Category Archives: Energy Committee

MEC on 1/11/18


Minutes of the January 11, 2018 Meeting of The Medfield Energy Committee



Lee Alinsky

Fred Davis

Jerry McCarty

Osler L. Peterson

Marie Nolan

Paul Fechtelkotter

Cynthia Greene

Mike Sullivan

Sophie Gustafson (Student, Medfield HS)


Meeting minutes taken by Paul Fechtelkotter



  • Adjusted and corrected minutes of the 2 November meeting. Committee approved as amended. Lee will submit to the town.
  • Marie is still trying to reach Andrew to get permissions to allow the broader committee to edit Google drive documents.


Green Communities Grant status – Jerry

  • The state gave us tentative approval for items relative to retro–commissioning and software upgrade at Blake Middle School. The state turned down our request for funding projects at the high school. Jerry is closing issues with Rise Engineering (in conjunction with Trane) to finalize a proposal with a specific dollar value for the Blake project to get the funding approved and released. If approved this project would consume ~$102K of the $146K grant available.
  • Funding for retro-commissioning at the high school will likely come from the town budget.
  • There was a 6 month delay in the DOER approval of the retro commission request.
  • State approved funding request for exterior lighting at both Blake and Memorial. Gerry is looking at lighting projects for additional schools to help consume the remaining funding available from the original grant. Approval should be quick for these projects (~3 weeks).
  • We cannot apply for grants for fiscal 2018 until we have spent this year’s grant funds.
  • The committee agreed to work to start submitting fiscal 2019 projects for review and “pre-approval” to the degree possible.


DPW Solar– Gerry

  • We are rebidding the project to consume the ~$267K in remaining funding (~$220K available for construction costs and balance in soft costs). Gerry reached out to Solar Design to define the scope of services necessary to create a phased design to fit within the ~$220K construction budget in a base bid with incrementally phased add-ons.


  • The Permanent Building Committee will need to review design documents once they become available.
  • There is the potential of securing additional funds through a warrant at the town meeting if that becomes necessary.
  • Pete said we collected ~$68K through SREC credit and generated ~40% energy savings at the waste water treatment plant, making the project cash positive for the year. The savings helped reduce the planned increase in town water/sewer rates from the anticipated 4% to an actual 2%. We need to highlight these successes in the committee report for town meeting.


Street Lighting

  • Mike expressed a desire to understand exactly what is in the Eversource contract and be very clear on what the town is buying and what its responsibilities will be once the town has assumed ownership of the lighting assets.
  • Mike would also like to get a better understanding of the exact cost savings and associated risks. The committee agreed on the need to get a final report from our consultant and then arrange to have him present the findings to the committee.


Ne Zero Communities – Fred

  • Fred presented slides from an MAPC Webinar held in late 2017.
  • Multiple towns in MA have already committed to significant carbon and energy reductions.
  • Fred is planning to attend MMA and will report on what happened to the committee.

GCA grant


When Medfield became a green community last year, DOER gave the town a $148K grant to spend on energy reduction projects.  The Medfield Energy Committee, with Facilities Manger, Jerry McCarty’s lead, identified exterior lighting upgrades (to LED’s) at the schools as a good solution to spend some of that grant money.

The MEC just circulated the RISE Engineering analysis of costs and benefits.  Total cost is $118K, Eversource incentive money is $52K, so net cost to town is $65K.  The lighting upgrades are all at schools, and four of five involve ROI pay backs of less than two years (the smallest $7K project at Wheelock had a six year pay back, but still a 16% annual ROI).

Jerry is also looking to upgrade the HVAC controls at both the Medfield High School and Blake Middle School as well.

MEC on 11/2/17


Medfield Energy Committee

Nov. 2, 2017


Attending: Gerry McCarty, Lee Alinsky, Cynthia Greene, Marie Nolan, Pete Peterson, Fred Davis

Minutes by FD, MN


Green Communities Funds


Total GC grant of $148,000: $110,723 is the RISE quote for retro commissioning of Mid. Sch. & HS (Gerry will re-send that detail). We applied in May; in September, Kelly Brown at DOER asked various q’s; including how we’re going to deal with the rebate program, and what will be identified during retro-commissioning. Within a week, RISE responded; re the latter: excess ventilation, set-points, scheduling. Now we’re waiting for DOER again.


