About us

We’re an informal group of people in north-central Massachusetts who are concerned about issues relating to energy use. More...

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northquabbinenergy.org

Energy Bills Stall in State Legislature and Proposed KM Pipeline Moves Forward

Energy Bills in MA Legislature — According to Senator Rosenberg’s office it looks like the Net Metering Cap and other energy legislation supporting solar development and energy efficiency will not be considered before the State Legislature recesses in August.  It is unknown at this time if any of these bills will be considered in September.  Meanwhile there is a cap on large solar developments and community solar in National Grid territory which includes 171 communities in Massachusetts.  Continue calling legislators and Governor Baker asking them to lift the Net Metering cap (contacts for government officials).  Meanwhile Environment Massachusetts has planned a rally in Boston for July 30th.

FERC Scoping Sessions Regarding Proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP pipeline happening in July and August — See Events under Gas Pipeline.

Announcing the latest edition of our local food brochure

It’s here! The 2015-16 edition of our North Quabbin local food guide is now available. You can access a digital version by clicking here, or look for it at local outlets (stores, libraries, retail farmstands, and related venues) over the next few weeks. Continue reading Announcing the latest edition of our local food brochure

State Energy Policy – Renewables and Fossil Fuel Debate Heats Up

July 2015   Actions  Concerning Solar and Net Metering in MA  — Write Governor Baker and State Legislators in July to call for lifting the Net Metering Cap on Solar and call a halt to new gas pipeline infrastructure – See Actions to Take.

Defending Renewable Energy, Solar and Community Shared Solar through Legislation: On June 2, 2015 at the Statehouse in Boston the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy will be holding a public hearing   starting at 1:00 P. M. in Gardner Auditorium on bills related to solar energy and net metering.  For more details and the bills that will be covered in this hearing see Solar Hearings June 2015

Berkshire Gas asks for more fossil fuels/gas in the future:  On June 11, 2015 the MA Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will hold a hearing at the Greenfield Middle School in Greenfield on a petition by Berkshire Gas to sign a contract with Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s NED project to receive 36,000 dekatherms per day of gas through the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP NED project.  This and other petitions to the DPU help set up continuing use of fossils fuels (natural gas) well into the future.  See Docket 15-48  -  DPU (http://web1.env.state.ma.us/DPU/FileRoom/dockets/bynumber).  Enter 15-48 in DPU dockets by number to see comments and original Berkshire Gas petition.

See Events for details and more events.

State Legislature Considers Energy Bills including Support of More Solar Power

Warren MA Solar Installation helps Orange Town Buildings with energy savings on electricity through net metering - June 2014

State Legislature to  Consider Energy Bills this Spring

Solar is Working –  The State Legislature will take up several bills concerning energy, net metering caps on solar and other issues related to state policy on energy.  To support bills that promote lifting net metering caps on solar and other renewable issues sign on at (http://org.salsalabs.com/o/2155/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17565).                                                                                                                 For more information on Net Metering caps and specific bills see MassSolar SD1616-H2852 presentation, 4.1.15 1.  Also see for talking points  April2015-Phone script for solar power-2.  

See Events for upcoming regional events.  Also see  Actions to Take for latest on DPU hearings in Boston on proposed precedent agreements between gas companies and the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP NED project.

No Need for New Infrastructure such as Pipelines — Recently Ken Berthiaume from Orange, who is part of a team researching issues related to the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP 36″ pipeline, shared some of his research findings with Montague residents at an NQPA public event.   Much of the information is taken from ISO-New England.  See The Grid, Renewables & Jobs, Leaks and More_4.23.15

Take Action now –Sign the new petition to Governor Baker now (see Actions to Take)  calling for a Clean Energy future which means supporting energy efficiency and conservation, working toward 20% of electricity generation from solar sources by 2025 and mandating full implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act.   People can also continue writing to state legislators voicing your opinion and telling them to uphold Article 97 regarding protected land.  See Research and Resources for more information

 

Note: Members of the core North Quabbin Energy group are currently working on many projects, including town energy committees, pipeline resistance, local food, and winsert-making workshops. The group is not currently meeting as a whole, but we’re working on keeping this website up to date with new developments and information. Keep an eye on new posts here if you’re interested in finding out more about any of the above issues and projects in north-central Massachusetts!

