We Cannot Wait To Support Local Renewable Energy
The Fairhaven Sustainability Committee supports an initiative that would automatically enroll our town’s residents and businesses in a program to purchase 10% of renewable energy.
If adopted, the program will only contribute to our community in positive ways. It will decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, a leading source of the world’s air pollution. It will help make our region stronger and healthier — at a time when the triggers for respiratory ailments have never been more important to combat, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adopting the initiative will also increase the demand for local, renewable energy, which could create a demand for good local jobs.
This initiative is one of many popular programs the Sustainability Committee has supported, including the development of the Fairhaven community gardens, a decade of support for the Fairhaven farmers market. Taken together, all of these measures improved the well-being of our town, just like this current initiative before the Select Board.
Some have questioned the automatic renewal process that would potentially increase monthly electricity bills an average of only $1.88 (see details at https://www.fairhaven-ma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3131/f/pages/aggregation_-_srec_calculations.pdf).
We believe this modest increase is a small price to pay for decades of inaction on climate change. We have not recognized the hidden costs associated with burning fossil fuels despite its serious, long-term impacts on our health and environment.
For many of our residents, making a significant investment in renewable energy (like installing solar panels on their home) is not an option. Our proposal means our town can act together to stop the devastating effects of climate change, at a low cost to each of us.
Town members are still able to decline to participate in the program. We support those who need to opt-out of the program, and it will be easy to do so.
Furthermore, we congratulate the Southcoast Chapter of the Climate Reality Project for bringing this opportunity to our attention. We have evaluated this measure carefully for its local benefit. This group of volunteers, based here in town, have independently joined the International Climate Reality Project and moved this initiative forward. They understand the impact of the choices we make today on our future and have donated their time and energy for the benefit of all.
The Town of Fairhaven could invest in our children’s health and the future of our planet. There’s nothing more important to prioritize. We should do the right thing and work together to support a healthier, stronger future.
Fairhaven Sustainability Committee
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