In the meantime, Kelly asked on 10/31: what else do we propose to do with the grant funds?


GM: since we’ve gotten clarification that an audit is not necessary to replace the Blake water heater,  looked at Table 4, and suggested the outdoor lighting work at Blake and Memorial School parking lots, respectively $18,287 and $16,620; totaling $34,907. RISE provided details on 10/31 for those measures, they match the values in Table 4. FD offered to scrutinize the specs; offhand recommended that the latest thinking in LEDs is to utilize dimming/controls as much as possible; this may include dimming down or turning off in a parking lot, and tuning to desired light levels.


This would leave $2300. The full $148,000 must be spent down before applying for next round.

  1. as to when the deadline might be for next round of funds.


Google Drive

LA: still un-workable; Marie: will work on it


Solar on Roof at DPW

Solar roof loading analysis for DPW defined as parts A, B, and C: we now have a stamped engineering report from Solect’s engineer, EAH Structural Consulting dated 11/29/17, saying “existing roof framing systems are judged to be adequate to withstand the loadings imposed by the installation of the solar panels.” Cost for this was in range of $1000. (HMTB should have done this.)


Solar on DPW: original design by Solar Design Associates needs to be re-done; originally it was design-bid-build, a performance specification. There were only two bidders, one didn’t meet DCAM Cert., other was very high, above the budgeted amount. Now we would ask SDA to do firm specs, and ask for base bid and design alternates to cover parts of the roof, to help ensure that we meet the budgeted amount (allotted from DPW budget _____________).



[At this point, Marie Nolan took over from Fred Davis recording the meeting’s minutes as Fred now began a discussion regarding the LED STREET LIGHTS project.]



11.2.17 continuation of notes ….


Light Smart Energy Consulting (George Woodbury) has offered to meet with MEC, present its report, and walk through the next steps.  FD cannot be at a fixture selection meeting so we may need Woodbury’s help for that.


MEC questions posed:

  • How do we reconcile the numbers between the DPRS assessment (utility report) and Woodbury’s field count?
  • Does it affect the $1 price?  No.  George is checking with Eversource on the agreement.
  • Does it change the figures we are going to get? Woodbury will take the counts and recommend substitution.  Ask Light Smart to recommend approach to deciding what wattage to choose if there is a street with several wattages (e.g. lowest or average?)


Bottom line – not much change in terms of energy, 11 fewer but higher wattages shown on DPRS (347 on DPRS and 333 in field).  Correct when on S2 rate (town rate), but we are on S1 (Eversource rate).

$20,000 is the maintenance.


Questions for Woodbury:

  • Provide an estimate for maintenance contract.
  • Where are other streetlights needed in Town such as at the Pfaff Center, Public Safety building, DPW?
  • Are you going to provide a GIS map of where the lights are?
  • What is the timeline for taking possession of the streetlights?
  • Are old documents still valid?
  • How do we tell Eversource that the count is incorrect?
  • How do we negotiate a change in our bill?   (Need to go to Selectmen when we want to enter into a contract.)
  • How do you choose light color?  Why did Wellesley choose 2,700?
  • How do you correct for glare?  (Often biggest complaint)


First step is to set up Woodbury attending MEC meeting. We do not want to own the lights and maintain them before the retrofit. Needs to happen together.


Are we doing test lights to decide on color?? Six years ago – 5,000 was norm. Since then, always been 4,000. The past year, some lights are available at 3,000 kelvins and they are still efficient as the higher ones.  Wellesley is choosing 2,700 kelvins (they found efficiency drops between 3,000 to 2,700)


We may end up with 4 wattages and 2 types.

Must keep good records and rules of thumb for dial settings at certain locations.


Personal preference – Westwood has lights that are 4,000 kelvins.  Newburyport has 3,000.


LED – colors will be better under lamps.


Lighting has to be SMART control ready.  Do not add it now as expensive .  Woodbury would not recommend controls now because of our size.





