By Cherie Ching, Advocacy Fellow
August 6, 2015
The past two months have been a hot period for advocacy efforts in our Chapter and State, both with regards to our warm summer weather and the green bills on Beacon Hill! Hosting a Green Building Policy Forum at the State House in mid June, our Chapter provided legislators, staff members, constituents, and many others in the green community with important information on our top priorities to create awareness and promote green education. Our priorities included Net Metering improvements, Net Zero Energy Building codes, and Property Assessed Clean Energy financing. Secondary priorities included Healthy Materials and Toxics, Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax, and local-levelincentives for LEED certifications.
Our advocacy efforts did not stop there! We continued the momentum by attending and presenting our support at the Energy Efficiency Hearing at the State House at the end of June, showing support for Bills S.1761, S.1771, S.1774, and H.2857. Not only were we able to take action on our current priorities, but we also highlighted many of our secondary priorities. With the help of members of our Advocacy Committee, Residential Green Building Committee, CABA, MA PACE Coalition and headquarters’ staff, our Chapter was well represented at the hearing and we strengthened our advocacy efforts for the weeks ahead.
In addition to our presence on Beacon Hill, our Chapter made time to have a little “fun in the sun” at the Emerging Professionals (EPMA) Summer BBQ event, co-hosted by the Advocacy Committee. This could not have been planned at a more appropriate time to celebrate the sun, as the net metering issues were once again taking up attention at the State House. Having reached many caps in the State, the net metering bills would have to be addressed if the State wanted to continue to support renewable energy, particularly solar. The Advocacy Committee, along with Zapotec the event sponsor, presented background information and strategies to steer the net metering issues in a positive direction. Senator Downing’s amendment to Bill S.1973 was proposed and passed in the Senate just one day later! We were even fortunate to be able host at the BBQ a 5th year civil engineering student from the Federal Technological University of Paraná, Brazil, who is writing his dissertation on sustainable development, certifications and technologies!
Finally, our Chapter ended a high-energy month with a Green Breakfast Forum dedicated to highlighting our Advocacy Priorities and the bills related to them. With six astounding presenters and more than 15 participants, the forum engaged all in a discussion around complicating energy issues and how we can support these bills from hereon in. After such a successful Green Breakfast Forum, we look forward to keeping our advocacy issues alive and relevant with more upcoming green events for our members to take advantage of!