In keeping with our mission, Quincy CAN advocates city policies and programs that advance the role of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and the use of renewable energy in our city’s neighborhoods, businesses, and public buildings.
Climate Change Committee
Many QCAN members serve on the mayor’s Climate Change Committee, where they work toward the fulfillment of the following mission:
- Advocate for city policies that maximize production and use of renewable energy in Quincy, starting with the placement of solar arrays on city property.
- Help the city government realize dramatic reductions in its energy use, in fulfillment of Quincy’s obligations as a Green Community. City government has realized a 20 percent reduction in energy use since the CCC was founded.
- Encourage the adoption of energy-saving best practices by employees in city departments and students in the public schools. Schools account for 60 percent of the city government’s energy usage, and student community service hours should be used towards systematic energy-use reduction efforts.
- Help the city explore creative ways to fund its energy projects, so that dollar savings from existing projects go to fund future projects.
Green Community Status
- Goals: As a Massachusetts Green Community, Quincy committed to reducing municipal energy use 20 percent by 2016.
- Status: According to the best estimates, the city may have reached that goal, but a year behind schedule.
- Next steps: The city and its residents can and must achieve further reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, QCAN is proposing a several measures including the widespread adoption of electric cars in the city fleet, curbside pickup/composting of food waste, revising zoning regulations to reduce required parking spaces for new residential developments, and procuring greener electric power for businesses and residents via municipal aggregation.
- Goals: Hire a full-time, permanent energy manager to fix problems created by the previous contract with Honeywell, to track energy usage by the city, and to lead the city’s energy initiatives.
- Status: An energy manager was hired in 2013, along with an energy technician, a mechanical engineer who is working to make building systems more efficient. In 2016, an HVAC person was hired to help the energy technician. The energy manager has made substantial progress toward the goal of greater efficiency but complains of missed opportunities that could have been seized if she had had an assistant.
- Next steps: QCAN has asked the mayor to hire an assistant to the energy manager. We believe that savings on energy costs realized through the work of the assistant would more than pay his/her salary. In addition, we believe a second HVAC technician could accelerate progress toward energy efficiency in city buildings.
- Goals: Ensure that dollar savings resulting from city energy projects go to fund future energy-saving projects, via a revolving energy fund or a similar mechanism. For information on city revolving energy funds, please see this PDF file.
- Status: The city legal department is reviewing the possibility of setting up a revolving energy fund, following the example of other mid-sized cities such as Austin, Ann Arbor, and Orlando.
- Next steps: TBD pending results of city legal department’s review.
- Goals: Win a grant from the Solarize Mass program, which would allow Quincy residents and businesses to install solar power at a below-market rates.
- Status: With help from QCAN, the city to applied for and won a grant; relying mainly on QCAN volunteers, Solarize Quincy resulted in some 165 solar installations on the roofs of city houses and businesses, for a total of 650 kilowatts.
- Next steps: QCAN is looking for opportunities to follow up on the success of Solarize Quincy. One good option: The nonprofit Mass Energy Consumers Alliance is partnering with the Energy Sage website on the SolarConnect program, which allows consumers to solicit bids for rooftop solar from a number of pre-screened contractors.
City-hosted solar installations
- Goals: Maximize production of solar energy on Quincy city property.
- Status: QCAN members serving on the CCC helped the city screen contractors bidding to install solar panels on public grounds and buildings. The winning contractor installed roughly 2 megawatts of solar panels which have been generating power and saving taxpayer money since 201X. Since then, the city has contracted to buy net metering credits from solar installations outside city limits, saving more money and encouraging the development of this nonpolluting technology.
- Next steps: QCAN urges the city to explore opportunities for more solar installations on city property.