Category Archives: Green

Trash survey by Girl Scouts Chloe McCormack & Amelia Meehan

From Girl Scouts Chloe McCormack and Amelia Meehan, Girl Scout Troop 74900, medfieldtrashsurvey@gmail.com

Survey link  

DPW plants trees at Post Office

DPW’s Drew Dauphinee at the tree and Joe Gorman running the machine

Today the DPW’s Drew Dauphinee and Joe Gorman are planting two good sized cherry trees on the berm in front of the post office. The Town of Medfield owns that site and leases it for the post office to use. North Street is starting to achieve a critical mass of cherry trees for the town to build on, starting with the large one at the Bank of America up through the cluster Bob Borrelli installed in front of his two buildings across from Deb’s and my office.

Jean Mineo was heard to think that once there are six more cherry trees along North Street that she will organize an annual Medfield cherry blossom festival.

MSBA – please fund energy efficient schools

As part of the celebration of Earth Day, I asked to have my signature as a Town of Medfield Select Board member added to the letter below, going to the MSBA tomorrow. Medfield Energy Committee members and other may join too. –

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

April 22, 2021

Deborah Goldberg, Chair
Anne Brockelman
Sean R. Cronin
Matt Deninger
Terry Kwan
Greg Sullivan
Sheila Vanderhoef

Via email to ______

Dear Treasurer Goldberg and members of the MSBA Board,

We are writing to encourage the MSBA to require that all school building projects funded by MSBA be fully electrified, and climate resilient.

The MSBA is to be commended for its track record of helping cities and towns replace or
renovate school buildings in an environmentally sustainable manner.

As your website notes,


The MSBA’s Green Schools Program provides incentives to a district to increase the
energy efficiency and sustainability for new construction and major renovation/addition
projects, by exceeding Massachusetts Energy base code by 20% for 2 additional
reimbursement points. All projects are required to register for the most recent version of
LEED-S or NE-CHPS and exceed Massachusetts Energy base code by 10%.

The MSBA’s updated Accelerated Repair Program provides a new opportunity to apply
sustainable standards to specific building systems such as roofs, boilers and window
systems. The MSBA’s green programs aim to encourage a high standard of
sustainability for all MSBA-funded projects. The MSBA continues to monitor the
effectiveness of its sustainable policies and make recommendations for
improvement, with an emphasis on energy and cost savings, resulting in direct
operational savings for school districts.
[bold added]

As municipal leaders interested in speeding the transition away from fossil fuel dependency, we were particularly pleased to see the highlighted above, as it demonstrates an interest in continuous improvement in the area of sustainability and carbon emissions reduction. We are following up on your interest in improvement to encourage you to tie school building funding to the following requirements for all new or renovated schools:

  • Heat and cooling should be supplied by clean all-electric heating and cooling systems, not oil, propane, or gas-fueled systems.
  • Parking lots should offer electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for staff and/or visitors.
  • Schools built on or near historic wetlands or in floodplains should take into account
    precipitation modeling for 2070 and beyond; this may entail a raised structure or building in an alternate location.

How do these recommendations fit into the Commonwealth’s climate goals?

• Massachusetts has a greenhouse gas reduction mandate of 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a commitment to be net zero by 2050; many cities and towns have more aggressive goals. The IPCC issued a report in 2018 noting that to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius — a goal of the Paris climate agreement — anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions would have to be on a path to fall by about 45 percent by around 2030.
• Massachusetts also has a goal of 300,000 EVs on the road by 2025.œ As HVAC systems are built to last for at least 20-30 years, that means we must act now to eliminate this significant source of fossil fuel energy.
• The National Climate Assessment projects that the Northeast will see dramatic increases in precipitation and flooding.

Why is all-electric the more environmentally beneficial choice? Under state law, the electric grid is powered by an increasing amount of renewable energy every year. In contrast, an oil or gas boiler is running on fossil fuels from day one until the day it is retired.

