Lincoln, Massachusetts is a small community dedicated to sustainable living.
In 2006, when Lincoln established its first Green Energy Technology Committee, there was a clear recognition across the Town's commissions, boards, and departments that the threat of climate change is real. Since that time, the now-named Lincoln Green Energy Committee has devoted itself to initiatives in four key areas: energy efficiencies in municipal buildings and operations, municipal investments in renewable energy technologies, residential energy efficiency, and residential renewable energy.
The Town of Lincoln has a long commitment to sustainability and clean energy with the GEC's guidance:
2006 — The Lincoln Green Energy Technology Committee was formed by the Board of Selectmen to identify energy-related technologies to reduce municipal energy use.
2009 — Lincoln’s Long Range Master Plan includes many references to energy efficiency, alternative energy, and conserving resources, and includes a recommendation to identify residents to lead the development of a climate action plan. Lincoln has implemented many of the energy efficiency recommendations.
2010 — At Town Meeting, a measure passed to adopt Massachusetts Green Community designation criteria, which includes a 20% energy-use reduction target for all municipal buildings against a 2008 baseline, a two-acre solar PV array at Minute Man Regional High School, and related measures.
2010 — Lincoln was officially designated as a Massachusetts Green Community, one of the first 17 towns approved to participate. The program has since supported more than $750,000 worth of energy-efficiency investments in Lincoln’s facilities and vehicular fleet.
2011 — The Town Facilities Energy Performance Standard, a measure for new construction and major renovation energy performance criteria with a net-zero fossil fuel target by 2030, was adopted at Town Meeting.
2011 — The Greening Lincoln Initiative reached out to residents. They engaged more than 200 residents who attended forums, provided email contact info, and pledged to reduce their energy consumption.
2012 — New zoning bylaws were approved to encourage solar PV installation investments.
2012 — Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland joined forces to participate in Solarize Mass, a residential solar PV initiative program through the Massachusetts Area Planning Council (MAPC) that supported the installation of 32 new small-scale solar PV systems in Lincoln through 2015.
2013— GreeningLincoln surveys residents and helps with toilet/washer rebates.
2015— GEC helped the town purchase and install energy efficient LED outdoor lighting throughout the town and at the school.
2016— The Town Offices renovation project was awarded LEED Silver.
2016 — The Green Energy Committee launched the Lincoln Energy Challenge with the goal of signing up 300 households to receive free home energy assessments and subsequent energy efficiency upgrades. In 2018 Lincoln, was awarded nearly $9,000 from National Grid Community Initiative Grant.
2016— GEC held a Home Energy Workshop for the town focusing on energy efficiency, solar, renewably sourced electricity, energy efficient heating, and financing these and conducted an energy survey.
2016 — A Town-appointed Solar Working Group partnered with Solar Design Associates and BlueWave Capital, LLC, to analyze 25 municipal sites with solar-PV potential. Two sites were recommended for installation: the Lincoln Public Safety building (45 kW) and the landfill at the Lincoln Transfer Station (1 MW), which would generate approximately 50% of the town's electricity consumption.
2016 — GEC worked with the Planning Board to updated Lincoln's Solar Bylaw. GEC proposed eliminating the required one-foot setback for solar installations on rooftops, raising the height limit for pole/ground-mounted systems from 10 feet to 12 feet, and making the Planning Board waiver provisions more consistent. These changes were approved at Town Meeting in March, 2017.
2016 — GEC started promoting the purchase of electricity with higher mixes of renewable energy, particularly the Make the Switch Program, and electric vehicles.
2017 — GEC participated in a second Solarize Mass program, run through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and using a group purchasing program to lower the costs of solar installations. The program included Solar Hot Water.
2017 — For two years the GEC worked closely with School Building Committee to ensure a Net Zero school renovation.
2018 — GEC participated in the HeatSmart Mass program, run through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and using a group purchasing program to lower the costs of renewable and alternative heating and cooling technologies.
2018 — With GEC's guidance, the town of Lincoln initiated its Community Choice Aggregation program.
2018 — GEC worked with Lincoln's Historic District Commission to find good solutions to allowing rooftop solar in the Historic District.
2018 — GEC is working with 8 condominium complexes in Lincoln on energy efficiency, solar, energy efficient heating, and energy efficient plumbing fixtures.