The Ashfield Energy Committee, formerly known as the Green Communities Committee, is charged by the Select Board with helping the Town promote and implement policies, programs and projects to foster energy conservation, renewable energy generation, sustainability planning and waste reduction for municipal buildings, infrastructure and equipment and for residences and businesses; and helping the Town secure the assistance and funding necessary to achieve our goals toward energy resiliency.
|Alexandra Osterman||Chair||Appointed annually|
|Brian Clark||Member||Appointed annually|
|Mary Quigley||Member||Appointed annually|
|April West||Member||Appointed Annually|
Current Projects 2023
Municipal Energy Aggregation - Article on Town Meeting Warrant
The Energy Committee has introduced an article for vote at town meeting for the town to create a municipal energy aggregation and purchase our electricity from a competitive supplier other than the utility. This would enable us to increase the percentage of renewables in our energy mix and to secure more stable, predictable, energy prices for the period of the contract.
- Read the DRAFT Article for Town Meeting (note that until the Warrant is posted, the language in this proposed article may change)
- View the slides from the 4/19 informational presentation
Solar Planning with Umass Clean Energy Extension (CEE)
Energy Committee is partnering with Umass CEE on 3 phase project
1) A UMass student created a Solar Resource and Infrastructure Assessment using town data and GIS mapping to determine how much energy Ashfield could technically produce with solar given available rooftops and land and taking into account the electrical grid in our area.
2) In April 2023 we are helping to administer a Community Solar Survey to determine Ashfield residents’ preferences re solar in our town. Surveys are being mailed to all Ashfield addresses and link to fill out a survey is http://ag.umass.edu/solarsurvey
3) In June 2023 the Umass student will synthesize information from first 2 phases into a Community Solar Action Plan, identifying projects which might be of interest for the town to pursue.
Greenhouse Gas Inventory with Bentley University
The Energy Committee is partnering with Bentley University. Three Bentley students are conducting a greenhouse gas inventory for the town which can be used as a baseline and to help prioritize future efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. This project will be completed in May 2023
Green Communities Projects
The Energy Committee continues with our original mandate to find ways to reduce municipal energy use. During 2022, we continued to work with our grant-funded consultant to design systems to heat,
cool and provide healthy ventilation for Upper and Lower Halls. The goal is to have the best energy efficient systems that can be installed with the least impact on the historic appearance of the building. The current design calls for Airsource Heat Pumps to heat and cool rooms plus Energy Recovery Ventilation systems for each floor. Installing complete wall and attic insulation is an essential part of this work. We will apply to both Eversource and the DOER Green Communities Competitive Grant program for funding to help defray the cost.
Ashfield News Columns on Renewable Energy
The Energy Committee will continue to provide information to residents about renewable energy and energy conservation in monthly Ashfield News columns. Previous columns will be available on this Energy Committee webpage. (see next section)
Ashfield News Columns
- April 2023 - Municipal Energy Aggregation on ATM Warrant
- March 2023 - Solar Report & Community Solar Survey
- February 2023 - Greenhouse Gas Inventory
- January 2023 - Induction Stoves
- December 2022 - Home Heating
- November 2022 - Electric Vehicles and the Inflation Reduction Act
- October 2022 - Solar Planning
- September 2022 - Solar Array on Mohawk School Roof?
- August 2022 - Solar Power For Your Home or Business & Solar Resources
- July 2022 - Intro to Energy Committee Articles
The committee meets monthly, in person and via zoom. Check the town's calendar on the homepage.
Minutes & Agendas
Current and past minutes and agendas are found on the Committee's "Minutes & Agenda" online folder.
Masssave- FREE home energy assessments, incentives and zero-interest loans for energy efficiency updates and purchases of high efficiency equipment
Umass Clean Energy Extension- excellent resources for homeowners on renewable energy.
Mass Clean Energy Center- Information on clean heating & cooling, woodstove change-outs, solar energy
DOER Municipal Aggregation Manual & Best Practices Guide