Gill, Massachusetts Slate Memorial Library - Gill, Massachusetts


Commission Members:
Claire Chang, 413-863-8952, Chair
Tupper Brown, 413-863-8243
Pam Lester, 413-222-9674
Janet Masucci, 413-863-8694
Andy Cole, 413-325-1383
Alden Booth
Vicky Jenkins

Mailing Address:
325 Main Road, Gill, MA 01354-9758

Meeting schedule: The Commission meets on an as needed basis. Please contact the Chair to determine the meeting time and to be included on the agenda.

NEW 0% Loan Options through Mass Save HEAT Loan Program!
Through a $3.8 million US Department of Energy grant, the Mass. Dept. of Energy Resources has expanded the energy improvements eligible for the Mass Save� HEAT Loan to encourage more residential energy efficient upgrades and high efficiency renewable heating installations. Zero percent loans are now available for biomass wood pellet boilers (up to $25,000), deeper weatherization measures (up to $50,000), and projects in two- to four-family buildings ($25,000 to $50,000). In addition, the program is offering weatherization barrier mitigation incentives of up to $2,000 for knob and tube wiring remediation, and up to $3,000 for asbestos abatement. Visit the Heat Loan site for details.

Workshop Schedule

Workshop - Solar Hot Air Heating - Saturday, September 13, 9 AM - Noon
FREE workshop - We all know how warm it can feel to stand in the sun on a clear winter day. This workshop led by Peter Talmage will show you how to build a simple collector that can capture that heat and warm up the air in your house. We will learn how these collectors work and will build an actual working unit. We will have a lottery to select the lucky participant who will be able to purchase the unit for the price of materials (about $100) to take home. The workshop takes place at the Gill Town Hall, 325 Main Road, Gill. To register call Janet Masucci at (413) 863-8694 or email

Workshop - Gardening: Low-Tech Season Extension - Saturday, September 27, 9:00 - Noon
FREE - Any dirt farmer can harvest salad greens in the spring and tomatoes in August. However, if you can keep green food alive into and through the winter, in chilly New England, you're bound to be healthy, happy as well as a popular host. In this intensive class Daniel Botkin will review the key principles and practices of "four-season�farming" including how to build, plant and manage "low tunnel" hoophouses for season extension and winter habitat. A farm lunch will be served at 11:30 AM. Class size limited to 12. To register call Janet Masucci at (413) 863-8694 or email

Workshop - Weatherize Your Home - Saturday, October 25, 9:00 - Noon
FREE - There are many ways to improve the efficiency of your home that can save you lots of fuel. Many of these measures cost little to nothing. Learn these simple methods as well as some of modest cost and make your home easier to heat and more comfortable. Sources of funding and available rebates will also be discussed. The workshop will be led by Peter Talmage, and takes place at the Gill Town Hall, 325 Main Road, Gill. To register call Janet Masucci at (413) 863-8694 or email

Workshop - Winsert, Make One to Take Away - Saturday, November 8, 9:00 - Noon
FREE workshop, but there will be a cost for materials - "Winserts" are reusable transparent panels that fit snugly inside window jambs to add two extra layers of glazing. The workshop will be presented by Peter Talmage who has been teaching people in the Renewable Energy field at GCC and elsewhere for many years. A properly-constructed winsert can reduce heat loss from a typical single- or double-glazed window by up to 50%, thus more than paying for the cost of the winserts in less than one year.

During the workshop you will assemble a winsert for a window in your own house. In order to have enough materials for everyone's project, we need to know the size of your window. The participant will pay for the cost of materials only at approximately $1 per square foot of window. Class size is limited to 15, so pre-registration is very important! The workshop takes place at the Gill Town Hall, 325 Main Road, Gill. To register call Janet Masucci at (413) 863-8694 or email

Workshop - Building Free Energy Root Cellars - Saturday, November 22, 9 AM - Noon
FREE workshop! Root cellars are the perfect way to store a wide variety of fall harvested vegetables. Learn from Gill resident & Energy Commission member Alden Booth how to retro-fit an exterior wall in your house as a root cellar using the winter air and no electricity. It's easy to install a passive air flow and temperature control system to keep food products cool but not frozen using off-the-shelf piping. Alden will also cover root cellars that can be built away from the house or as part of an outbuilding or into a hill.
Pre-registration is required. To register call Janet Masucci at (413) 863-8694 or email Once you have registered you will received directions to the Gill site where this workshop is being held.

