OPINION: Marion should go green with new buildings

Nov 13, 2021

To The Editor,

If the planet is to be saved, action must begin at home, and with that in mind, I have submitted the following letter to Marion’s Select Board.

Dear Chairman Norman Hills and Board Members,

Our angry climate is screaming for an end to our combustion of fossil fuels. This past summer and early fall, Marion residents suffered extreme heat, intense rainfall, floods, and powerful winds that knocked out power. Storm damage did not end at our borders, it went beyond and involved thousands of residents along the Southcoast and beyond. According to Mr. McGrail, Marion’s town administrator, during the last storm “Marion was close to losing power to emergency response capability…the general cleanup cut into the town’s existing overtime budget…prior to the winter season.”

With the disastrous summer—and the recent ravaging nor’easter in mind—I am asking the Marion community and its board and committee leaders to consider seriously going forward with two Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB)—the new Harbormaster building on Island Wharf, the new Department of Public Works (DPW) building proposed for Benson Brook and all future residential construction.

An NZEB is an extremely energy-efficient building in which the electricity demand is provided by renewable energy. Solar power is a readily available renewable electricity that could be produced at the building site, and the other component, energy conservation is influential for achieving a building’s net-zero energy status. As decision-makers, I am asking the Select Board to evaluate the synergy between energy conservation, and green energy, that is, solar energy, heat pumps, and geothermal that transfers its energy to create clean NZEBs.

Marion is a green community and a green energy building or two in Marion will have an exponential impact on carbon dioxide levels at the local, regional and global levels. The acquisition of sustainable energy consumption is critical for net-zero energy buildings in various building styles—Harbormaster and DPW building while reining in long-term carbon dioxide emissions as outlined on March 26, 2021 by Governor Baker in “An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy.”

Thank you for your consideration.


Eileen J. Marum

Vice Chair, Planning Board

Member, Energy Management Committee