Concerned About the Efficiency of Your Water Heater?
Sustainable Wellesley has teamed up with HomeWorks Energy to help spread the word about no-cost virtual Home Energy Assessments and the importance of energy efficiency in all seasons.
Water heaters decrease in efficiency as they age. Upgrading an old water heater to a more energy-efficient unit can help save money on energy use and lower your carbon footprint.
Schedule a no-cost Home Energy Assessment today to unlock access to professional advice from a Home Energy Specialist about your hot water tank. Ask about the Mass Save® HEAT Loan, a 0% interest rate loan for up to 7 years, that can be used to help finance new heating systems. The sponsors of the Mass Save program also offer generous rebates for qualified water heaters!
Schedule your Home Energy Assessment here, and for every performed Assessment, HomeWorks Energy will support Sustainable Wellesley with a donation. Save money and support us at the same time by signing up today!
The Federal Tax Credit, MA State Rebate, and Drive Green Dealer Discounts Can Lower the Purchase Price of an Electric Vehicle
The town of Wellesley is striving to achieve a 50 percent, community-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. Transportation currently accounts for 43 percent of Wellesley’s greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicles (EVs) are an important part of Wellesley’s emissions reduction strategy along with increased biking, walking, and use of public transit. For those considering buying a new EV, current federal tax credit, state rebate, and Green Energy Consumer Alliance Drive Green programs offer significant savings.
The Drive Green program, for example, offers negotiated dealer discounts on EVs from a range of makers, including Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, and Nissan, making it easy to compare prices and find a dealership with knowledgeable sales staff. Special offers on pre-owned EV and hybrid vehicles are also available. Tesla EVs are not part of the Drive Green program.
“Transportation, along with buildings, is a leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Wellesley,” said Dr. Marybeth Martello, Wellesley’s Sustainability Director. “Every one of us can help combat climate change by replacing older, gas-powered vehicles with EVs. EV purchase incentives make it more cost-effective for each of us to do our part.”
As one example, a new Hyundai Kona Electric, an EV with a battery range of 258 miles, is now available for just $24,497. Normally retailing for $38,575, this EV is available now for $14,078 less, thanks to a Green Energy Consumer Alliance Drive Green discount, a federal tax credit, and the state of Massachusetts MOR-EV rebate:
$38,575 Retail price
($4,078) Drive green dealer discount
($2,500) MA state rebate
($7,500) Federal tax credit
$24,497 Final effective price
To learn about the Green Energy Consumer Alliance, click here.
To learn more about Wellesley’s Climate Action Plan, click here. To comment or ask a question, email email@example.com.
There are electric car charging stations everywhere you want to go this summer.
Its possible to relax at the beach, enjoy parks, visit family and friends all without using a drop of fuel!
Thinking of buying an electric vehicle? Use Plugshare or ChargePoint to find convenient places to charge your car.
We would love to hear about your recent EV purchase and your experiences. Please share them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know that driving less and driving electric are impactful ways you can help Wellesley, Mass., and the federal government reach greenhouse gas reduction goals and build resiliency.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Forecast and Mitigation Objectives Presented
More than 60 stakeholders participated in a working group meeting for the town of Wellesley’s climate action plan on Thursday June 17, 2021. Mike Steinhoff of Kim Lundgren and Associates (KLA) provided an informative presentation on Wellesley’s greenhouse gas emissions, climate actions to date, and future climate change mitigation and resilience objectives. The planning process and an evaluation framework were reviewed, and attendees participated in breakout sessions to brainstorm possible emissions reduction actions for energy, mobility, buildings, natural resources, and waste pathways.
Next, climate action plan working group members will collaborate and engage with consulting firm KLA to evaluate and refine possible actions to meet Wellesley’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and build resilience to climate change impacts.
“We are excited to be making progress on the climate action plan,” said Dr. Marybeth Martello, Wellesley’s Sustainability Director. “We expect to reach out to Wellesley residents with a survey in August to gather input. Working groups are identifying actions which will reduce future costs for Wellesley and improve our town’s ability to withstand effects of climate change.”
The objectives of Wellesley’s climate action plan are to engage our community and establish goals, actions, metrics, and implementation blueprints for building resilience and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
To learn more, visit https://www.wellesleyma.gov/1584/Climate-Action-Plan. Community participation is welcome! Please email comments and questions to ClimateAction@wellesleyma.gov.
