Over the next year, Melrose will see 79 new solar PV installations thanks to everyone who supported and took part in the Solarize Melrose program launched in June. Solarize Melrose, which concluded on November 4th, was a renewable energy outreach program sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center that offered discounted pricing and rebates to homeowners with eligible roof space.
I would like to personally thank Lori Timmermann, who volunteered over 400 hours of her time over six months as the Melrose Solar Coach. Lori designed and implemented the marketing and outreach plan to educate Melrose homeowners about the benefits of going solar and served as the point person for all things Solarize. We were so very lucky to have her expertise and endless energy all summer.
Lori had some help on her team including interns Emma Arnold and Jill Murphy and Melrose Energy Commission (MEC) volunteers Joyce Calabro, Andrew Schuyler, Jessie Schmitt, Howie Newman and Ellen Katz. MEC Co-Chair Doug Dick contributed his time, office, and insight on the installer bid review and interviews last spring. Jackie Lavender-Bird created the Solarize Melrose website and Diane Bagley designed the marketing materials you saw all over town. Jim and Lisa Oosterman offered their house as the Solarize Showcase home for a fun block party.
We also had great support from business partners such as Coffee, Tea, and Me; Whittemore Hardware, and Shaw’s. Non-profits such as Sally Frank’s Farmers Market and the Farm Direct Coop also allowed us to table at their locations. Cellar Fine Wines and Bobby C’s at Oak Grove Village sponsored a great wine-tasting event.
Several departments here at City Hall supported our efforts, starting at the top with Mayor Dolan and including Frank Olivieri’s Recreation Department who allowed us to table at several community events over the summer; the Department of Public Works staff who hung our pesky banner across Main Street twice, the Milano Senior Center which hosted the Solar 101/201 evening workshops, the Assessor’s Office and finally, the Inspection Department that will oversee permitting of the solar installations.
Our outreach partner in this endeavor, Next Step Living , was the right choice for Melrose as was Roof Diagnostic Solar, the selected installer. Next Step Living contacted almost 700 Melrose homeowners who expressed interest in solar and as an added benefit, provided home energy assessments to many whose homes were not solar eligible so they could take advantage of a variety of energy efficiency incentives (see MelroseEnergy.org for more information).
The 79 Solarize installations are projected to produce 484,075 kWh of electricity from the sun every year which avoids about 334 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases. Thank you to everyone who played a part in this effort.
Energy Efficiency Manager
City of Melrose
Office of Planning and Community Development