This is the third article in a series on towns that are doing a great deal of work to stop climate change. These towns are Mashpee on the Upper Cape, Yarmouth on the Mid-Cape, Chatham on the Lower Cape, and Wellfleet on the Outer Cape.
Yarmouth has both an energy committee and a climate action network. The energy committee’s vision is to have a strong and prosperous town that is powered by clean, affordable, and secure energy. The Yarmouth Energy Committee’s mission is to inspire energy sustainability throughout the Town of Yarmouth—municipal buildings, schools, commercial businesses, residential homes and transportation vehicles.
From the committee’s plan: “The Energy Committee—being aware of and working to support the Board of Selectmen’s annual goals—advises them on energy related issues and recommends specific initiatives. Furthermore, the Energy Committee recognizes the need to monitor advancements and incentives within the energy industry to inspire energy sustainability throughout the Town of Yarmouth—municipal buildings, schools, commercial businesses, residential homes and transportation vehicles. The committee’s role is advisory, without the resources and authority to implement changes, but it does have the ability to educate and motivate municipal employees, small business owners, and the general public with respect to energy improvements.
“Thus, the Annual Operating Plan for FY 2021 focuses on the kind of tasks that can be undertaken by the Energy Committee in motivating and educating the Yarmouth community in energy savings available through conservation, efficiency, renewable generation and electric vehicle acceptance. These tasks are consistent with the aspirations put forth in the Energy Committee’s Five-Year Vision and the Board of Selectmen’s goals. A three-phase approach will be followed: (1) assemble energy use data, (2) develop outreach materials, and (3) educate and motivate the community.”
Working together, the board of selectmen, the energy committee and the climate action network in Yarmouth established five-year goals as shown on the chart.
Yarmouth has achieved Green Communities Designation for which their initial grant of $191,601 was awarded in 2018. This grant was used to fund energy conservation measures, energy management systems, variable frequency drives, weatherization, air conditioning, air handling unit, condenser, hot water pipe design, electric vehicle purchase, and EV charging station in municipal facilities including town hall, water department, police, recreation department, Bayberry Golf Course, West Yarmouth Library, the town’s senior center and town vehicle fleet. Plus, Yarmouth has aggressively installed solar, saving the town over $1,550,000 in electricity according to data from the Cape and Vineyard Electric Consortium.
“I want to congratulate the towns of Orleans, Harwich and Yarmouth for receiving the designation as a ‘Green Community’ by dedicating their municipal buildings, vehicles and other town infrastructure to energy efficiency, which will reduce energy consumption and emissions by 20 percent over the next five years,” said state Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “These towns join Mashpee, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown in leading the way on Cape Cod by their commitment to use renewable energy and other environmentally conscious practices to contribute less to global warming and reduce long-term energy costs. With our peninsula vulnerable to rising sea levels, I hope we can anticipate more towns throughout the region will strive for the ‘Green Community’ designation.”
Currently, the town is offering a Solarize Yarmouth Program. Please consider reduced cost solar power and air-source heat pumps to make our town and the region greener and more energy efficient for the future.
The Solarize volunteer team recently chose to partner with Solar Wolf Energy as our preferred photovoltaic installer and South Shore Climate Control as our preferred installer for Air Source Heat Pumps (mini-splits). The goal of this program is:
Reduced operating costs;
Good return on investment;
Reliable and maintenance-free energy;
Support of a Green Business approach; and
Federal investment tax credit.
Visit https://www.yarmouth.ma.us/1884/Solarize-Plus-Yarmouth to learn more.
Ms. Holt is a building, energy management and solar expert with more than three decades of experience. She lives in Sandwich.