Sign up for a free energy audit
Free energy audits are available by directly contacting any of these companies:

MassSaves at 1-866-527-7283

Home Energy Contractors:
A. A. Arden, LLC., Attleboro 508-639-9811 or email
Coop Power, Greenfield 877-266-7548
Cozy Home Performance LLC., Easthampton 413-529-0200
Energia, Holyoke 413-332-9111

Our 2013 energy fair had exhibitors and demonstrations on practices and techniques to track and reduce energy use, develop a more sustainable lifestyle, live more comfortably, save money, and reduce your carbon footprint. A video of our speakers can be found on Vimeo at

Laura Biddulph, Community Outreach Specialist, Center for EcoTechnology spoke about building science, how it relates to the need to weatherize, and solutions including winserts. Amy Donovan, Program Director, Franklin County Solid Waste Management District spoke about recycling, composting, and hazardous waste, with a special focus on the climate change/waste diversion link. John Walsh, Supervisor - Residential C&LM, Western Massachusetts Electric Company spoke about WMECO programs and ways that people can track and reduce energy consumption.

Energy Saving Ideas for the Gill Challenge to Reduce Energy Use by 13% in 2013

Pledge Form for Energy Campaign

Gill Designated as Green Community
At a State House ceremony on July 24th, Gill was one of 17 communities designated by Governor Deval Patrick as a Green Community, joining the ranks of 86 previously designated cities and towns.

Once designated as official Green Communities, cities and towns are eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that advance both municipal and state clean energy goals. Grants awarded so far assist an array of projects across the state, including the installation of solar panels on town office buildings, weatherization at schools and municipal buildings, installation of high-efficiency street lights, and a host of energy efficiency upgrades. Gill's grant award is $139,900, and Gill's Energy Commission will be developing a list of projects in town for the Selectboard to review and submit to the State for approval and funding.

Representatives from Gill's Energy Commission and Selectboard attended a ceremony in Amherst on August 14th at which the Town was again recognized for its commitment to the goals of the Green Community program, and received the symbolic "Really Big Check" for $139,900! In the photo below, from left to right, are Mark Sylvia, Commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources; John Ward, Gill Selectman; Janet Masucci, Gill Energy Commission; Claire Chang, Gill Energy Commission Chair; and Richard Sullivan, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Gill's Really Big Check

New Tips on Saving Money

Courtesy of the Greening Greenfield Campaign, CLICK HERE for a brochure that describes ways to find the financial assistance that you need to make your home more energy smart. (Note: Some of the programs described on the brochure are available only to Greenfield residents.)

New informational handout from the Gill Energy Commission on ways to save money on energy upgrades! Click here.

Learn to Make Insulating Window Inserts
Here's the link to the North Quabbin Energy website that explains how to make your own winserts - the same way we were taught at our workshop on February 26th. "Winserts" are reusable transparent panels that fit snugly inside window jambs to add two extra layers of glazing. A properly-constructed winsert will reduce heat loss from a typical single- or double-glazed window by up to 50%, thus more than paying for the cost of the winserts in less than one year. Click here (opens new browser window).

Green Communities Action Plan
The Green Communities Action Plan was developed in the Spring of 2010 by the Energy Commission with considerable assistance from the FRCOG. If Gill meets the five criteria for being designated as a Green Community, the Town would be eligible to apply for energy-related grants available from the Mass. Department of Energy Resources. The pot of money for grants awarded in FY 2010 was approximately $10 million. The five criteria are: As of Right Siting, Expedited Permitting, Baseline Reduction of Municipal Energy Use by 20%, Purchase of Energy Efficient Vehicles and/or other green transportation initiatives, and Adoption of the Stretch Building Code. This plan was endorsed by the Selectboard at their June 7, 2010 meeting.

MassSAVE Energy Audit Offers New Services
MassSAVE, the utility-funded no-cost home energy audit program, has just added FREE air sealing to their services. Air sealing (sealing unnecessary air leaks in attics and basements) is often the most effective measure in terms of improving a home's energy efficiency. In an older home, all the small leaks can be equivalent to having a window wide open all winter long. It is also a measure that can be suitable for homeowners who have knob & tube wiring -- a major roadblock to adding insulation.

The free air sealing is offered in addition to: $2,000 savings already available for attic, wall and basement insulation; and 0% interest loan up to $15,000 for insulation, high-efficiency heating systems, windows and solar hot water systems. Call MassSAVE at 1-866-527-7283 to schedule a no-cost home energy audit.