CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) You don’t need to own a home to help save the environment and on your utility bill! Claire Cuozzo and Diana Vasquez from the Center for Eco Technology in Florence told us about renewable options.
WHY make the switch?
- By switching to renewable sources, you can help make a real impact in combating climate change, as traditional energy sources make up about 25% of the U.S.’s greenhouse gases. (union of concerned scientists)
- Switching helps diversify energy supply, effectively reducing dependence on imported fuel
- Lastly, it helps to create jobs!
Alternative Energy Options:
New England GreenStart
- This is an incredibly easy and affordable option for people who want to switch to renewables. The average member pays less than the cost of a cup of coffee per day!
- With this program you stay with your same utility provider, but your energy comes from local, renewable sources
- Combination of wind, solar, low-impact hydro, and cow power!
New England Wind
- This program is similar to NEGS in that you stay with your same utility provider, but your energy is sourced from 100% MA Wind
- Also something to note – both NEGS and NE Wind are run through the nonprofit Mass Consumers Energy Alliance, and so all payments to these programs are 100% federally tax-deductible!
- An option available for those in Natick, Sommerville, and Shelburne-Colrain-Conway
But if you don’t live in one of those areas, there’s still good news for you! The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center provides a wealth of information for everything from selecting a contractor to financing your system, and there are a few options if you want solar on your home. You can…
- Support Solar energy through NEGS
- Install a system on your home; you can also lease a system
- PPA (power purchase agreements): homeowner does not own solar installation, but agrees to purchase power directly from the panels and pays a leasing fee. Third-party contractor claims any tax credits and the rights to the SRECs produced by the panels.
- Community Solar
- If you don’t have a good site for solar power, or don’t have the financial ability to purchase a solar system of your own, there are still ways to benefit from solar electricity. Community Shared Solar, for example, allows several community members to invest in and/or purchase the power of a system hosted on an appropriate site.