WESTFORD — The following newsletter was shared for publication with WestfordCAT on behalf of Westford’s Sustainability Coordinator, Sue Thomas.
October Sustainability Update
Information for Westford Pop Electricity Customers and Prospective Customers (all residents and small businesses)
Look for and read a letter in the US mail regarding the renewal of the Westford Power Options Program (Westford Pop).
The Town’s Electric Aggregation Program (Westford Pop) has been renewed through November of 2025. If you are a member of the Pop Silver or Pop Gold programs, you will need to select a new program or be automatically put back in National Grid Basic Service. If you are currently in the Pop Basic or Pop Green options, you do not need to do anything to remain in the program you have chosen.
Westford Pop Gold is now the only option that provides the ability to buy additional clean energy, supplementing the state mandated minimum with additional Class I SREC purchases. We encourage all customers to consider this option if they can afford to do so. The 50% option in Pop Silver has been made obsolete by the mandated increase in renewables in the power supply during the new upcoming contract period.
To confirm if you are part of the Westford Pop Program, check your bill. The letter you receive will tell you what option you have selected. If you are not in the program, you can sign up here or call Constellation at (833) 461-0813.
The Supply portion of your Bill should look like this:
As of your December bill date, prices will be as follows:
*Savings cannot be guaranteed compared to the utility’s Basic Service rate which changes every six months for residential and commercial customers, and every three months for industrial customers. The aggregation program seeks to provide price stability and average savings over the full term of the program, but because future basic service rates are not known, there is no guarantee of savings.
While the rates for all options are higher than the previous three years, they are lower than other electricity supply rates we are aware of in the marketplace. You may leave Westford Pop at any time without penalty should you find lower rates and better terms, however, be aware of the fine print. Many offers that look better initially are not under close examination.
Questions about the changes? Join a virtual info session on Oct 26, 2023 at 6 PM or Nov 9, 2023 at 2 PM.
The links are available on the program site: MassCEA.com/Westford
If you have additional questions, you may call the Sustainability Coordinator at 978-399-2798.
- LexElectrify Energy Fair is October 28th at the Lexington High School.
- The video of the first Westford Neighbor to Neighbor event: Heat Pumps 101, may be viewed here
Make Fall a Sustainable Season
Adopt a zero waste mind set. According to the EPA, the definition of Zero Waste follows: Peer-Reviewed, International Definition of Zero Waste: “The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.” This ambitious but achievable undertaking is a very important piece of the climate solution. Many communities are taking on the challenge. Lexington, MA, for example, began with a Zero Waste Resolution at Annual Town Meeting and now has a non-profit dedicated to this effort: Lex Zero Waste Collaborative. The popularity of FaceBook Buy Nothing sites and the like are evidence of the growing shift in our culture toward building new communities and connections through reuse.
Don’t be afraid of the Dark!
- Limit your lights. Enjoy the ambiance of warm lighting directed only where you need it, indoors and out. Use your blinds and curtains. This will keep your energy bills low as well.
- Buy Dark Sky lighting for the outdoors
- Join Westford Climate Action for Stargazing, rescheduled to Sunday, November 19th at 7:30 PM
- Invest in a light box or day light bulbs for seasonal affective disorder if this impacts you indoors
Keep the tricks out of your treats: Avoid products containing palm oil. The palm oil industry has a huge impact on deforestation worldwide. It is a relatively new ingredient in food manufacturing. Buy Rainforest certified chocolate (and coffee) and opt for other treats. Agricultural side note: climate change is already forcing the relocation of key agricultural products like chocolate, coffee, hops and grapes to other places. Orchards here in New England have experienced impacts as well, with both peach and apple crops experiencing late spring killing frosts this year.
Leave the leaves! And the stems in your garden. Skip the fall clean up this year. Save your back, your hearing, your lungs and heart, your time and your money. At least for portions of your yard where you would enjoy habitat. You will discover that a spring clean up is easier as mother nature will have done much of the work for you. A bare lawn is a dead and sterile one. Insects rely on leaves and stems for winter habitat, and loss of this habitat, along with the use of poisons, is putting holes in the food chain that supports not just our food, but entire ecosystems. Soil health is dependent on the natural compost provided by leaves, as are the trees who shed them. Mulch your leaves and grass where you do want lawn, but do it early and let the rest go so the insects have time to put themselves to bed and the birds and small mammals can find this natural food.
Electrify! If you must mow and blow, save your hearing and preserve your clean air. Use electric lawn equipment or a local service that uses them.
Organize your space for disposal and reuse. Fall brings the inevitable need to reassess your wardrobe and garage space (forecasters predict more snow this winter with warmer oceans), as well as to consider your indoor space with holiday guests in mind. Kudos to all of you already hard at work organizing costume swaps and giveaways of all kinds! You enrich our community and our environment.
Designate a place for each type of item that needs to leave your possession. Use the Westford Recycling Commission’s A-Z Guide on how to Recycle Most Anything to donate and recycle.
- In the garage or similar:
- Textiles to be recycled – ripped, torn, stained, singles – take to a yellow New England Textile Recycling bin
- Electronics recycling
- Hazardous waste
- Metals – 24/7 access at Westford Metals on Broadway
- In the basement or spare room, closet or entryway
- Gifts: new items for hostesses, thank yous, Toys for Tots Drive, other charities, samples, extras
- Reusable items that no longer bring joy or utility: clothing, household items, toys
- Items to be repurposed – boxes, wrapping, ribbon, “should be useful”
- Books for the library
- In the kitchen and yard or garage
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