Town Energy Committees Continue Work on Energy Reduction Projects
In 2008-2009 North Quabbin Energy began work to help citizens organize energy committees in towns of the region. As 2017 came to a close, all the towns North Quabbin Energy worked with over the course of almost ten years have received Green Communities Designation from the MA Department of Energy Resources. The latest towns to receive this designation include Orange and Royalston.
Orange — The town will receive a designation grant of $159,830 to work on energy efficiency in town buildings to save on both heating and electricity costs.
Royalston — The town will receive a designation grant of $129,365 to work on energy reduction projects in town buildings.
Other towns in the region who already have Green Communities designation include: Athol (2010), New Salem (2010), Petersham (2012), Wendell (2012), Warwick (2014), Erving (2016-17).
Work of Town Energy Committees and North Quabbin Energy continues in 2018 with several events….
Friday, February 2, 2018 — Wendell. The Wendell Town Energy Committee will sponsor their 2nd Annual Ground Hog Day Energy Event from 6-8:30 at the Wendell Town Hall. Pot-luck supper with a chance to hear reports and updates on the Wendell Community Solar Coop, Green Communities and other work.
The Reverence, Resistance and Resilience Film Series will continue at the Athol Library with North Quabbin Energy as a co-sponsor.
Thurs., March 15 at 6 p.m. — “The Economics of Happiness” & “The Great Turning.”
Thurs., April 12 at 6 p.m. — “Soil Carbon Cowboys”
Renewable Energy and Local Living Workshops from Garlic & Arts Festival are now online — See 2017 Garlic & Arts Festival
See photos of 2017 Festival and other past festivals at https://garlicandarts.org/photo-gallery-for-past-festivals/
Resistance at Standing Rock — Final Fall Film at Athol Public Library on December 5th at 6 p.m.
AWAKE, A Dream from Standing Rock
AWAKE follows the dramatic rise of the historic #NODAPL native-led peaceful resistance at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, North Dakota, which captured the world’s attention. Thousands of activists converged from around the country to stand in solidarity with the Water Protectors (activists) protesting the construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The Water Protectors at Standing Rock have awakened the nation and forever changed the way we fight for clean water, the environment and the future of our planet.
The Reverence, Resistance, Resilience Film Series is a collaboration with the Athol Public Library and North Quabbin Energy. Please call Athol Library at 978-249-9515 to reserve a spot.
Fall Film Series Continues at Athol Public Library
November 1 from 7-9 p.m. — The second film in this series continues with Requiem for the American Dream. This film features Noam Chomsky who spent time interviewing many people who bring insight to growing inequality in the United States. This film gives viewers a background on policies that allow having the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few. Tim Downs, a professor of environmental science and policy at Clark University, will lead a discussion following the film. The Reverence, Resistance, Resilience Film Series is a collaboration with the Athol Public Library and North Quabbin Energy. Please call Athol Library at 978-249-9515 to reserve a spot.
Work by Town Energy Committees Call for Action
Orange Town Energy Committee is calling on residents to attend the Fall Special Town Meeting on Thursday, October 26th at 7 p.m. at Orange Town Hall and to vote YES on the Stretch Energy Code so the town can move forward with a Green Communities Designation Grant Application this year.
Royalston Energy Committee has their Fall Special Town Meeting on Friday, October 27th and is also asking people to vote YES on the Stretch Energy Code. Continue reading Focusing on Education and Projects Calling for Action by Citizens
This year at the Garlic and Arts Festival, North Quabbin Energy will be focusing on the theme “Go Solar,” with resources, games, and inspiration for bringing more solar power into your home and your life.
“Solar power” probably makes most people think of high-tech panels and technologies, and we’ll have information about those too, including incentives and strategies for installing photovoltaic (PV) panels on your own home or buying into shared generating projects. The tax and production incentives for home installations will be changing in March 2018, and we’ll be able to point you toward the latest info on what that will mean for homeowners.
But solar power can be the simplest and most low-tech, too! If the sun is out, we’ll demonstrate some techniques for solar cooking, as well as the “why” and “how” of letting the sun dry your laundry.
Make sure to visit our booth in the Portal to the Future area behind the main stage (you know you’re going to be coming back there anyway to get your Bart’s Ice Cream). While you’re there, test your knowledge about solar energy and make a flag to add to the beautiful installations at the new “Climate Action for All” section of the festival. There’s a presentation about electric bikes (rechargeable by the sun) at 2 pm on Saturday, and one at noon on Sunday on making New England’s power grid fully renewable and resilient. Click here for more about these and other great presentations at the Renewable Energy and Local Living tent.
Like the slow, damp 2017 spring, extending right into the summer season, this year’s local food brochure has been slow getting going. But it’s available at last, here on our website as well as in area farmstands, stores, libraries, and other venues.
This year’s edition features a sidebar on small local food stores, a crucial piece of our local foodscape.
