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The largest source of Lexington’s emissions comes from our electricity consumption. How can the Town of Lexington help local residents and small businesses switch to cleaner and cheaper electricity?
The Board of Selectmen is planning to submit a warrant article asking Town Meeting to authorize the Town to enter into a Community Choice program that would consolidate residential and commercial retail electricity demand in order to seek proposals for cheaper and cleaner sources of power on behalf of our residents and businesses.
We are lucky to be living in Massachusetts, one of only 5 states in the country that allows local residents and businesses to collectively choose a competitive supplier by pooling their buying power with the goal of choosing a cleaner and cheaper supplier for our electricity.
All electricity consumers in Massachusetts have the option to select a competitive retail electricity supplier. But only 10% of Lexington’s residential customers have switched to competitive suppliers. It is not hard to understand why so few have taken advantage of this opportunity. Picking a vendor can be complicated and time consuming, and many residents are concerned they might not have enough information to make a good choice.
In contrast, 86% of the electricity consumed by Lexington’s commercial customers comes from competitive electricity suppliers. Large commercial customers have proven that they can effectively obtain lower rates by switching to competitive suppliers. The Town of Lexington has also had great success with our competitive supplier, purchasing electricity for 22% less than the NSTAR Basic Service rate last year. With the recent rate hikes, the Town is looking even smarter. Our long-term supply agreement allows the Town to buy electricity at half the rate of NSTAR’s Basic Service rate and get cleaner energy than NSTAR’s Basic Service!
If approved, the Town’s electricity broker would develop an aggregation plan that would be reviewed and approved by the Board of Selectmen, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and the Department of Public Utilities. Once the plan is approved, the broker would solicit bids for cleaner and cheaper power, all at the broker’s own cost and risk.
Customers would continue to receive one bill from NSTAR and NSTAR would continue to provide electricity delivery, emergency services and customer support. Individual residents and businesses would retain the right to opt-out with no penalty and choose any other competitive supplier or the default Basic Service energy supply provided by NSTAR. Many local governments are achieving a powerful range of objectives for their residents and businesses using Community Choice programs:
• Competitive, often significantly lower, electricity rates
• Transition to a cleaner, more efficient energy supply
• Consumer choice, consumer protection, & local control If that sounds good to you, ask your Town Meeting members to approve the Community Choice warrant article.
Draft Warrant Article: To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to enter into a Community Choice Aggregation Program and contract for electric supply for Lexington residents and businesses as per MGL 164, Section 134, or act in any other manner in relation thereto.
Comment: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by enacting Chapter 164 of the Acts of 1997, has established a competitive electricity marketplace. The residents and businesses of Lexington have substantial economic, environmental, and social interests at stake and are interested in reducing their electricity emissions and rates. If a Community Choice Aggregation program is implemented in Lexington, individual residents and businesses would retain the right to opt-out with no penalty and choose any other competitive supplier or the utility’s default Basic Service energy supply. NSTAR
We said it would take everyone to change everything — and everyone showed up!
We Made History! Now it is Time to Change Our Future!
“We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.”
We Demand Action – Not Words
We Are Everywhere – And We Are Rising
It is Time To Answer the Call
“Clean air and a livable climate are inalienable human rights.” – Leonardo DiCaprio
“There is one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.” – President Obama
“The climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it. The alarm bells keep ringing. Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we do not hear them. We have to answer the call. We know what we have to do to avoid irreparable harm. We have to cut carbon pollution in our own countries to prevent the worst effects of climate change. We have to adapt to the impacts that, unfortunately, we can no longer avoid.” – President Obama addressing the UN Climate Summit 2014
The People’s Climate March made a movie. Disruption weaves together political intrigue, mind-blowing science, and an insider’s view of the largest climate mobilization in history. It features some folks you will find familiar (like Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein), and brings some fresh faces and exciting new stories to the fore. Disruption built energy and excitement for the big march in New York City on September 21 which attracted 400,000 people into the streets of Manhattan.
It always seems impossible, until it is done. – Nelson Mandela
Obama should say no to Keystone XL, because doing so would help to limit development of the Canadian tar sands, and because we really wouldn’t get any significant benefit from saying yes; no real oil security, few permanent jobs, and most of the money goes to Canada and to Texas refiners in tax-free zones. Rejecting the Keystone XL permit makes a statement that it is time to stop investing in technologies that lock us into continued fossil fuel use, and it is time to make a strong commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The U.S. State Department released a 2,000-page analysis finding no compelling environmental reason to block the Keystone XL pipeline, the first direct link between one of the largest oil reserves on Earth and the world’s most advanced refining center on the Gulf of Mexico. The State Department assessment has a number of serious flaws, that include downplaying the direct and indirect climate impact of the Keystone XL.
For more details on the specifics and key talking points click “Read More” to see full details.
Click here for: Federal Action Summary
Click here for: State Action Summary
Click here for: Local Action Summary
Click here for: Investment Action Summary
Click here for: Energy Action Summary
Click here for: Food Action Summary
Watch this Kerry Emanuel and Peter Frumhoff, UCS, about finding common ground on climate action.
Click here to watch the video: It’s Time to Find Common Ground for Our Common Atmosphere
Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition is proud to join the Coal Free Massachusetts coalition, a diverse group of statewide and local organizations committed to ending coal fired electricity generation in Massachusetts. The Coal Free Massachusetts Coalition seeks to:
Based on a comprehensive two-year study of hundreds of consumer decisions by the Union of Concerned Scientists, Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living is a new science-based consumer guide that offers the facts on what decisions make the biggest impact on reducing your carbon emissions and what decisions don’t add up to much. The experts at UCS debunk many eco-myths, like the importance of “food miles” or the superiority of all hybrid cars, as they provide the science behind the right decisions that will save money and help save the planet at the same time.
In conjunction with the publication of Cooler Smarter, the Union of Concerned Scientists has issued a 20% Challenge. Their research has shown that by using the more than 20 methods outlined in Cooler Smarter, you can cut your carbon emissions by at least 20% in 20 days or less.
How has the Solar market changed?
• What are the options for going solar – leasing and buying?
• Learn 3 simple steps to determine your rooftop’s solar potential
• Solar Power Success Stories
• Powering our Town Buildings with Solar
Mark Sandeen, Chair, Sustainable Lexington
Ben Cumbie, Solar PV Director for Transformations, Inc.
To learn more about what was presented:
Contact Ben Cumbie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project — and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat.
This powerful talk is for anyone who thinks the tar sands are just another source of oil — and that the only source of greenhouse gases from the tar sands come from burning gas and oil.
Learn more by watching this Ted Talk: Garth Lenz: The true cost of oil
The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be….
The air is on average warmer and moister than it was prior to about 1970 and in turn has likely led to a 5–10 % effect on precipitation and storms that is greatly amplified in extremes. The warm moist air is readily advected onto land and caught up in weather systems as part of the hydrological cycle, where it contributes to more intense precipitation events that are widely observed to be occurring.
-Joe Romm’s ThinkProgress Climate Progress
-Weather Underground with Jeff Master’s blog on extreme weather
Changing Planet, Changing Health: How the Climate Crisis Threatens Our Health and What We Can Do about It — Paul R. Epstein MD, Dan Ferber and Jeffrey Sachs
Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble – Lester R. Brown
Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth —Mark Hertsgaard
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet —Bill McKibben