Enet Mukurazita Joins the BAEC Team!


Enet Mukurazita, BAEC Youth Program Coordinator

Boston Affordable Energy Coalition is committed to expanding access to clean energy and energy efficiency in Boston’s underserved communities, focusing on Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury. We do this through education, community outreach, youth programming, and policy advocacy. We believe that with the right tools, the youth will drive forward a just and equitable climate movement.

The goal of the programming is to create a cross-school collaborative opportunity for students to explore climate change impacts and local solutions, including at the household, school, and community level. Students will work on hands-on, real-world projects and build skills and knowledge around local sustainability efforts, green careers, policy advocacy, and community outreach.

To reach this goal, Enet Mukurazita has joined the team as our Youth Program Coordinator. Enet comes to the group with a passion for and over 20 years of experience in organizing youth workshops for hundreds of students around AIDS awareness, career training, and building leadership skills for youth in Africa.

Outside of BAEC, Enet is currently pursuing a Masters in Sustainable International Development at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management.

We are so excited to have Enet on our side to bring children the best leadership and education possible!

SMART Policy Briefing

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Join BAEC and our community partners at the Second Church in Codman Square for a policy briefing about the implementation of the new Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program. We want to update people from Dorchester and the surrounding communities about how this new program is falling short of its requirements for including low to moderate income neighborhoods in the solar industry. We also want to receive feedback on how people want to change the policy to make the program work for them.

It is important for us to meet and incorporate this feedback quickly because we have a rare opportunity to directly influence the regulations, as the state is mandated to revise the SMART program to better serve low to moderate income neighborhoods and implement changes early next year. This is our chance to make sure that the right voices are making it through to the regulators so that the revised SMART program is actually accountable to everyone, and not just those with enough money to pay for lobbyists.

The much anticipated SMART program is finally going to be implemented on November 26th. While not everyone has had the time to make sense of the 219 page legal document, we have! We want to share this complicated policy so that everyone can understand it and have input on how it will affect them.



How Many Kwh Does It Take to Charge a Light-bulb?

The basic unit of electricity is the Kilowatt hour (kWh). In simple terms, 1 kWh is the amount of energy used by a 1kW (1000 watt) electric heater for 1 hour.

Check the rating of your appliance.


Brand new appliances aren’t cheap. But over time, the money you could save on your energy bills will offset the initial expense.

The important thing is to make sure you figure out what the biggest energy wasters are in your home. You can adjust your energy usage by unplugging or just using the device less often. The total electrical energy transmitted to an appliance is determined by its power and the extent of time it is turned on.

Electricity meters calculate the amount of units of electricity used in a home or other building. The more units used, the higher the cost of electricity.

The figures below are a general guide – ideally we’d recommend entering your actual annual usage in kilowatt hours.

Alternatively you can click on this link to calculate your energy useage



1. Source:   How long does it take to use one unit of electricity?

Oyin Okusanya

Outreach and Marketing Fellow





Energy Efficiency At Home

There are a number of ways you can make your home more sustainable, and knock some money off your energy bill. Simple changes can boost energy efficiency.

You may consider these energy saving improvements:

  • Invest in solar panels
  • Install new, controllable storage heaters.
  • Fit thermostats and controls to make your existing system more productive.
  • Consider making insulation and draught-proofing upgrades.
  • Replace your system with an efficient boiler system.
  • Have a loft insulation
  • Insulate a hot water tank (Insulating exposed pipes keeps your water warmer for a long period of time)


Make the most of the free electricity from your solar panels

You could try:

  • Charging mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets during the day and using their battery power at night.
  • Using an electric slow cooker to cook your food during the day.
  • Defrosting and cleaning fridges and freezers regularly can help keep them working efficiently.
  • Get loaded. A half-empty washing machine or dishwasher wastes energy and water.
  • Turning off appliances when not in use. That little red ‘standby’ light means you’re using electricity – all the time!

Alternatively you may be able to store some of the energy produced by your solar panels with a little help from your installer.

Having an immersion heater connected to your panels is a good way to store your energy for when you need it.

Oyin Okusanya

Outreach and Marketing Fellow

Generating solar power – How solar panels work

Sunlight is a renewable and limitless energy source. It can be regarded as a dependable source because the amount of energy that can be harnessed to generate electricity is from the sun.  Although it is limited by the winter season and cloudy weather – these reduce their effectiveness.

Solar cells are the frameworks of solar panels. Multiple solar cells are positioned in a way that makes up solar panels.  Solar panels turn energy from the sun’s rays straight into useful energy that can be used in homes and businesses. There are two main types: solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV)

Solar thermal panels use the sun’s energy to heat water that can be used in washing and heating. PV panels use the photovoltaic effect to turn the sun’s energy directly into electricity, which can boost or replace a building’s usual supply of electricity.

