Climate Action
The MVTimes 
January 7, 2021

CLIMATE SOLUTIONS For Your Next Car, Buy or Lease an EV!

The electric vehicle market is rapidly expanding as battery technology improves. The newer cars have greater range and there is more choice of vehicle.
At the top of the line, Teslas get over 300 miles/charge. The Chevy Bolt gets 259 miles, the Nissan Leaf gets 226 miles and there are others!
If we are to meet the goal of 100% Renewable by 2040, we need to convert our fleet of vehicles here to be electric, with power coming from renewable sources.

A few facts:

  • EVs require much less maintenance. Battery checks, brakes and tires are the main things.
  • They run quieter and are quite zippy because there is no transmission so the power goes directly to the wheels providing instant acceleration.
  • If you are not ready to spend the money to buy a new or used one, leasing is a good option.
  • EVs are great on the Vineyard because our distances are short. When you take the car off-island, you may have to charge it. There are apps to show you where to charge your car.
  • There are both Federal and State rebates, depending on how many cars the company has already sold.

Go to the Drive Green website
to learn more about how EVs work, charging and what rebates are available.

An Edey Foundation grant supports this effort

The MVTimes 
December 24, 2020

CLIMATE SOLUTIONS Juicing Up Our Transportation!

45% of our energy use is for transportation. That is higher than other communities because of the fuel used for ferry service.

In 2018, 22,191 automobiles and light trucks were registered on the Vineyard at the RMV. These light vehicles account for one- half of the carbon dioxide emitted by all forms of transportation on the island.

To reach the goal of 100% Renewable by 2040, we need to convert to using electricity for our all transportation. And get that electricity from renewable sources.

GETTING STARTED

Do you know someone with an electric vehicle?

Ask them about their experience with it and if you can take it on a test drive. It will be quieter and zippier than you think!

Go to the Drive Green website
to learn more about how EVs work, charging and what rebates are available.

An Edey Foundation grant supports this effort

The MVTimes 
December 14, 2020

CLIMATE SOLUTIONS Make the Switch to Heat Pump Water Heating!

We ALL use hot water. One of the easiest ways to decrease your fossil fuel use is to switch to a hybrid electric water heater. It’s an easy switch because you already have a water heater set up. This is another KEY tool to our meeting the 100% Renewable goal.

How Do They Work?
These water heaters use a heat pump to draw their heat from the surrounding air. The hybrid mode uses both the heat pump and an electric resistance heater so that you have plenty of hot water when more is needed.

How to Get Started?

  • You need a space at least 7′ x 10′ x 10′ that is at least 50 degrees and no hotter than 90 degrees. This could be where your current water heater is or, a large closet or laundry room.
  • Once you have picked the spot, call your plumber to give you a price and install it.
  • Ask your plumber what size you should install and be sure the heater meets the Uniform Energy Factor. (UEF) For units > 55 gallons the UEF needs to be 2.7 or higher.
    For 55 gallons or <, it needs to have a UEF 2.0 or higher.

Find the Rebates and Turn it On!

https://islandclimateaction.org/climate-action/
An Edey Foundation grant supports this effort

The MVTimes 
November 26, 2020

CLIMATE SOLUTIONS Air Source Heat Pumps are THE Way!

You have seen them: metal boxes sitting outside houses with a grill on the front; “mini-splits” inside houses that deliver heat or cool. Now that there are cold climate units available, this is the most efficient way to heat, cool and dehumidify your home or workspace. They are a key strategy to our meeting the goal of 100% Renewable by 2040.

Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) facts:

  • The installation costs are less than that of a propane or oil-fired burner or furnace
  • They run more efficiently and cost less to operate than oil or propane
  • They can replace your current heating (and cooling) system or supplement it
  • It is key that you get a high efficiency “cold climate” unit

These systems can be ducted or ductless. The ductless ones often use “mini-splits” which are wall-hung; there are also floor and ceiling units.

For existing houses, replace or supplement your furnace or boiler with an ASHP. For new houses, installing an ASHP is the best choice.

And then there are REBATES!
Mass Save offers rebates and if you heat 90% of your space with heat pumps, there is an additional rebate through MA Dept of Energy Resources. And, you can get a 0% interest HEAT loan to pay for it. Get an energy assessment through the Cape Light Compact to access the loan. 1-800-797-6699 to schedule.

The MVTimes 
November 12, 2020

CLIMATE SOLUTIONS Make it Tight, Build it Right!

We have 17,500 houses now. Some that were seasonal are now being used
year-round. We have 1,100 non-residential buildings.

