Taking personal action can be FUN and satisfying! Greening Greenfield offers lots of information, about things that you can do on your own to help create a more sustainable future and save money while doing it! Here are some ideas of how to get started:
Sign up to receive our event announcements, monthly meeting announcements, or join our discussion listserv. Please also consider volunteering your time and working with us on Greening Greenfield. click here to let us know your interests.
Your Home or Car: Typically, a person who owns a car emits about half of their direct greenhouse gas emissions using their car, and the other half by heating and lighting their home. With some effort, most people can cut their emissions in half. The key thing to remember is that getting to zero fossil fuels and 100% renewable energy is possible! To get there follow these three steps:
1) Reduce energy use where possible.
2) Switch to using electricity for all your energy needs – car and home!
3) Use green electricity – ideally locally produced! Install solar or join community-shared solar.
Your Car: There is an amazing array of gas/electric, or electric vehicles – and great bargains! If you live in Massachusetts check out:
MassEnergy Drive Green program offers group discounts for EVs and plug-in hybrids https://www/massenergy.org/drivegreen
Quick car comparison: http://massenergywebservices.com/drivegreen/table-quick.php?
Massachusetts Rebates: https://mor-ev.org/
USDOE & EPA Fuel Economy: Compare ALL new and used: www.fueleconomy.gov
Look at EVs only: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/evsbs.shtml
Your Home: Every year NEW and amazing offers are announced in Massachusetts for renters, landlords, and homeowners!
Make a Winsert: an Insider Storm Window. Windows are often leaky and drafty, but buying new windows is expensive and likely not the most cost effective thing you can do - but adding an insider storm window is! click here for instructions, a video and more.
Invest in Solar Electricity aka Photovolatics (PV) on your Home or Building: In 2016 MA created a NEW Mass Solar Loan Program that makes it possible for homeowners to purchase a PV system with NO downpayment, and rebates of 20-30% if income eligible! You can also rent your roof to a 3rd party, but you can save a lot more $$ if you buy your system. If you do decide to go with a 3rd party (often known as a Purchse Power Agreement (PPA), read the agreement carefully. You could actually lose money!
10% Challenge: Greening Greenfield has a great list of no-cost low-cost things you can do to reduce your energy use by at least 10%. Check out our list of Easy Things You Can Do.
FINDING THE $$ to INSTALL PV & UPGRADE YOUR HOME
Renters, Homeowners & Landlords:
NEW Mass Solar Loan Program that makes it possible for homeowners to purchase a PV system with NO down payment, and rebates of 20-30% if income eligible! You can also rent your roof to a 3rd party, but you can save a lot more $$ if you buy your system. If you do decide to go with a 3rd party (often know as a Purchase Power Agreement (PPA), read the agreement carefully. You could actually lose money!
How to Find $$ to do a Home Energy Upgrade: Money is usually the obstacle to making energy upgrades to your home. As of Oct 2011, Greenfield has a new program to help everyone find the right FREE $ or low interest loan called Energy Smart Homes, to help you assess the many options that our utiltiy company (Eversource) offers such as FREE energy assessments and rebates and 0% interest loans from $2,000 to $35,000 per home or for each apartment in 1-4 family homes. To find out more call Greenfield's Energy & Sustainability office at 772-1389, or check out their web page, or you can go directly the utility company at Mass Save.
Join a Community-Shared Solar Project: If you rent, or own a home that is not good for solar, you can help build LOCAL solar projects and get your electricity from them! These are larger solar arrays which can be on large buildings, on old landfills, above parking lots, or on marginal land that serve a large number of people. There are two ways of getting involved. 1) Sign up and start saving. As of 2017, most companies are offering no-cost up-front, and a monthly rebate of 10% on your electric bill. 2) Ownership model. In this case you help the developer by investing in the system up front. You can defray all expenses using the Mass Solar Loan Program but it is more complicated. Your electric bill may not go down in the first 7-10 years, but after that you will start saving big time as your solar electricity will be free!