Winter 2014-Spring 2015 —


By Linda Paquet, Chairperson, Petersham Energy Committee — For the past eight months, the Petersham Energy Committee has been working toward its goal of reducing energy usage in six town buildings.  A Green Community grant from the Dept. of Energy Resources (DOER) totaling $138,425 was awarded the town through the Energy Committee.  Although 10% of the grant could have been spent on administrative costs, that did not happen and 100% of the grant went directly to town projects.  The buildings affected were Center School, Police Station, Fire Station, Highway Barn, Town Hall and Town Office Building.

To date the following projects have been completed:

  • All lights and lighting fixtures in all buildings were converted to LED or compact fluorescent bulbs;
  • Insulation and air sealing was completed in the attics of the original school building, the police station, the fire station, and the highway barn;
  • A complete new heating system was installed in the fire station;
  • Window energy panels were installed in the town hall and town office building.

The Fire Chief has reported that for the first time in his memory, there are no icicles or ice dams at the Fire Station!  Within the next three to six weeks, grant funding will be depleted with the installation of a completely new propane heating and hot water system in the town hall and the installation of a stand-alone propane domestic hot water heater at Center School.  This last installation will eliminate the need to keep the big furnace at Center School running during non-heating months, thereby saving more than 600 gals. of heating oil.  The committee would like to particularly thank Energia, LLC of Holyoke, and K.M. Salsman of Paxton for stellar work on behalf of the town.  Electric, oil and propane usage is being recorded monthly in MA Energy Insight software provided by DOER.   Charts showing the decrease in gallons and kilowatt hours will be available at the end of this fiscal year.  With these charts and figures in hand, the committee plans to apply for another competitive Green Community grant in 2016, thereby saving more energy and taxpayer dollars.

Winter 2013 — Petersham received Green Community Designation in December.   In January, 2013, under the direction of energy committee chairperson Linda Paquet, a Phase 2 application was submitted to DOER.  The Phase 2 application is to have a Level 2 energy audit done on town buildings by Bart Bales.  When there is an audit report to review by the Energy Committee, they will submit another application in order to complete energy conservation and efficiency work on town buildings.

Fall 2012 — The Petersham Energy Committee worked hard in the late summer and  applied for Green Community Designation in October 2012.  The town will receive notice at the end of 2012 so there is more to come if they receive Green Community Designation. The next step for Petersham will be to apply for grant money from Green Communities to help with energy savings in town buildings.

The Petersham committee’s poster from the Power of Solutions Forum

at the Garlic and Arts Festival, October 2011.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *