A Watertown woman who made it her mission to spread the use of solar energy in town, and beyond, recently received an award for her work and accolades from the Town Council.
Jocelyn “Jolly” Tager was honored at the Solar Energy Business
Association of New England’s Summer Solstice Celebration for her advocacy for solar energy. Last week, the Town Council recognized Tager for, among other things, pushing for Watertown to become the first community in Massachusetts to have a solar requirement for new developments over a certain size.
Tager said said she has enjoyed the accolades.
“As I said (at the Solar Celebration) this is a little bit like I’m winning the Oscar, except Harry Winston is not offering me his jewelry and the fashion police aren’t going to get me,” Tager said. “I am probably the happiest and most honored person in Watertown right now, and I thank you all tremendously.”
For several years, Tager has encouraged the spread of solar panels on Watertown homes through the Neighborhood Solar program.
In November 2018, the Town Council adopted a solar ordinance that requires new construction of more than 10,000 sq. ft. or 10 residential units to devote at least half their roof space to solar energy systems. The Council, in its proclamation to Tager, credited her with continuing to push for solar.
“In 2017, when town regulations required that new developments assess their projects for solar-readiness, Jolly Tager raised what seemed like a farfetched idea of requiring that solar arrays actually be required when feasible,” the proclamation reads. “From that moment Jolly never wavered in her determination to educate the Town Council on the need and value of requiring solar installations and to work with Town staff and the Town Attorney to craft language for an ordinance.”
Tager thanked the Council for their support, both at the Solar Energy Business Association event and at the Town Council meeting.
“You had listened, you dug deep, you opened your minds and your hearts to this issue, you educated yourselves, and on Nov. 27, 2018, you made Watertown the only community not only Massachusetts, but in all of New England, to have this solar ordinance,” Tager said. “And we are probably one of two or three municipalities east of California to have this.”
At the Solar Energy Business Association event Tager also noted the other environmental efforts in Watertown. She pointed to the Council approving a Community Choice Aggregation electricity agreement where residents will get electricity with 50 percent coming from renewable sources. Also, the Town is pushing for building zero net energy use schools that are made with sustainable methods and materials.
“You are making us a safe and health place to live,” Tager said. “You’re also making our planet safer and healthier, and I couldn’t be more grateful and I couldn’t be more happy to have you as my Town Councilors.”
See the entire Town Council proclamation by clicking here: https://www.watertown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/27669/2019-06-20-Jocelyn-Tager