November 28, 2022

Rehoboth Explores Green Energy


The Board of Selectmen has given authorization to the Green Energy Committee to proceed with their plans for the Pleasant Street and Tremont Street fire stations.

Carolyn Panofsky, chairperson of the committee, said grant funding would be used. $200,000 is the maximum amount of funding which can be applied for.

The total amount of funding for the two fire stations is $181,595. The money would be used to weatherize and install new heat pump systems in order to provide heating and air conditioning for both buildings.

Panofsky spoke with Fire Chief Frank Barresi, who thought those would be “excellent improvements” for the buildings.

The committee previously did weatherizing and window replacement work for the Goff Memorial Hall.

“Because (the town pays) the operating costs, that means we’re paying for the heating and the lighting and so forth,” Panofsky said.

Other buildings had been considered, including the animal shelter.

“(The staff) is unable to make an assessment of exactly what’s needed because the building isn’t in the condition it will be in when they’re working on it,” Panofsky explained. “If everything isn’t laid out in one of these competitive grants, it just gets denied.”

The grants include money left over for subsidies to purchase either hybrid vehicles or electric vehicles.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), several cities and towns across the Commonwealth have purchased either battery electric and/or hybrid vehicles, including Boston, Acushnet, Brockton, Cambridge, Dartmouth, Dighton, Fall River, and New Bedford.

According to the DEP website: MassEVIP Fleets is a MassDEP rolling grant program aimed at making electric vehicles (EVs) more widely available across Massachusetts. The program provides incentives for public entities to buy or lease EVs. Maximum funding amounts depend on vehicle type and means of acquisition.

“In terms of maintenance, they break down less, they’re much more resilient, they have a longer life and so forth,” Panofsky noted. “Even though they might be initially more expensive, over the long term they’re much less expensive to drive.”

Selectman Michael Deignan told Panofsky he didn’t think the town would be purchasing an electric vehicle any time soon, but added he wouldn’t want to lose the grant funds to pay for one.


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