North Quabbin Energy promotes the mantra “Conservation first, then efficiency, then renewables.” That is, before putting solar panels on the roof or even buying an Energy Star refrigerator, we should first and foremost work to reduce the overall amount of energy we’re using by changing our energy habits and becoming much more aware of the sources and true costs of the power we use. All the efficiency and renewables in the world won’t solve our energy problems unless we’re also willing to drastically reduce our energy consumption!
(From our Archives, here’s an idea we were thinking about in 2011 for a stepped electricity rate that could help motivate people to use less electricity.)
- Recycling is one important steps to take if you’re serious about conservation, although it’s also important to consider how many single-use pieces of plastic, glass, aluminum, and other kinds of packaging you’re using, and to try to reduce that use as well.
- Center for EcoTechnology — a clearinghouse of information and organizing, based in Northampton. CET does home energy audits, organizes workshops concerned with energy conservation along with other projects.
- Millers River Environmental Center – The Millers River Environmental Center is a community resource providing a working environment for collaboration between governmental and non-governmental agencies and citizens. Integral to this mission is a strong emphasis on the education and training of area citizens to enhance their appreciation for, connection with, and stewardship of the rich natural resources of the region.
- Fuel Economy Guide – This website has information about vehicle fuel economy – check it out if you’re thinking of buying a new or used car!
- Make winserts for your leaky windows to keep heat from escaping.
- Co-op Power — a Greenfield-based energy coop offering member discounts on energy products plus the chance to be on the ground floor of developing locally-based energy resources. Co-op Power offers Energy Efficiency Services with home energy audits. Co-op Power also works on neighbor-to-neighbor solar hot water projects with people in Massachusetts.
- MassSAVE — Get information about energy efficiency and sign up for a free energy audit to help you save on energy use and be more efficient in your home or business. Go to MassSAVE or call 866-527-7283.
- DSIRE — DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- Northeast Sustainable Energy Association – a regional organization of professionals working in the field of sustainable energy and technologies, based in Greenfield