Have we emphasized how incredibly large the rebates are right now?
We can't resist sharing the news. As Larry Chreiten, Director of Green Energy Consumers Alliance, said, "You are not going to find rebates like this anywhere else in the country."
Below is the recording and slides from Senator Creem and Green Energy Consumers Alliance's webinar on the federal and state electrification incentives.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is seeking around 30 homes to participate in the first cohort of the Decarbonization Pathways Pilot.
This new pilot will offer technical support, generous financial incentives, and performance monitoring to implement high-efficiency decarbonization measures. This is a great opportunity to get the technical support and financial assistance to bring your home into the 21st century!
Please consider applying before the end of the month, and sharing with those who may be interested.
It’s Hot! Use Less of the Expensive, High Carbon Producing, Dirty Electricity...It's Doable Wellesley
It’s that time of year again! Time for beach outings, barbecue gatherings, and boat excursions as well as a critical time to be aware of our electricity use and its impact on our electric rates and the environment.
During the hottest days of the summer months, as we crank up our ACs, our system-wide use of electricity reaches the highest, ‘peak’ levels for the year. To meet the extreme electric demand, the grid operator—ISO-New England—turns to “peaker plants,” the power generators of last resort. These power plants are generally the dirtiest and most expensive, running on gas and oil and selling their power at extremely high rates. Peaker plants are only necessary for the highest demand hours, about 2 – 7% of the year in full. In the graph below, you can see how the grid ramps up power from oil and gas peaker plants as electric demand grows.
As demand grows, price skyrockets. At last summer’s price peak on June 30, wholesale electric prices per MWh were over ten times the average for the year. Peak hours have such a big impact on our electricity costs, that thirty percent of our electric bill is directly related to the amount of electricity Wellesley uses for just one hour during the entire year. That one hour is called the peak demand hour.
Peak electricity is expensive and dirty—but you can help. Sustainable Wellesley and the
Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (WMLP) encourage you to join the campaign to “shave the peak” this summer. The WMLP can usually predict when peak events will occur a day in advance, so you can plan to reduce demand during the hours of highest electric use.
Sign up for Shave the Peak alerts and receive notifications through email (send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject and body blank), or follow them on Twitter, @MLPWellesley, to know when an electric demand peak is anticipated. Then it’s as easy as turning up your AC thermostat a few degrees or delaying usage of electrical appliances such as car chargers, dehumidifiers, pool filters, or clothes dryers until after the peak. This minimal commitment offers you an opportunity to practice mindfulness not only for yourself but the environment too.
Help us meet our goal of reducing peak demand below our historic level! You can also track our campaign to reduce our peak on the WMLP website: Shave-the-Peak. After each peak event you can see how we did compared to our goal. Get your friends and family to join our campaign, and watch our peak shrink as your savings grow and Earth benefits.
We realize it's the summer and ironically we are talking about ice dams. Many of us have unfortunately experienced them, including Teri and Jamie Ebersole here in Wellesley. Over the last several years, they did piecemeal projects to protect themselves from recurring ice dam damage. However the dams highlighted to them the increasing severe weather due to climate change. Thus, when they decided to renovate their kitchen, they took a hard look at the resiliency of their home. In the end, they spent a fair amount of their renovation budget on aspects of their home that will make their family home more resilient.
What does that mean? Climate resilient buildings are built, or retrofitted, to withstand severe storms and natural disasters. The Ebersoles wanted their 1940 colonial – gone farmhouse – home to withstand extreme weather. They interviewed a few architects and builders and went with Wellesley’s Kraus Associates. After much research, and discussions with Abode and other energy efficiency experts, the Ebersoles now have a beautiful renovated, healthy and resilient home they are proud of.
This all turned out to be a valuable investment as well. The last 2 months they have only paid $10 a month for all of their electric cooking, heating/cooling, driving, laundry needs!
How are they doing this? They moved to electrical, high efficient systems, and fully insulated and weatherized their home:
They still have their gas-fired tankless water heater, since it was newish at the time of renovation, but that is the only gas in their home. They will likely replace it with an electric air-source heat pump water heater at its end of life. Since they have a family member with lung challenges, they are very happy to minimize the amount of unhealthy natural gas in their home.
“We love our house and want to stay here a long time, so it made sense to make it healthy, resilient and sustainable for the long-term.”
Curious who they used? See below:
Olin College of Engineering and Sustainable Wellesley’s Tiny High Performing Home Wins Chairman's Award During Wellesley’s Annual Parade
Thanks to the design and construction skills of Olin College of Engineering students Suki Sacks and Daniel Jaramillo, Sustainable Wellesley’s tiny high performing house took home the Chairman’s Award at the Town of Wellesley’s 54th Annual Veterans Parade on Sunday, May 22, 2022.
In March, Suki and Daniel met with us to scope out the building project. The first year Electrical Engineering major and first year Mechanical Engineering major went on to plan and build the home at Olin’s campus with tools on loan from the library and school machine shop with funds donated to support Sustainable Wellesley's efforts. Once the house was built, the Sustainable Wellesley team added some home-like touches and signage.
Since 63% of Wellesley's emissions come from buildings, this project aimed to educate and encourage residents to take actions that will make their homes more comfortable, less expensive to heat and cool, while helping the Town of Wellesley meet its goal to become Net Zero by 2050.
Although Suki had returned home to visit family before beginning her internship at VEIR, Daniel was in town for his internship at BAE Systems and decided to join in the parade.
“Helping Wellesley’s citizens understand the urgency of climate action within their own homes seemed even more pressing with temperatures in the high 90s during the parade,” said Daniel Jaramillo. “The worsening climate affects everyone’s health, resulting in dehydration, heat stroke, asthma, heart disease, Lyme disease, longer allergy seasons, eco anxiety, and much more,” Jaramillo said.
“We took on this project for the design challenge but also the concern for significant extreme weather impacts that communities face, including wildfires, droughts, floods and more intense hurricane seasons. Creating this house to educate the local community was one way we felt like we could ‘do something’, and we had a lot of fun working on it together!” said Sacks.
The Olin students generously volunteered their time during finals, amid COVID challenges and during dorm move out. This successful student/community collaboration earned the float the “Chairman's Award” during the Veterans Parade that honored Wellesley residents who are recipients of the Purple Heart.
Green Needham Collaborative is hosting an early evening event for builders, lenders and real estate brokers on building “green” net-zero energy homes and buildings. The presenters will be sharing simple ways to increase the energy efficiency of a building, both for new construction and renovations to reduce/eliminate greenhouse gas emissions—without significantly changing the way you do your work.
They will also be sharing about evaluating properties that have been designed with high efficiency in mind.
Craig Foley, LAER Realty Partners
Stephanie Horowitz, ZeroEnergy Design
Jonathan Kantar, Sage Builders LLC
Joel Boucher, Boucher Energy Systems, Inc.
Ed Quinlan, Green Needham Collaborative
Monday, January 31st
Zoom Webinar RSVP