Author Archives: Jim Snyder-Grant

Media coverage of sustainability policy discussion

The Beacon covered Green Acton’s July 24 presentation at the Board of Selectmen about a sustainability policy: http://acton.wickedlocal.com/news/20170727/acton-selectmen-address-sustainability-goals

You can also watch it on Acton TV’s youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ24dJzzf-c&t=94m20s

 

Sustainability Policy background information, prepared for Acton Selectmen

By Debra Simes, Jim Snyder-Grant, and a host of commenters from Green Acton

(For Board of Selectmen meeting on 2017-7-24)

Hello Board of Selectmen and other Acton Sustainability Policy allies: Continue reading

Sustainability brainstorming

On July 5, 2017, as a first step in developing a proposed sustainability policy, Green Acton hosted a sustainability brainstorming session. Many ideas emerged, placed on a large table with pieces of paper, and transcribed here in this Google document.

Acton’s electrical aggregation program, Acton Power Choice, approved by DPU

After a long delay, the Commonwealth’s Department of Public Utilities approved Acton’s Community Choice (electricity) Aggregation plan, Acton Power Choice!

The old description still applies: http://www.acton-ma.gov/powerchoice (except for the launch date).

As a summary, the Acton Power Choice program will bring to most electricity customers in Acton a new set of choices for their electricity supply. The Town, in collaboration with Peregrine Energy Group (and a dash of influence from Green Acton), designed the program and put out an RFP (Request for Proposals) for companies interested in becoming the program’s electricity supplier. Acton Power Choice will offer two options to local electricity users.

Seven companies bid for Acton’s contract. The chosen bidder was Dynegy; the initial contract period will be 24 months, after which time the Town can create a new contract that’s most advantageous. The design of Acton’s program offers two electricity sourcing options.

(1) The “default” option will feature an additional 5% Class I Massachusetts RECs on top of the mandatory Massachusetts RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard, which is scheduled to go up by 1% each year) 12% Class I MA RECs , for a total of 17% renewable sourcing in 2017. Pricing for this “default” option will be 10.720 cents / kWh. Customers would pay this amount plus the usual delivery charge and monthly fixed fee. The Eversource basic rate, starting July 1, will be 10.759 cents / kWh. This means that the default Acton Power Choice rate will be less than the Eversource rate — even the summer rate (which is typically lower than the wintertime rate). So: significantly more renewable sourcing than the Eversource offering, and cheaper!

(2) There will also be a 100% renewable (“green”) option. This will be built with 100% Class I MA RECs and priced at 12.7 cents/ kWh, just under 2 cents more than both the default price and the Eversource price. As Green Acton works with Peregrine, we will have a lot more information with which to explain the program and calculate potential electric bills under both the default plan and the 100% green plan. Green Acton expects to have an important role in explaining and encouraging people to sign up for the 100% green option. Peregrine and Town staff are starting to work on the roll-out, and are currently estimating on a start date of late September or early October.

During the past few months, some people have been receiving misleading snail mail letters, email offers, and phone solicitations about renewable electricity that may look (or sound) like they are from some vaguely official-sounding agency. The official notices about the real Acton Power Choice program won’t be going out until late summer or early fall.

Green Acton is very excited about Acton Power Choice! We will be sharing information on the program, and will be sure to post the official letters about the program on the Green Acton website.

Acton Cleanup WEEK: April 22-29

Please mark your calendars and plan to participate.

Acton Cleanup Week: April 22 – April 29 

This year, Acton Cleanup will be a week long.

The Cleanup is being co-organized by the Acton Chinese-American Civic Society. You can learn more about them at the ACACS website.

The new site to let everyone know about streets that need cleaning, or streets that are already clean, and to sign up to clean streets, is ready now at actoncleanup.info.

 

We encourage everyone to sign up for a site and make a difference.  This service for your community can be done anytime from Saturday April 22 through April 29.

On Saturday April 29, our usual Cleanup Day crews with a list of areas needing your help will be available to give out bags and gloves, and collect the debris that has been removed from the streets and paths of our town.

Stay tuned for details!  Or contact us today at cleanup@greenacton.org .

The Swap Shop at the Transfer Station

In 2015, the Swap Shop was launched at the Transfer Station in a small new building just downhill from the main recycling area (near the Red Cross bins).

Anyone with a recycling or trash sticker can use the Swap Shop: gently used items in good condition can be donated at the shop, and items can be picked up — all for free! The purposes of the Swap Shop is to keep more objects out of the trash, and to get perfectly usable items into the hands of those who can use them.

Do you love to visit the Swap Shop? Are you a people person? Will you have a few hours this year to volunteer doing something fun? We are looking for volunteers for the 2017 season.Working at the shop is fun, social, and satisfying! The more volunteers, the more often the shop can be open for business.

To get a volunteer application, please email either Corey York (Acton’s Town Engineer): engineering@Acton-MA.gov, or Debby Andell (Green Acton member and volunteer scheduling assistant to Corey York: DebbyAndell@gmail.com.

Learn more about the Swap Shop Program here: http://www.acton-ma.gov/507/Swap-Shop

 

HEET/MAPC Gas Leaks Study

 

The Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) worked with the Metropolitan Area Planning Committee (MAPC) to survey 15 miles of roads in each of 15 towns, including Acton, and worked on preparing a “best practices” report on getting these leaks fixed. The report is here at this link to fixourpipes.org

The survey work was completed in 2016. Green Acton obtained a copy of the leak information  via a Public Records request. The spreadsheet on leaks  is here.

They found 58 underground leaks of methane (“natural”) gas.  Some were quite large: Five on Prospect street were larger than 5,000 square feet.

Green Acton Articles of Incorporation

The Articles of Incorporation are filed with the Secretary of State’s office. The two most important ones are also here: Article II (the purposes of the corporation) and Article IV (additional provisions) Continue reading

Statement on 2015-11-16 to Acton Board of Selectmen from Debra Simes about new gas pipelines in Acton

The natural gas industry has worked hard over the last few years at its greenwashing campaign, which aims to convince the public that natural gas is a “bridge fuel” and that we have a natural gas “crisis.” Continue reading

Statement on 2015-11-16 to Acton Board of Selectmen from Jim Snyder-Grant about new gas pipelines in Acton

I want to speak in favor of not adding new natural gas lines in Acton. Continue reading