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard requiring more renewable energy in our electricity supply. Larry said ‘yes,’ and since that time Andy has met with many legislators and legislative staff. Increasing the RPS has since become a priority for the Mass Power Forward group.
As you can see, there’s a lot of cause for hope. Our Annual Meeting & Holiday Party is free and open to the public. Join us!
Mass Energy's 34th Annual Meeting & Holiday Party
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 5:30pm
Westin Copley Place
10 Huntington Ave, Boston MA
Contact: Pua Higginson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-524-3950 x142, with questions.