Join us to discuss the energy issues you care about The Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change is hosting hearings throughout the Commonwealth to get input from you on pressing issues in clean energy and climate. How do you think the legislature should keep our state healthy, sustainable and strong?

Send us your ideas:

Here are some ideas from your neighbors:

Dr. Susan Masino

Advocate for and incentivize solar thermal and geothermal - made 100% in America, reduces grid dependence, does not take up our landscapes or habitats, does not pollute, does not harm people or kill wildlife. LOCAL JOBS and NO NEGATIVES. Massachusetts should be a leader in widely mobilizing these practical solutions. I am a scientist and an environmentalist - we need energy solutions that First Do No Harm and these are proven technologies.

Arlen Gould

Do not allow the building of gas pipelines. Support solar, wind, hydro, and digester gas initiatives of every kind. I heard of a place tapping the methane gas released by landfills for power use. Is that something we can do in MA. Thank you for the opportunity to send in a comment.

Ben Hillman

Lawnmowers: their carbon emissions are massive -- the same as jet air travel in the US. There are 63,000 square miles of lawn in the US and every inch gets mowed. This is something everyone can do: shrink your lawn. If you have parts you don't walk on, let them turn to meadow.

Paul Lipke, Health Care Without Harm

Boston Globe OpEd by Kate Walsh president and CEO of Boston Medical Center. Dr. David Torchiana, president and CEO of Partners HealthCare. They co-chair the Boston Green Ribbon Commission Health Care Working Group. The evidence is overwhelming: Climate change is the greatest health threat of the century, and health care is on its front line. That’s particularly true in Boston, which studies show is one of the nation’s most climate-vulnerable cities. As medical professionals, we and our colleagues witness daily the growing danger that climate change poses to the health of people here in Boston. We see its impacts in our emergency rooms during extended heat waves, in treating more patients with asthma and other respiratory ailments, and in investments to make our facilities resilient to effects such as sea level rise. For those of us in health care, climate change is a real and proximate threat. And so the Trump administration’s decision this month does not change the trajectory we and other Boston businesses have pursued steadily for years. While the president may be pulling out of the Paris agreement, we are pushing forward. A new report by Health Care Without Harm, in partnership with the Boston Green Ribbon Commission, details how combined energy-efficiency projects and 50 megawatts of new renewable-energy investments by our two institutions, Boston Medical Center and Partners HealthCare, are enabling metro Boston’s health care sector to deliver a 33 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (47 percent below business as usual). We are years ahead of meeting Boston’s and the Commonwealth’s goals of 25 percent reductions by 2020. Moreover, our financial case for action is strong. Green power is cost-competitive, and since, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, every dollar in energy cost savings is equal to securing $20 in new patient revenue, Boston Medical Center’s 20-year energy savings alone is equivalent to $2.6 billion in patient revenue. We can reinvest these savings in patient care and research, and in vulnerability analyses and capital projects that increase resiliency. Participation in the Green Ribbon Commission, a group of businesses, institutions, and civic leaders in Boston that is dedicated to this cause, has dramatically sharpened our understanding of the risks, responsibilities, and opportunities inherent in climate change. And we have taken action as a result. BMC is the largest safety net hospital with the busiest trauma center in New England, and with three-quarters of its patients coming from underserved populations, climate action is important to BMC’s mission of caring for the community while being fiscally responsible. The hospital has been nationally recognized for dramatically cutting energy use and neutralizing its electricity emissions and expects all its energy to be climate neutral by next year. Partners HealthCare has committed to practicing what the World Bank calls “climate-smart health care” — reducing energy consumption (by 21 percent through 2016) while increasing resiliency through renewable energy. We’re well on our way, but there is much more for us all to do. Boston is the fourth most climate-vulnerable city in the United States and the eighth most vulnerable worldwide in property risk. The region could take a $30 billion economic loss if a hurricane such as 2012’s Superstorm Sandy were to come ashore here, with infrastructure at risk ranging from food and water to the MBTA and utilities. With political will and vision, our region can continue to be a national leader. We can combat the climate threat with smart policies that support cost-competitive renewable energy markets and resilient, clean infrastructure and transportation, helping us all be carbon free by 2050. In the health care sector, we are forming an alliance of Massachusetts hospitals to communicate our climate success stories and needs to policy makers. Similar efforts in other business sectors would build on momentum already underway. Regardless of Washington’s actions, Boston has always stepped up to lead when it was most important to do so. Now is just such a time. We urge our fellow civic leaders to embrace the vision of Climate Ready Boston and set ambitious goals, such as BMC’s plans to be carbon neutral for all energy by 2018, with a campus that can operate in emergencies without grid power, and Partners’ plan to be carbon net positive system-wide by 2025, meaning that more green energy than needed is generated, with excess energy returned to the grid. Structures such as the Boston Green Ribbon Commission and A Better City’s aggregated renewable energy procurement initiatives support the goals of individual companies and amplify collective efforts. Together we can be smarter, to everyone’s benefit, following our governor’s lead and heeding Mayor Martin Walsh’s bold words: “The City of Boston will not back down.”

