SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTION – Pick one or many!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
• SIGN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S PETITION TO ISO NEW ENGLAND •
Tell ISO New England that you want rules to promote affordable clean energy, healthy communities, and climate protection.
» SIGN THE PETITION
• SPEAK OUT IN SUPPORT OF S.1974 •
Level the Solar Playing Field for ALL Massachusetts Municipalities
Under current Massachusetts regulations, solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays of less than 60 KW owned by a municipality, are classified as ‘private’ rather than ‘public’, even though they are publicly owned.
This ‘private’ designation for municipal arrays smaller than 60 KW is cutting towns like Windsor with small to medium arrays out of the solar energy generation earnings afforded everyone else.
» Learn who to contact and how
• SHOW SUPPORT FOR OTHER GOOD ENERGY LEGISLATION •
View current Massachusetts legislation that would help move Mass forward on Environmental Justice, DPU Reform, 100% Renewables, Net Zero Stretch Code and more.
• TAKE ACTION on the WEYMOUTH (ENBRIDGE) COMPRESSOR STATION •
After four years of fighting, Enbridge has started construction on the compressor station in Weymouth. The fight it not over, and FRRACS (Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station) have taken to protesting at the site. Check their Facebook page, Calendar and News pages for the latest, and how you can lend your support.
—— DEADLINE TO SIGN UP – JANUARY 15, 2020!! ——
• SIGN UP FOR SOLARIZE PLUS – WILLIAMSTOWN & NORTH ADAMS •
If you’re in Williamstown or North Adams, this is your chance to get solar and backup batteries at a really great price. This state-sponsored program makes it far more affordable – but it’s a one-off that can’t be repeated. Deadlines coming up soon – sign up for Assessment by Jan. 15, deposits due by the 31st.
» More Information
• SOLARIZE AND SOLARIZE PLUS •
These are state programs to bring solar to towns (smaller towns can band together to hit the minimum population requirement). With multiple community members signing up during the campaign, the program is able to offer bulk discounts, putting solar within reach of lower to middle income homes that might not otherwise be able to afford it. Solarize Plus allows the campaign to combine with an additional technology, like home battery storage or high efficiency heat pumps.
MassCEC has opened up the limitations a bit, so if your town previously had a Solarize campaign, you can now sign up again through SolarizePlus!
» More Information
• CONSIDER A LOCAL GAS BAN BY-LAW •
Follow the example of Brookline – Watch and learn from the Brookline co-petitioners about how they built power in their town meeting to vote for a bylaw that bans gas pipes in new construction projects. This is a tool to help reign in fossil fuel development on a local scale that is still being vetted by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. Once approved, it will be ready to adoption by municipalities across the state! http://www.massclimateaction.org/past_webinars
• GET YOUR LOCAL BOARD OF HEALTH TO CHIME IN •
The Massachusetts Association of Health Boards (MAHB) are asking local Boards of Health to sign on to a letter to Governor Baker, asking him to say no to further fracked gas infrastructure or, at the very least, not allow any to be approved without a full, independent study of health effects.
Over 100 Boards of Health have approved signing onto it, or written their own!
Residents of our other towns and cities to should ask their Board of Health to sign on to this letter as well. It would be a powerful message to send if every municipality in the state signed on!
• LOCAL ACTIONS FOR GREENING YOUR TOWN / CITY •
There are state programs to help push your city or town toward more clean and efficient power use, including making solar and conversion to clean household heating systems more affordable through aggregate purchasing.
OTHER INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS
• JOIN A NATIONWIDE PUSH TO DE-FUND FOSSIL FUEL •
Check out StopTheMoneyPipeline.com
• Learn About Massachusetts State Energy Efficiency Programs •
From weatherizing and making your home more efficiency through MassSave, adding high efficiency cold weather heat pumps and solar to run them through SolarAccess, to banding together with neighbors to get the power of bulk pricing on going solar with Solarize and more options, check our Energy Efficiency section.
