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Energy Program News

Clean Energy Corps Proposes Community Energy Solutions
Dr. Ben Weil and the 2018 UMass Clean Energy Corps

As a component of their Spring 2018 course, the UMass Clean Energy Corps presented their findings this week to stakeholders from the municipalities of Northampton, Ashfield, Shelburne, Goshen, and Windsor. Faculty and staff from the Building Construction Technology program and the Clean Energy Extension were also in attendance. Working with professor Dr. Ben Weil, the students visited the various communities over the course of the semester, conducted in-depth analyses, and then developed proposals that would cut energy use in the communities’ highest energy-consuming facilities by as much as 72%.

New video on "Wood Pellets and Our Health": UMass Research that Matters
Rick Peltier of UMass Amherst’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences

New technology, in the form of pellets made of compressed wood, make modern wood heating much more convenient.  But can this wood smoke harm our health? Rick Peltier of UMass Amherst’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, is working to make sure we make smart energy choices about the types of fuel we use to keep warm, choices that will also that protect human health.

With support from UMass Clean Energy Extension, he is monitoring air from a mobile air quality sampling laboratory, measuring the particulates found in the air.  These data will be able to show whether or not pellet emissions could be harmful for a community.  And knowing this information is important for policy makers, industry leaders, scientists, and families.

View "Wood Pellets and Our Health: UMass Amherst Research that Matters" video

North County Energy Committees Discuss Improving School Efficiency

September 2017

Greenfield Recorder Staff

Northfield, Warwick and Bernardston’s respective energy committees are getting creative with their Green Communities grant money, turning their attention to the schools. Members of Northfield’s Energy Committee, Warwick’s Building and Energy Committee and Bernardston’s Green Committee met with representatives from the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Clean Energy Extension (CEE) last week to discuss how to make the towns’ three elementary schools, as well as Pioneer Valley Regional School, more energy efficient.

Massachusetts Named Most Energy Efficient State

September 2017

Commonwealth Earns Top Mark on American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Scorecard


The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced that the Commonwealth has been named the most energy efficient state in the nation by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for the seventh consecutive year. Massachusetts continues to receive top marks for its energy efficiency policies and programs, particularly the energy efficiency programs offered by the Commonwealth’s utilities under the Mass Save® brand and for promoting smart growth development in cities and towns. The full 2017 ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard can be found here.

Can College Kids Help Mass. Towns Go Green? Introducing the UMass Clean Energy Corps

Students learning to use an IR camera with Prof. Ben WeilJanuary 2017

Ask town officials what they think in Ware. Ask them in Natick, and in Greenfield. Palmer too.

These are some of the towns where the new UMass Clean Energy Corps has touched down in the few months since its founding. The Corps is a student-centered initiative focused on helping communities across the Commonwealth develop and meet their clean energy goals. It was created by UMass Clean Energy Extension, a research and outreach program that in its first two years of life has been helping transform communities and businesses into cleaner, more efficient places to live, work, and grow into the future.

UMass Clean Energy Extension Helps Greenfield Surpass its Energy Reduction Goals
Greenfield Town Hall (Credit: The Recorder)

January 2017

With an assist from UMass Clean Energy Extension, the town of Greenfield has reduced its municipal energy usage by more than 20 percent from 2008 levels, saving the town an estimated $2 million each year, according to a recent story in The Recorder. Ben Weil, assistant professor of environmental conservation and principal investigator at CEE, helped town officials to assess the energy performance of several town buildings and made recommendations that contributed to the town’s success. “This has been a great project and a powerful example of a collaboration between CEE and a large Massachusetts community,” says Weil. “Greenfield’s sustainability director, Carole Collins, provided the leadership behind this success.”  Greenfield’s energy-saving efforts are supported by the state’s Green Communities program, which has yet to officially certify the results. Read the full story here

UMass Clean Energy Extension Welcomes Three New Team Members

November 2016

It is with great pleasure that we’ve welcomed three experienced and accomplished members to the UMass Clean Energy Extension team:  Chris Beebe, Lauren Mattison, and River Strong.

Dwayne Breger to Chair Environmental Business Council’s Program on Energy Storage, November 29th in Boston.
Dwayne Breger

November 2016

Dwayne Breger, Director of Clean Energy Extension, joined the leadership team of the Environmental Business Council’s Energy Resources Committee, where he was selected to serve as the Program Chair for an event on energy storage. The nonprofit Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) works to support and foster the development of the environmental industry, including emerging environmental and energy businesses. The EBC Energy Resources Committee addresses energy issues relevant to the Massachusetts businesses, including legislative, regulatory and policy topics across New England. 

Green Communities Case Studies
Natick Annual Energy Consumption

October 2016

In coordination with DOER, the UMass Clean Energy Extension is supporting several Massachusetts cities and towns in their Green Communities efforts. To highlight their successes and better help Massachusetts municipalities learn from each other, we've developed these case studies outlining the goals, actions, and outcomes resulting from Green Communities program work.

Presentations from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Conference: Helping Communities with Renewables and Efficiency
Massachusetts Clean Energy Conference 2016

September 2016

UMass Clean Energy Extension recently hosted the 3rd Annual Massachusetts Clean Energy Conference: Helping Communities with Renewables and Efficiency  in Worcester, MA. We're very grateful to our sponsors, speakers, and all attendees for helping to create such an exciting and inspiring event.

View speaker presentations from the conference in PDF format.

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