There are also listings for food producers in the nine North Quabbin towns plus Barre and Hardwick, as well as information about farmers markets, food-related festivals, and resources relating to food, farming, and gardening.
Two Local Events Explore Possibilities of Local Food and Renewable Energy
Saturday, June 24th from 1-4 p.m. — “A Celebration of Local Farms and Farmers” at Quabbin Harvest – 12 No. Main St., Orange, MA
Watch for New “Food from the North Quabbin” brochure this summer.
Tuesday, June 27th at 6:30 — “Residential Solar Info Session at New Salem Town Hall
See Solar PV Facts June 2017
What local, regional, and state projects can people work on now?
The climate crisis calls on us to continue our work in each community. There are many activities that individuals can do on their own or with groups in the area. Some of these include:
- Speak up about climate change by writing a letter to the editor of local newspaper to talk about the need for energy conservation, efficiency and renewables. Talk with your local legislators about these same issues. For more information on Mass Power Forward Coalition and Clean Energy Legislative Priorities for 2017-18 go to http://mapowerforward.com/legislative-agenda-2017-2018
- Get involved with the work of town energy committees in the North Quabbin region. To learn about the accomplishments of town energy committees see NQ Town Accomplishments GC… .
- Contact Governor Baker to ask him to speak out against new gas pipelines and support more renewable energy projects in the state.
- Attend a gathering of the MA Clean Energy Tour! — These are similar to Commonwealth Conversations – The Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change chaired by Sen. Pacheco is hosting hearings throughout the Commonwealth to get input from you on pressing issues in clean energy and climate. The hearing schedule for June includes: June 12th in Springfield at 6 p.m. at Western New England University’s School of Law. For complete information on all the hearings in June go to https://malegislature.gov/cleanenergyfuture.
- For more information about current and future No. Quabbin Energy projects seeNQE Work Projects + Events May2017
Thousands Across the Country Marched in April to Speak Out about the Climate Crisis
April 29 – People’s Climate Marches in Washington, D.C. with Sister Marches in Keene, NH, Greenfield, Springfield and Boston.
MARCH FOR CLIMATE, JUSTICE AND JOBS —
Washington, D. C. — There may still be room on some buses going from Western MA. Buses going to DC leave from Amherst, Northampton and Holyoke. See — http://www.climateactionnowma.org/bus-information-for-peoples-climate-march/
Sister Marches in region include:
Keene, NH – Climate March. Carpooling from Warwick — carpooling from Warwick to Keene (meet at 8:30 at Metcalf Chapel on Athol Road in Warwick, MA to carpool). The day begins at 9:30am with a meet up of all marchers with signs, costumes, puppets and noise makers in the parking lot behind Margarita’s restaurant. At 10:00 am the March commences up both sides of Main St and up to Central Square. Rally from 11:00am-1:00pm.
Greenfield – Climate Rally – 10:30-12noon at Energy Park. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Springfield, MA — Climate March at 3 p.m. – March will begin at the Federal Courthouse on State Street in Springfield and proceed to Springfield City Hall where it will culminate in a rally featuring local speakers, artists, and musicians. For more information see
Boston, MA – 12-3:30 on the Boston Common. Rally and Teach-in. See http://masspeaceaction.org/boston-peoples-climate-mobilization/ for details.
North Quabbin Energy Plans Follow-up Projects to March Event on “Local Action for the Climate”
Join Us on April 19th to Continue Work on Local and Regional Projects — NQE Gathering and Potluck starting at 6 p.m. at Millers River Environmental Center (100 Main St., Athol, MA). There will be a short film – The Economics of Happiness (20 minute version) with discussion. Following this there will be discussion and planning which will include updates on town energy activities, the People’s Climate March (D.C., Boston, and Keene), banning plastic bags campaign, legislative up-dates on 100% Renewable Energy, funding questions, and beginning plans for Garlic and Arts Festival.
Local Action for the Climate — Many North Quabbin residents came out to hear Nathanael Fortune, a physics professor from Smith College and a member of the Whately Energy Committee, talk about the “Basics and Science of Climate Change” on a Sunday afternoon in late March, 2017.
People listened quietly as Professor Nathanael Fortune spoke and emphasized the need to cut our energy use in the United States. Fortune compared the Earth to a ship and pointed out that we are knocking more and more holes in the ship which means the ship is sinking if we do not plug the holes. Fortune pointed out that consumers control the demand for energy, and in the United States we use five times as much energy as people in other countries. In simple terms this means the United States needs to cut its energy use by 50%. We all have a responsibility to work on this now.
Local projects that help connect the dots regarding issues related to energy use were presented briefly. Highlights of regional efforts include switching to renewables and conserving energy, banning plastic bags, getting involved in strengthening the local food economy, conserving land and farms, getting involved with town energy activities and North Quabbin Energy projects. Along with talking to neighbors and legislators on all levels, these are projects we can all work on now.