Renewable Energy


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Go Green One Step at a Time

Choosing your energy power from renewable sources are solid ways to make a difference. Whether offsetting your power or installing your own PV system, renewable energy choices make great strides to reducing your carbon footprint.

 

Purchase Green Power on Your Electric Bill

You can purchase green power from local sources of renewable energy to match 100% of your electricity usage – in many instances right on your electric bill. Plus your contribution is 100% tax deductible.

Mass Energy Consumers AllianceCET partners with Mass Energy Consumer’s Alliance to offer affordable green energy options for residents –  from the Berkshires to Boston.  Today, we offer two options: New England GreenStart and New England Wind.

You can sign up by clicking on one of the links below:


Berk East Wind NEGSPhotoNew England GreenStart is a Green-Up option on your National Grid electricity bill that lets residents and small businesses support renewable energy sources in New England. New England GreenStart matches 100%  of your electricity usage with renewable energy certificates from local renewable energy sources – low-impact hydro, solar, wind and cow power. The GreenStart premium on your National Grid bill averages from $6 to $15 monthly, depending on your electric usage. Your premium is 100% tax-deductible on your federal taxes if you itemize.

New England Wind works the same way. The difference is that 100% of the renewable energy is from Massachusetts wind projects! New England Wind is available to you regardless of your electricity provider. NEW Friends Monthly is separate from your electricity bill and does not have a set cost, but instead reflects as much as you choose to contribute. You can have monthly contributions deducted automatically from your credit card. You can also make a one-time contribution.

Sign up today and feel good about your electricity. It’s easy! You can sign up here online.

 

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Choosing the right renewable energy system

Solar, wind and other renewable energy systems are options for many. Learn about the many options and incentives available to Massachusetts residents, and join your friends and neighbors in investing in clean, local sources of power for your home. And for those homes that are not sited in such a way to generate your own renewable energy, you can choose to green your electricity.

Sign up for CET’s EcoUpdates (in the footer of this page) to hear about upcoming renewable energy seminars, forums and tours sponsored by CET and our community partners.

Solar Energy
Wind Energy
Hydropower
Bio-mass
Financial Incentives
Green Power

Solar Electricity

Solar Hot Water

How do I know if I have a good site for solar PV or hot water systems?

To work well, a solar system needs unobstructed light from the sun during most daylight hours for most of the year.  Three main factors determine whether your site is a good one:  shading, orientation (compass direction) and tilt (slant). Solar PV and solar hot water systems are most often installed on roofs, but can also be mounted on poles or the ground.  Shading:  If your site faces south and is largely unshaded, especially between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day, you likely are a good candidate for solar energy.  Orientation and tilt: In the US, the sun is always in the southern part of the sky and is higher in in the summer and lower in the winter. The tilt of the collectors also contributes to their performance; the optimal tilt angle for your collector is an angle equal to your latitude (approximately 45 degrees in Massachusetts). That means that  solar panels are most efficient when they face south and are installed at an angle – either on a slanted roof or ground mount. Panels installed on a flat roof can be tilted to enhance performance. Your local solar contractor can perform a solar site analysis.  Or, if you’d like to do it yourself, see the Evaluation Tools under Learn More in the box to the right.

Passive Solar Heating

Another option for harnessing the sun’s energy to heat your home is passive solar design. Passive solar homes use building orientation and architectural features for both heating and cooling.  Passive heating can be as simple as having many windows on the south facing side of a home augmented by careful selection of building materials that have a large thermal storage mass. These materials act as heat ‘banks’ that store the energy during the day and release it during the evening. To learn more about passive solar design, and Renewable Ready Homes, visit the links in the Learn More box to the right.

Wind Energy


CET is a resource for information on renewable energy solutions.Wind is a form of solar energy that is caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and rotation of the earth. Renewable energy from wind is generated by wind turbines, which consist of a tower, a rotor and a generator. The rotor harnesses the wind’s energy; the generator converts that energy into electricity; and the tower supports the whole apparatus.

Do you have a good site for wind?

Small-Scale Hydropower

Hydropower systems use the kinetic energy in flowing water to produce electricity or mechanical energy.  Hydropower was once used extensively in our region to power local industry, like our textile mills.  More recently, homeowners are looking at low head and run of the river hydro as a possibility for “greening up” their electrical consumption. For more information about hydropower for homes, visit http://www.eere.energy.gov/topics/water.html.

Biomass for Home Heating

Biomass is organic matter that can be used to provide heat, make fuels, and generate electricity. Wood is the most common type of organic matter used to generate bioenergy, but other types of biomass such as plants, residue from agriculture or forestry, and the organic component of municipal and industrial wastes can be used as fuel. Many Massachusetts residents use wood and pellet stoves to heat their homes.

Financial Incentives Available for Renewable Energy

There are numerous local, state and federal incentives available to help make your investment in renewable energy more affordable. For a comprehensive, up-to-date source of information about the many financial incentives available to you, go to: http://www.dsireusa.org.  To learn about local and state incentives, click on Massachusetts. To learn about federal incentives, click on Federal.


 

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