From the Sustainable Energy Committee:
Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee (SEC) is seeking a new member who will be appointed by the Board of Selectmen (BOS) to complete a term that ends on June 30, 2020.
Applicants should indicate their interest to the Chair, Laura Olton, at [email protected]. The SEC consists of four BOS-appointed members, plus one representative from each of the following: BOS, School Committee and Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (WMLP).
According to the bylaw establishing the SEC: “The Committee shall propose sustainable energy goals, to reduce Town greenhouse gas emissions from the municipal, residential, commercial, industrial and institutional sectors, to Town Meeting. The Committee shall prepare a multiyear action plan to achieve the Town sustainable energy goals and shall revise it as needed. The Committee shall work with municipal departments, businesses, institutions, and civic and volunteer organizations to initiate and carry out actions to achieve these goals and shall coordinate municipal activity with initiatives of these other organizations. The Committee shall prepare an annual Town-wide emissions inventory and develop an annual action plan that includes significant planned initiatives by both municipal and community organizations.”
Since its establishment in 2010, the SEC has led many successful initiatives including:
Coordinated Wellesley’s efforts to become a Massachusetts Green Community and earn an initial designation grant of $137,250 to use on municipal energy conservation measures.
Power to Choose – Ran a campaign to encourage electricity customers to voluntarily pay a premium so that some or all of their electricity could come from renewable sources. Campaign resulted in one of the highest percentages of community participation rates in the United States.
Solar – Recruited more than 70 households to install solar panels, as well as helped to facilitate solar on three houses of faith in town.
Energy Efficiency – Through a Power to Save campaign and workshops at the Council on Aging, recruited hundreds of households to have energy audits and implement energy conservation measures.
Created WasteWise Wellesley – a collaboration of the Natural Resources Commission, Department of Public Works (DPW) and SEC to identify and capitalize on win-win opportunities associated with sustainable materials management.
Metrowest Food Recovery Program – Established a protocol through which the Cambridge-based nonprofit, Food For Free, picks up kitchen leftovers from Wellesley Public Schools, Olin, Wellesley and Babson Colleges and Bentley University and packages these leftovers into single-serve frozen dinners to distribute to food insecure individuals and families
Food Waste to Biogas – Worked with the Recycling and Disposal Facility (RDF) and DPW on the residential food waste drop-off program at the RDF, and helped lay the groundwork for a successful pilot that diverts Wellesley Middle School kitchen food waste to the RDF
Current SEC projects include, among others:
Sustainable Building Guidelines for municipal buildings and for private development on Town-owned land
Sustainability input to the Hardy, Hunnewell, Upham (HHU) process
Transportation Working Group to reduce traffic and transportation-related emissions
Residential solar campaign with the WMLP
Continuation and expansion of sustainable materials management programs
Candidates should be strongly committed to the SEC’s mission. Responsibilities include attending SEC meetings one to two times per month (currently scheduled from 8:30-10 am on Fridays), taking an active role in SEC projects, and eventually coordinating one or more of the current initiatives. Programs often involve interactions with various Town departments, grass roots and non-profit groups, nearby communities and regional groups, State departments and/or Federal agencies, such as the US Environmental Protection Agency.