School building electrification is not a new concept. In fact, schools across the state are
converting to 100% clean electricity to save money, improve air quality for students, teachers and staff, and advance climate goals.
• Lincoln is about to break ground on a Net Zero K-8 renovation school project.
• Wellesley has one net zero ready elementary school in the design phase and is in the feasibility phase of a second.
• Brookline passed a Warrant Article in May 2019 requiring that all new school buildings be fossil fuel free.
• Westborough has approved and is moving forward with a net-positive energy elementary school.
• Arlington is about to break ground on a new all-electric high school where heating and cooling systems will utilize heat pumps.
• Several Cambridge schools have been rebuilt all-electric: Martin Luther King School, King Open School and the Cambridge Street Upper School, as well as the Valente Branch Library and a new administrative building for the entire school department; the Tobin/Vassal-lane school will be rebuilt all-electric.
• Construction is underway on the new Belmont Middle and High School which will be net zero and all-electric with heating and cooling by a geothermal heat pump system.
• Amherst passed a bylaw in 2017 requiring zero energy new municipal and school buildings.
• Concord is at the end of Feasibility for a net zero design for a new middle school and expects to start Schematic Design in the next few months (there was a CV-related delay).
• Lexington’s Select Board and School Committee adopted a building policy calling for construction of all-electric buildings, maximizing onsite renewable energy, and setting high standards for indoor air quality. Lexington’s Hastings Elementary School and Lexington Children’s Place pre-school are both expected to be net positive buildings when the solar energy systems that have been approved are completed later this year.

Energy efficient all electric schools are cost-effective to build and operate, while providing a healthier and safer learning environment for students and teachers alike.

Schools built on wetlands are more likely to suffer from mold and poor air quality, and need expensive repairs, especially as our region sees more frequent and intense rainfall.

Thank you for your consideration of our views. From the Green Communities Program to the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program to the Complete Streets grants and more, we are so appreciative of the Commonwealth’s partnership in supporting cities and towns efforts to advance our transition to a clean economy and make our communities more resilient as we face a changing climate. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you in more detail about these recommendations and help you build support to enact them.

Sincerely,

Amherst
Darcy Dumont, Town Council, District 5
Dorothy S. Pam, Town Council, District 3
Patricia De Angelis, Town Councilor

Andover
Maria Bartlett, Member of Green Advisory Board

Arlington
Joseph A. Curro, Jr., Select Board Member
Adam Chapdelaine, Town Manager

Ashland
Robert Scherer, Select Board Member

Barnstable
Gordon Starr, Town Councilor, Precinct 1

Becket
Alvin Blake, Planning Board

Bolton
Jonathan Keep, Select Board Member

Boston
Kenzie Bok, City Councilor
Annissa Essaibi-George, City Councilor (At-Large)
Ed Flynn, City Councilor
Matt O’Malley, City Councilor

Braintree
Julia Flaherty, Town Council, District 1
Kelly J. Cobb-Lemire, School Committee Member

Brookline
Raul Fernandez, Select Board Member
Werner Lohe, Climate Action Committee (co-chair)

Burlington
Martha Simon, School Committee Member

Cambridge
Patricia Nolan, City Councilor
Quinton Zondervan, City Councilor

Concord
Charles Parker, Middle School Building Committee Member

Dalton
Robert Bishop, Select Board Chair
Cheryl Rose, Conservation Commission
Henry Rose, Commissioner, Conservation Commission
Joseph Fish, Chair, Green Dalton Committee

Dedham
Jessica Portee, Planning Board Member

Framingham
Geoff Epstein, School Committee Member, District 6

Gloucester
Jennifer Holmgren, Councilor-at-Large

Hopkinton
Jeffrey S Barnes, Conservation Commission (Chair)
Lakeville
Jesse L. Medford, Open Space Committee (Chair)

Lawrence
Jonathan Guzman, School Committee Member – District F

Lexington
Mark Sandeen, Select Board Member

Marlborough
Samantha Perlman, City Councilor

Medford
Zac Bears, City Councilor
Nicole Morell, City Councilor
Paul Ruseau, School Committee Member
Jenny Graham, School Committee

