Our dependence on dirty energy like oil and gas pollutes our air and water and harms the health of Massachusetts’ communities. Pipelines threaten our safety and our green spaces. Pollution from fossil fuels are changing our climate and increasing the frequency of droughts, severe storms, and other damaging weather events.
We need local action across the globe to advance our clean energy future – and that's why Mass Power Forward has decided to launch local clean energy campaigns across the state. Scroll down or click here to get started. Or, check out fact sheets on Conducting a Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Green Communities, Developing a Climate Action Plan, Energy Efficiency for Municipal Buildings, Climate Planning for Equity, Renewable Heating, Local Solar Initiatives, Encouraging the Adoption of Electric Vehicles, Complete Streets and Net Zero.
This unprecedented threat we face is also an unprecedented opportunity to create clean energy jobs, develop sustainable neighborhoods, and clean up our air and water. With our state and federal governments considering multi-billion dollar investments in fossil fuels, now more than ever we need to lead a clean energy revolution from the ground up and show that we can get 100% of our energy from clean sources. We can live better lives while creating good jobs, making great neighborhoods, and saving our green space.
How Does Local Energy Help Everyone?
A switch from dirty to clean energy helps communities in several ways:
It puts the power and the solutions in the hands of our communities
It creates sustainable jobs - clean energy solutions generate good safe jobs
It protects green spaces - investing in clean energy and energy efficiency will help prevent the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure that threatens our natural landscapes
it cleans up our air and water - the more clean energy we put into place, the more dirty energy we can take offline
Is the transition to clean energy possible?
Though a 100% clean energy future may sound daunting, it is possible with strong local action. Emerging as environmental leaders, communities including San Diego CA, Burlington VT, Boulder CO, and Rochester MN have all committed to 100% renewable energy along with major corporations such as Amazon, Google, and Johnson & Johnson. Studies from major universities and institutions — including Stanford University, the University of Delaware, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the U.S. Earth System Research Laboratory, and others — have shown that a 100% clean electric grid is within reach.
As we transition to 100% clean energy, as much of that energy as possible should come from local sources, like wind and solar installations in New England. That way, we can maximize the economic and environmental benefits for our communities, while ensuring that the dollars we spend are resulting in more clean energy on the grid.
Why local action and local projects?
Local action and local projects are good for two reasons: they let your community make choices based on your values and priorities, and they prove that climate change solutions work. Your town gets to decide what our energy future looks like, and prove to state policy makers that communities can . We can set the example at the local level and show that it is possible to clean up our state and transition to a clean energy future!
Across Massachusetts, cities and towns are already leading the way towards 100 percent renewable energy. For example:
New Bedford has installed 16 megawatts of solar to power its municipal facilities, and more than a third of the vehicles in its municipal fleet are electric vehicles.
Cambridge has adopted a Net Zero Action Plan, laying out steps for the city to reduce carbon emissions from its buildings by 70 percent by 2040.
Sutton has received $440,000 in funding for energy efficiency upgrades for municipal buildings through the Green Communities program.
What can YOU do?
We have built you a toolkit walks your local team through the process of figuring out what your town has done, and helps you think about next steps.
Join an upcoming webinar (or watch a recording) to learn how to assess your town’s progress and choose your next steps
Complete our clean energy checklist on your town’s actions so far
Build your team, and select your first project or policy to work on from our list of recommendations.
Form an energy committee if your community does not have one already
Ask your city councilors or selectboard members to pass a resolution committing your community to achieve 100 percent renewable energy and identifying the next steps your community will take to achieve that goal. (If you live in a community with town meetings, consider introducing the resolution at your next town meeting.)
Choose a local clean energy policy or project from our list and get it done!
For more information or for help and coaching to get projects done in your town, email us!