Showing posts with label Energy conservation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Energy conservation. Show all posts

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Save money by finding home energy waste! Get a "Kill A Watt Monitor" from the Franklin Library "Library of Things" collection

Do you know where the energy hogs in your home are? 

Did you know that the Franklin Public Library, in addition to lending books and media, also lends “things”? 

Their library of things includes items such as games, electronic devices, kitchen appliances, a telescope, and more; it also includes an electrical power monitor named “Kill A Watt”. The Kill A Watt power monitor is a small, portable device which can plug into a power outlet, and then monitors the electric power usage of anything which is plugged into it. 

The following testimonial was written by David Rittenhouse in October 2023, and can be found on the Testimonials page :
“I use a dehumidifier in my basement. Because it uses a compressor, it uses significant electricity while running. I found this out by borrowing a Kill A Watt Monitor from the Franklin Public Library "Library of Things" collection. 
There are two major ways to use it: 1) Press the "Watt" button to find out real-time usage (in this case about 500 watts) when the unit is on; 2) use the KWH or killawatt hour button to see how much energy is used over time. The library lets you borrow this device for 3 weeks. 
I ran my humidifier for 2 weeks and doubled the KWH to get a rough energy usage per month. I bought a new dehumidifier and will be saving electricity and using it year-round, now that it rarely needs to come on during the heating season to keep humidity at a healthy level below 60%. (Please note that the Franklin Library only has a partial list of things on their website, and at the time of writing did not include the TOOLS KILL A WATT MONITOR.) 
My old dehumidifier was 20+ years old. My next project will be to see how much electricity my 20+ year old refrigerator uses.”
For more information on this and other energy-saving ideas, please visit !

borrow a Kill A Watt Monitor from the Franklin Public Library "Library of Things" collection
borrowing a Kill A Watt Monitor from the Franklin Public Library "Library of Things" collection

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Debunking some appliance use myths, some practical info on energy savings

"When I was a kid, my dad followed behind me, shutting off the incandescent lights I left burning around the house. “You’re wasting energy,” he’d scold as I tried to slip out of the room. He was right, of course. In the 1980s, 5 to 10 percent of an average household’s electricity bill went to keeping the lights on. So when my own son was born last June, my dad joked he was waiting for the day when his grandson would exact his revenge on my utility bill.

Luckily for me, this day will never come. I’ve been rescued by LED lights, now the primary lighting source for about half of U.S. homes. LEDs are wafers of semiconducting material that emit as much light as incandescent bulbs while using about 10 percent of the electricity. Later this year, incandescent bulbs will disappear from store shelves for good as new federal efficiency standards take effect. If it isn’t already, your home lighting will soon be a rounding error on your energy budget.

Yet many people still sound like my dad. When you ask Americans how they save energy at home, “turn off the lights” has been at the top of the list since the 1980s. But when it comes to actual savings, it doesn’t even crack the top 10. Like most conventional wisdom about how to reduce household energy and emissions, much of what we believe about our homes and appliances is wrong."

Continue reading about some home appliance myths that linger (subscription maybe required) -> 

Friday, July 1, 2022

CommonWealth Magazine: "State sets carbon targets for 2025, 2030"

"Hours after the Supreme Court dealt a devastating blow to the national climate effort, Massachusetts released an aggressive new blueprint that speeds up efforts to slash emissions by electrifying buildings and vehicles and transitioning the electricity supply rapidly from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. 
The new plan offers a detailed path for what the state must achieve by 2025 and 2030, presenting a vision for accelerating climate action in Massachusetts. 
“The Clean Energy and Climate Plan is a comprehensive and balanced plan that will serve as a guide for Massachusetts as we work to achieve ambitious emissions goals and reach Net Zero in 2050 in an equitable and affordable manner,” Governor Charlie Baker said in a statement."
Continue reading the Boston Globe article

CommonWealth Magazine also provides coverage on the updated net zero plan

Ted McIntyre and I have a series on "Making Sense of Climate." As it is based upon how the state is doing on meeting goals of the roadmap, this new update will be part of future discussions. You can listen to the prior episodes here

CommonWealth Magazine: "State sets carbon targets for 2025, 2030"
CommonWealth Magazine: "State sets carbon targets for 2025, 2030"

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Updated Stretch Energy Code Regulations scheduled for hearing & public comment

"Draft Stretch Energy Code Regulations have been filed with the Secretary of State on June 24th.

These codes are now open for public comment. Please join the dates below and provide your feedback.  Virtual Link for August 8th meeting:
Shared from the Mass Climate Action Network Instagram account

Find the new release of stretch code regulations and how to provide comments on them ->

Updated Stretch Energy Code Regulations scheduled for hearing & public comment
Updated Stretch Energy Code Regulations scheduled for hearing & public comment

Saturday, March 19, 2022

International Energy Agency releases "10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use"

"We’ve just released the @iea  10-Point Plan on actions advanced economies can adopt to cut oil demand by 2.7 million barrels a day. This would be a big saving - it's the same amount of oil currently consumed by all of the cars in China."

