By Michael Prager
The topic is worth more than I can devote right now, but the governor's Zero Net Energy Task Force reports its recommendations this morning, one year to the day since Gov. Patrick announced his intention to form the group at last year's NESEA show.
I'm seated at the back of this year's show right now, as events get underway. I gather that it will be discussed at this plenary session this morning, but I got an embargoed copy of the report; here are the bare bones. The state should:
1. Adopt minimum energy standards now, and systematically raise them over the next 20 years, until they reach zero net energy.
2. Act to be able to collect energy-performance data from every building in the commonwealth, on the principle that you can't know you're lowering what you haven't measured.
3. Offer incentives to lower, if not remove, financial and regulatory barriers to building-efficiency gains.
4. Undertake a workforce development initiative so there will be enough technicians to effect all the energy-efficiency gains required.
In addition to these overarching recommendations, the task force issued several dozen more specific measures, all with dates for implementation beginning July 1.
The secretary just finished speaking, after giving not only details of the plan but surveying the energy field a year later. He touted the state's green initiatives of the past year, including the Green Communities Act, which overhauls the state's energy laws, and the two greenhouse-gas-emission auctions the state has conducted in affiliations with RGGI, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The funds realized are being plowed back into energy efficiency, he said
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