MEC on 9/29


DRAFT September 28, 2017 Medfield Energy Committee Meeting minutes

Attendees: Fred Davis, Jerry McCarty, Marie Nolan, Lee Alinsky and Cynthia Greene

  1. Meeting minutes from June 7 were reviewed.  Fred requested a change to the recusal information.  It was noted that since the minutes there is new information about the Blake Middle school hot water heater.  Minutes were accepted and Lee will determine who should receive them at Town Hall so that they are posted on the Medfield Town Website and he will post them on the MEC google docs.
  2. Update on Blake – DOER said that Blake Middle School domestic hot water heater ASHRAE audit for $7,875 is not needed.
  3. We discussed who was officially on the Committee and what constituted a quorum. Lee will check in with Town Hall to determine.
  4. Google documents – Lee could not manipulate the documents. Marie will look at how to give Lee administrative rights.
  5. LED street lights. Fred Davis emphasized that he has recused himself from a specific bid on the LED street lights for Medfield, but he is allowed to help advise us on the process, but not the purchase.

Jerry gave us an email from Light Smart with the status on the project

  • The field audit has been completed
  • Looking at preliminary design
  • Expect a document with the preliminary design in a week.
  • At the next meeting the committee has to approve whether to go with MAPC and receive a 30% incentive from DOER (for Medfield that is $22,400) or to go through an independent process. Light Smart indicated that if we went independently it would be faster as MAPC is doing bundling of town requests.

Fred Davis explained that the process at the MAPC is evolving, that DOER thinks that bundling is better.  The faster we do the work the more time for savings.   The estimated annual savings for the Medfield project is $32,600.  Unless we were significantly delayed (10months or more) it is more cost effective to go with MAPC, although we do not know how much transactional costs there will be with MAPC vs going independently with Light Smart.

The Town must decide on the types of lights and fixtures.   There are two kinds of lights being sold now.   In the past the lights were 5,000 Calvin that emitted a blueish light.   The options now are for 3,000 Calvin, a warmer, yellower light or 4,000 Calvin a neutral, but blueish light.   Medfield could do a pilot as was done in Cambridge and Northampton, to see which light color the community members like.  The way to do this would be for committee members to observe and then let the community know and take opinions.   Northampton did this, but the results were not conclusive.  We also discussed that Westwood and Cambridge have smart controls on their lights, but that is more upfront costs.   Westwood and Cambridge have 4,000 Calvin lights.   Both lights are the same price.

Cambridge video

Fact sheet



  1. Green Communities.  Jerry handed out an email received on 9/26/17 with questions from DOER on our May submittal.   Jerry and Axum Teferra, from MAPC, will be discussing the comments.  Jerry will then take the questions to RISE Engineering.  We do not know how long RISE will take to answer and then for DOER to approve the answers and the project.  Jerry will discuss with Axum the timeframe on spending these funds.   The funds have to be spent before the town can apply for further Green Communities grants.  The cost of the retro commissioning for the energy management systems is $117,000 for both schools.   The grant is for $138,000.  Jerry has a $70K request in the Capitol budget  for new software to replace the 1996 version that is currently running in the schools.
  2. DPW roof. Jerry has a contract with Solect engineers to look at the roof and to see if it is structurally adequate for PV.  The engineer’s site visit is next week.  Once Jerry has their report he will give it to the Building inspector to see if the roof is viable for a solar installation or it first would need modifications.
  3. Public safety building. The PV system is up and running.  The dashboard is being worked on.  We will try to meet at the public safety building so we can see the dashboard.

Future Work for the committee.   Lee outlined some of his ideas and others added ideas and all were discussed.

  1. Microgrids for the town buildings.   Cynthia explained that microgrids cannot cross public ways in MA, but that the hospital development might be a good location for a microgrid.  There are state incentives for microgrids.  We all want to be better educated on microgrids.


MA microgrids

  1. Use of the landfill site for PV array.  Lee would like us to get MA DEP’s current advice on this as Solar Design has already given us specifications for an array at this location.  If a study is needed to determine the adequacy of the landfill closure for PV, we could investigate if we could use the Green Communities funds to do the study.
  2. Solar canopies at the Middle and High School parking lots with EV charging stations. The town could potentially take advantage of the EV charging station incentives.  Fred suggested that we invite the energy managers from Westwood and Wayland to speak with us as they have done a lot of work in energy improvements, Wayland doing them all at once including PV at their town hall parking lot.  We discussed other places with parking lot PV canopies – REI, Walden Pond, and Logan Airport.