Newton
Susan Albright, City Council President
Alicia Bowman, City Councilor
Deb Crossley, City Councilor
Andreae Downs, City Councilor
Maria Scibelli Greenberg, City Councilor
Bill Humphrey, City Councilor
David Kalis, City Councilor
Josh Krintzman, City Councilor
Marc Laredo, City Councilor
Rick Lipof, City Council Vice President
Julia Malakie, City Councilor
Chris Markiewicz, City Councilor
Emily Norton, City Councilor
John Oliver, City Councilor
Holly Ryan, City Councilor

Northampton
Bill Dwight, City Councilor at Large
Alex Jarrett, City Councilor
Karen Foster, City Councilor, Ward 2
Susan Voss, School Committee Member
Chris Mason, Energy & Sustainability Officer

Pittsfield
Mary Stucklen, Commissioner – Green Commission

Reading
Vanessa Alvarado, Select Board Member

Somerville
Will Mbah, City Councilor
Ben Ewen-Campen, City Councilor
Katjana Ballantyne, City Councilor
Kristen Strezo, City Councilor-at-Large

Taunton
Phillip Duarte, City Councilor

Wakefield
Mehreen N. Butt, Town Councilor
Julie Smith-Galvin, Town Councilor
Susan Veilleux, School Committee Member
Rob Darnell, Environmental Sustainability Committee (Chair)
Mary Hajjar, Environmental Sustainability Committee (Vice Chair)
Robin Greenberg, Environmental Sustainability Committee
Jennifer Kallay, Gas & Light Board Commissioner
Elizabeth Sheridan, ESC Student Liaison

Watertown
Caroline Bays, Town Councilor
Angeline B. Kounelis, Town Councilor
Tony Palomba, Councilor-at-Large

Wellesley
Lise Olney, Select Board Member

Williamstown
Anne O’Connor, Select Board Member

Winchester
Michael Bettencourt, Select Board (Chair)

Elementary School Project – Sustainability Forum 7PM Thursday

Elementary School Project

Sustainability Forum this Thursday

Zoom Link:

https://medfield-net.zoom.us/j/83347163639?pwd=N0phSWk0ZlViS3BPQlQ2TlhkdXBrdz09Hear from Arrowstreet, the new Elementary School Project architect, about the design considerations to be made over the next two months related to energy efficiency and net zero emissions:What is it?Why do it?Where is MA headed?Case StudiesOther Agenda Items:Utility incentives New Elementary School ProcessOther Building Types & Net Zero/Energy Efficiency Incentives for residential users Q&A/Break-out discussions  A net zero building uses only as much energy as it can generate and being able to achieve that is a function of the building design. 
 Please join us to learn more on Thursday!
 Sponsored by the the Sustainability Subcommittee of the Dale Street School Building Committee and the Medfield Energy Committee.

Please follow and share our Facebook page and visit our Elementary School Project website for updates.  Any questions: email DaleStreetSchoolProject@gmail.com.

MEA survey results

Medfield Environmental Action is a relatively new group that meets monthly to share and disseminate information about savings energy, climate change and all things green. They recently circulated a survey and below are the results of 504 submissions.

