WMass businesses pitch clean energy bills

BOSTON (WWLP) — Western Massachusetts businesses were on Beacon Hill Thursday for Clean Energy Day.  All were supporting bills that promote energy efficiency in the Commonwealth. Chris Derby Kilfoyle is president of solar company Berkshire Photovoltaic Services.  He wants thermal energy producers that use the sun to heat water to be eligible for tax credits.

“Barrington Brewery has a great solar thermal system that actually provides hot water to clean the bottles and make sure that everything’s sterile and with this bill they would be able to get the same kind of credits that a photovoltaic or solar electric system would get,” said Kilfoyle.

Conservation Services Group CEO Steve Cowell is also from the Berkshires and sees a lot of waste in homes that rely only on oil heat. He’s made headway with the oil industry to support an oilheat efficiency fund. Energy advocates say by insulating homes and upgrading oil heating equipment, Massachusetts could add thousands of jobs, reduce greenhouse gasses and save consumers money.  

“For both rural communities where they have no access to natural gas particularly and for the municipal utility areas, this will augment the resources available to them,” said Cowell.

After Massachusetts reached its goal of producing 250MW of solar energy 4 years early, a new goal has been set to produce 1600 MW by 2020 – And reduce greenhouse gasses by 25 percent.

“That’s the kind of growth that if you have strong policies as we do in the Commonwealth, and we have great companies executing and growing the sector, we’re really able to outperform,”said New England Clean Energy Council President Peter Rothstein.

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has ranked Massachusetts number one in the country for energy efficiency two years in a row.


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