SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTION – Pick one or many!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
• Put Peakers in the Past •
See our Put Peakers in the Past campaign for info on how these power generation plants are the oldest and most polluting … and the easiest to replace with zero emissions alternatives!
» Send messages
– to our legislators to pressure MassDEP to deny a new air quality permit for peaker plant Pittsfield Generating
– to MassDEP, demanding that without a transition plan in place, they should not renew Pittsfield Generating’s air quality permit
– to Hull Street Energy, urging them to fully transition to storage
» Join the Peaker Coalition – organizations, school, faith groups or businesses
• Future of Clean Heat •
We’re joining Mothers Out Front in their Future of Clean Heat campaign. We’re putting pressure on local gas companies to switch their business model to clean, non-emissions alternatives.
– POSTCARD CAMPAIGN
Sign a post card, get friends and families to do the same, and bring or send back to BEAT so we can gather them for delivery to Berkshire Gas!
» Join in!
• Community Eco Power – Report Emissions •
Community Eco Power is the trash incinerator in Pittsfield on Hubbard Ave. They burn Pittsfield’s municipal trash as well as trash from other communities and others wishing to get rid of waste. In the last several months, we’ve received reports and have also observed powerful chemical smells similar to burning plastic and other odors that cause burning in the eyes, nose and throat.
» Please report these toxic emissions when you see / smell them
• Stop the Eversource “Reliability Project” in Longmeadow & Springfield •
Visit Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group’s site and make sure to visit both the “Take Action Longmeadow” and “Take Action Springfield” pages. They have two separate petitions – sign both! – and see what actions can take for help each side of this fight.
• Stop Line 3! •
Support the fight against yet another oil pipeline across indigenous lands in the midwest. Sign the petition to the Biden Administration and see other ways you can help.
» Stop Line 3 website
• Help to Shave the Peak! •
Peak energy is the period of time in the year when the electric grid experiences its highest demand for energy. These peaks correlate with very high temperatures or very low temperatures and usually occurs in the late afternoon when buildings are using the most electricity to power air conditioning and other loads.
When demand for energy peaks, dirty fossil fuels such as kerosene, coal, and natural gas are deployed to the electric grid through the powering up of peaker power plants – energy generators that are only used when demand is significantly higher than usual. As a result, peak energy results in higher than usual emissions of toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases.
The good news is that there is that something we can do about it! If we work to lower our personal energy use at times when there are demand peaks, we will directly reduce emissions during these peaks as well as the need to power up dirty peaker power plants. Here’s how you do it!
Step 1: Sign up to receive alerts from the Green Energy Consumers about when energy demand is peaking. We recommend that you sign up to recieve both text and email results to make sure you are notified
Step 2: When you receive alerts, take steps to reduce your energy consumption during peak energy times. Examples of what you can do include:
- Don’t use appliances unnecessarily during peak times.
- Avoid using TV, computers, and other electronic devices during peak hours
- In the winter, you can warm the room up a little extra, then turn the heat down or off during the peak hours
- In the summer, cool your room down a little extra before the predicted peak, then turn your air conditioner thermostat up during the peak
It sounds small, but making these changes make a real difference. To learn more, visit our page about shaving the peak
• GET A HOME ENERGY ASSESSMENT •
Cut Emissions, Save Money!
There are several changes to Mass Save triggered by COVID-19. One is the advent of Virtual Energy Assessments, a no-in-house visit by video conference for carrying out energy efficiency assessments.
They’re also offering increased no-cost options in connection with these new assessments.
– RESIDENTIAL – Fill out the Online Home Energy Assessment to see if you qualify for 100% free insulation work. (Even if you don’t, discounts of at least 75% are available).
» Visit EEPittsfield.org for links for scheduling (this website is for the Pittsfield initiative, but the Mass Save program is state-wide).
Help us help Pittsfield reach increased Energy Efficiency Goals!
EE Pittsfield is our initiative to bring awareness of energy efficiency options to the people of Pittsfield. We started in 2019 with door to door outreach in downtown neighborhoods and this year, we’re working with the City to help them reach increased efficiency among residents and small businesses. Visit eepittsfield.org for more info.
• Would you like to engage your community group, small business association, neighborhood association or employees in participating in the MassSave program? Talk to us! We’re happy to help get your group stared.
Let us know what method works best for you during this time of social isolation: info for your regular organization newsletters, conference call, Zoom presentation or workshop or even virtual sign-up guidance for individuals? Let’s talk.
Contact Rose at BEAT, email@example.com
• 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
• 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!
OTHER INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS
• JOIN A NATIONWIDE PUSH TO DE-FUND FOSSIL FUEL •
Check out StopTheMoneyPipeline.com
• 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!
» 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 )