In honor of Earth Month, we checked in with Cape Light Compact’s Administrator, Maggie Downey, who has been working on energy-related issues since she joined Barnstable County in 1994, to learn more about the agency that has been making a difference in the energy landscape on Cape Cod since 1997.
Can you tell us about your background and your connection to the Cape?
I have a BA in Environmental Policy and an MPA in Public Policy. I began working on energy issues as an employee of Barnstable County in 1995. My husband and I live in Yarmouthport and my husband is from the Cape.
Tell us a little bit about the mission and history of Cape Light Compact?
The Compact was created by the Cape towns in response to the 1997 Massachusetts Restructuring Act. The towns on the Cape, and later the Vineyard, were very interested in energy efficiency programs. Specifically, making sure that the rate payer funds collected from the Cape and Vineyard were reinvested and stayed on the Cape and Vineyard. Since then we have been the energy efficiency program administrator for Cape and Vineyard customers. We provide energy assessments for homeowners, renters, businesses, and nonprofits and offer incentives to help those folks make the recommended efficiency upgrades. We also are the default power supplier for the Cape and Vineyard and are committed and focused to providing a 100% renewable product.
How did you came to work at Cape Light Compact, what is your position and your main focus at the moment?
I have been with the Compact since it was formed in 1997. I have been the Administrator of the Compact since 1997. I primarily focus on energy efficiency matters and oversee our program managers who focus on our residential, commercial and industrial programs, evaluation, and power supply programs.
Much of Cape Light Compacts focus is educating people on energy conservation and cost-saving measures for their homes and businesses, what are the first and easiest measures you advise people to take?
The first step to take is to have a [free] energy assessment for your home or business. An energy assessment will produce an action plan for homes and businesses and identify steps you can take to reduce your energy usage.
What kind of an impact do you hope the organization has on our local community?
Overall, our main goal is to have consumers use less electricity and what they do consume, to have it come from cleaner, renewable sources.
Describe your perfect Cape Cod day.
The sun is shining, and solar panels are producing green electrons to fuel my home. Also, riding my bike on the bike trail!
Learn more from Maggie Downey and Cape Light Compact’s programs at www.capelightcompact.org or in a recent episode of the Cape Cod Times’ Life with Gwenn.