Milton became a Green Community in 2011 though the combined effort of the Alternate Energy Committee 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. 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 four 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 208 alone.
Milton is now one of approximately 85 Massachusetts communities who have approved 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 8th year, has resulted in over 3300 solarized properties and 22 megawatts of contracted capacity. 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.
Solarize Massachusetts, now in its 8th year, has resulted in about 3300 solarized properties in 63 communities, and 21.6 megawatts of contracted capacity. 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 400 KW’s( or 100 homes with average of 4KW 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 KW PV 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 at a slight premium. We also determined in this process that over 50% of homes in Milton are 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.