Newton Power Choice

An important part of Green Newton’s mission is to advocate with local, state, and national governmental leaders to create and support legislation that protects the environment. We collaborate with other environmental groups, work with Newton Councilors and the Newton Mayor to shape regulations and legislation, and encourage and provide information to individuals and businesses to make their voices heard about protecting the health and safety of the environment.

 

Newton Power Choice – Moving Newton Towards 100% Renewable

The​ ​Coalition​ ​Organizing​ ​for​ ​100%​ ​Renewable​ ​Newton​ ​was​ ​formed​ ​last​ ​spring​ ​to​ ​address​ ​urgent​ ​climate change​ ​challenges.​ ​The​ ​goal​ ​is​ ​to​ ​be​ ​fossil-fuel​ ​free​ ​as​ ​soon​ ​as​ ​possible.​ ​We​ ​represent​ ​local​ ​environmental organizations​ ​and​ ​local​ ​chapters​ ​of​ ​statewide​ ​organizations.

Our​ ​Coalition​ ​recommends​ ​that​ ​the​ ​​Newton​ ​Power​ ​Choice​​ ​municipal​ ​aggregation​ ​initial​ ​contract​ ​set​ ​a default​ ​percentage​ ​of​ ​Class​ ​1​ ​New​ ​England​ ​renewables​ ​well​ ​above​ ​both​ ​the​ ​State​ ​mandate​ ​of​ ​12%​ ​and Brookline’s​ ​default​ ​of​ ​an​ ​additional​ ​25%​ ​(37%​ ​total).​ ​We​ ​support​ a​​ ​ ​default​ ​of​ ​40%​ ​above​ ​the​ ​state​ ​mandate​ ​in​ ​its initial​ ​contract​ ​(52%​ ​total)​.​ ​This​ ​number​ ​is​ ​feasible​ ​and​ ​will​ ​meet​ ​the​ ​newly​ ​adopted​ ​international​ ​carbon roadmap​ ​to​ ​reduce​ ​global​ ​warming,​ ​driven​ ​by​ ​a​ ​simple​ ​rule​ ​of​ ​thumb​ ​or​ ​’carbon​ ​law’​ ​of​ ​halving​ ​emissions​ ​every decade​ ​to​ ​catalyze​ ​disruptive​ ​innovation.​ ​(https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170323141338.htm)

To​ ​learn​ ​about​ ​Newton​ ​residents’​ ​willingness​ ​to​ ​pay​ ​a​ ​somewhat​ ​higher​ ​price​ ​for​ ​green​ ​electricity,​ ​the Coalition​ ​Organizing​ ​for​ ​100%​ ​Renewable​ ​Newton​ ​asked​ ​​Green​ ​Newton​​ ​to​ ​sponsor​ ​a​ ​statistically​ ​reliable, random,​ ​zip-code​ ​based​ ​survey.​ ​The​ ​preliminary​ ​results​ ​show​ ​strong​ ​support​ ​for​ ​green​ ​electricity​ ​among​ ​Newton residents,​ ​even​ ​among​ ​those​ ​who​ ​have​ ​modest​ ​incomes.​ ​87%​ ​of​ ​respondents​ ​would​ ​pay​ ​more​ ​for​ ​green electricity,​ ​and​ ​of​ ​these,​ ​78%​ ​support​ ​the​ ​total​ ​level​ ​of​ ​renewables​ ​ranging​ ​between​ ​50%​ ​and​ ​100%.​ ​This​ ​would mean​ ​an​ ​additional​ ​cost​ ​to​ ​Newton​ ​households,​ ​who​ ​pay​ ​an​ ​average​ ​cost​ ​of​ ​$150​ ​a​ ​month​ ​now,​ ​of​ ​between $8-18​ ​per​ ​month​ ​(in​ ​today’s​ ​prices).

