Western Mass Green Consortium
The room is abuzz with chatter consisting of personal anecdotes and business opportunities. Local residents sip their locally brewed beer while brainstorming ways to protect the environment. This is not your average mixer, this is something bigger.
The Western Mass Green Consortium (WMGC) is a groundbreaking collaborative consisting of local small businesses, educators, organizations and individuals coalesced around a common mission: to “promote sustainable business practices, nurture the environmentally committed business sector, advocate for environmentally progressive policies, and improve the environmental profile of economic activity in
The Consortium meets the second Wednesday of every month in the Northampton Brewery’s Sunroom. The Brewery also plays host to “Green Drinks,” a gathering after the WMGC meetings often used to unwind and talk about sustainability in a relaxed, informal atmosphere.
WMGC rolled out its first supported project – “Project Retrofit” – at a Wednesday, August 12 meeting. The project is focused on making deep energy retrofits (
Sean Jeffords from Beyond Green Construction, an Easthampton based business specializing in DERs, and consultant, Doug Snyder, M.S., of DS Greenbuild, led the Project Retrofit presentation. Both are members of the WMGC.
According to Jeffords and Snyder, now is the time to get
Architecture 2030 has issued a challenge to the global building community to renovate existing structures to thresholds spanning between 60 to 90 percent in energy reductions between 2010 and 2025, with a goal of complete carbon-neutrality by 2030.
According to Snyder, Project Retrofit is not only an investment into the future of the planet, but also a reinvestment into the lagging economy. There needs to be a trained workforce to undergo the
The energy savings come at a rather significant up-front cost. The average inclusive
To cover the up-front cost, Jeffords unveiled the concept of a 50-year mortgage that would be attached to the deed of the house, not the home owner. This would be in addition to any existing mortgage the home owner had and would change hands if the home were to be sold. According to Jeffords, the $100,000 mortgage would result in the home being an average of 80 percent more efficient to heat and cool, more comfortable to its inhabitants and more durable, prolonging the life of the home. Utility bills would also be reduced by a minimum of $150 per month, offsetting part of the cost for the mortgage. Asked about the idea of attaching the mortgage to the deed, Jeffords said, “This is cutting edge. We need to have these conversations in order to inspire change. It is about challenging ourselves to be more creative.”
To experience a building in the process of a
This article is published at EarthThrives.com, with other local news of the sustainable and green movements in the