Reduce your Energy Use/Cost...Without Compromising Comfort!
Below are some tips on what you can do:
Get an Assist from Mother Nature
Reduce Heat and Humidity Sources in the House on Hot Days
Improve Air Conditioner Management
Unlock $ With Sustainable Energy Investments
• Replace out-dated air conditioners with air source heat pumps
• Install a full-house attic fan and use cool evening air instead of air conditioning
• Install a lighter colored roof and paint the house a lighter color that will reflect rather than absorb the warmth of the sun’s rays
• Plant deciduous shade trees to block summer sun and provide cooling
• Install awnings, shutters or trellises on the sunny side of the house
• Better insulate the attic
Tues. June 14, noon to 12:45 p.m.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining popularity because they're fun to drive, cost less to fuel and maintain, and are better for the environment. Join Mal Skowron, policy & program coordinator at Green Energy Consumers to to learn more about the benefits of EVs, how quickly the car market is changing in Massachusetts, and how to consider charging infrastructure for your business.
Green Energy Consumers Alliance is a non-profit organization based in Boston with the mission to harness the power of energy consumers to speed the transition to a low carbon future.
This event is organized by the Charles River Chamber of Commerce.
Tomorrow night, May 25th at 6pm, 350 Mass will host the Massachusetts Attorney General Climate Debate online, with candidates Andrea Campbell, Quentin Palfrey, and Shannon Liss-Riordan. Come and learn about their thoughts on climate and how it may impact their decisions as the next AG. You can register here.
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.
The Wellesley Department of Public Works (DPW) needs your help to reduce the current demand for water in Wellesley and has issued a State of Water Supply Conservation Declaration. The decision requires residents and businesses to begin following specific water restrictions effective Monday, May 23, 2022. The requirements include a mandatory alternate day outdoor watering schedule for homes and businesses, a ban on outdoor watering between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and a request to reduce the amount of outdoor watering time by 20 percent. Complete details are included below.
According to DPW officials, the measures are needed to ensure that Wellesley’s water supply continues to protect the health and safety of residents, including providing enough water necessary to fight fires. Due to drier than normal conditions this spring, on May 11, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), declared a Level 1 – Mild Drought status for the Southeast Region.
Additionally, water supplies in Town are lower than normal because the Morses Pond water treatment plant was taken offline in May 2021 after tests showed higher than allowed levels of PFAS6 substances. This treatment plant supplies over one million gallons of water per day to homes and businesses and its loss is causing a shortage in the system. While the Morses Pond treatment plant is scheduled to come back on line this June, these restrictions are necessary to ensure adequate supply for essential water use.
“We’re asking for cooperation from everyone in the community by following these restrictions as we head into the summer months,” said DPW Director Dave Cohen.
Outdoor Water Use Alternate Day Restrictions
Based upon street address numbers, nonessential outdoor water use IS ALLOWED according to the following schedule:
• Odd numbered addresses are restricted to Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
• Even numbered addresses are restricted to Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
• Nonessential outdoor use of water on Monday is prohibited.
Nonessential outdoor watering hours are restricted to before 9:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m. Outdoor watering is prohibited during the daytime to ensure adequate water supply for typical essential uses and to avoid loss through evaporation.
Essential uses of water are:
• For health and safety reasons
• Irrigation to establish a new lawn and new plantings between the months of May and September
• Agricultural operations to maintain livestock and crops
• Irrigation of lawns, gardens, flowers and ornamental plants by means of a hand-held hose
Nonessential uses are:
• Irrigation of lawns via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems
• Washing of vehicles, except in a commercial car wash or as necessary for operator safety
• Washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply surface treatments such as paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement, or concrete
Reduce Use While Watering
To help maintain appropriate water levels in Town storage tanks, the DPW is also asking residents to reduce the amount outdoor watering time by 20%. For example, if you have an automated irrigation system with a 15-minute watering time in each zone, you should reduce each zone’s watering duration by at least 3 minutes.
Additional recommendations to help reduce water use include checking for and repairing any water leaks in irrigation systems, faucets, showerheads, and toilets.
Visit the DPW webpages for more information on water conservation. The Natural Resources Commission also offers tips for healthy and sustainable lawn and landscape care.
Impact of PFAS6 on Water Restrictions
The DPW’s Water Division acknowledges that the current PFAS6 situation is a major reason for these new rules.
PFAS6 is a new drinking water standard which tests for the sum of six PFAS compounds. PFAS are Perand PolyFluorAlkyl Substances, a group of numerous human-made chemicals used since the 1950s to manufacture stain-resistant, water-resistant, and non-stick products. This drinking water standard is set to protect against adverse health effects for all people consuming the water.
“It’s important to note that the Morses Pond plant was the only one in Wellesley with higher than allowed PFAS6 levels. We have been working to implement a temporary remediation system at the Morses Pond plant and look forward to becoming operational in the coming weeks” said Water and Sewer Superintendent Bill Shaughnessy. “Since May 3, 2021, all water for Wellesley is coming from the Town’s two other treatment plants and from the Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs operated by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). All of the water provided to our residents meets all current MassDEP water quality standards.”
Residents with individual concerns about PFAS should contact their physicians or other health professionals.
For complete PFAS information, visit the DPW and MassDEP webpages.