NQ Pipeline Action Fundraiser Set for March 15

Sunday, March 15th–  Join with others and attend the  Stop the Pipeline Go Green Fundraiser at the Arts Block, 14 Court St. in Greenfield from 2-5 p.m.  This event is sponsored by No. Quabbin Pipeline Action (NQPA).  Musicians and local artists including Court Dorsey, Tex & Pat, Richard Chase and Moonlight & Morningstar  will provide entertainment.  There will be a silent auction, light refreshments and other events.

Help spread the word and attend this exciting fundraiser for NQ Pipeline Action as we continue our work to stop the Kinder Morgan/TGP NED project running across MA and NH.  Residents of Athol, Erving, Orange, Royalston, Warwick and other towns came together a year ago to form No. Quabbin Pipeline Action (NQPA) to stop the proposed 36″ pipeline project.  We have been involved in fighting the pipeline since people first heard from KM land agents in January and February 2014. The proposed pipeline still follows a path through Warwick, Northfield, Erving, Montague and other Franklin County towns before entering NH.  Kinder Morgan is also proposing to build an 80,000 HP compressor station in Northfield.   For more information and to contribute to the Silent Auction call Lisa at 978-790-7352.  Donations may now also be made to Millers River Watershed Council – “pipeline” (100 Main Street, Athol, MA 01331).  See Events for link to poster to print and give to others.

Take Action now –Sign the new petition to Governor Baker now (see Actions to Take).  File a comment with FERC.  Write to state legislators voicing your opinion and tell them to uphold Article 97 regarding protected land.  See Research and Resources for more information

 

 

Note: Members of the core North Quabbin Energy group are currently working on many projects, including town energy committees, pipeline resistance, local food, and winsert-making workshops. The group is not currently meeting as a whole, but we’re working on keeping this website up to date with new developments and information. Keep an eye on new posts here if you’re interested in finding out more about any of the above issues and projects in north-central Massachusetts!

Pipeline Opposition Activists Form Tri-State Coalition

Over 40 activists working to stop the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP pipeline attended a retreat in January and formed a tri-state coalition.  These activists included people from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York, many who had been working on opposing the pipeline for the past year.  Representatives from two dozen (24) organizations formed the StopNED Coalition to work together in the region to stop the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP pipeline and also focus on alternative solutions such as more renewable energy and more energy efficiency programs.

The StopNED Coalition will address the broader environmental and economic impacts of the pipeline. According to Rosemary Wessel from www.nofrackedgasinmass.org,  “Increasing the region’s dependence on natural gas will hold businesses and homeowners hostage to this volatile commodity’s price swings, as well as price increases arising from possible export.  We all will benefit far more from clean energy solutions that fight climate change, offer stable prices and create thousands of local, permanent jobs.”

The focus for the StopNED Coalition in the next few months will include coordinating work on several campaigns.  The possible campaigns include: Alternative Solutions, Landowners and KM Open Houses, Upholding Article 97 and other work regarding conservation lands, Global Warming (e.g., in MA getting state to mandate and comply with goals set in MA Global Warming Solutions Act), and Tariff Issues.
NQ Pipeline Action will join with other groups to work on these campaigns and will update people as proposed actions develop.  Materials regarding these campaigns will also be posted under Resources and Research.  Meanwhile several public events are happening in the region during the coming month (See Events).

Outreach to other Communities and Organizations in other parts of Massachusetts — For an example of this, see posting at UUMassAction website – http://www.uumassaction.org/uuma/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Stop-NED-Document-for-Distribution-1.pdf.  This group reaches out to 140 churches affiliated with the Universalist-Unitarian (UU) churches in MA.

