When QCAN members heard that the City of Quincy was embarking on a feasibility study for the new Squantum Elementary School, many of us emailed and called the city councilors to encourage early adoption of design features necessary to achieve net-zero energy goals for the new school. QCAN stressed in our correspondence that it is not too early to set energy goals, and it’s NOT too early to decide to make it a net-zero energy building, as there are other communities already building net-zero schools.
Nina Liang responded that “the Massachusetts School Building Authority offers a 1.5-2 percent incentive for money spent towards energy efficiency in the context of designing towards high performance certification. They offer NE-CHPS, as well as LEED, as high performance pathways in place of MA-CHPS. Also, MassSave is an initiative sponsored by Massachusetts’ gas and electric utilities which offers incentives and services to help schools manage energy costs and create a more comfortable environment. Additionally, DSIRE maintains a comprehensive database of incentives for Massachusetts, many of which can be applied to schools.”
Mayor Koch thought it was too early to include net-zero requirements in the feasibility study; City Councilors Liang, Mahoney, Andronico, and DiBona brought up that they wanted net-zero put in the feasibility study due to pressure from QCAN. This issue got moved to the Finance Committee. There is an open bid for the Owner’s Project Manager, who will be hired prior to the design team being hired. QCAN will continue to monitor this as it moves through the selection process and a consultant is selected.
In June, many of us were anxiously waiting for the Massachusetts Senate and House to come to an agreement on the state’s Climate Bill. The clock was ticking and time was running out. Things were stalling because the House and Senate couldn’t agree, so a conference committee was called to help the process along. The House Speaker and Senate President each chose three members to serve on the committee to hash out the details and come up with compromises. And our very own Quincy Representative Tackey Chan was on this committee.
QYouth Climate Movement, QCAN’s youth chapter, organized a clothing swap at Quincy High School on May 15. The event was a lot of fun and provided gently used clothing to teens who can use it, diverted many pounds of waste from Quincy’s trash stream, and helped spread the message that fast fashion is bad for the planet. (Everyone loves a new sweater, but the fashion industry is responsible for up to 10% of global carbon emissions — so trading outfits to extend the wearable lifespan of those garments can help reduce that fashion footprint.)
Thank you to the participants, volunteers, and QYouth members that made this event a huge success! QYouth meets at the Thomas Crane Main Library at 3:30pm on the third Thursday of each month. More info is available on their Instagram.
QCAN represented at Cleaner, Greener Quincy this year, gathering trash and debris at our usual stretch of marsh from the corner of Quincy Shore Drive and Fenno Street to Beechwood Knoll. This is always a great chance for members old and new to get to know each other (and our friends at Quincy Tree Alliance)!
If the Zoom is at capacity or you are having trouble entering, you can watch live on the Thomas Crane Library’s YouTube Channel. YouTube viewers can email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions – we will monitor the account throughout the event.
Learn from experts from Quincy Climate Action Network, Massachusetts Green Energy Alliance, and Mass Save program implementer ICF how a heat pump can help you decarbonize your home. The panelists will cover details about heat pump types, cost (including incentive programs), pros and cons, and green energy sourcing.
If your home is heated by natural gas or oil (like most in Quincy), there’s no getting around it: You’re burning a lot of carbon each winter. And probably a lot of money, too: The price of gas and oil heat is expected to jump 30% or more this winter. But a heat pump can efficiently heat your home — even on the coldest New England winter day — without burning fossil fuels.
What is a heat pump? It’s essentially an air conditioner that can also run in reverse. In summer, like an air conditioner or refrigerator, it removes heat from your home. And in winter, as long as there is some heat energy in the air — and there’s always some, until we reach absolute zero, a.k.a. negative 273º Celsius — the outdoor condenser pulls whatever heat it can find out of the atmosphere and uses a special refrigerant to send that warmth inside to the blower unit.