Marion meets 20 percent energy reduction goal

Aug 29, 2023

MARION — The amount of energy used by the Town of Marion has declined by over 20% since 2017, according to the Marion Energy Management Committee, which puts the town in line to meet energy reduction goals set by the state’s Green Communities Program.

According to data collected by the Marion Energy Management Committee, as of July the town’s municipal energy usage has decreased by approximately 29 million BTUs in 2017 to 21.9 million BTUs in 2023 — a difference of about 24.47%.

A BTU, a unit used to measure energy, is the amount of heat needed to increase the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

2017 was designated as a “baseline year,” to which all future years are compared, explained Marion Energy Management Committee member Bill Saltonstall at an Aug. 28 meeting of the Marion Energy Management Committee.

This reduction is a requirement set by the Massachusetts Green Communities Program, which Marion adopted following a Town Meeting in 2018. The program calls for a 20% energy reduction within five years of becoming a Green Community.

According to Saltonstall, this reduction “sets us up for a somewhat more generous consideration of our requests for grant money from Green Communities … so [it was] worth getting this done and I’m happy we seem to be here.”

While the town’s overall energy reduction was over 20%, the town’s energy use in municipal building dropped by 29.14%, energy use in open spaces dropped by 3.4%, energy use by street and traffic lights dropped by 49.24%, energy use by town vehicles dropped by 29.43% and energy use by town water and sewer departments decreased by 9.54%.

“I think it’s fabulous because there are a lot of towns who started the very first year of Green Communities and have yet to reach their 20%,” said Marion Energy Management Committee member Alanna Nelson.