A ROUTINE THAT SAVES MONEY AND TRIMS CARBON FOOTPRINTS IS NEW AGAIN
Not that long ago, in the 1950s, automatic clothes dryers were still a novelty. So for most, laundry routines included hanging clothing out on a line or on a drying rack. Now, there are 90 million electric dryers in the United States, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, and each of those dryers uses 5.8 percent of total household energy and accounts for 2,400 pounds of emissions per year, estimates the Natural Resources Defense Council. Multiply 90 million household dryers by an estimated 400 loads a year per household, and you discover...a stellar opportunity for energy savings.
As Wellesley shapes a Climate Action Plan and strives to join the nationwide effort to cut carbon emissions 50 percent by 2030, here is a way each of us can make a difference. If household energy consumers sidestep dryers and use a clothesline even just occasionally, the effect on energy consumption and carbon emissions rates would be significant.
A clothesline also can save you money. One energy blogger estimates savings of $15-$20 a month, and notes that line drying is also much gentler on clothing.
So let’s start a trend, Wellesley.
Show us your clotheslines!
Send images like mine above to email@example.com in order to inspire others. Your household can help our town reach our goals simply by foregoing use of the dryer. Consider rigging a clothesline between two trees, buying a retractable line or simply adding a drying rack inside to your laundry space.
Lise Olney, a member of the Wellesley Board of Selectmen, is giving it a try. She just ordered a bamboo umbrella-style clothesline to be installed in her verdant back yard.
“Basically, I was inspired by the book talk (Sustainable Wellesley’s first book group with Paul Greenberg, author of Climate Diet: 50 Simple Ways to Trim Your Carbon Footprint) to think of what other steps I can take to use less energy,” Olney said. “We already hang most of our laundry in the basement laundry room rather than using the (gas) dryer. But in the summer, the wet laundry just kicks off the dehumidifier, and that uses a lot of electricity. I think the clothesline will lower our electricity use and reduce the need to use the dryer. Our long-term goal is to get rid of gas from our house — we have gas heat, gas stove, and gas dryer so it’s going to take some doing!”
Wellesley resident and Natural Resources Commission board member Bea Bezmalinovic says her household has used a retractable clothesline in the basement for over 20 years. Her husband is from India where his family always dried clothing on lines to save wear and tear on items. At their home in Wellesley, she says: “We wash at night and clothes are usually dry within 8-12 hours,” adding that she and her husband split the work.
In my own house, I use a laundry-room drying rack for about half of laundry loads and in the summer, I hang clothing to dry outdoors, a routine I unscientifically calculated takes on average 6 minutes.
I learned my love of line-dried laundry from my mom, who as a child living with her grandmother in the Bronx clipped laundry to a rope strung across a courtyard on a pulley out their apartment window with all like pieces of clothing grouped end to end sharing wooden clothespins. Her grandmother insisted that the clothesline reflected on their household, my mom remembers: “Our laundry on display always looked perfect.”
During my own childhood, we had an old-fashioned wringer washing machine in the garage below the house at our small lakeside place in Maine. On breezy days, my mom would enlist all four kids to help collect sheets and laundry, fill the tub of the washer – agitate with detergent, rinse, agitate and rinse again. We then ran the bedding and clothing piece by piece through the rubber rollers of the ringer. Feeding a soaked face cloth in one end and receiving a rough flattened, clothing line-ready wafer out the other was so satisfying. Then all we had to do was shake out and hang the laundry on an extensive clothes line tied around the trunks of several massive pine trees between our house and the water. We had a conventional washer/dryer at home, but my memories of this summer chore were fun. Really.
As an adult, I find the exercise calming. Freed from routines inside the house juggling work and kids creates time to breathe in fresh air. And when my girls were small, I would plop them on a pile of clean, dry laundry in a basket and carry them inside laughing – good energy.
Nostalgia aside, there are real possibilities for energy savings. Energy Star estimates that Americans could save more than $1.5 billion each year in utility costs and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from more than 2 million vehicles if they shifted to line drying. This seems worth the effort. So send us images of your clotheslines, Wellesley, and we will post them here to inspire others. Start making a difference today.
Written by Trish G
Sustainable Wellesley has teamed up with HomeWorks Energy to help spread the word about no-cost virtual Home Energy Assessments.
Eligible Massachusetts residents who sign up for a Home Energy Assessment get a custom home energy report and access to the Mass Save® HEAT Loan, 100% off air sealing, and 75-100% off approved insulation.
Your home may qualify for same-day instant savings measures like:
This month you can get up to $8,500 off of the Nissan LEAF Plus (220 mile range) through the Green Energy Consumer Alliance’s Drive Green discount program. Add in the $7,500 federal tax credit and the $2500 Massachusetts state tax credit too!