Walden Pond




  1. Net Zero planning. Fred Davis would like us to consider this at a future meeting.   There is a MAPC Oct 11 meeting on getting to net zero and a 45 minute MAPC webinar.  Concord passed a net zero article at their Town Meeting.



Meeting adjourned 9:15 pm.

Next meeting – Tuesday Oct 17 at 7:30 pm (hopefully at the Public Safety Building.)

Respectfully submitted by Cynthia Greene


Lee Alinsky new Chair of MEC

This emailed memo came today from the now former chair of the Medfield Energy Committee, Fred Bunger, who is moving to Wellesley to be nearer to family.  Medfield benefited hugely from Fred’s excellent, thoughtful, and persistent stewardship of the MEC.  Fred engineered the town becoming a Green Community last year, with all that entails, including the receipt of a $148,000 DOER grant and the development of a plan to reduce the town’s future energy consumption by 20% – a reduction which is over an above the 30% reduction that the MEC had already helped the town achieve under the original MEC Chair, Marie Zack Nolan.  That grant money is now being used to undertake a recommissioning of the HVAC controls at the Medfield High School and the Blake Middle School, the town’s two biggest energy users, so as to make both operate more efficiently.

town seal


Energy Committee


TO:  Select Board, Town Administrator and Facilities Director

DATE: July 12, 2017

SUBJECT:  New Energy Committee Chair

Dear Sirs,

This letter is to confirm that the Medfield Energy Committee has chosen Lee Alinsky as Chairman, by vote of the members in attendance at the June 8, 2017 Energy Committee meeting.


I will be moving from Medfield in September 2017, so can no longer serve on the Energy Committee.


Please make Lee welcome and give him the excellent support you have given me for the past two years.  Your ongoing support of the Energy Committee will continue to help the Town achieve its efficiency goals.


Thank you for the honor of serving you.



Fred Bunger


cc.: Medfield Energy Committee members


LED’s at ATM

This from the Medfield Energy Committee chair, Fred Bunger –

LED streetlight

Letter to Editor


I am writing in support of Article #25 on the Town Meeting warrant.  Article #25 proposes that the Town save $31,870/yr. on lighting cost by converting 347 streetlights in Medfield to LED.   Medfield would join over 50 other Massachusetts towns that have made the conversion to LED.


The net cost of the project is $67,600 after State grants and utility incentives.  This gives a simple payback of 2.1 years or 47% return on investment. With conservative allocation for future replacement and doubled maintenance costs, the payback is still an excellent 3.1 years.


The LED lights will provide a more natural light than the HID lights currently used.  LED lighting improvements in the last few years have permitted adjustments to the light color to avoid the harsh blue light seen in earlier LED installations.  To see what the Medfield lights might look like, take a drive on Route 109 into Westwood, which converted to LED recently.


The Medfield Energy Committee has been considering LED street lighting for several years.  The recent availability of State grants makes this an excellent time to implement the project.  We urge your support.



Fred Bunger, Chairman Medfield Energy Committee




Green Community recognition 4/12

The Medfield Energy Committee was tenacious, working hard over many years to position Medfield to become a Green Community, by satisfying the five required criteria, most recently by crafting a five year plan for a further 20% reduction by the town government’s energy use – that was filed and accepted by DOER over the winter.  The DOER invitation to the Green Community designation event appears below.  The five year plan was a “further” reduction, because the Medfield Energy Committee already had affected over a 30% energy use reduction since MEC first started its work.

It turns out that saving the planet also helps to save the town money.

And, don’t forget that qualifying as a Green Community also gets the town a $148,000 DOER grant, as well as access to future ongoing competitive DOER grants. So doing the right thing also earns the town money.

Westwood used one of the DOER competitive grants ($250,000) to buy and convert all its streetlights to LED fixtures.

Our own streetlight purchase ($1) and LED conversion (in round numbers, about $100,000) is a warrant article at our upcoming town meeting.  In general terms the town would spend about $100,000 to buy and convert to LED’s, get a now available, time limited $30,000 DOER grant to do so, and save about $30,000/year in future reduced electricity charges, for a pay back of the cost to convert in less than three years.

20170412-DOER-GC Event Invitation Medfield