How can we get to 100% renewable energy when not everyone can put solar panels up?
You don’t have to put up solar panels for our town get to 100%. Electricity is actually one of the easiest problems to solve because we can, as a town, choose to buy electricity generated from renewable sources. As of July 1, 2019, everyone can opt in to Natick’s community aggregation program and OPT UP! to the 100% choice.
What is Natick already doing?
Electricity supply: Many Natick residents and businesses currently get 24% of their electricity from renewable sources through the community choice aggregation program. We would like to see everyone increase that to 100%.
1. All streetlights are now LED including all new holiday lights.
2. We seek high-efficiency systems when replacing HVAC equipment.
3. All school buildings and the majority of municipal buildings have energy management systems (also referred to as building controls).
4. We complete weatherization projects on a routine basis.
5. Phasing in replacement of all interior lights with LED lights. To date, every public building (school and municipal) has either a mix or all LED lighting.
1. Natick’s Sustainability Committee was formed in late 2016.
2. Natick was a founding member of the Green Communities program and was designated in 2010. We achieved our 20% energy reduction goal (for municipal operations) in 2012 based on our 2008 baseline. We apply for grants on an annual basis and have received a grant every year since becoming a member with the exception of one year when the previous year’s project had not yet been complete. In our 2018 application, we requested the full $250K available and expect to find out if we are receiving the grant in June.
3. Renewable Natick formed as a grass-roots advocacy campaign with a vision to bring Natick to 100% renewable energy.
1. Nearly 300 homes have solar installations in Natick due in part to one of the most successful Solarize campaigns in 2016.
2. Seven of our nine Natick public schools have solar rooftop installations. The remaining two (Johnson and Brown Elementaries) were evaluated and not suited to solar due to shading and roof conditions.
3. The Community Senior Center and DPW/Ice Rink have solar rooftop arrays. The Morse Institute Library and Public Safety Headquarters have been evaluated for solar but were not good candidates due to the roof size and the amount of rooftop equipment.
1. Bike lanes: Where possible, Natick Public Works has been restriping streets to accommodate bike lanes as part of their annual striping program. Bike lanes are also considered for street improvement projects per the Complete Streets Policy.
2. Electric Vehicles (EV): Natick has three municipal EV stations and is exploring additional locations. More info is available here.
Natick has three electric cars in its fleet and a hybrid water service van. The Town is completing an analysis with MAPC/Swatch to determine if other vehicles make sense to convert to hybrid in the future.
Natick is nearing the end of a two-year curbside composting pilot and sells backyard compost bins.