Many of these buildings will still be around in 2050. If we are to meet the goal of 100% Renewable by 2040, we must improve our existing buildings so they use less energy and we need to be sure that any new structures we build are as efficient as possible and use electricity from renewable sources for all energy needs.

Here’s What You Can Do for Your House
Have the Cape Light Compact do an energy audit and a blower door test so you can see where your air leaks are and where more insulation is needed. Take advantage of the Compact’s insulation offers. If you are replacing windows and siding, add insulation to the outside of your house when you do so. These actions will keep you warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

If you are a tenant, you can do this too. Your landlord signs off on the improvements and the costs are covered by the Cape Light Compact.

IF you are building a new house
Spend money on insulating it well and aim for a net-zero carbon structure: an energy efficient, 100% electric house with the electricity coming from renewable sources. This will give you a comfortable and healthy home with low to no energy costs.

The MVTimes 
October 29, 2020

CLIMATE SOLUTIONS

We need to switch to electricity for ALL our building energy needs.

Currently, 1/3 of our buildings are heated with oil,
2/3 with propane. All our buildings use electricity.
How does that fuel and electricity get here?
Our propane and oil come over on the boats or on Packer’s barges.

We have 4 underwater cables that bring our electricity from Falmouth and diesel generators to support summer peak usage. Eversource proposes to install a large battery bank for increased resilience. As we convert to heat pumps and summer temperatures increase, we will need a 5th cable-and more- unless we generate more electricity on-island.

Currently 7% of our electricity comes from on-island solar arrays. We need to substantially increase that percentage. We need you to do solar at your property. It will provide you with clean power now and if batteries are installed, resilience in prolonged power failures. Here is some information to help you get started.

Photo by Sunpower for South Mountain Company
The MVTimes 
October 15, 2020

The Easiest Switch to Make…

Get your electricity from a renewable source.  This is one of the simplest ways to help with the goal of a 100% Renewable MV by 2040. Join the Cape Light Compact’s Local Green. You may not be ready to install solar at your house but by joining, you can get electricity generated by solar panels.

Your electrical bill has two parts:  Eversource is your distributor of power, and then you have a choice for power supply.  Much of that electricity supply is being generated from natural gas.  The process of extracting natural gas -fracking – releases large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Methane is the most harmful, heat-trapping, greenhouse gas. 

You can make a difference by switching your power supply to a local renewable source. Enroll on their website or call 1-800-381-9192.

An Edey Foundation grant supports this effort.

The MVTimes 
October 1, 2020

Now is the time for us to address climate change.

“…the decade ahead will be one of the most crucial breakdown or breakthrough moments in the history of our species.”  says Terry Tempest Williams, environmental thinker and advocate.

Right now, here is how we use energy:

  • 32% of the energy we consume is for our buildings in the form of propane and oil
  • 45% of the energy we consume is for transportation in the form of gas, diesel and aviation fuel
  • 23% of the energy we consume is in the form of electricity.

To reach the goal of 100% Renewable by 2040, we need to convert to using electricity for our buildings and transportation. And get that electricity from renewable sources.

Two big things can you do~ 

Ready to buy a new or new-to-you car?  

Consider purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle.   Go to Drive Green to learn about cost, rebates and where to buy them. 

Looking to replace or supplement your Heating Equipment?  Consider a Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pump. They are more energy efficient; provide heating, cooling and dehumidification & will save you money. Island heating contractors can install them and rebates are available from Mass Save. 

The MVTimes 
September 17, 2020

Our Moonshot Moment

Thomas Friedman, NY Times columnist says, “As bad as this pandemic is, it’s just the training wheels for the big, irreversible atmospheric pandemic: climate change.

We were not prepared for the pandemic, but we can prepare for the impacts of the climate crisis, and reduce how much we are contributing to it. This is our “moonshot moment!”

This twice-monthly box (and website below) will give you ideas on how to take action and help our Island meet the proposed goal of 100% Renewable MV by 2040.

What Can You Do?

  1. Let you voice be heard  Vote:  Our future depends on it!  Use your power as a citizen to elect officials- at the federal, state and local levels-who not only acknowledge climate change, but are committed to advocating for a fossil-free future.
  2. Support the 100% Renewable MV Initiative when it comes up at town meeting.
  3. Support town initiatives and warrant articles that make your town’s buildings energy efficient and 100% electric.
With thanks to MVTimes and Edey Foundation grant for their support in this effort.
Photo by Noli Taylor

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