https://meamedfield.org/

https://www.facebook.com/MedfieldEnvironmentAction/

FALL 2020
SURVEY #1 RESULTS
The survey was conducted through Survey Monkey. We publicized the survey in the Hometown
Weekly, The Press, on Patch, via Facebook, and in the Medfield Insider.
DEMOGRAPHICS
• 504 Surveys Completed
o Really great response!
o Diverse respondents
o 75% of the respondents have lived in Medfield more than 10 years.
o 70% of the respondents are women
o 63% of the respondents are 45 or older
SURVEY RESULTS
We asked “Should the Town of Medfield build buildings that have high energy efficiency
performance and prefer builders/developers who would do the same? This would lead the
town to build a highly efficient “net zero” elementary school and encourage builders/developers
to build using “passive house” standards for new construction and high energy efficiency for
renovations, in projects such as State Hospital Development.” (Q5). See graphic at end.
95% responded favorably.
• 41% of respondents chose “Yes, in all circumstances because not adding greenhouse
gases to our environment is critical at this time.”
• 54% of respondents chose “Yes, if the costs are not prohibitive and a reasonable
payback of any additional investment can be achieved over the life of the building.”
We asked “The State of Massachusetts has committed to a goal of Net Zero Emissions by 2050,
which will help Massachusetts address the climate crisis by reducing carbon emissions. This will
require changes in our local community. Which of the following best describes your position
towards Medfield adopting its own goals and committing to develop a plan by November 2021
to proactively meet the state’s 2050 goal? (Q4)
• 72% - “I support Medfield adopting climate goals and developing a plan (just as Acton,
Arlington, Ashland, Cambridge, Lexington and many other MA towns have already
done.)
• 17% - “I am supportive of working to address the climate crisis, but I need more
information about why it is important for Medfield to adopt a goal and a plan now.
We asked for agreement with the following statements. (Q3)
a) The climate crisis poses a serious threat for people around the world.
• 79% completely agree
• 14% somewhat agree
b) The climate crisis is something that will affect my family in Medfield.
• 52% completely agree
• 32% somewhat agree
c) I am ready to take steps at home to tackle the climate crisis.
• 60% completely agree
• 28% somewhat agree
d) I will support and encourage my local government in making policies that address the
climate crisis.
• 71% completely agree
• 19% somewhat agree
We asked “Climate crisis is a term describing global warming and climate change, and their
consequences. Globally, 19 of the 20 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001
(Sources: NASA.gov and IPCC). Increased flooding, wildfires, and severe storms are just
some of the direct results of a warming Earth. Do you believe we are facing a Climate Crisis?
(Q2)
• 43% - Yes, due to human activities
• 51% - Yes, due to both human activities AND natural cycles and causes
This question has only 403 respondents because it was added mid-survey.

Forum – 7:30 PM this Monday

MEA – MEDFIELD DECARBONIZERS – 7:30PM Monday

MEA was founded in June and has quickly gained momentum.  We are committed to helping Medfield and Medfield residents learn how to reduce their impact on the environment.  We plan to hold at least one educational program a month.

We have some great ideas and plans for the future and would welcome more.  Please get involved in a small or big (or medium) way.   Feel free to reach out to meamedfield@gmail.com and/or consider attending the Steering Committee meeting in December.  Details below.  
   

Monday, November 16th
Learn from Your Neighbors
Monday November 16th 7:30 – 8:30 pm on Zoom

MEDFIELD DECARBONIZERS


Are you thinking of installing solar panels or heat pumps but don’t know where to start?  Are you curious about the logistics of driving an electric car?  We thought it would be great to have a session about these carbon-reducing products where you can talk to other Medfield residents who have already adopted them.  

Hear from these Medfield residents about their experiences:
Jim James will talk about his solar panels.
Kirsten & Glen D’Abate will discuss their electric vehicles.
Jim Nail will tell us about how he installed a heat pump system for his home.

Also, we will share how to calculate your own carbon footprint.
There will be plenty of time for questions.
Register in advance for this webinar: https://tinyurl.com/meamedfield-Nov16    

Have you taken our survey?  Please do!
We hope to learn what you and other Medfield residents think about environmental issues. 
Please take our survey and then share the link with your friends and family.  If you include your email, you will be registered for a raffle to win a $50 gift certificate to a Medfield store.   
Find the survey here:   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J7NFCHW


      The next meeting of the Medfield Environment Action Steering Committee will be Wednesday December 2nd at 7:30pm via Zoom.  Please join us at a meeting– we welcome everyone and anyone — and see what we’re about.   
 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85017266125?pwd=WldkMHI5QU5QQksxN2h2djVHc01yUT09
 
Meeting ID: 850 1726 6125
Passcode: 388020
      It’s Easy to Calculate
Your Household Carbon Footprint!
• Use the EPA Carbon Footprint Calculator
• Fill in just these two sections: Home Energy (electricity, gas/oil), and Transportation (your vehicles).
• Save your work and bring in the number– your household carbon footprint in lbs of annual CO2 emissions– to the Nov. 16 forum.
• This is a starter approach to carbon-footprint; we can always go deeper later. Please contact Fred Davis with any questions at fred@freddaviscorp.com.    