• Spread the word!
— Write OpEds or Letters to the Editor about the pipeline issue. This especially important to counter inaccurate or one-sided reports you may see, but writing about the pipeline issue preemptively is a good way to bring the subject to the general public.
— Talk to your local selectboard, planning board, conservation commission about what their plans are or what you think they should be. Even if your town isn’t affected by fossil fuel infrastructure expansion, consider creating a 100% Renewables plant for your town (more info coming soon!), becoming a Green Community, or organizing to participate in the Solarize Mass program
— Talk to your neighbors and friends about pipeline projects near you and let them know why they’re of concern. Maybe share your favorite environmental documentaries with friends.
— Talk to your State Legislators
Here are links to the major Massachusetts Legislative Committees who would have sway over these issues. These would be key people to contact first, but definitely feel free to contact more:
» Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy
» Joint Committee on Ways and Means
»Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture
— Consider spending some time at the State House.
Nothing beats an actual person talking to you about the issues. Consider making an appointment with either your own Legislators, or with some on the Committees show above to talk to them about your concerns and present some of the evidence for why more fossil fuel expansion is the wrong direction.
— In Your Own Home or Business
• Contact MassSAVE for a free home energy audit. Find out where you can improve your energy efficiency and what incentive programs and rebates you qualify for.
• Sign up for Shave The Peak email or text alerts so you can voluntarily cut back electricity use during “peak” days, when utilities may need to draw on oil- or coal- fired power plants to meet unusually high demand. Small adjustments to air conditioning or household appliance use for a few hours can make a big difference, and help to green the grid.
• Talk to a nearby rooftop or small-scale wind energy provider about systems you could use to generate your own clean energy. If you’re not sure where to find someone, NESEA’s Sustainable Green Pages could be a good place to start.
• If your own energy system isn’t an option, consider adding New England Green Start to your utility account. For pennies more per KWh, you can ensure that the amount of energy you use is purchased by your utility company from clean energy sources.
— DONATE to help keep our efforts moving and expanding!
• Plant a Tree!
— Free Trees from BEAT! Neighborhoods in Pittsfield are now a part of a statewide program to increase canopy cover, reduce energy costs for heating and cooling, and make our neighborhoods healthier. Come visit our table and find out more about getting FREE TREES, PROFESSIONALLY PLANTED, FOR FREE! Hosted by Pittsfield Greening the Gateway City – Free Trees and Berkshire Environmental Action Team.
» Contact Jane Winn of Berkshire Environmental Action Team
» Help other communities fighting similar battles against fossil fuel infrastructure expansion across the country
— Get behind solutions!
» FOCUS ON EFFICIENCY
• Encourage your State Reps. and the Governor to focus on energy efficiency as a way to close the energy gap, not bringing in more fossil fuels to feed existing and fire up more leaky gas-fired plants.
» FOCUS ON ALTERNATIVES
• Support solar, wind, micro-wind, energy efficiency and conservation measures.
REDUCE PLASTIC CONSUMPTION
Plastics aren’t only a pollution problem. Their production relies on fracking to extract ethane along with natural gas. Reducing your plastic use can reduce demand for more fracking wells in communities hosting fossil fuel extraction.
• Paper or plastics? How about neither!
Both plastic and paper disposable shopping bags use far more energy and resources than using re-usable canvas bags. Talk to your local officials about starting a bag-ban in your town, and start a local BagShare program.
• The Bag Share
— The goal of the BagShare is to transition stores to going disposable bag free. Volunteers sew and donate cloth bags to stores, libraries, farmer’s markets, and other venues that want to reduce their bag waste.
• Buy in bulk. Instead of purchasing groceries plastic packaging, find stores that offer products in bulk bins and ask if you can bring your own reusable bags or containers.
(Tiny URL for this page = http://tinyurl.com/NFGactnow )