Various reports were used in the making of this dashboard. Full access to the reports and relevant workbooks is available here for all who are interested. 

Renters Energy Efficiency Report

The Town of Amherst, in collaboration with UMass Amherst's Clean Energy Extension, published the Rental Sector Attitudes Towards Energy Efficiency for the Town of Amherst report on February 6, 2024. 

The Town of Amherst received a $25,000 Empower Grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) to collect feedback from tenants/renters and building owners in Amherst with respect to energy efficiency.  The survey was conducted over a one month period between June and July, 2023.  Its purpose is to inform and provide insight to the town on building comfort and energy performance as experienced by tenants as the town looks to meet its climate goals through increased electrification of heating systems. The information will also be used to inform the design of innovative programs or policies in Amherst.  A total of 339 survey responses were collected.  This report provides analysis and summary of the collected data.  

The results of the report show that over 85% of respondents are a little to very concerned about the environment and that same percentage are a little to very concerned about paying their utilities. For more information about the questions that were asked and how the community responded, refer to the full report linked below. 

Community Resilience Building Workshops

In 2018, Amherst joined the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program to further the Town’s climate adaptation efforts. In accordance with the MVP framework, Amherst hosted two workshops on March 4th and 5th, 2019. These conversations were structured based on the Community Resilience Building (CRB) Planning Framework, a community-driven process focused on shared dialogue, identifying community assets and challenges, and prioritizing actions moving forward.

The following report compiles the findings of the Amherst Community Resilience Building workshops. It documents the primary hazards, strengths, and vulnerabilities, as identified by community members participating in the workshops, as well as the proposed actions for bolstering community-wide resilience.

cover for the Community Resilience Building Workshops report

Climate Action Adaptation and Resilience Plan

The Climate Action Adaptation and Resilience Plan (CAARP) was adopted in June 2021. The plan is a detailed roadmap for all of Amherst to follow to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The key elements of this plan and actions you can take are the backbone of this site. 

GHG Inventory Report and Workbooks

In order to track progress and ensure we are meeting our goal of town-wide carbon neutrality, we need to have measurable metrics in place. The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory allows us to benchmark where we are with regard to emissions and measure our success along the way to 2050. 

The full report is available as well as the Community and Municipal workbooks used to generate the report. 

FY 2022 Community Emissions Workbook

FY 2022 Municipal Emissions Workbook

FY2022 Inventory Report cover page
Amherst Solar Report Cover

2023 Solar Report

In May 2023, a Town-Wide Solar Assessment was completed to provide baseline information on solar siting potential and existing community sentiment regarding solar development. The effort included a map-based assessment and a community preference assessment. The solar report is available in its entirety for you to review here. 

Solar Site Suitability Analysis

A Solar Site Suitability Analysis was completed in December 2020 to help inform the CAARP. The analysis aimed to identify opportunities for larger scale solar installations including solar farms, canopies, and on municipal or affordable housing buildings' roofs. 

rows of solar panels with the sun setting behind them
Cover for the solar and storage feasibility assessment

Solar and Energy Storage Feasibility Assessment

In June 2022, a Solar and Energy Storage Feasibility Assessment was completed for Amherst. The purpose of the study was to determine the feasibility of solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery energy storage systems (ESS) at ten sites. The report is intended to information the Town in its decision-making process regarding which projects to pursue. 

2010 Amherst Master Plan

The 2010 Amherst Master Plan provided a broad "blueprint" for policy and decision-making in Amherst. Topics addressed in the plan include land use, housing, economic development, natural and cultural resources, parks and open space, community services an facilities/utilities, transportation, and implementation. 

cover for the 2010 master plan
cover of the MA clean energy and climate plan

Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan

On June 30th 2022, the Secretary of the EEA released the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2025 and 2030. The 2025/2030 CECP represents the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ comprehensive plans to achieve aggressive emissions reduction in 2025 and 2030. 

The State's Clean Energy and Climate Plan are the guiding policies. The Amherst Climate Action, Adaptation, and Resilience Plan (CAARP) is a subset of these policies to ensure that Amherst is doing our part to help reach these goals. 

Massachusetts Decarbonization Roadmap

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts published the Decarbonization Roadmap in December 2020. The roadmap identifies cost-effective and equitable strategies to ensure MA reduces GHG emissions by at least 85% by 2050. 

cover of the MA decarbonization roadmap