This is one example, but there are many options to choose from. Learn which electric car model best fit your lifestyle and needs. Consider what works better for you depending on the miles typically driven per day, types of long trips you plan to take in your vehicle, and how much passenger and cargo space you need.
Get more information how EV's work, which type of EV is right for you, and the how you can save money by making the switch to electric by clicking here or here.
Is Your Air Conditioner Working?
If you are about to replace an archaic air conditioner or one that isn't working, consider purchasing an air source heat pump instead to save money and improve the comfort of your home.
For a limited time, Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (WMLP)'s Clean Comfort Program is offering a rebate of up to $2,000 for qualifying residents who install air source heat pumps. Click here for more details about this program.
The modern and efficient air source heat pumps move heat rather than generate it, significantly lowering operating cost and eliminating the need for separate heating and cooling systems.
Improve the comfort of your home
Shrink home cooling and heating costs
Reduce your carbon footprint
Earn a Rebate of up to $2,000 While Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Your Home
Press Release from:
Clean Water Action, Mass CLU and Mass Climate Action Network
State’s energy policies must now weigh equity, climate concerns and community safety alongside cost and energy needs
Massachusetts' breakthrough climate law takes legal effect today, 90 days after it was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker. Most notably, effective today, the scope and mission of one state agency, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU), has changed dramatically. The DPU can no longer make decisions strictly based on the criteria of system reliability and affordability, instead it must factor in the effects of our energy system on residents health and safety and the climate, as well as cumulative impacts for environmental justice communities.
The bill rode a rollercoaster on the way to passage in late 2020 and early 2021. Governor Charlie Baker vetoed a version of the legislation that came to his desk days before the end of the 2019-2020 legislative session. When it reached his desk again in January, Governor Baker sent watered down amendments back to the legislature. House and Senate leaders responded to pressure from their constituents and overwhelmingly rejected efforts to weaken key parts of the legislation. The Governor finally capitulated and signed the bill into law in March 2021.
The Department of Public Utilities must align its policymaking with an ambitious new mission. Under the Next Generation Roadmap, the DPU must give equal weight to six factors as it decides electric power and natural gas rates, reviews contracts with electric and gas companies, and makes policy. System reliability and affordability, the DPU's two long standing priorities, will remain crucial, but starting today the DPU must also consider four new criteria -- safety, system security (from both cyberattacks and physical sabotage), equity, and reductions in climate pollution (GHG).
“This bill takes an important step by putting equity and climate explicitly in the mission of our utility oversight. It's been long overdue.” said Lee Matsueda of Community Labor United, “Now our energy policy will have more clear guidance to better serve Environmental Justice communities, and confront disproportionate impact and unequal treatment.”
Also starting today is the requirement that all parties - the state agencies, the utilities, the program administrators - involved in running Mass Save must factor the “social value of greenhouse gas emission reductions” into the design, evaluation, and approval of program service. Essentially, until now, the benefits of not burning dirty fuel for health and climate justice have been missing from the cost-benefit analysis.
“With the social value and benefits of equitable energy efficiency being finally added to the equation, we will see deeper investments in these critical programs.” said Andrea Nyamekye of Neighbor to Neighbor, “Cleaner air, lower heating and cooling bills, and lower asthma rates in historically impacted communities.”
This new requirement begins little more than a month after the Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee shared a Draft 2022-2024 Energy Efficiency Plan. During the last public comment session, advocates highlighted another new statutory requirement, effective today, to align the plan’s goals and benchmarks with the new emissions targets that will be established on July 15 by the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
The Green Justice Coalition has worked for years to increase access to energy efficiency programs in language isolated and low-income communities. “Residents in our state are struggling with high utility bills and economic hardship after COVID-19; with the rising temperatures every year, we cannot let our communities suffer any longer. We call on the Baker Administration to address the barriers that are preventing participation by members of EJ communities and reject any 3-year plan that doesn’t center the needs of these communities.” said Paulina Casasola, Climate Justice Organizer for Clean Water Action.
“Governor Baker had succumbed to the interests of real estate lobby groups and attempted to water down key provisions in the bill, targeting the net zero stretch provisions,” Sarah Dooling of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network said. “But advocates got this bill over the finish line by demanding buildings be part of the climate solution, and legislators listened. Building code is now valued as a core part of the climate movement. The bill also adds three new seats to the Board of Building Regulations and Standards -- with expertise in commercial and residential building energy efficiency, and advanced building technology. The BBRS is now in a position to work effectively with the Department of Energy Resources on developing a true net zero stretch code guided by community input.”