Mayor Menino Launches Renew Boston Solarize as First E+ Home Opens

Boston, August 27, 2013, — Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced the launch of Renew Boston Solarize, a three-month campaign to make solar panels more affordable and accessible for Boston homeowners and small businesses. Mayor Menino, who had solar panels installed on his home in Hyde Park last year, has set a goal of 150 new residential-scale solar power installations in Boston, representing a 50 percent increase from last year’s campaign.

“Last year I joined the clean energy revolution, and I hope to have even more Bostonians join me in this year’s campaign,” Mayor Menino said. “Residents and businesses can lock in lower energy costs, create new clean energy jobs right here in Boston and help us continue to ‘greenovate’ our city.”

Renew Boston Solarize is a group buying program designed to increase the adoption of solar energy and to reduce its cost by offering residents and businesses discounted pricing for solar panels. The more people sign up, the more prices drop. The campaign is similar to Boston’s participation last year in Solarize Mass – Boston, through which more than 100 Boston residents, including Mayor Menino, installed solar panels on their homes.

The campaign also supports the Mayor’s Greenovate Boston sustainability initiative, which strives to engage residents and businesses to help reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

“Giving residents this opportunity to go solar is part of the City’s ongoing work to support Bostonians in their efforts to save money on energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Brian Swett, Chief of Environment and Energy. “Renew Boston Solarize makes solar power more accessible than ever for city residents.”

This program is based on the Solarize program model developed and implemented in cities and towns across Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.

The City of Boston has chosen Next Step Living™, New England’s leading whole-home energy solutions company, as the installer. Next Step Living™, in partnership with the Boston Solar Company, will simplify the process of going solar for customers, customize the design of the system, install solar panels, provide monitoring and handle any repairs or maintenance if required.

“We’re proud of our long relationship with Mayor Menino and the City of Boston and are excited about this new program to help Boston residents go solar,” said Geoff Chapin, Founder and CEO of Next Step Living™. “Renew Boston Solarize is an important step for homeowners who want clean energy and more energy efficiency.”

Renew Boston Solarize will hold free Solar 201 workshops in neighborhoods across the city starting in September. Visit or call 617-532-5999 to see if your home is a good candidate for solar.

Mayor Menino Celebrates Boston’s First Energy Positive Home

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today celebrated the opening of Boston’s first energy positive building. The four-unit townhouse complex, developed by Urbanica, Inc in Highland Park, Roxbury, is the first of three home ownership projects and future sustainable communities that are being developed under Mayor Menino’s Energy Positive (E+) Green Building Program. E+ green developments produce more energy than they use on an annual basis, giving energy back to the grid and saving homeowners’ money.

“Today we celebrate another great moment in Boston’s continued green building evolution, and another demonstration of the city’s local and national leadership in residential and community development,” Mayor Menino said.

The $1.5 million residential project, located at 226 Highland Street, features four, three-story townhouses measuring approximately 2,000 square feet with three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a small yard, and one parking space each. The LEED Platinum homes, which will be certified by the US Green Building Council, feature energy use monitoring tools, LED lighting, super insulated and airtight walls, solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, triple glazed windows, rain water harvesting for irrigation, and water efficient plumbing fixtures.

In March 2011, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the Office of Environment & Energy Services, and the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) released a Request for Proposal (RFP) that resulted in the selection of development teams to develop and sell 10 units of high performance green residential homes on three parcels of city owned land, including the 226 Highland Street site. The other two parcels are located at 156 Highland Street in Roxbury and 64 Catherine Street in Jamaica Plain.

In addition, the BRA and DND are working on an additional site for the development of an E+ community in Mission Hill. In March 2013 an RFP was issued for the Mission Hill site, which includes one and 1/3 acre of land at 778-796 Parker and 77 Terrace Streets. The RFP calls for a mix of uses including housing and commercial/light industrial, with community gardens, open space and arts elements. Six responses were received in June 2013 and are currently being reviewed.

DND is also working with residents of Highland Park to identify other large city-owned sites, where E+ development would be appropriate with community open space, gardens and sustainable development elements.

About E+

Mayor Menino’s E+ Green Building Program is a residential design and construction initiative to bring energy, environmentally, and equity positive green homes to Boston’s neighborhoods. It supports Mayor Menino’s Greenovate Boston program, a collective movement to ensure a greener, healthier and more prosperous future for the city by meeting Mayor Menino’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

The E+ Green Building Program builds upon Boston’s Article 37 Green Building Zoning and the city’s Green Affordable Housing Guidelines, national models for promoting green development, with a strong focus on advancing residential green building practices. The program seeks to promote the future generation of home and community construction combining high quality living space with clean energy production that helps power the neighborhood.

This City of Boston initiative is supported by local and national sponsors, including NSTAR Electric & Gas, National Grid, US Green Building Council, Massachusetts USGBC Chapter, and the Boston Society of Architects.