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Help map Swampscott’s future at Thursday’s clean energy forum

The Swampscott Renewable Energy Committee — on behalf of the Town of Swampscott — invites residents to participate in the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s Community Energy Strategies clean energy forum October 17, from 7-9 p.m at Salem State University. 

This regional initiative is an effort to help shape the clean energy future of our community.

Community Energy Strategies Forum 
for Hamilton, Wenham, Salem, and Swampscott

Oct. 17, 2013

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Salem State University

Marsh Hall, Room 210

71 Loring Ave., Salem, MA

Register at https://mapcenergyforum.eventbrite.com.

Interview with Brian Brian Szekely, Swampscott’s planner and energy efficiency manager

1.)  Why would a Swampscott resident want to attend the forum?

The Clean Energy Forum will allow Swampscott residents the opportunity to work with local and state officials to determine new energy programs and projects that can help reduce Swampscott’s carbon footprint. The forum aims to bring out creative clean energy solutions directed by the townspeople themselves to help curb our energy consumption and choose cleaner energy alternatives.

 

2.)Tell us a bit about the comprehensive clean energy road map. What shape will it take – an actual graph or map or a chronological list and for how far into the future – and why is it a positive for the town?

The comprehensive clean energy road map is yet to be determined. It will most likely deal with a number of issues to help reduce electric and gas consumption within the town while promoting cleaner fuels. Installing residential solar PV arrays either by a direct sale or lease agreement with a solar provider is one way this can occur. Retrofitting of streetlights to accommodate LED lighting instead of the current high pressure sodium streetlights is another measure that  could help lower the town’s energy bills. Wind power has historically not been very popular in town, therefore I do not anticipate strong proponents of this technology, although it will undoubtedly at least be mentioned in the forum. Technologies related to energy move rapidly, therefore I would imagine we will be looking at 5-10 years into the future for the roadmap, but may be longer. We are a state-designated Green Community, and I think that Swampscott residents are very proud of this fact. The clean energy road map will guide the town towards a more energy independent future. I believe that residents and businesses within the town would relish the opportunity to have some control over the direction of that future.

The Community Energy Strategies Program is a partnership between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the Department of Energy Resources Green Communities Division, local officials and community volunteers. 

The program helps communities identify and develop strategies for implementing the mix of clean energy projects and incentives best suited to address local interests, needs, and opportunities for clean energy development.