Our Stories


Hampshire COG starts solar water heating program

The “solarize” Massachusetts programs have worked so well that a new pilot program launched in the Pioneer Valley is trying to make as big a splash for solar hot water. Working with a Clean Energy Center grant, the Hampshire Council of Governments has launched the first grant for homeowners to install solar hot water systems, using Greenfield-based Spartan Solar of Greenfield as its contractor.

HCG Power looks to broker property owners’ clean energy credits

The nonprofit energy supplier of the Hampshire Council of Governments has launched a brokerage service to help maximize investments in clean energy made by property owners in the region. People who install qualified green energy systems can apply for energy credits from the state that can then be sold. For a 7 percent fee, HCG Power will do the selling for the property owner, aggregating those credits with those of others to obtain the best market price, according to the nonprofit.

Solar Thermal Challenge kicks off in Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Hampshire Council of Government is kicking off the state’s first Solar Thermal Challenge campaign. According to a release sent to 22News, the HCG was awarded a $141,875 grant to fund three rounds of regional solar thermal outreach campaigns. The pilot program is expected to run from fall 2017 into 2018.

4 RSVP volunteers receive President’s Lifetime Achievement Award

HOLYOKE — Imagine serving coffee, cooking meals, planning trips and knitting sweaters for more than 4,000 hours — not for oneself, but for others; not for pay, but for charity. These are just a few of the ways that RSVP of Hampshire & Franklin Counties volunteers serve their communities.

Others join Deerfield Bar-Way Farm in turning manure into energy

For years, dairy farmers have used cow manure as fertilizer to spread over crops like corn and hay. But some farms in western Massachusetts have a new use for all that manure — renewable energy. The farms, in Deerfield, Hatfield and Granville, are embarking on a project to turn cow manure into electricity as a way to become self-sustaining and stabilize their finances in what they say is a volatile market.

HCG, Franklin CDC, to offer local foods to schools

As students at Leverett and Erving elementary schools dig into their vegetables this fall, they may be getting a taste of local farms thanks to a new collaboration of the Franklin County Community Development Corp. and the Hampshire Regional Council of Governments. HCOG’s Purchasing Cooperative and the CDC have announced a Pioneer Valley Vegetable Venture for 16 school cafeterias and organizations around western Massachusetts, one that will offer locally grown fruits and vegetables for their menus.

Hampshire Power plans to power the Big E with all clean energy

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The buildings at the Big E have begun the process of converting to renewable energy. Hampshire Power in Northampton eventually intends to power all of the buildings with green energy. The power company hopes to recruit other businesses from its booth located just outside the Massachusetts building.

George A. Symborski: Cites accomplishments of county agency

Serving as a representative on the Hampshire Council of Governments is an honor and privilege. I say this because the council provides a strong example of local leadership working at its best, along with a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. Council representatives come together to seek common ground for their town’s problems and unique challenges. Regional solutions are not always obvious or one-size-fits-all, but the lesson in civics on display during our meetings is that you keep plugging away for the greater good.

HCG represents a new model of how we come together

to co-create the community we want.

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