1. HCG Kicks off state's first Solar Thermal Challenge campaign

    HCG Kicks off state's first Solar Thermal Challenge campaign

    HCG is kicking off the first round of a solar thermal campaign via a new grant awarded by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) through the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water program.  The $141,875 grant will fund three rounds of regional solar thermal outreach campaigns.  After a vigorous vetting process, HCG has been chosen to lead the pilot campaign expected to run from Fall 2017 into the first quarter of 2018, with campaigns in the Greater Boston area led by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Merrimack Planning Commission following later in 2018.    

    “This is a great opportunity for our community,” says Todd Ford, executive director, HCG.  “HCG has been on the forefront of local renewable energy projects, and we look forward to expanding into the solar thermal market.” 

    The towns of Amherst, Conway, Granby, Williamsburg, Goshen, Plainfield, Ashfield, Buckland, Hatfield, and Pelham have been the first to be invited to participate in the program. 

    With support from Meister Consultants Group (MCG), a Boston-based sustainability consulting firm, HCG will design and implement community outreach, education, and group purchasing campaigns across Western Massachusetts to accelerate the adoption of small-scale solar hot water systems.   

    “HCG is the perfect choice to lead this pilot program,” says Chad Laurent, vice president and general counsel, MCG.  “HCG has long-standing relationships with dozens of cities and towns, and years of experience bringing cheaper and cleaner energy to residents and businesses across Western Massachusetts.” 

    HCG’s campaign will be based on the successful Solarize Mass model, a grassroots outreach and education campaign model supported by MassCEC since 2011. The campaign will seek to educate consumers on the benefits of a mature, well-established renewable energy technology that can help them save money on energy while reducing their carbon footprint. In addition, it connects interested consumers with solar hot water installers selected through a competitive process for their ability to provide high-quality installations at a special program-only discount. Homeowners and small businesses across Western Massachusetts are eligible to participate and receive this offer.     

    The communities in Western Massachusetts are among the most suitable in the state for solar hot water: homes and businesses using oil, propane, or electricity for water heating are well-positioned to save money and take advantage of the thousands of dollars in state and federal incentives available for solar hot water systems.

    HCG is hosting two regional planning workshops this month at 99 Main Street in Northampton. If you think your community would be interested in participating, please contact HCG.

    Monday, October 30th, 2017 12-3pm

    Monday, November 6th, 2017 12-3pm

    About us

    HCG supports communities by empowering local, sustainable and efficient economies.  The organization helps cities and towns, schools, nonprofits and businesses get the most value by pooling their buying power.  HCG’s Hampshire Power provides electricity services, including green and locally produced electricity.  The HCG Purchasing Co-op makes it easy for towns, cities, schools and nonprofits to save money, time and effort on major and everyday purchases.  And HCG supports communities with its own, uniquely effective service organizations: RSVP and Tobacco Free Community Partnership.  Every cent HCG earns goes back to supporting the communities of Western Massachusetts. HCG is funded by its own revenue. 

    MassCEC is a publicly-funded agency dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in Massachusetts – while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. 

    Contact: Catherine Welker: cwelker@hcg-ma.org, (413)-584-1300 x122


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