4/1/14 Solar Pride

At 9.2 megawatts, Dartmouth is the number one town in the state for solar power production, eclipsing larger municipalities including Boston. Solar saves taxpayer dollars and greatly reduces the town’s environmental impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Since carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most prevalent and longest-lived greenhouse gas, the term carbon footprint has evolved as a measurement of human activity. Carbon footprint represents the total amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere each year from fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas), which we burn for heat, electricity, transportation, and more. Because greenhouse gases trap heat, they alter the energy balance of the Earth and are causing our climate to change.

Building on its strong commitment to lowering its carbon footprint through energy efficiency and municipal commercial-scale solar, the town is expanding its town solar pride and love of energy savings. The Dartmouth Solar Challenge, recently launched in partnership with SouthCoast Energy Challenge, is a special time-limited campaign to help homeowners afford more climate-friendly energy choices. If the Challenge meets its goal of 50 new residential solar installations, over 158.78 metric tons of CO2 will be displaced each year, the equivalence of saving 17,891 gallons of gasoline from being burned.

Residents can take the Challenge to keep Dartmouth the #1 Massachusetts Solar Community by signing up for a no-cost solar assessment. Residents are invited to a Solar 101 presentation on Wed., April 16 beginning at 6 pm at the Southworth Public Library to learn about the special tiered rebate program available now through July.

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