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Another Year of Clean Energy Success: Mass Energy's 33rd Annual Meeting

On Wednesday, October 21st 2015, Mass Energy celebrated 33 years of working to make energy more affordable and environmentally sustainable.

Those who attended the meeting will remember Executive Director Larry Chretien’s reference to Mass Energy as being akin to the “platypus of the animal kingdom”— highlighting Mass Energy’s unique structure as a non-profit run like a business. Larry referred to Mass Energy as a “social business”, composed of people who understand that there is more than one way of making energy more affordable and environmentally sustainable.

So what’s the formula for Mass Energy’s work? Think of it as a two-part mission, as Larry described. First, Mass Energy combines long-term programs like its 33 year-old Discount Heating Oil Servicethe younger Green Power program and pilot programs like Mass Solar Connect and our new Heat Pump Program. These programs offer real energy solutions to consumers.

Second, Mass Energy advocates for public policy necessary to protect consumers and the environment. As readers of this blog doubtless know, Eugenia Gibbons is Mass Energy’s Clean Energy Director who has lobbied alongside Mass Energy allies on state legislation, from trying to plug up over 25,000 natural gas leaks to increasing the percentage of renewable energy required in our electricity mix. So we’re hitting our targets from different angles.

Our Report Card 2015

“We need to get people from where they are on energy to where they SAY they are,” said Sandi Bagley, President of Mass Energy’s Board of Directors, in her welcome address to the crowd of over 150 energy and environmental advocates. She then elaborated on an important subject to our members: Mass Energy’s “Report Card”.

In speaking of Mass Energy’s accomplishments during the past year, Sandi drew special attention to:

  • 8,000 members now enrolled in our Green Power Programs (up from 7,000 in just a few years thanks to partners such as Mass Audubon, Mothers Out Front, and Climate Action Brookline)
  • 14,000 members in our inaugural Discount Heating Oil Service
  • 7 new board members added to Mass Energy’s Board of Directors,
  • 2 municipalities, Melrose and Dedham, working with Mass Energy and partner Good Energy toward a community choice electricity aggregation strategy that increases the amount of renewable energy on the New England grid efficiently and affordably
  • 261 solar panel installations through the Mass Solar Connect program
  • Continued advocacy to make our energy efficiency program’s better than ever

With continued support of our members and a laser beam focus on curbing climate change, 2016 promises to be another year of moving the needle on clean energy.

Energy Leaders

The success we’ve had is impossible without allies and friends who also work tirelessly toward alternative solutions to current energy issues. And at this year’s meeting, one of the biggest highlights of the evening was the Energy Leader Award ceremony. Several groups of extremely influential people were formally recognized as true leaders in this field. The award recipients are as follows:

Ed Connelly for his many years of service on the board of the Energy Consumers Alliance of New England, which does business in Rhode Island as People’s Power & Light and in Massachusetts as Mass Energy. For more than 10 years, Ed has helped us greatly to fulfill our mission of making energy more affordable and environmentally sustainable.

Climate Action Brookline for their efforts toward green municipal aggregation and for helping hundreds of Brookline residents to switch to clean, renewable electricity.

The Town of Dedham and the City of Melrose for adopting a green municipal aggregation model that increases the amount of renewable energy on the grid effectively and affordably (and congratulations to Martha Grover, Melrose’s Energy Efficiency Manager, recently recognized by Governor Baker with the Leading by Example Award)

Good Energy, an energy broker, for working with Mass Energy to promote the importance of using aggregation to increase the amount of renewable energy on the grid.

Keith & Monica Mann for developing an eight megawatt wind project, known as Future Generation Wind, on their family-operated Mann Family Cranberry Farm; a great example of sustainability in energy and agriculture. This project should be up and running in November!  Stay tuned for updates.

Katy Eiseman and Mass Pipe-Line Awareness Network (MassPLAN) for working tirelessly to raise awareness, educate stakeholders, and mobilize communities in opposition to unnecessary and excessive fossil fuel infrastructure proposed as part of the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project.

The Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter for their focus on climate change, clean energy advocacy and education, particularly recent efforts to expand the Renewable Portfolio Standard and to promote electric vehicles and green municipal aggregation.

And there you have it. While a lot was accomplished this past year, Mass Energy’s work continues. For past efforts, grateful thanks are extended to all of those who participated in its programs and who attended this year’s Annual Meeting. In closing, by recalling what was said above, there is more than one way to make energy more affordable and environmentally sustainable. But the population of energy and environmental enthusiasts grows with each passing year and we hope to see more people help build demand for renewable sources that will ultimately create a better and more livable future for us all. Until next year!

Oh – and here’s a link to our event slide show.