The Zero Carbon Home forum from last month was terrific.  Lots of good information about how to get started on insulating your home, installing solar panels, choosing replacement windows and considering heat pumps.  The recording is now on the MEA website,  meamedfield.org.  Check it out!
          Want to save money?  Want to know more about home energy assessments, rebates, incentives, and more?  Go to Mass Save and check out the possibilities.    

Our Mission Medfield Environment Action (MEA) is a grassroots organization of residents.  We share information about the accelerating environmental destruction and climate emergency to empower local action.  We seek to build a movement of informed citizens, dedicated to the preservation of a living environment in Medfield and beyond. Our goal is that those informed citizens support each other and work together for solutions.
 
MEA will work to: initiate and support measures by our town and state governments that will positively impact our environment; help reduce energy consumption and render the consumed energy renewable/sustainable reduce other environmental impacts in our community.  
Adopted July 9, 2020

Take the Medfield Environmental Action’s Survey

GCAR submitted today

The Green Communities Act requires the town to submit an annual report of what energy conservation measures (ECM’s) have been done and what are planned to be done. Yesterday I reviewed and signed off on the final report for this year. Filing the annual report is a prerequisite to getting the generous Department of Energy Resources (DOER) annual grants, so an important annual step. The Medfield Energy Committee and Amy Colleran, Facilities Director have championed getting the report prepared and filed, this year with the assistance of an Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) consultant obtained with grant monies.

The full report can be found here

I found this spreadsheet (partial copy below) listing about 100 ECM’s the most interesting (lots has already been accomplished and lots is still planned). Note how much of what is planned will be paid for by the DOER grant monies.

Small businesses get energy saving opportunity

Eversource press release announces energy saving assistance for our town’s businesses –

Eversource Energy : Partners with Medfield to Launch Energy Efficiency Campaign for Small Businesses

 0

09/15/2020 | 02:55pm EDT

Energy company helps business owners identify specific ways to save on building’s operating costs now and in the future

BOSTON September 14, 2020 – Eversource is working with Medfield next month on the Main Streets energy efficiency initiative to help local, small businesses reduce their energy costs, save money and have a positive impact on the environment. From September 14th until September 18th, energy experts from Eversource-approved contractor, Rise, will be in the community meeting with businesses, scheduling no-cost energy assessments and answering questions about energy-efficient equipment upgrades and improvements.

‘Energy efficiency provides businesses of all sizes with a competitive edge and directly impacts their bottom line through energy savings,’ said Eversource Vice President of Energy Efficiency Tilak Subrahmanian, ‘Many small businesses are facing financial hardships right now, and this effort will help connect small business owners with ways to save on their energy costs.’

Medfield is one of 15 communities chosen for this initiative in 2020. In 2019, Eversource visited nine communities and helped small business owners reduce their energy use by more than 2.7 million kWh and save more than $400,000 as a result of this initiative.

The Main Streets energy efficiency program begins with a no-cost, no-obligation energy assessment identifying energy-saving opportunities for small businesses, such as new lighting, occupancy sensors, programmable thermostats, refrigeration controls, insulation and more. Some of the improvements, such as installing aerators and spray valves, happen on the spot at no cost to the customer. Larger improvement projects, like HVAC equipment upgrades or the installation of energy-efficient motor controls, are scheduled for a future date. For a limited time, Eversource has increased incentives for a range of energy-efficiency improvements to further offset the cost of upgrades, and interest-free financing is available for any remaining costs.

Local, licensed electricians contracted by Eversource will complete approved projects, ensuring minimal disruption to daily business operations. All contractors are required to follow state-of-the-art health and safety guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and all high-efficiency products installed as part of the program will include warranties for both materials and labor.

Eversource has delivered postcards with more information about the program to Medfield businesses. For more information about the program and to schedule a free assessment at a convenient time, businesses should contact Eversource’s contractor, Rise, directly at 401-784-3700 x 6158.

