The much-anticipated project to install a free-to-the-school solar array on the Chenery Middle School gym roof was completed in December, 2021. This marks the first solar array on a Belmont municipal building. The array will save the town (and thus the schools and taxpayers) about $130K in utility costs over its lifetime, and will offer educational opportunities and will build on our shared clean-energy goals.
This work was done by Sunbug Solar in coordination with Belmont Light, the Facilities Dept, and the School Department. This project is an excellent example of interdepartmental cooperation and public/private funding partnerships. Congrats to everyone involved on the team effort!
The next solar array in line is the 1.3MW array on the new middle and high school slated for installation in the spring of 2023, which will save $170K per year in utility costs over the life of the building.
Strategic electrification is the most effective way to achieve the carbon emission reduction goals of the Climate Action Plan approved by the Town of Belmont. This means electrifying transportation and heating, and moving Belmont's electricity to carbon-free sources.
The objectives of the roadmap for achieving Belmont's Climate Action Plan are:
THE MAY 2019 TOWN MEETING OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORTED A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THIS PLAN
Download the Belmont Climate Action Roadmap here.
Read about our progress: From Here to There: Belmont’s Roadmap to Decarbonization
Climate Action initiatives in Belmont, MA
Belmont’s municipally-owned electric utility, Belmont Light, has said it seeks to implement the policy choices supported by the community. To outline the community's position, the Energy Committee prepared a resolution that was passed by Annual Town Meeting in 2019.
This resolution provides, among other things, that:
The Resolution endorses a Belmont Light goal of 100% carbon-free energy as soon as is feasible, consistent with a modest rate impact.
Belmont Light Emission Free Resolution in Belmont, MA
In support of Belmont’s Climate Action Plan Roadmap, the Energy Committee prepared a Green Building Standards by-law to be presented to Town Meeting for consideration.
The proposed by-law was designed to contribute to the overall reduction of greenhouse gas production and emissions. Its goal was to improve the environmental and economic health of the Town by incorporating green building practices into the design, construction, operation and maintenance of buildings and site development.
Unfortunately, a similar by-law, passed by the Town of Brookline in November of 2019, was rejected by Attorney General Maura Healy in July of 2020. The Belmont Energy Committee is currently debating the next steps to take.
Learn more about the impacts of natural gas, the arguments for moving away, and possible future paths for Belmont here.
Green building standards by-law in Belmont, MA
In support of Belmont’s Climate Action Plan Roadmap, the Energy Committee is preparing a Home Energy Disclosure by-law to be presented to Town Meeting for consideration.
The proposed by-law is designed to provide information to homebuyers about residential building energy performance. This information will enable more knowledgeable decisions about the full costs of operating homes and to motivate investments in home improvements that lower utility bills, reduce carbon emissions, and increase comfort, safety and health for home owners.
Home Energy Disclosure By-Law in Belmont MA
Belmont’s Select Board has decided the Town’s old incinerator site should, in the future, be used by Belmont Light as a solar farm with energy storage.
This “special edition” video of the Belmont Media Center's Belmont Journal explores what such a post-closure use entails.
Solar Farm at the Incinerator Site in Belmont, MA
The Belmont High School Building Committee is working closely with Sustainable Belmont and is pursuing efficient alternative energy sources which will realize a life cycle cost benefit. In addition, the Board of Selectmen and the School Board have both endorsed a Class D Zero Net Energy goal for the new school.
Read the latest article on how Belmont Schools lead the way in Zero Net Energy
Belmont High School Building Project in Belmont, MA
Thanks to financial gifts from Direct Energy Solar to reward the success of the Belmont Goes Solar campaign, along with the generosity of an anonymous donor in town, the Energy Committee is working with town officials to install solar panels on Chenery Middle School.
Soon the town will be producing more clean energy and realizing cost savings. Teachers and students will be able to access real-time data from the solar panels to learn about clean energy production.
Chenery Middle School Solar Panels in Belmont, MA
The Energy Committee is engaged with the committees of buildings being refurbished or rebuilt to help strategize ways to minimize energy usage. In order to help meet our climate goals, we advocate that each building project consider the feasibility of obtaining zero net energy status.
New Department of Public Works, Police, and Library Buildings in Belmont, MA
The Belmont Energy Committee and Belmont Light shared information about new, affordable technologies to move your home off of fossil fuels and onto clean, efficient electricity. Watch the Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFVq75DTdV4&t=6s