The desire to avoid the costly implementation of a third cable to accommodate the up-trending peak demand for summer electricity has driven a public education and incentive program for the island residents of Nantucket. A five year collaborative initiative to reduce energy use includes special incentive programs like reduced rates for conservation, free energy-saving devices like wifi thermostats, and energy audits from Mass Saves.
These programs seem to be working. As reported in the local Nantucket newspaper, "The cost savings of renewable energy have made solar supporters of people from all walks of life", said Paul Jensen, owner of Nantucket Solar Solutions, LLC. "It's not unusual to find a conservative Republican with solar on his house these days." Some residents are even hoping to produce enough solar energy to supply their neighbors.
Nantucket's energy office has turned their problem of summer peak spikes into an opportunity to focus on "creating conversations on Nantucket about energy conservation", in partnership with energy provider National Grid. For resources and planning tools to help you in your own efforts to engage your communities in energy efficiency and conservation, please check out Path to Positive.
By Caroline Stanton |The Inquirer and Mirror | April 16, 2015
“I think they’re beautiful,” Susan Beaumont said of her home's new solar panels. The sleek black array, reminiscent of a “Star Trek” prop, were installed in the Beaumonts’ back yard this winter.
With islanders' electric bills rising nearly 40 percent this year following a National Grid rate hike, and town officials and energy providers predicting the need for a third undersea cable to supply the island with electricity if use continues to rise, Beaumont and other Nantucketers have been seeking out alternative forms of energy production.
Beaumont and her husband David are quite pleased with their new solar panels, which enabled them to reduce their energy usage by more than half for the month of February from 13.4 kilowatts in February 2014 to 5.6 kilowatts in February 2015.
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