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Press Release: Wendy Penner Earns Center for EcoTechnology’s Environmental Leadership Award

Wendy Penner Earns Center for EcoTechnology’s Environmental Leadership Award

Wendy Penner Receives 2019 Alan Silverstein and Laura Dubester Award for

Community Environmental Leadership 

4/22/19 Pittsfield, MA – Wendy Penner has received the 2019 Alan Silverstein and Laura Dubester Award for Community Environmental Leadership from the Center for EcoTechnology (CET).

Penner will be given her award this evening Monday, April 22 (which happens to be Earth Day), at the Williamstown Select Board meeting. Award namesake Laura Dubester and CET Board Member Nancy Nylen are the presenters. The award is named after Silverstein and Dubester, who served as co-directors of CET for decades until they retired in 2010. Dubester joined CET in 1977 and Silverstein in 1978. They became co-directors of the organization in 1988. Silverstein passed away in 2014.

“I deeply admire Laura and Alan for their vision and dedication to finding positive and practical solutions that empower people from all walks of life to “think globally, act locally,” stated Penner. “It’s especially meaningful to me to be recognized with an award named for them.”

The award is given by CET to a local citizen or group who is working in their community to benefit the local environment with a focus on reducing the harmful impacts that humans can have on the environment, and the positive steps that people can take at home, work, and in their communities that help protect the environment, improve quality of life, and build community.

“Wendy Penner is a true community leader who has been working to raise awareness and encourage people to take positive actions to protect our environment, at the local level and beyond,” said CET President John Majercak. “We believe the best way to honor Alan and Laura’s work is to recognize the work and commitment of other remarkable people like Wendy.”

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Pittsfield Elementary Schools Teaching Experience

For over 40 years, the Center for EcoTechnology has helped people and businesses save energy and reduce waste. Our mission is to research, develop, and promote those technologies with the least disruptive impact on the natural ecology of the earth. CET is a resource for objective information and guidance when it comes to navigating the world of energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction, recycling, and composting.

One of the ways we accomplish our goals is to work with people of all ages and from all walks of life to educate and promote sustainable actions.


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Berkshire Eagle: Solar Access program a ‘game-changer’ – just ask this Adams homeowner

“Noyes owes his energy-saving success to being the first person to enroll in Solar Access. The year-old state-sponsored initiative is designed to make solar energy more affordable for middle- and low-income households…”

Read the full article here

Learn more about the Solar Access program: cetonline.org/solaraccess

Solar for Low to Middle Income Households

Rooftop solar is steadily growing in popularity throughout the country, but especially in Massachusetts. Due in part to decreasing costs, solar panels provide benefits to homeowners and renters alike. For homeowners, installing solar PV helps them save on their electricity bills and reduce their carbon emissions. Renters can buy into community solar programs that can help renters and those who are unable to get solar on their own homes.

Low to middle income (LMI) households are those that earn 80% or less of the area’s median income. LMI households represent 43% of the U.S. population and 70% of the potential solar customers in Massachusetts. However, there are still some barriers in place against LMI families in accessing solar. These barriers include high upfront cost, low credit scores, and/or renting, and solar programs and financing for these populations needs to be wider spread.

Currently, most of the solar customers in the United States are in the same demographic. The typical residential solar customer is middle to upper class, middle-aged, and usually male. A recent study found that the median income of households that install solar panels in some states was roughly $32,000 higher than the median household income in those states. Solar panels are attractive to this demographic because they also tend to be more environmentally minded, and may have the disposable income to pay upfront costs for solar panels or to buy into community solar programs.

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Berkshire Earth Expo

Join CET and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) for the Annual Berkshire Earth Expo, a fun community fair focused on energy efficiency, climate resilience, and the protection of nature and our health. This is the fourth year the Berkshire Earth Expo has been organized by Living the Change Berkshires, and every year it is bigger and better! This year the event will feature the “Cooler Communities Challenge,” an invitation to the general public to take real concrete steps to reduce our community’s carbon footprint.

This fun day gives attendees the opportunity to learn about practical actions they can take right now to live more sustainably, reduce energy use, and save money. The event will include student exhibits, eco-friendly vendors and organizations, great food, arts and crafts, games, and much more. CET will have information on hand about our programs and services for you to consider, including Solar Access, Mass Save, and THE GREEN TEAM for teachers, to name a few–not to mention a free Green Raffle basket!

Exhibits on climate change and other environmental issues by students from several schools, both public and private, will be matched with vendors and not-for-profit organizations that will offer easy, practical actions for the public to take. These student exhibits are sure to inspire all of the attendees.

The overall impact of these actions will be tallied, and the reductions of CO2 as a result will be calculated throughout the day and publicized afterward. These actions will not only be good for the earth and future generations, but can also save money and increase comfort in your home.

This event is free and open to the public.

Learn more by visiting the Berkshire Earth Expo’s website or Facebook page.


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