IEA =>  International Energy Agency  "Shaping a secure & sustainable energy future. We provide data, analysis & ambitious real-world solutions on all fuels & technologies. "

The full press release behind this infographic ->

The full report with additional explanation and charts ->

10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use
10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Boston Globe: "A better future for heating your home"

"As we prepare for colder weather, the choice has already been made for many residents that they will be burning euphemistically named “natural gas,” or methane. This fuel, which is no more natural than any other fossil fuel, is not only responsible for massive property damage and loss of life following explosions, as we saw in the Merrimack Valley disaster three years ago — it is also a potent fossil fuel, responsible for 27 percent of climate-altering emissions statewide, second only to transportation and significantly greater than even the energy generation sector.

If the state does not move away from our reliance on gas, we probably won’t hit our statutory emissions reduction goals set by the Global Warming Solutions Act and the recent 2050 net-zero roadmap legislation. Working in opposition to those goals, gas utilities are planning decades of new pipelines, projected to cost Massachusetts gas customers $20 billion — a Big Dig-sized project — according to a recent report commissioned by Gas Leaks Allies."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)
Olivia Cerf and Ben Butterworth stand near the heat pumps they installed at their Melrose home. ERIN CLARK/GLOBE STAFF
Olivia Cerf and Ben Butterworth stand near the heat pumps they installed at their Melrose home.ERIN CLARK/GLOBE STAFF

Monday, September 13, 2021

Recycling and Energy Drive - Sep 18

"We’re coming to Franklin!!  And we hope to see you there!  You most likely have several of these items in your home.  Our team will unload them from your vehicle.  
Click on the images to see more information about the Franklin Recycling and Energy Drive and bonus Dehumidifier Rebate.
Set a reminder for September 18, 9 AM - 12 noon at Chilson Beach -Beaver St Recreation area. 
It’s a drive through event through the Parking Lot.  
Please see the list of items being accepted below."

* Updated headline with correct date of Sep 18

Recycling and Energy Drive - Sep 25
items accepted

Recycling and Energy Drive - Sep 25 2

Recycling and Energy Drive - Sep 25 3

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Report: "Massachusetts Cities and Towns Leading the Way to 100% Renewable Energy"

"Cities and towns are taking ambitious steps to increase renewable electricity generation, reduce energy use, and shift to clean heating technologies, according to a new report from the Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center.

“The best ideas for clean energy often start at the local level,” said Ben Hellerstein, state director for the center. “If we want to have cleaner air, healthier communities, and a safer future for our children, we need to move rapidly toward 100% renewable energy from sources like the sun and the wind. These communities are showing how to make it happen.”

The report, Renewable Communities 2021, features the following seven case studies of Massachusetts cities, towns and regional agencies that are leading the way to 100% renewable energy. "

Continue reading the article online

Visit Environmental Massachusetts for more information ->

Report:  "Massachusetts Cities and Towns Leading the Way to 100% Renewable Energy"
Report:  "Massachusetts Cities and Towns Leading the Way to 100% Renewable Energy"

Saturday, June 5, 2021

"the aggregation rate is often lower than the utility rate"

"AROUND THE WORLD, in the White House, and at our State House, leaders are finally beginning to respond to the climate challenge. Here in Massachusetts, we can take pride in bold new legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions. And the nation’s first large-scale off-shore wind project, Vineyard Wind, has been given the go ahead by the federal government. Those are exciting developments, but there’s something happening at the local level that deserves our attention as well.

In Massachusetts, cities and towns are increasingly taking advantage of a process known as green municipal aggregation or community choice electricity, which allows municipalities to purchase electricity directly from suppliers (rather than relying on the utilities to do it for us). Through aggregation, communities can offer options that include more wind and solar than required by state law at affordable rates. Today about 50 cities and towns in Massachusetts have done so and dozens more are at various stages of the approval process. Communities that have been doing this for some time keep renewing and usually add more renewable energy as time goes on."
Continue reading the article online

Municipal aggregation was approved by Franklin in 2016 and in 2020 they finally implemented a contract with good pricing. Town Administrator Jamie Hellen provides the update and background to the Town Council in this audio segment. The link also contains link to the steps along the process from the archives.

Municipal aggregation is reported on quarterly and you can find those reports on the Town page

FM #208 - Jamie Hellen on Municipal Aggregation
FM #208 - Jamie Hellen on Municipal Aggregation

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Earth Day conversation starters for Franklin

Via Cobi Frongillo: 

"Some thoughts on this Earth Day to get our brain's turning on opportunities for local advocacy..."
Shared from Facebook: 

Friday, March 19, 2021

"Oil firms knew decades ago fossil fuels posed grave health risks, files reveal"

"The oil industry knew at least 50 years ago that air pollution from burning fossil fuels posed serious risks to human health, only to spend decades aggressively lobbying against clean air regulations, a trove of internal documents seen by the Guardian reveal.