Medfield awarded $139,316 in GCA grant

Email from the Medfield Energy Committee Chair, Fred Davis –

Announced today: Medfield is being awarded $139,316 in Green Communities funding from the Massachusetts Dept. of Energy Resources.

Congratulations and appreciation to Director of Facilities Amy Colleran, and MEC members for all the work the grant application entailed.

Leveraged with expected utility incentives of $28,858, the effort will result in a total funding of $168,174 for energy-efficiency projects.

All the work will be done at no cost to the Town.

This is the first Green Communities funding that Medfield has applied for since its initial funding as a Green Community. The initial round of projects involved upgrading to LED lighting in Town buildings, along with upgrade of the Blake Middle School controls system.

Most of this next work will involve upgrading two other control systems in the schools. Additional measures involve lighting, gas traps, weatherization, hot water.

The projects are expected to bring about reductions in greenhouse gases: gas and electricity consumption to decline by 2,107 MBtu/year, with about 3/4 of that being reduction in gas heating.

Dollar savings are projected at $41, 286 each year.

In addition, $13,490 of the funding is allocated for professional development and administrative support.
— Fred Davis
Chair, Medfield Energy Committee

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject:FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Baker-Polito Administration Awards $13 Million in Green Communities Grants
Date:Thu, 27 Aug 2020 14:39:16 +0000
From:Brown, Kelly (ENE) <kelly.brown@state.ma.us>

Good morning Green Communities,

Below is the Competitive Grant 2020 press release announcing $13 Million in grant awards to 103 communities. Over the next week you will receive more information from the Green Communities Division on next steps. Congrats to all the awardees!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2020
CONTACT
Eric Noreen
Eric.Noreen@mass.gov
Baker-Polito Administration Awards $13 Million in Green Communities Grants
103 Communities Receive Funds for Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Projects BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $13,000,558 in Green Communities competitive grants to 103 municipalities across Massachusetts to fund clean energy projects. With today’s announcement, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has awarded over $136 million to Green Communities in Designation Grants and Competitive Grants since 2010. “The Green Communities program continues to make significant progress in helping municipalities reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy costs,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is committed to supporting clean energy and energy efficiency efforts that make the Commonwealth’s cities and towns cleaner, healthier, and more affordable places to live.” “As we work to meet our net zero by 2050 emissions goals, the Green Communities program gives our dedicated municipal partners the resources they need to continue making progress in increasing energy efficiency and lowering energy costs,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to seeing the continued growth in energy innovation and energy savings that these grants will enable in towns and cities across the Commonwealth.” Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding. 271 Massachusetts cities and towns have earned the Green Communities designation, which accounts for 84 percent of the Commonwealth’s population. This ninth annual round of DOER Green Communities competitive grants is awarded to existing Green Communities that have successfully invested their initial designation grants and previous competitive grant awards. The grants provide financial support for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the designated communities’ clean energy goals. Grants are capped at $200,000 per municipality. Funding for these grants is available through proceeds from carbon allowance auctions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). “The Green Communities program helps cities and towns make important investments at the local level to combat climate change by reducing emissions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Air-source heat pumps, ventilation system upgrades, and electric vehicle charging stations are just some of the exciting new projects that these grants will fund in order to increase energy efficiency and clean energy innovation in municipalities across the state.” “Municipalities play a crucial role in achieving the Governor’s ambitious net zero by 2050 emissions target,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. “Today’s announcement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of both the Green Communities team and the many hardworking and dedicated municipal partners across the state who successfully implement these projects that lower energy costs and provide long-term greenhouse gas savings.” The grants announced today fund a range of projects from ventilation system upgrades and high efficiency lighting to the installation of insulation and energy management systems at municipal buildings and facilities. Also included are the installations of air-source heat pumps, hybrid police cruisers, and electric vehicle charging stations. The following municipalities received grant awards: 

. . . Medfield $139,316 . . .

  All Green Communities commit to reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years. These commitments amount to collective savings of 2,534,787 MMBtu, energy use equivalent to heating and powering nearly 20,000 homes and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 233,640 tons, equivalent to taking over 45,000 cars off the road. For additional information on awarded projects and funding amounts, please see here.