Editor, Townsman:

On Earth Day I celebrated the passage of Massachusetts' landmark climate bill, "An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy," signed recently into law by Gov. Charlie Baker.

I hope other states will follow suit.

It's time for us, as individuals, to create our own roadmap to reduce our carbon footprints and become better stewards of the planet.

My goal is to put my own life and lifestyle on the road to becoming fossil fuel free.

I began this process a few years ago with the installation of solar panels on the roof of my house. National Grid sends me a check every few months to pay for using the extra electricity my panels produce.

I also gave up my gas-powered lawnmower and now use a quiet, light and far less-toxic electric mower.

My next car will be electric. However, I will need to phase in that expense with the help of financial incentives that should be rolled out in the near future.  

I live in an old house with aging appliances. As each appliance fails, I will replace it with the most energy efficient make and model on the market.

For example, my refrigerator is on its last legs. This is an opportunity for me to buy a new HFC-free refrigerator with the new refrigerant R600a, which is far more energy efficient and will save me money. (Refrigerators are now being switched to R600a from R-134a refrigerant because R-134a is 3,710 times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the planet.)

Next up will be switching my oil furnace-linked water heater over to an electric heat pump water heater. A family of four can save approximately $350 per year on its electric bill compared to a standard water heater.

It makes sense. Energy efficient appliances use fewer kilowatt hours of energy consumption, which translates into savings in my wallet.

It's time to go electric. I hope others consider putting their households on a 10-year transition plan.

For information and tips, go to andoverwecan.org.

Mary Pritchard



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