The documents, which include internal memos and reports, show the industry was long aware that it created large amounts of air pollution, that pollutants could lodge deep in the lungs and be “real villains in health effects”, and even that its own workers may be experiencing birth defects among their children.

But these concerns did little to stop oil and gas companies, and their proxies, spreading doubt about the growing body of science linking the burning of fossil fuels to an array of health problems that kill millions of people around the world each year. Echoing the fossil-fuel industry’s history of undermining of climate science, oil and gas interests released a torrent of material aimed at raising uncertainty over the harm caused by air pollution and used this to deter US lawmakers from placing further limits on pollutants."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Boston Globe: "a glimmer of hope for opponents to the Weymouth gas compressor"

David Abel (@davabel) tweeted on Tue, Jan 19, 2021:
"After years of protests, a glimmer of hope for opponents to the Weymouth gas compressor via @BostonGlobe"

The Weymouth Compressor Station JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF
The Weymouth Compressor StationJOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving....from Enbridge and FERC

Dear Greater Franklin node friends,
We've received some unfortunate news from our hard-fighting ally, the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) in Weymouth.  They have been stalwartly fighting this battle against an Enbridge compressor station for five years as of next month.  They are not giving up and neither can we.  

The compressor station would emit greenhouse gases equivalent to half the vehicles driven in Massachusetts and make it nearly impossible to reach carbon emission reduction goals in the state.  And that's saying nothing about spewed toxic chemicals that would poison residents, leading to even higher rates of cancer, respiratory and heart disease in the community--already among the highest in the state.

While there some actions only they can take (e.g., lawsuits), we can support them as an ally by filling out the pledge form below to help in various ways, including spreading the word to and engaging neighbors and friends, making calls and other actions, and donating to their legal fund (this working community has already spent $1.75 million in legal costs).  Please see the linked form and sign up to do what you can!

Please hold your family and friends close this holiday season as we all need to help each other.

In solidarity,

Carolyn Barthel
Greater Franklin Node Coordinator
508-473-3305 H

View this email in your browser
Dear Friend of FRRACS,

It's the beginning of the Holiday Season for most of us, and as per usual, Enbridge and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) have been busy preparing presents for all of us!  

On Monday, Enbridge filed the Final Release Abatement Measure along with some very unsatisfactory answers to all of our comments. This Final RAM allows them to start digging in the arsenic and oil laden soil.  The DEP did not even make them answer to the questions of asbestos in the soil due to the decomposing furnace bricks.  Enbridge filed a notice with the Conservation Commission of the Town of Weymouth to begin digging this coming Tuesday, December 3!  You can read the RAM here--all 1692 pages of it. 

This morning, FERC granted Enbridge the Notice to Proceed (NTP) construction on the compressor station.  While this was not unexpected, it comes over the objections of all of us, our Federal delegation, our state legislators, the Town of Weymouth, our allies, and pretty much everyone you can think of except for Gov. Baker. 

While the contracts for the gas dry up, FERC is abdicating its role as overseeing "necessity" for gas and gas infrastructure.  They are an agency that has always been in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry, but now they are just allowing the gas companies to do whatever they want without proving need for the gas.  And, guess what?  We will all pay for the folly of Enbridge and FERC through our utility bills.  National Grid and Eversource say they don't need more gas and they don't need the Weymouth compressor station.  NG New England (Canadian company) is trying to sell their contracts back to National Grid.  Irving (Canadian as well) has entered into new agreements to get the gas they were to receive from this pipeline from Canadian sources.  No need for the gas.  No need for the compressor.  But Enbridge wants it, so FERC provides...with your money.

We really did not want to ruin your Thanksgiving, but we want you to know that we are still in the fight.  With your help--your time, your treasure, and your talent--we are not giving up this fight.  We will work to stop this by all means available.  And we need you to stay focused, stay strong, and stay with us as a community.  

How are we fighting?  We are:
  • Fighting in court on the Air Quality permit and the Waterways permit. We are also looking for appellate relief on the Coastal Zone Management determination.
  • Working with our local governments and our state delegation to keep the heat on FERC and Enbridge for this unnecessary compressor in our Environmental Justice neighborhoods.
  • Working with our federal delegation to change FERC and their mandate to push fossil fuel.
  • Working with our allies to organize actions on the ground.
  • Working with all of you to keep you informed, organized, and strong.
Will you join us?  If you have not signed the pledge yet, please go here to sign up to help on the ground wherever you can.

