POWERED BY: SEBANE'S SOLAR CHAMPION REPRESENTATIVE CAROLYN DYKEMA

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SEBANE’s Solar Champions Blog promotes individuals who make an impact and increase solar solar generation throughout Massachusetts. Those bolstering solar at the legislative level help to cement solar power as an environmentally clean and economically sound source of energy to citizens of the Commonwealth. 

SEBANE recognizes one of our Massachusetts solar champions as State Representative Carolyn Dykema. Representative Dykema (D-Holliston, TUE Vice Chair) is a leading advocate for increasing solar generation in low-income areas. She shines as a voice for clean energy equity and as an advocate for low income, environmentally vulnerable communities. 

After graduating from Wellesley College and receiving an MBA from Indiana University, Representative Dykema worked as a marketing professional in the fields of financial services and environmental consulting. She has since served on the Holliston Sewer Action Committee, Holliston Planning Board, Holliston Democratic Town Committee, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and MetroWest Growth Management Committee. In 2007, Representative Dykema was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to the state Energy Facilities Siting Board. She was elected the state representative for the 8th Middlesex District in 2008.

Demonstrating her commitment to listening to and advocating for solar stories, Representative Dykema took part in a SEBANE Solar Tour earlier this year. Solar installers and customers in the 8th Middlesex district met with Representative Dykema to discuss their experiences going solar and the benefits solar has provided for public services in both Hopkinton and Holliston. After visiting three installations, Representative Dykema said that she is “proud to represent communities where municipalities and businesses are working together to lead the way in the fight against climate change.”

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As the filer of H2843, An Act Removing Barriers to Solar for Low-Income Communities, Representative Dykema aims to provide equitable access to solar for all Massachusetts ratepayers, including low-income ratepayers, as well as addresses the issue of solar energy affordability for those low-income areas. By supporting this legislation, Representative Dykema and her colleagues are ensuring that low income communities are prepared for climate change. Consumers in these areas would be protected from exorbitant rates and more able to understand and have access to new, efficient forms of electricity generation. 

Representative Dykema is also a co-sponsor of H2874, An Act Relative to Increasing Net-Zero Homes in Gateway Cities. This bill aims to study and understand the incentives for low-income homeowners to reduce their energy consumption and pollution, as well as increase their energy efficiency. It also enrolls a set number of low income households in pilot projects to become net-zero energy buildings—increasing building efficiency, renewable electric supply, low-impact waste solutions and transportation. This bill is the first step in extending the scope of these pilot programs to establish net-zero homes throughout environmentally vulnerable and low income communities. 

SEBANE recognizes Representative Dykema’s tireless advocacy and dedication on behalf of her constituents and all residents of the Commonwealth. We thank her for her leadership and vision that is propelling Massachusetts toward its renewable energy future. Representative Dykema’s body of work on behalf of solar and low-income communities is outlined here. To read about SEBANE’s other Solar Champions, click here.

Joan Wilson