The Community Climate Fund (CCF) is a vehicle for regional institutions and businesses to sponsor local, high-impact carbon reduction projects that help accelerate a just and equitable transition to the low-carbon economy. The fund started with an investment from Williams College in Williamstown, MA. The CCF will support roadblock remediation projects in 2023, with 11 projects in the pipeline in designated environmental justice communities, not-for-profit, and/or minority-owned organizations. These projects combined will save 4,450 therms and 26.2 tons of CO2 annually (531 tons across the measures’ lifetime). The CCF continues to pursue additional roadblock remediation opportunities with the Commercial Energy team. Read on to learn more about the small businesses we worked with and the exciting projects we have in store.
Weatherization Roadblock Removal for Small Businesses
The Community Climate Fund will support roadblock remediation projects in 2023, with 11 projects in the pipeline in designated environmental justice communities, not-for-profit, and/or minority-owned organizations. These projects combined will save 4,450 therms and 26.2 tons CO2 annually (531 tons across the measures’ lifetime). The CCF continues to pursue additional roadblock remediation opportunities with the Commercial Energy team.
Sugar Cane Thai – Bridgewater, MA
Sugar Cane Thai of Bridgewater, MA is a go-to diner for residents of Bridgewater, MA. The building is approximately 1440 square feet and was originally built in 2004. A recent energy audit recommended insulation and duct sealing. As a renter, the business owner did not receive financial support from the building owner. In Q1 FY23 CET initiated a roadblock remediation project to help cover the co-pay for the efficiency measures. Mass Save covered a portion of the cost, and the fund contributed an additional $495. The insulation measures were installed in Q2 FY23. The project saved 222 therms and 1.3 tons CO2 annually (26.1 tons across the measures’ lifetime).
Main Auto Sales – West Springfield, MA
Main Auto Sales is a family-owned used car dealership. The area of West Springfield, MA where Main Auto Sales is located is a designated environmental justice community. An energy audit recommended duct insulation due to uninsulated pipes in the basement and crawlspaces. Early this year, CET initiated a roadblock remediation project to help cover the co-pay for the efficiency measures. Mass Save covered a portion of the cost, and the fund contributed an additional $719. CET then installed the insulation measures. The project saved 68 therms and 0.4 tons CO2 annually (8 tons across the measures’ lifetime).
To learn about more small businesses that recieved weatherization services funded by the Community Climate Fund, read the full report embedded below.
Air Source Heat Pump Conversions
Air source heat pumps provide an energy efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioning systems. Acting like a refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to transfer heat from cool spaces to warm spaces. Depending on climate conditions, homes heated with heat pumps may see a reduction in energy bills of up to 30-40%. As heat pumps do not require combustion, they produce less particulate matter and risk of carbon monoxide leaks in the air, ultimately contributing to improved indoor air quality.
Community Climate Fund investments will amplify the impact and reach of Ipswich Electric Light Department’s (IELD) initiative to provide heating system replacement to low-income households. In 2022, CET initiated funding for replacement of oil heating systems with air source heat pumps for two income-eligible customers in Ipswich, MA. The conversions in total cost $60,300 with the Community Climate Fund contributing $20,300. IELD also contributed additional funds to the projects. The first installation completed at the end of 2022 and the second completed in the beginning of 2023. Community Climate fund investments cover the installed cost of new, energy efficient heating systems, saving recipients energy and money, creating local jobs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2023, CCF will support the installation of a 276,000 BTU, 23 ton Air Source Heat Pump system at Roundabout Books’ new, expanded location in Greenfield, MA. Along with a renovated HVAC system, this small business has also added solar panels and improved accessibility in their new space.
Williamstown Compost Pilot – Williamstown, MA
Williamstown Composts! is back for its second year and expanding its reach by adding options for local businesses to compost their food waste. In November, the pilot team partnered with RecyclingWorks MA, funded by MassDEP and administered by CET, to offer technical assistance to businesses to improve or expand their efforts in prevention, donation, and recycling of food waste. RecylingWorks MA staff performed on-site visits to review. Businesses are eligible to apply for CCF funds to cover the cost of compost pick-up for 6 months. Two businesses, Mezze Bistro & Bar and Blue Mango, have been approved and will begin composting in January 2023. Both will have one 64-gal tote picked up weekly, resulting in a diversion of approximately 2.7 tons food scraps and 1.6 tons CO2 over the 6-month period. $5,000 in CCF funds are committed for this effort.
In October 2022, CET was awarded a Healthy Communities Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to catalyze the induction stove market in Massachusetts. The project will raise public awareness about 5 induction stoves as a healthier and more energy efficient alternatives to gas stoves through development and distribution of bi-lingual materials, lending programs established at local libraries, and retailer outreach to characterize the local market. The EPA program establishes 5 lending kits for greater Springfield area libraries. With support from the CCF and in partnership with Local Energy Advocates and Mothers Out Front, we have been able to double the number of lending kits to 11 and place two in the Northampton Forbes and Lilly libraries, and the Amherst Jones Library. A demonstration event, planned for next month will kick-off the new programs.
Building Material Recovery
Between October to December 2022, CCF invested $5,541 to fund material collection from 49 sources across New England. The materials represent over $128,418 in value and will save 20.1 tons CO2-eq. in avoided manufacturing. The recovery also prevents these valuable materials from going to landfills and makes building materials affordable to people of all income levels. EBB provides important employment and affordable building supplies to the Springfield community, which the state has categorized as an environmental justice area. Serving minority communities is a critical component to both CET’s mission and the Community Climate Fund program.
To learn more about our Community Climate Fund click here and read the report below. To help tackle climate change and build a just and equitable transition to the low-carbon economy, donate to CET today.