Aggregation​ ​is​ ​the​ ​least​ ​expensive​ ​and​ ​most​ ​efficient​ ​way​ ​to​ ​maximize​ ​Newton’s​ ​reduction​ ​in greenhouse​ ​emissions.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​an​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​increase​ ​the​ ​amount​ ​of​ ​electricity​ ​generated​ ​in​ ​New​ ​England​ ​from renewable​ ​sources,​ ​such​ ​as​ ​wind​ ​and​ ​solar.​ ​It​ ​would​ ​support​ ​the​ ​local​ ​economy​ ​and​ ​create​ ​local​ ​energy​ ​sector jobs.​ ​It​ ​will​ ​increase​ ​demand​ ​and​ ​capacity​ ​for​ ​a​ ​100%​ ​renewable​ ​Massachusetts.​ ​It​ ​will​ ​help​ ​reduce​ ​the​ ​amount of​ ​energy​ ​dollars​ ​leaving​ ​the​ ​state​ ​-​ ​estimated​ ​at​ ​$18​ ​billion​ ​annually.​ ​It​ ​can​ ​add​ ​measurably​ ​to​ ​the Massachusetts​ ​passed​ ​legislation​ ​that​ ​mandates​ ​a​ ​gradual​ ​transition​ ​(1%​ ​per​ ​year)​ ​to​ ​renewable​ ​Class​ ​1​ ​New England-sourced​ ​energy.​ ​Besides​ ​Brookline,​ ​Boston,​ ​Cambridge​ ​and​ ​many​ ​other​ ​towns​ ​and​ ​cities​ ​are increasing​ ​their​ ​percentage​ ​of​ ​local​ ​renewable​ ​energy​ ​through​ ​aggregation​ ​contracts.

Critical​ ​to​ ​the​ ​success​ ​of​ ​an​ ​ambitious​ ​”green”​ ​municipal​ ​aggregation​ ​program​ ​is​ ​a​ ​robust​ ​effort​ ​to educate​ ​residents​ ​that​ ​reducing​ ​energy​ ​use​ ​will​ ​reduce​ ​cost​ ​and​ ​is​ ​an​ ​alternative​ ​to​ ​opting​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​aggregation contract.​ ​The​ ​plan​ ​should​ ​include​ ​options​ ​for​ ​those​ ​who​ ​cannot​ ​afford​ ​the​ ​cost​ ​of​ ​a​ ​higher​ ​percentage​ ​of renewable​ ​energy.​ ​Education​ ​must​ ​ensure​ ​that​ ​people​ ​are​ ​aware​ ​of​ ​how​ ​to​ ​opt​ ​down​ ​or​ ​out​ ​of​ ​paying​ ​higher rates,​ ​and​ ​that​ ​low-income​ ​households​ ​will​ ​see​ ​no​ ​change​ ​in​ ​their​ ​fuel​ ​subsidy.

In​ ​this​ ​letter,​ ​which​ ​incorporates​ ​recommendations​ ​submitted​ ​in​ ​a​ ​memo​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Newton​ ​Citizens Commission​ ​on​ ​Energy,​ ​members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Coalition​ ​propose​ ​four​ ​options​ ​for​ ​Newton​ ​citizens​ ​through​ ​​Newton Power​ ​Choice​:

  1. Receive​ ​a​ ​default​ ​level​ ​of​ ​Class​ ​1​ ​locally-sourced​ ​renewable​ ​electricity​ ​of​ ​40%​ ​beyond​ ​that​ ​required under​ ​state​ ​law​ ​(52%)​ ​total
  2. Opt-up​ ​to​ ​100%​ ​renewable​ ​electricity
  3. Opt-down​ ​and​ ​receive​ ​the​ ​state​ ​mandated​ ​minimum
  4. Opt-out.​ ​Stay​ ​with​ ​the​ ​current​ ​supplier​ ​(Eversource​ ​basic)​ ​or​ ​other​ ​individually​ ​negotiated​ ​contract.

We​ ​urge​ ​the​ ​City​ ​of​ ​Newton​ ​to​ ​embrace​ ​this​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​commit​ ​to​ ​a​ ​high​ ​percentage​ ​of​ ​New​ ​England renewables​ ​in​ ​its​ ​aggregation​ ​contract,​ ​​Newton​ ​Power​ ​Choice.​ ​ ​Catastrophic​ ​climate-change​ ​induced​ ​events, both​ ​on​ ​the​ ​national​ ​and​ ​international​ ​stage,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​steady​ ​rise​ ​in​ ​sea​ ​levels,​ ​lend​ ​great​ ​urgency​ ​to​ ​the​ ​goal​ ​of becoming​ ​fossil​ ​fuel​ ​free​ ​as​ ​soon​ ​as​ ​possible.

Coalition​ ​Members:​​ ​​350Mass,​ ​Newton;​ ​Green​ ​Newton;​ ​Sierra​ ​Club,​ ​MA​ ​Chapter;​ ​Newton​ ​Citizens Commission​ ​on​ ​Energy;​ ​Mothers​ ​Out​ ​Front,​ ​Newton;​ ​ForwardMA;​ ​Newton​ ​CALM;​ ​Bike​ ​Newton; Newton​ ​High​ ​Performance​ ​Buildings​ ​Coalition