Rep. Finn learns Greenfield’s successful energy initiatives during tour

  • Rep. Michael Finn toured Greenfield on Monday, during which he met with Department of Energy and Sustainability Director Carole Collins, Nancy Hazard and Pam Kelly of Greening Greenfield, and Rep. Paul Mark. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • Rep. Michael Finn toured Greenfield on Monday to learn about different ways the city is becoming sustainable, including constructing net-zero buildings like the John Zon Community Center. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

Staff Writer
Published: 5/24/2019 5:17:03 PM
Modified: 5/24/2019 5:16:49 PM

GREENFIELD — Rep. Michael Finn had plenty to learn about Greenfield’s commitment to energy efficiency when he toured the city with Rep. Paul Mark and Greening Greenfield on Monday.

After being appointed chairman of the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change two months ago, Finn, D-West Springfield, said he’s been trying to get to different parts of the state to educate himself.

“There’s a lot of great things going on in the green economy,” Finn said. “It was an exceptional tour, from the solar industries to the net-zero buildings right here that the city is embracing. This is a good example of what’s going right.”

Mark, D-Peru, said he invited Finn to tour Greenfield to “give him a glimpse of what we’ve been able to do here.”

“We want to let him know that (green projects) are economically feasible and as he moves forward with his committee work, to try to use the town’s work as a model and give him an idea for things that will happen elsewhere in the state,” Mark said.

At the John Zon Community Center, Greenfield’s Department of Energy and Sustainability Director Carole Collins gave a tour of the zero-energy ready municipal building. She talked about what Greenfield did to reduce its utility bills, highlighting the town’s energy savings, which increased by four percent from 22 to 27 percent from the previous year.

The town has secured almost $1.2 million in combined Green Communities grants and utility incentives since 2010, and the city match of $182,000 has already been paid back in energy savings, according to Collins.

“Everything the energy department does is always to try to save the town money,” Collins said.

She said having an energy department to dig in and develop action plans is not easy, but it works.

In addition to the tour of the John Zon Community Center, the group visited three solar businesses, the new zero-energy Department of Public Works building and other sites throughout the day.

Reach Melina Bourdeau at or 413-772-0261 ext. 263.


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