What’s happening with North Quabbin Energy

Members of the core North Quabbin Energy group are currently working on many projects, including town energy committees, pipeline resistance, local food, and winsert-making workshops. The group is not currently meeting as a whole, but we’re working on keeping this website up to date with new developments and information. Keep an eye on new posts here if you’re interested in finding out more about any of the above issues and projects in north-central Massachusetts!

Working toward Sustainable Energy Policies, Clean Energy and Green Communities

Warwick earns Green Community Designation — December, 2014

Warwick is now one of 13 new Green Communities, recently designated on Dec. 3 2014, and awarded $137,850 to begin implementing their 20% energy reduction plan over the next 5 years.

“Never say never” says Janice Kurkoski, chair of the Warwick Buildings and Energy Committee, who from the beginning had felt that there was much too much paperwork and too many hoops to jump through to apply for this grant. But when Warwick’s Town Coordinator David Young offered to be the point-person, the Committee stepped up to the plate and presented an Energy Reduction Plan that the State thinks is good enough to use as a model for other small towns to follow. With a total of 136 participating cities and towns, more than half of all Massachusetts residents now live in a Green Community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presentation of check to Warwick as one of newest Green Communities in MA — David Young and Janice Kurkoski accept Green Communities grant from Dept. of Energy Resources in Boston.

Proposed Pipeline and Alternative Route –  As the move to stop the Kinder Morgan/TGP Northeast Energy Direct widens to southern New Hampshire more and more people are thinking and talking about taking steps in their communities to be more energy efficient and use all forms of energy including electricity wisely. For January events in region see Events.

Watch for more information about January Events regarding continuing work to stop the Kinder Morgan/TGP natural gas pipeline project.  For more information now go to www.nofrackedgasinmass.org

Low Demand Scenario Study — The MA Department of Energy Resources hired Synapse Consultants to do an analysis of the “low demand scenario” between October and December 2014.   After a stakeholder meeting in Boston on December 18th, the release of the final study was delayed.  Many people attending stakeholder meetings feel that the  final study will just focus on natural gas and not fully evaluate a range of solutions to meet the state’s energy needs as stated on the Synapse website.   The Synapse website stated, “The purpose of the analysis is to consider various gas demand scenarios and to evaluate a range of solutions to meet Massachusetts’ short and long-term resource needs, considering greenhouse gas reductions, economic costs and benefits, and system reliability.”  Many comments concerning the final report voiced concerns about staying in compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act and reducing greenhouse gases.   People from environmental groups, land trusts, and stop the pipeline groups participated on December 18, 2014. To learn more about the on-going study, more stakeholder meetings,  and to read comments from groups and see what Synapse is doing go to http://synapse-energy.com/project/massachusetts-low-demand-analysis.

Rolling March of Words in December — People in area towns (Athol, Erving, Northfield, Orange, Royalston, Warwick) gathered to write letters to  state senators in December to educate them about Article 97 of the State Constitution and ask them to uphold this article regarded protected land in the state. Between 400 and 500 letters were written during December to state officials.  Other towns including Bolton also participated in letter writing activities during December.

Petition to speak out against the National Grid rate hike of 37% on MoveOn — Tell the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to roll back the rate increase. The long-term solution for preventing volatile price spikes and halting climate change is investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy. It is time to democratize energy policy in the Commonwealth, making it clean, green and fair.

