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Letter: Energy keys

As a high school student and citizen of the future, I’ve realized the futility of burning fossil fuels for energy. Solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal power have the potential to meet all of our energy needs, so why don’t we see solar panels on every house, hydroelectric turbines in every river? The oil and gas industries, because of their prevalence in our society, are much more heavily subsidized than the renewable energy industries, and as such, renewable energy is yet financially unfeasible for many who wish to utilize it.

Fossil fuels are still pollutants, though, and still limited, so it’s still necessary that we decrease our reliance on them. If we can’t do this solely through renewable energy, we must do it by increasing the efficiency of our energy usage, getting more energy “bang for our fuel buck.”

While making this happen can be expensive, too, there are several programs around here — Mass Save, Community Action (Electrical Efficiency/Weatherization sector), Greening Greenfield, and others — which will subsidize energy efficiency efforts for business/homeowners. Some do free insulation work, while others give their users basic things like more efficient light bulbs. Some even replace large-scale appliances such as refrigerators; overall, you can get thousands of dollars of work done for free.

However, these programs have seen huge drops in their federal funding, and as a result there is a foreseeable limit to the number of clients they will be able to take on. In moving away from our reliance on fossil fuels, these programs will be key, as they make energy efficiency possible for low-income sectors of our community. For these programs to thrive, though, we will have to see an increase in funding from the state of Massachusetts.


Four Rivers Charter Public School


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