Solar panels generate direct current (DC) electricity when exposed to sunlight via the photovoltaic effect. A simple clarification is that the photons from sunlight are consumed and retained by a semiconductor material – silicon.

The negative electric charged electrons are knocked loose from their atoms, and flow from the negative side to the positive side to reposition with available holes there. This creates a direct current flow. This flow of electrons can then be used to either directly power a DC device, like a pump or a fan, it can be used to charge a battery bank, or it can be inverted to alternating current (AC) power to use in your home.

A solar cell generates about ½ volt. It is a section of a silicon.

Multiple solar cells are wired together in series to create higher voltage, creating a solar module, commonly referred to as a solar panel. A typical 12 Volt (V) solar panel has 36 cells in series.

The more solar cells wired in series, the higher the voltage of the solar panel.

During daylight hours, the panels on the roof collect the energy from the sun and feeds it to an inverter. This happens even on cloudy days.

Any excess electricity that is not used is fed into the National Grid.  Power companies pay for the surplus energy in the form of a credit on your bill.


1. Source:   How do solar panels work

Oyin Okusanya

Outreach and Marketing Fellow


Increase Your Property Value With Solar

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Multiple studies by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), a research laboratory funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, have shown that solar can improve the value of your home.

This study shows that the demand for solar is growing; energy-efficient home features like solar PV systems can have a big impact on your home and increase its market value, make your home smarter.
Top benefits of having a solar roof includes:
• Higher resale value
• Fewer days to sell the listed property

• Cut down on rising month-to-month electricity bills and maintenance.

The money saved could be used on other investments for a more desirable lifestyle.

Here’s an example for a 6.00 kW DC solar energy system in Cambridge, MA that produces about 6,300 kWh per year: The total installation cost for a system of this size, including panels, labor and all related costs, was about $19,800. After receiving a federal tax credit of $5,940 (30% of the total cost), a state tax credit of $1,000, $1,282 in electricity savings, and $1,209 in state incentives called SRECs, the effective cost in the first year was only about $10,369. The system will pay for itself in five years.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released a report showing that homes with solar panels typically sell for $15,000 greater than those without solar panels installed.
Homeowners who sell, can promote their solar homes and thus gain a better sales advantage over others.
It’s time for you to make the valuable investment and go solar.

Sign up below for a free house evaluation with Resonant Energy

Oyin Okusanya

Outreach and Marketing Fellow


Celebrate Earth Day 2018

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Please join the Boston Affordable Energy Coalition for a special outdoor event to celebrate the Earth and the work we are doing together to take care of it and its inhabitants.

We’re building solar, planting gardens, composting our waste, and strengthening our community

Agenda for the day:

11:30am-1pm: Networking Lunch. Potluck if you can, but please join regardless, to get to know each other and who else is working on climate justice and clean energy access in the community

1-1:45pm: Guest Speakers

1:45-3pm: Activities:

– Hands-on Solar Workshop (for teens and adults)

– Free Solar Evalutaion of your Roof

– Energy Efficiency Resources

– Gardening and Composting Demonstration

– Electric Vehicle Test Drives

– Resource tables of other organizations and services in town (email if you want to reserve a table)

This is a family friendly event, free and open to the public. There will be kids activities and food.


Saturday 21st of April 2018


11:30 AM – 3:00 PM


Epiphany School

154 Centre Street

Boston, MA 02124

Click the link and RSVP on Eventbrite

Celebrate Earth Day 2018

What Happens To My Solar Panels When It Snows?


You may have heard a common myth that solar panels do not work during winter because of the amount of sun during the cold. This is quite the opposite, in fact, solar panels like the cold weather.  As the degree of coldness drops below 77 degrees F, most electronic devices work more efficiently. This fun fact also applies to your solar panels.

As another Nor’easter looms, here a few facts you should consider.

Snowfall should not damage your solar panels because the PV system’s support structure are tested to withstand heavy amounts of snow.

Is it worth cleaning snow off your panels?

Safety of your life is important, you do not want to risk your life to climb a ladder to clear snow off your panels on your roof.

Alternatively, you can clear snow off your panels with a solar panel snow rake specially made for doing this job. Although, we will not recommend this as this may scratch the glass panels and your 25-year panel product warranty does not include damage caused by the homeowner.

Take measures when dealing with snow on your solar panels. Don’t melt the snow with rock salt, or car wax.

Most panels are tilted at a 35 degrees angle and have gathered enough winter sunlight that will melt the snow and slide off the surface.

You don’t need to worry about your solar panels producing energy during the snow storm. The snowfall will temporarily stop production of excess energy. Although, the solar panels will be more effective after the snow has melted, producing electricity for your home.

Should your third party owned panel system get damaged in the snowstorm and it is not damage caused by the homeowner, Resonant Energy can take care of any repairs at no added cost to you.

Stay warm and keep safe.

Oyin Okusanya

Outreach and Marketing Fellow