Programs for energy efficiency & conservationinclude:

Some Background: Air Leaks VS. Insulation

Sealing air leaks with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping will have a great impact on reducing utility bills – even as much as 30%. Many homeowners automatically assume that insulation is the answer to reduce heating costs. But in most homes air leakage is the biggest robber of heating dollars.

Houses leak air because of the difference between indoor and outdoor air pressure. The biggest pressure differences are high and low in a building – in attics and basements. Warm air rises and leaks out any unsealed areas at the top of the building. Leaks inward tend to be at the bottom of the structure, pulling in cool air.

Many air leaks and drafts are easy to find because they are easy to feel – like those around windows and doors. But holes hidden in attics, basements, and crawlspaces are usually bigger problems. If you added all the small leaks together, it might amount to a hole as big as a football – that would be worth fixing.

Mass Save: Join Your Neighbors in Saving Energy and Money

Mass Save® is an initiative sponsored by Massachusetts’ natural gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers. They provide a wide range of energy efficiency services to help residents and businesses manage energy use and related costs.

Register at www.masssave.com

Read about the value of home energy efficiency 

There are many reasons to get a home energy asessment and follow up with air sealing and insulation. So far over 700 of your neighbors have taken advantage of local programs! Rebates from the MassSave program are available.  Please see their website above for more information.

Other Resources:

  • If you'd like to read more about air sealing or find other resources, click here.

In 2013, Brookline was one of 10 Massachusetts Green Communities selected to participate in the Solarize Mass program. The program offered discounts for installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

Did you know?

If everyone in America went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide, as much as is produced by all of France,

What you can do:

Consider Meatless Meals one day each week. If you replace meat with vegetarian meals one day a week, you can credit yourself for 700 pounds of CO2 reduction per year. Lowering the amount of meat you consume also lowers your risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers. Click here for some great vegetarian recipes.

Buy local. Buying local or growing your own food can reduce the energy needed to transport produce by 1,000 miles or more.  Support local farmers by shopping at Brookline Farmers' Market.  In summer, the Farmer's Market is located in the Centre Street parking lot, runs from June to October, and is open Thursdays 1:30 pm to dusk, rain or shine. The Winter Marketplace runs Sunday afternoons from November to June in the Arcade Building on Harvard Street. Read more about the Winter Marketplace here.

Diet and Climate Change Resources

  • Download a seasonal guide to New England produce here
  • Understand food's impact on Climate Change download here
  • Download information on vegetarian and vegan diet myths
  • Understand how dietary change can reduce impacts on the climate download here (from the World Preservation Foundation)

Bountiful Brookline was created in the spring of 2009. It promotes growing food and providing access to healthy fresh food throughout our community and works to create a sustainable local food system to benefit everyone in Brookline.

Allandale Farm, Brookline's last working farm, is another source of locally grown produce. The farm offers a Community Supported Agriculture program where consumers purchase a share of the coming season's harvest. Shares for the coming season become available in January.

Interested in composting? Contact Ed Gilbert, Brookline's Department of Public Works, who works with the Solid Waste Advisory Committee. The DPW offers compost bins and rain barrels at a discounted price.

Would wind power work for Brookline?

Though there's been speculation about wind power in Brookline, it's probably not feasible at this time. Current wind resource maps indicate Brookline ranges between "poor" and "marginal" when measured at 50 meters. 

Another map, which measures at 30 meters (a height more reasonable for small scale wind), tells us that atop Brookline's hills, the mean annual wind speed is 5-6m, which is the slowest wind speed classified better than poor when considering wind turbines.

Bottom line: the highest points of Brookline could be used for small scale wind generation, but it's very unlikely for a number of reasons.

  1. Much of the land is already densely developed with housing, and it's not clear just how close a wind turbine can be placed near a house due to concerns of ice throw.

  2. Some of the land may be in historic preservation districts, and it's not clear if they can be built at all in those districts.

  3. Some of the land may be in protected open space, and it's not clear if they can be built in those locations, especially given the need for transmission lines.

Most important: The best wind resource locations in Brookline are worse than a number of currently undeveloped wind locations in other parts of New England. If you had money to build wind turbines in this region, there are tens of thousands of locations which would generate more electricity (and more money) for the same financial investment.

 

If wind isn't for Brookline, is there something you can do to support wind power?

YES! Get half or all of your electricity provided by wind. Click here for more info on how you can cut household CO2 by 20% in 10 minutes.

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