Community and Town Green Efforts
Green Community Effort
Milton became a Green Community in 2011 though the combined effort of the Milton Alternate Energy Committee (MAEC) and the Town of Milton, completing the Energy Reduction Action Plan in 2010, as part of the in-depth five step protocol required by then DOER for all Massachusetts Towns. Members of the Committee included Director William Clark at Planning and Community Development coordinated the program through the final hurdles, while Director Bill Richie and his staff at Milton’s Consolidated Services continues to enhance and expand the Town’s Green Community status relationship with the DOER and other utility grant opportunities. Since 2011, they have applied for and received DOER grant awards totaling close to $868,000,with four additional utility incentive grants over $200,000, poised to help save an additional $125,000 in utility costs in 2018 alone.
In 2015 architects JB Clancy and Henry MacLean presented the results of the extended efforts of The Milton Alternate Energy Committee (MAEC), which also included members Tara Manno Richer, Jay Beaulieu, Laurie Webster, and Philippe Genereux. The Committee also took on efforts to convince the Town to become a member of ICLEI /USA for a few years, to enable access to their tools looking for tracking the carbon footprint of the entire town, as an extension of the work we were tasked to achieve the Green Community Status, That work was presented publicly at the NESEA Building Energy 15 conference, and posted at this YouTube link. Members of that committee are now exploring the possibility of updating that report in 2020, as a way to track our overall Town’s progress towards carbon neutrality by 2050.
Solarize Milton Effort
Milton is now one of approximately 85 Massachusetts communities who approved and completed the Solarize program modeled by the Mass Clean Energy Center to promote Solar electric PV installations for homes and businesses. Solarize Massachusetts, now in its 9th year, has resulted in over 3500 solarized properties and 23.55 megawatts of contracted capacity ( as of December 2019).The great news about solar electric is that the technology is getting better even while the costs are dropping. As a result, buildings once considered marginal for harvesting the sun due to orientation and shade are now seen as viable investments.
The Solarize Milton program was officially launched on January 11, 2018 at the Milton Library broadcast by Milton Access TV. Through the joint efforts of the Solarize Committee Sustainable Milton and the Town of Milton, a leading solar installer located here in Massachusetts, Solar Flair Energy, was selected through this competitive bid process as the program’s solar installer. Town Administrator Michael Dennehy appointed Arlyn Zuniga, Chief Procurement Officer for the Town,working with committee members Laurie McIntosh, Patrick Morgan, Philipe Genereux and Henry MacLean.
The starting Solar PV tier price was $3.08 per watt in this program, but would decrease in steps as the number of homes increases, to a base of $ 3.00 per watt if the program reached was to reach 400 KW’s (or 100 homes with average of 4 KW per home). The more Milton contract commitments the lower the price. The program ultimately attracted 181 leads, with 28 homes receiving new PV systems will pay themselves back within 7 years. Collectively, the program added another 160 KW of renewable energy (15%) to Milton rooftops, equal to the 550 panels on the Glover School.
The average home in the program added 5.7 KWPV system providing over 60 % of their electricity that will be free after the average 6 year payback. The remaining percentage of the home’s electricity can be bought from a renewable energy company , easily selected from resources such as Energy Switch Massachusetts, or Green Energy Consumer’s Alliance, focused on New England green sources only. We also determined in this process that over 50% of homes in Milton were eligible for solar systems capable of returning a 15-20% ROI. After a 4 -7 year payback, you own the system and all the kilowatts produced.
Municipal Electrical Aggregation
This transition away from fossil fuels and towards electric heating and cooling with efficient heat pumps is right in keeping with the Municipal Electrical Aggregation program now underway in Milton. Also known as Community Choice Aggregation, this was approved in May 2018 when Milton Town Meeting authorized the Board of Selectmen to begin R &D and implementation.Currently in MA towns and cities, 34 of these plans are active with another 101 in the approval process. The objectives are threefold: to lower the cost of cost of electricity for residents and businesses, achieve longer term price stability, and offer more renewable energy options.
Milton being a member of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), a competitive RFP on behalf of the Town selected Good Energy L.P. as our green municipal aggregation consultant. The process is now progressing to a 2-3 month approval process with the Department of Energy Resources, to be followed by a 6-8 month review and approval protocol with the Department of Public Utilities. In the last few months of this process, Good Energy and the Town will begin a comprehensive information and marketing campaign in Milton, to explain the opportunities in the new competitive rates for electricity.
Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program. (Resilience)
The Baker-Polito Administration has awarded $12 million in grants to municipalities across the Commonwealth to plan for and implement climate change resilience projects through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP)Program.
Of these funds, $1.7 million was awarded to 65 communities (including Milton) to pursue a community-led planning process to identify vulnerabilities to climate change and priority actions. The remaining $10.3 million was awarded to 34 communities that had completed the planning process and are ready to implement projects that build local resilience to climate change impacts.
The MVP program implements Executive Order 569, which established an integrated strategy for climate change adaptation across the Commonwealth. Local climate change vulnerabilities and actions identified through the MVP program inform the Statewide Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation Plan – a blueprint to protect residents, communities,and local economies. The funding available through the MVP program builds upon the Baker-Polito Administration’s continued commitment to mitigate and adapt to climate change.