On September 16, National Grid, the largest electric utility in Massachusetts filed a 37% rate increase with the Department of Public Utilities. Other large utilities, such as NStar, Unitil and WMECO are expected to do the same.  Support the roll back of this massive rate increase and demand environmentally sustainable energy policy in Massachusetts.  Click on link below to read full petition and sign.
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/roll-back-the-rate-hike?source=s.icn.em.mt&r_by=11487565

 

Energy Use and Proposed Gas Pipeline Continue as Issues for Area this Fall

The Garlic and Arts Festival took place under blue skies this year with many people attending workshops at the Renewable Energy and Local Living Tent.  Almost 200 people signed letters and a petition to the state legislature regarding the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP gas pipeline project.  Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) received approval for their pre-filing application from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on October 2, 2014.  See Events for November from NQ Pipeline Action.  Kinder Morgan/TGP will begin holding open houses in towns on the proposed pipeline route in November.

Preparing for Winter

North Quabbin Energy may hold winsert making workshops again in the late fall or early winter.  But if you want to attend a workshop sooner the Gill Energy Commission is sponsoring several workshops this fall led by Peter Talmage.

Workshop – Weatherize Your Home – Saturday, October 25, 9:00 – Noon
FREE – There are many ways to improve the efficiency of your home that can save you lots of fuel. Many of these measures cost little to nothing. Learn these simple methods as well as some of modest cost and make your home easier to heat and more comfortable. Sources of funding and available rebates will also be discussed. The workshop will be led by Peter Talmage, and takes place at the Gill Town Hall, 325 Main Road, Gill. To register call Janet Masucci at (413) 863-8694 or email jmasucci@msn.com

Workshop – Winsert, Make One to Take Away – Saturday, November 8, 9:00 – Noon
FREE workshop, but there will be a cost for materials – “Winserts” are reusable transparent panels that fit snugly inside window jambs to add two extra layers of glazing. The workshop will be presented by Peter Talmage who has been teaching people in the Renewable Energy field at GCC and elsewhere for many years. A properly-constructed winsert can reduce heat loss from a typical single- or double-glazed window by up to 50%, thus more than paying for the cost of the winserts in less than one year.  During the workshop you will assemble a winsert for a window in your own house. In order to have enough materials for everyone’s project, we need to know the size of your window. The participant will pay for the cost of materials only at approximately $1 per square foot of window. Class size is limited to 15, so pre-registration is very important! The workshop takes place at the Gill Town Hall, 325 Main Road, Gill. To register call Janet Masucci at (413) 863-8694 or email jmasucci@msn.com

 

 

Renewable Energy and Local Living Tent Set for Garlic & Arts Festival on September 27-28, 2014

Energy and Food Issues — What are people doing?

Workshops at the Energy and Local Living Tent will focus on both energy and food issues which promote clean jobs and projects.  For a schedule of the workshops see Garlic and Arts. For a complete listing of events and vendors at the 2014 Garlic and Arts Festival on Sept. 27-28th in Orange see Garlic and Arts Festival (www.garlicandarts.org/).

One of the workshops focusing on energy — “A Pipeline Runs Through It: Un-Natural Natural Gas” — will include a panel discussion with Ken Berthiaume from Orange, Leigh Youngblood from Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust, and Steve Kurkoski from the Warwick Town Energy and Buildings Committee.  Panelists will cover the perceived need for new fossil fuel infrastructure, how lands set aside for conservation might be affected, and how this fits in with our global responsibilty towards averting climate change. For the latest information on Kinder Morgan/TGP Northeast Energy Direct pre-filing application (submitted to FERC on 9/15/2014) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) see www.massplan.org. You can also learn how to register with FERC, make comments, and read full TGP document (about 360 pages).

Other workshops will focus on energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy projects as well as farming and food issues.  Many of these projects contribute in some way to the growing number of jobs in the “Clean Energy Industry.”  See the 2013 Clean Energy Industry Report posted by Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Chart from 2013 Clean Energy Industry Report and presented by Ken Berthiaume at the NQ Pipeline Action Forum at the Community Church of North Orange and Tully on August 19, 2014.  For the full report go to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center website.

Under Gas Pipeline please visit our Actions to TakeResearch and Resources pages for more information and check out the Events page to see what is coming your way on a local level regarding the proposed pipeline.