WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/819093

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Page 135 of 219

Temple Beth Elohim on Bethel Road added solar panels in January of 2017, working closely with congregant Laura Olton, principal of LSO Energy Advisors, and the MLP on an arrange- ment in which the synagogue hosts rooftop panels owned and maintained by Solect. The synagogue offers a real-time view of its solar energy production though an online dashboard on its website. The dashboard provides positive reinforcement, translating the value of solar energy generated to relatable equivalent metrics, such as the number of smartphones charged, electric washer and dryer loads, CO2 emission tons avoided, AA batteries powered, electric cars charged, and more. Associate Rabbi Rachel Saphire explains the rationale for adding solar, "Installing solar panels is an actualization of our values, a way to model sustainability for our congregants, and a concrete effort to reduce our carbon footprint. We are proud to fulfill this sacred obligation and perform such an important mitzvah (commandment) of our tradition. On the first day of Creation, God created light and said, 'It is very good!'" Town resident Quentin Prideaux, who manages the Sustainable Wellesley Facebook page, created a Google Group for Wellesley solar owners to share information. The overwhelming majority of posts express enthusiasm: The performance, cost savings, and overall positive impact to the environment have exceeded our expectations thus far. For example, once again this past summer we ran our A/C and still overproduced, resulting in a credit that was applied to our water bill. We don't for one minute regret putting in solar. Once again this past year we produced more electricity than we used, so we got a credit on our water bill. The system has per- formed without any problems, and we look forward to many more years of productivity from the panels. We pat ourselves on the back for doing our part to use less fossil fuel. Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley hosts solar panels on its roof 134 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 7 Harnessing the Power of the Sun

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