By Jordan Stewart
Results are in from phase 1 of Bedford’s Net Zero campaign. The campaign represents Bedford’s goal, led by the Energy and Sustainability Committee (ESC), to have a net carbon output of zero. A building is referred to as ‘Net Zero’ when it creates as much renewable energy as it consumes. This mission was kicked off by a report gathered by the Peregrine Energy Group, who collected and analyzed Bedford’s 2016 energy usage.
Some highlights of the report include:
- While residential and non-residential buildings take up a similar amount of the land in Bedford (53% and 47%, respectively), non-residential areas are responsible for 76% of Bedford’s CO2 emissions, with residential accounting for a mere 24%.
- The town used a total of 300,000 megawatt-hours of electricity, 13.5 million therms of natural gas, and 830,000 gallons of heating oil.
- Homes built since 2010 are nearly twice the size of the average house in town. While built to be more energy-efficient, their larger size causes them to create more emissions.
- 53% of Bedford’s CO2 emissions came from electricity, 42% from natural gas, and 5% from heating oil.
- While the state’s average electricity use has remained fairly constant in recent years, Bedford’s has increased.
The completion of this report marks an open door for progress to be continued in Bedford’s sustainability efforts. The ESC will present this report to the Selectmen on Monday, February 25. Following their meeting, consultants will be brought in to devise plans to optimize the town’s strategy for reaching the level of Net Zero.
Suggestions expected to be presented to the Selectmen include fully utilizing home energy inspection programs, creating renewable energy sources, and voting for further legislation regarding the energy guidelines of new buildings. These strategies go hand in hand with Mothers Out Front’s current push for residents to take part in Mass Save’s free home energy assessments.
View the full Peregrine report here