Here's what we're working on in Waltham!
Together, we’re working to change the narrative on natural gas and to push the city toward renewable energy!
1) Electricity Aggregation Plan
Waltham has the chance in the next year to access more competitive electricity rates for its residents while also reducing its collective environmental impact and supporting local renewable energy. This program allows cities and towns to directly access competitive electric supply markets, as well as offer renewable energy options, for their residents and businesses. Through this program, the city can require that a portion of the energy comes from local renewable sources. Using the power of bulk purchasing, we can amplify our individual investments in renewable energy and build the infrastructure to reduce our dependence on polluting resources like oil and gas.
There will be three public hearings within the next two weeks (see schedule below). The plan needs approval from the City Council before being sent to state agencies for review. Once approved by state agencies, the proposal will then go out to bid around September and at this time the city will have a better sense for how the rates might change. The program will likely go into effect in January 2020.
- March 12th: 5-6:30 pm 112 School Street, Government Center: Question and answer session
- March 25th: 7:30 pm City Hall, Chamber of City Council: Opportunity to address the council – prepared statements
- April 1st: 8:00 pm City Hall, Chamber of City Council: Opportunity to address the council
- April 8th: 8:00 pm City Hall, Chamber of City Council: Council votes to approve plan
- April-August: Plan reviewed by State Agencies
- September: Plan is finalized and put out to bid – this is when we learn about the expected rate change and % renewable energy in the default option
- January 2020: Roll out of new rates to electricity consumers in Waltham
2) Waltham High School - Striving for Zero Net Energy
Waltham is currently planning to build a new, state of the art high school. Mothers Out Front wants this building plan to be forward thinking and to add new renewable energy to our city! Other towns have included renewables in their high school plans and so should we! We are attending meetings with the School Building Committee and School Committee to push this forward, but we need your help to get them to act. Sign our petition here.
3) Waltham Needs a Sustainability Director!
We are working with WECAN (Waltham Energy and Climate Action Now!) and our allies in City Council to help Waltham get its own Sustainability director in the next fiscal year. A Sustainability Director is critical for Waltham because they could:
- Work towards the goals Waltham agreed to in the Green Communities approval process.
- Be an expert resource for municipal projects to consult on green, sustainable, and renewable improvements.
- Apply for grants to expand the money Waltham can spend towards green initiatives.
You can help us tell the Mayor how important this initiative is. Sign up for our email list below to find out how you can help.
4) Gas Leaks In Waltham
Did you know???
Current law allows gas companies to charge customers for leaked gas! In other words, WE are paying for the leaked gas on our bills!
Leaked gas is mostly methane which is 86 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than the carbon dioxide that results from burning it.
There are over 160 gas leaks in Waltham and some have been leaking for over 20 years!
Over 15 cities and towns nearby have joined forces to let National Grid know that this is not okay. Our Mayor has signed on to the letter which encourages more communication, collaboration, and coordination between National Grid and the cities and towns they work with.
Our work around gas leaks has lead to some great relationships with our city officials. We have made lots of allies in the City Council who are helping us change the story about natural gas and renewable energy at the local level.
Come join us to help make Waltham the strongest community it can be!
We need your help! Here's how you can get involved:
1) Sign up for our email list. Just use the links on this page to sign up. We'll send occasional emails on our upcoming actions and recent accomplishments.
2) Attend a house party. Join us for an evening to learn more about Mothers Out Front and what we are doing here in Waltham and across the country!
3) Volunteer. Volunteer opportunities are often available. Let us know if you're interested!
4) Join our team. Help us work on one or all of the initiatives above. We'd love to get your ideas!
Email us to find out more about any of these opportunities or to share your ideas with us!