what is it not?

Community Empowerment is not:

  • Community Choice Aggregation or Municipal Aggregation

  • Community or Group Net-metering (e.g. “solar gardens”)

  • Municipal governments purchasing renewable energy

  • Municipal utilities or light departments

  • Green Energy choice (e.g. “GreenStart”)

  • All of these policies have various advantages, and Community Empowerment has similarities to each.

rationale and reasoning

We need more renewable energy projects to address climate change, energy security, and reliability

The main barriers to more projects are: financing; projects need long-term contracts with credit-worthy buyers; Federal and State level policies alone probably not sufficient to deliver; residents of MA are supportive of renewable energy, especially where there is a local benefit. 

Given the above, we should also look to local initiative and capabilities as a basis for new policies to finance renewable energy projects.

example Opportunities:

  • Combined Heat-Power at town / school buildings or area neighborhoods

  • PV on town or school property combined with storage for emergency operations

  • Anaerobic digestion as part of local waste solution

  • Ensure wind projects really do benefit host communities

  • Projects that create local jobs

  • Additional back-up energy storage (i.e. batteries) for municipalities

advantages and features

  • Additional to, and compatible with, current clean energy policies

  • Builds on the Massachusetts' Green Communities Act and existing municipal aggregation law

  • Compatible with existing electricity markets

  • No national legislation necessary

  • New projects do not count towards net-metering caps (i.e. solar).

  • State legislation is enabling only

  • Can be deployed anywhere nationally, in any regulatory setting