Mike Kocsmiersky

Wind power Create a statewide siting requirement that is applicable to all towns. Nobody can put in a wind turbine at present if the neighbor doesn’t want it. Issues like audible noise, harmonic noise, bird kills, deforesting for access roads, collapse zone, and the like need to be addressed. Biomass Energy • Eliminate wood burning biomass to electrical energy systems greater than 1MW from being considered as renewable energy or being available for any funding. • Promote arrangements for increased anaerobic digesters using greater than 30% manure to generate methane for electrical generation. Education Again, take this out of the hands of the utility. Climate change is the most important threat to our species, and should be treated as such. I suggest the following: • Amend state curriculum to include climate change in all subject areas. This has been done at Greenfield Community College, where all the writing classes assign reading or writing about climate change issues, and similarly other courses adopt climate change topics. • Add public service messages to remind the public of collective action problems • Increase the bottle bill to 25cents per bottle and add all glass and plastic containers. Add non drink items as well, such as a plastic bottle of laundry detergent. • Eliminate single use plastic bags across the state. • Eliminate polystyrene from any food container, cup, or serving tray. Besides the God awful environmental waste, when heat is added to the polystyrene, styrene monimers make their way into the food, and these are mutagens that may contribute to cancer and birth defects. • Better enforce and emphasize the prohibition of bottled water at state functions. It takes 90 times as much energy to consume a plastic bottle of water, than a glass of tap water. • Strictly enforce anti idling bans, especially at schools. • Mandate that each town have recycling facilities available for at least 4hrs each quarter of the year. These stations must take household hazardous waste, “disposable” batteries, recyclable batteries, CFL, paint, tire, aerosols, motor oil, antifreeze, etc. In General • Create a maximum requirement for GHG emissions per Btu or Whr generated, as well as particulate matter per unit of energy delivered. Anything above that figure gets severely fined. • How do we incentivize purchasing Energy Star or efficient appliances to replace older units, but not just reduce the cost of buying new load? o Create a list of eligible appliances. (Refrigerators, wash machine, air source heat pump water heaters, etc) o Create a quick lookup table to determine amount of cost rebated per each appliance, (if not part of HERS rating scope of work). To receive rebate you need to show proof of recycling of old unit, in same manner it is done at present. o If you are just adding new load without getting rid of another load, then it won’t get rebated. • Increase the fines associated with not achieving the RPS quotient for renewable energy generation.

Mike Kocsmiersky

New Solar Generation • Restore Full Net Metering Credits for Community solar and low income solar projects. This was slashed by 40% in April, 2016 by the MA State legislature. 100% full retail net metering will enable 75% of the Commonwealth's ratepayers who are not able to install solar PV due to rental, or lease agreements, shading, orientation or other issues. • Raise or Remove the Net Metering Caps that are maxed for at least 171 towns in National Grid territory. Eversource is close behind in filling its net metering cap. There is no reason to even have a net metering cap now. HI, CA and Germany all have far greater percentage of solar PV installed than MA with no consequence on the reliability of the grid. • Mandate the utilities conduct a study to determine actual max capacity of distributed generation backfeeding the grid. • No Min Monthly Reliability Charge or Fixed Demand Charges for owners of solar PV systems. Again in April 2016, this MMRC was given to the utilities with no Value of Solar Study to document the costs and benefits of solar PV on the grid. The fixed charges Eversource is asking for in the current rate case are based on no facts or real data. • We need a Value of Solar study conducted immediately, and tie the value to market metrics or conduct a new study every few years to inform many of the policy decisions to come. • Make the SMART incentive WORK for solar and adjust incentives to market forces. And Add residential sized storage, canopy, low income, community solar incentives to SMART program. • Increase funding for the very popular MA CEC Solar Loan program to help every homeowner own their solar PV system. Direct ownership provides the ratepayer with all the incentives and benefits of solar PV generation. This Solar loan program has enabled a large number of households to own solar with lower interest rates, loan support and simply access to financial institutions which previously were negative about loaning for solar projects. • Require Solar Ready Roofs for all new construction in the Commonwealth. This is a no brainer. • Raise the RPS to 3% from the current measly 1%. Again this is a no brainer. We need to move faster on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to have any chance to slow down global warming. And Remember, the first 80% reduction will cost 20% and the last 20% of reduction will cost 80%. • We want 100% renewable energy by 2045 just like California! • Take a page out of NY’s playbook, and rework the Energy Vision. Copy the important aspects of the NY policy that is forming. For starters, restructure the incentives for utilities to receive payment based on the amount of DG they can support, and for maintaining the platform that ensures reliability. • Incentivize energy storage, but any project that gets incentives must enable the utility to access the storage for public good. So if I as a homeowner install 7kWh of battery storage, if I want incentives for the battery bank, I must provide access to the utility for use of my battery bank to increase or decrease grid load. • Create a fee for nuclear waste, so if the carbon fee comes in and makes nuclear look attractive, we can fairly value the cost of nuclear waste isolation. • Phase in time of use metering and adjust electricity costs to the spot market, thereby incentivizing people to stabilize grid demand, which could save up to 15% of our overall electric generation emissions.

