Town Meeting Members are welcome to sign this letter on the contact form below. Thank you for your support. Please share this with other Town Meeting members. For more information see zeroenergyamherst.weebly.com. The amendments to the bylaw are here.
To the Amherst Select Board,
We, the undersigned Amherst Town Meeting members, support Article #15, the Zero Energy Town Buildings Bylaw. We ask that you recommend it to Town Meeting.
We believe that any new municipal buildings built from now on must be Zero Energy (ZE). The planetary climate crisis demands it. The urgency related to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is increasing each year. Amherst must be bold in planning for resilience in the face of the environmental and economic disruption. We want our town to take the lead and model a commitment now to buildings that will use clean energy for the 50+ years of their utility.
The arguments against this bylaw based on financial concerns are important to consider, but must be looked at differently from other expenditures in the town budget.
- ZE buildings pay for their small extra cost in energy savings over time.
- Additional building costs can be minimized through design choices, grants and creative financing options. We have the talent and ingenuity in Amherst to build ZE cost effectively.
- Concerns about possible increased costs now must be weighed against future savings, and compared to the financial burden we are leaving to the coming generations due to continued use of fossil fuels.
- Building for reduced and stable energy costs in the next two decades is forward-thinking and more likely to stabilize property tax rates in the long run than to add to rates.
- When carbon pricing begins, ZE buildings will save money immediately compared to those using fossil fuels.
We ask you to support and recommend this bylaw because of the economic and environmental benefits it will produce for all residents and businesses.
By signing up below you are agreeing to publicly support asking the Select Board to recommend Article #15. You give permission for your name to be listed on the letter, on zeroenergyamherst.weebly.com, and other online and print materials.