To the Trolls who are likely on this email site, know that we are not going to give up or give in.  Those who seek to destroy our coastal home and our planet will ultimately lose this war.  Let's hope that it is sooner than later, as every day we get closer to planetary destruction.  All because the few refuse to join the many to save us all.  We wish you a change of heart and attitude over this season. We invite you to join our side.

Just one more thing--FRRACS is committed to non-violence in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.  We will continue non-violent civil disobedience trainings throughout this battle.  If you have not attended a training, please check our Facebook page or the website for upcoming times.  

We were reminded this morning by Dr. Curt Nordgaard of a poem by Maya Angelou. "You may trod me in the very dirt. But still, like dust, I'll rise."  

We wil rise.  

In Peace and Solidarity,

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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

In the News: sign bylaw up for change; energy saving tips

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

Sign Zoning Bylaw up for Town Council review/vote
"Regulations on signs in town are very loose, but that may soon change. 
The bylaw, written in 2012, is up for a public hearing on Wednesday, during the next Town Council meeting. 
Bryan Taberner, director of Planning and Community Development, said that the bylaw does not regulate how many signs can be in one plaza. For example, if a plaza in town had 10 businesses, there could be 10 different signs, one for each business. 
That reason, he said, is why the pending bylaw is going to be important."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

  • Zoning Bylaw Amendment 18-822: Changes to §185-20. Signs

  • Zoning Bylaw Amendment 18-823: Changes To Sign District Regulations

  • Zoning Bylaw Amendment 18-824: Changes To Sign District Overlay Map

Sign Zoning Bylaw up for Town Council review/vote
Sign Zoning Bylaw up for Town Council review/vote

Energy saving tips
"Massachusetts residents are no strangers to expensive energy costs, especially during colder months. 
A recent report by shows Massachusetts residents on average pay the eighth-highest utility costs in the country -- $469 per month -- and the fourth highest in New England. 
What some residents don’t know, however, is that there are several ways to make changes -- big and small -- around any home or apartment that could help lower those costs. 
“Becoming more energy efficient is the single-most important step a homeowner or renter can take to gain control of their energy use and energy costs,” said Bill Stack, energy efficiency manager for Eversource, one of the state’s largest utility companies."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Which states pay the most for utilities?
Which states pay the most for utilities?

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Changes to MassCEC's Woodstove Changeout and Air-Source Heat Pump Programs

Changes to MassCEC's Woodstove Changeout and Air-Source Heat Pump Programs

Dear Friends of MassCEC's Clean Heating and Cooling Programs,

We have updates for you regarding our Woodstove Change-Out and Air-Source Heat Pump Programs. Enclosed are details on making the move to low-emission stoves as well as information about new ASHP rebate levels.

Woodstove Change-Out Extended!

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is extending the 2018 Woodstove Change-Out Program deadline to September 25, 2018.

Any Massachusetts resident or business currently operating a non-EPA-certified wood stove or fireplace insert is eligible for a rebate of up to $1,750 when replacing an existing stove with an eligible model. Those that meet certain income requirements are eligible for rebates of up to $3,000. To date, 114 woodstoves have been changed out with our program and we've awarded $193,500 in rebates.

If you own an old wood stove and would like to replace it with a new, low-emission EPA-certified wood or pellet stove, visit MassCEC's website to find out more. You will need to contact a local stove professional who can determine the eligibility of your old stove and submit a rebate application on your behalf after installing your new stove. Act now to make sure you don't miss this newly extended application deadline!

MassCEC webpage                  

local stove professionals

Air-Source Heat Pump Updates

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is making some changes to our Residential Air-Source Heat Pump Program. This program provides rebates for the installation of qualifying air source heat pump systems at homes and small businesses in Massachusetts.

The new standard rebate levels will range from $500 to $2,500. Homeowners that meet certain income requirements will be eligible for rebates of up to $4,000. Those replacing electric resistance heating with heat pumps are eligible for additional funds.

The changes to the program can be found in our 
Program Manual. Any applications submitted after November 1 will be subject to the new rebate amounts.

If you would like to install a heat pump in your home, visit
MassCEC's website to find out more. You will need to contact an eligible installer who will discuss with you what heat pumps will satisfy your needs and complete the install.

Thank you for your interest in our Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out and Air-Source Programs!
The MassCEC Woodstove Change-Out Team
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
63 Franklin St, 3rd Floor  Boston, MA 02110
Telephone:  617-712-1109

The MassCEC Air-Source Heat Pump Team
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
63 Franklin St, 3rd Floor  Boston, MA 02110
Telephone:  617-712-1109

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center  
Grow the state's clean energy industry while helping to meet the Commonwealth's clean energy and climate goals.

Copyright © 2018 Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
63 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02110

Phone: 617-315-9300
Fax: 617-315-9356

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center · 63 Franklin Street · 3rd Floor · Boston, MA 02110 · USA