Wellesley High School students initiated a food waste diversion program that kicked off last week.
Diverting food waste from landfills, a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and sending it to be composted instead, is one of the steps in the Town of Wellesley's Climate Action Plan.
The program needs volunteers like you to simply help monitor the disposal of students leftover food during lunch.
Please sign up help here to help out!
Many hands make light work!
Sure its hot today. The National Weather Service said Boston could meet or exceed the heat record set in 1880, when the city reached 97 degrees. These more frequent, extreme heat days from a changing climate are a risk to our health and communities so consider doing something different.
IF YOUR AIR CONDITIONING FAILS YOU. PLEASE LOOK INTO AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS
Earn a Rebate of up to $2,000 from the Town's Clean Comfort Program. Info here
All the more reason for us to walk Washington Street to let more folks know about ways we all can make our homes more comfortable, and high performing while reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, our new float, created by 2 Olin College students, is ready for debut!
Bring your family, neighbors and friends to march with us in the Wellesley Parade today from 1-2.30pm.
Enjoy the shout outs and cheers from friendly spectators along the route. You can feel the environmental enthusiasm in town.
Two incredible Olin College students Suki and Daniel built us this model high performance house we will show off. As you may know, 63% of Wellesley's emissions come from buildngs and nearly 40% of that is from homes. Thus, this is an effort to encourage actions that will make our homes more comfortable, less expensive to heat and cool, and help us meet the Town wide goal of being Net Zero by 2050.
We will be lining up at 12.45pm on the corner of Elm and Washington Streets and should be done downtown shortly after 2.
THANK YOU SUKI & DANIEL!
At last week's Electric Vehicle (EV) event, more than 115 Wellesley residents were able to test drive an EV in just 3 hours. Plus, attendees had the opportunity to learn firsthand about EV ownership from fellow residents and speak to EV coaches about the Wellesley Drives Electric Program. If you missed this fun community event, you can see some highlights here and below is information you may find helpful.
An EV is increasingly affordable, thanks to a federal tax credit (up to $7,500), a MA state rebate (up to $2,500), a charging equipment rebate (up to $1,000), and an annual $96 electric bill credit offered by the Town of Wellesley when you charge your EV off-peak at home.
Plus, an EV costs less to fuel and maintain, too. According to AAA, the average cost for a gallon of gas is $4.48 today in MA, while the average rate per kilowatt hour for residential electricity customers in Wellesley is $.16. That means if you drive an average of 1,000 miles a month, and charge your EV off-peak, you will save $1,150 per year on fuel alone.
Some maintenance, such as regular oil changes, are eliminated with an EV, so you can save $8,000 or more over the life of an EV in maintenance costs compared to a gas-powered car. Federal regulation mandates that automakers guarantee EV batteries for a minimum of eight years.
Are you concerned about climate change? Deciding to make your next car an EV is a terrific way to reduce your personal climate impact, because electric cars produce little to no pollution.
For a cheat sheet on even more things you can do to be part of climate action in Wellesley, click here.
Got skills you want to use? Interests you would like to explore? The Select Board is recruiting candidates for a variety of boards, committees, and commissions. Town government relies on the dedication of many volunteers. Maybe this is your moment!
Some are listed below but more information is here.
Municipal Light Plant Board: The five-member Municipal Light Board oversees the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant. The board consists of the three elected Board of Public Works Commissioners and two members appointed by the Select Board.
Wellesley Housing Development Corp.: The Wellesley Housing Development Corporation's mission is to sponsor and assist in the development of affordable housing opportunities for persons of low and moderate income in the Town of Wellesley, Massachusetts in order to implement the Town's Affordable Housing Policy.
Zoning Board of Appeals: The ZBA is a quasi-judicial board which interprets and enforces the town Zoning Bylaw, hears and decides on petitions for appeals of town officer or board orders, Chapter 40B comprehensive permits, site plan approvals, special permits and variances. Youth Commission: The Wellesley Youth Commission provides programs and services designed to ensure that Wellesley's youth feel they are a valued part of the Wellesley community. Zoning Board of Appeals: The Zoning Board of Appeals is a quasi-judicial board which interprets and enforces the town Zoning Bylaw by hearing and deciding on petitions for appeals of town officer or board decisions, Chapter 40B comprehensive permits, site plan approvals, special permits and variances.
To volunteer for any Town Board or Committee, please complete this online volunteer form.
Fares are still being waived on the Metro West Rapid Transit Authority's Catch Connect door to door bus service in Wellesley. Riders 12 and older can ride unaccompanied. More information is here on this curb-to-curb MicroTransit system. Use the app to book a ride when you are ready. Rides are provided on a first come first served basis and service any address within the Town of Wellesley, as well as: Newton Wellesley Hospital, Natick Community Center, Woodland MBTA Station, Waban MBTA Station.
Riders can make transfers to other transit systems:
- MWRTA Route 1 at Woodland
- MWRTA Routes 10 & 11 at Natick Community Center
- MBTA Fram/Worc Commuter Rail Line via Wellesley Square, Wellesley Hills, or Wellesley Farms Commuter Rail Stations
- MBTA GreenLine via Woodland or Waban T Station
Please click here to view a service map.
Service Hours: 6:45AM - 6:45PM, Monday-Friday