Christmas came early this year for the Belmont Municipal Light Department. Unfortunately, it was in the form of a box full of coal from Santa himself. The Department, which acts as the town’s electrical provider, has rules in place such that going solar in Belmont is, in practical terms, not doable. The Department has chosen to opt out of the Massachusetts Solar II Rebate program, meaning that homeowners in Belmont wishing to go solar would have to forgo the sizable rebate offered by the state to entice residents to switch over from traditional sources of energy to solar. In addition, electricity metering policy in Belmont is not only solar-unfriendly, it’s incomprehensible as well. Simply put, there’s a systematic the lack of cooperation on and support for solar initiatives on the part of the BMLD
With that in mind, Ben Weiner, Director Marketing of Sunlight Solar Energy’s Massachusetts office, and Santa Claus, beloved gift-giving icon to millions of children worldwide, paid a visit to the Belmont Municipal Light Department’s main office. In addition to the coal, the pair delivered a letter handwritten by Santa, who, in addition to readinguntold scores of letter every years, also writes one when he feels it’s for a good cause. Here is the text of that letter:
From the Desk of S. Claus
The North Pole
Dear Belmont Municipal Light Department—
I’m sad to say that you’ve been a very naughty municipal electrical company! Not only do you not allow Belmont residents to participate in the wonderful Massachusetts Solar II Rebate program, you also have a net metering policy that’s incomprehensible, as well as a general ambivalence toward the idea of Belmontians going solar.
As such, I’ve taken it upon myself to put you on the naughty list, and my friends at Sunlight Solar are backing me up. If I could ask you just one question, it would be this: why, relative to the towns that surround you, is it so difficult to go solar in Belmont? Towns like Concord are actively working toward the idea of being more solar-friendly for the people that live there, while in Belmont it hardly makes any sense at all to have a solar installation put in. Who knows how many people in this town have been discouraged from the idea of solar energy because of the prohibitive restrictions in place for doing so? (Well, I actually do know because I can see people when they’re sleeping, awake, etc., but you get what I mean…)
And, if I could ask you for just one more thing, it would be this: think about the kind of impact that you want to have on the future. Do you want Belmont to be remembered as the Little Town That Couldn’t, or do you want Belmont to be remembered as the Town of (Solar) Homes? In my mind, the choice is simple.
The town worker on duty, who would only identify herself with the alias “Prancer,” became visibly agitated at this wave of criticism, and when asked for a comment, said only “Ho ho ho” in a harsh tone of voice.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Sunlight Solar Energy!