Mike Kocsmiersky

Gas Tax – No Greenhouse Gas Tax Another major contributor to green house gasses comes from transportation. Specifically the tailpipe emissions. The state needs to create a value associated with greenhouse gas emissions and tax things according to how much greenhouse gasses the operation yields. Thus if we felt we could avoid $1.8 billion annually in health costs and property damage by reducing our greenhouse gasses 5%, then we can calculate a value on greenhouse gases. This is better laid out in the carbon fee program, and we should pass that. However, additional measures should be taken to further entice people to make the switch. My suggestions: • Create Family bus passes where all the members of your family under 22 can travel for free with an adult. • Link all the cities and towns in MA with rail and busses. I gave an exercise to my community college students in a “Clean Energy” class, where they were to take public transportation to school the next class day. One student trying to get from Pelham to Holyoke would have had to have travelled nearly 30hrs by bus and layover for what equates to less than a ½ hour drive. • Create a low interest bond for cities and large towns to convert their busses to electric. Subsidize the conversion, starting with the worst polluted areas. Use monies collected from the carbon fee to pay for this infrastructure. • Add a 25cent per gallon gas tax to pay for public transportation measures. Because we should have done it when Ross Perot brought it up in 1992. • Incentivize bike travel. (Bike groups are better able to present this point than myself)

Mike Kocsmiersky

Didn't realize my suggestions were size limited so they will come over a couple of emails. • These subsidies should prioritize higher return investments. But how do we overcome landlord / tenant difficulties and the proliferation of knob & Tube wiring. o Conduct a study or research to see if blown cellulose actually increases chance of fire in knob and tube homes. I have not met one person that can put their hands on a study like this. I understand the premise that trapping the heat can cause the knob and tube to run hotter, creating an electrical fire. But you can put a blow torch on cellulose and it won’t burn. Nonetheless, if you need to upgrade the electrical then the ROI will go down and your subsidy will also be a lower percentage. o The money should target low to moderate income families and create a mechanism for landlords to participate. The program could provide money to landlords based on the low to moderate home value adders if they can show proof that they are lowering their rents. (2yr prior rent amounts, and lower the rent based on expected avoided energy costs over 10yrs, evenly distributed each month. For example, if a landlord spends $20k on new boiler and insulation in a 3 family dwelling, and expects to save $1200 per year, then the 10 yr savings would be $12,000. The simple ROI based on a 20 yr life expectancy would be ($1200 * 20yr -$20,000)/$20,000 = 20%. Thus qualifying the project 50% subsidy. The landlord could get an additional 30% subsidy if they were willing to show a reduction in the rent for the next x years, equal to the amount of time the savings would equal the additional 30%. In this case an extra $6000, would be eligible if the landloard maintained the lower rent for $6000/$1200 = 5 years. Money is held until the end of term (5yrs), then paid out to landlord after proof of rental receipts. The rent would be reduced by ½ the annual savings. In this case $600/yr equating to a rental reduction of $50/month.  Cash flow for landlord Revenues year 1 year 2 year 3 year 4 year 5 year 6 year 7 year 8 year 9 year 10 Subsidy $ 10,000 Low Income Subsidy $ 6,000 Loan $ 10,000 Avoided Energy Savings $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 $ 1,200 Expenses Project Cost $ 20,000 Annual Loan Payment $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 $ 1,113 Rent Loss $ 600 $ 600 $ 600 $ 600 $ 600 Cash Flow $ 87 $ 87 $ 87 $ 87 $ 6,087 $ 87 $ 87 $ 87 $ 87 $ 87 net cash flow $ 87 $ 173 $ 260 $ 347 $ 6,434 $ 6,520 $ 6,607 $ 6,694 $ 6,781 $ 6,867 20 yr net cash flow $ 18,867 Loan Period 10 Loan Interest 2% • Additionally, no new energy consumption can qualify for rebates in this conservation program. Such as new air source heat pump water heater, unless taking the place of a dehumidifier. • No new energy generation source can qualify, such as solar thermal, solar electric, wind, geothermal, or other source. They have energy generation compensation programs already. • Projects are randomly inspected, and subsidies are paid out according to what the inspection tests indicate savings would be. • Appliances are subsidized according to the ROI value in chart above. Granted one of your financial experts may need to review to make sure the incentive windows are appropriately spaced to prevent contractors from manipulating their pricing for better subsidies. Additional work is needed on this plan to iron out all the small details and keep it simple; for instance comparing existing incentive rates in comparison to the expected ROI.

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