Leading the way to 100% renewable energy

July 26, 2016

Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center has offered a preview of their new report, which identifies cities and towns leading the way towards 100% renewable energy. The report, Renewable Communities, will feature profiles of Melrose, Boston, Auburn, Holyoke, and 12 other Massachusetts cities and towns that are adopting far-reaching clean energy and energy efficiency programs. It will also include data from a survey of 191 Massachusetts communities about their renewable energy practices. The full report is set to be released on Thursday, August 4.

Of the cities and towns that responded to the survey:

  • 41.8% have installed solar panels on at least one municipal building or property.
  • 86.4% have completed an energy audit, and more than two-thirds have taken steps like replacing old lighting fixtures with high-efficiency fluorescent or LED bulbs, installing high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, and installing occupancy sensors to automatically turn lights on and off as needed.
  • 19.9% have installed electric vehicle charging stations that are open to the public, and 29.3% have adopted pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly policies.

The report comes as Massachusetts legislators consider a potentially far-reaching energy bill. The Senate passed a version of the energy bill in late June that would double the rate of growth of clean energy, prohibit spending public money on new gas pipelines, and jumpstart the state’s offshore wind industry. The House also supported offshore wind in its version of the bill, but with a more modest set-aside. House and Senate leaders have until July 31 to come to an agreement on energy legislation.

The full press release can be viewed here.