Sustainable Arlington

An Envision Arlington committee & a Mass. Climate Action Network (MCAN) chapter

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Birth of a New Utility, Audrey Schulman, HEET
Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 07:00pm - 08:00pm
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Contact 781-893-5410

Mill Talk: Birth of a New Utility, with Audrey Schulman

This Mill Talk is FREE and open to the public

It's been over a century since a new utility was created. Hear the story of how a small local nonprofit, HEET, has innovated a pathway for gas utilities to become a "thermal utilities," delivering you heating and cooling without combustion. Eversource and National Grid are already selecting sites for the first installations, and over 15 other utilities across the country are following along. Hear the story of innovation and how to create social change across boundaries.

Audrey Schulman co-founded HEET in 2008. Featured in the Washington Post as a Climate Hero, she created the first-in-the-nation statewide zoomable public map of utility-reported gas leaks.

She started the Large Volume Leak Study, which discovered a way for gas utilities to identify super-emitting gas leaks and repair them. She has helped develop HEET’s innovative solution to transition gas utilities from gas to networked geothermal, or systems of networked ground source heat pumps. Schulman is also the author of six novels, which have been translated into 12 languages and reviewed by The New Yorker, The Economist and CNN.

Climate, Energy, Infrastructure, & Justice

Infrastructure & Climate : The past, present and future of mill towns

Francis Cabot Lowell’s vision made manifest in Waltham of mechanically transforming bales of cotton into bolts of fabric under one roof was certainly a revolutionary business concept. Yet the story’s transformative influence extends so much farther, along process chains that involve land and water, materials, energy, infrastructure, topography, people, and social (in)justice.

This ongoing, world-changing story matters more than ever today, as we seek to revolutionize afresh humanity's relationships with one another, improve how we affect our shared climate, and restore essential balance in relationships among all life on planet Earth. What can we learn from and use – or leave behind – as we fully apprehend the complex legacies of industrialization and build an ecologically sound economic future for all in New England mill towns and cities, and the world beyond?

This series of Mill Talks, underwritten by the Lowell Institute, widens the lens on the two-century old Francis Cabot Lowell Mill legacy, weaving together topics and speakers working in the messy nexus of climate, energy, infrastructure, and justice disciplines. We will hear from historians, geographers, engineers, futurists, business innovators, civic leaders, activists and more, who leverage their understanding of history and the power of their platforms to actively build energy, infrastructure, and inclusive enterprises that promote a healthy climate and economic vitality for all.

The Mill Talks at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation are free and open to the public and are made possible by the generous support of the Lowell Institute.

Event FAQ

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There is NO Museum Visitor parking at the Francis Cabot Lowell Mill facility where we are located. We ask that you use the nearby public parking facilities.

Maps and directions to both the Museum Visitor Entrance and Parking can be found HERE:

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please feel free to call us at 781-893-5410. Museum staff hours vary during the week, but someone will be available to answer any calls the day of the show.

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn't match the person who attends?

Yes, we do not need to verify identity upon presentation of the ticket.

What about COVID precautions?

Masks encouraged Visit HERE for our current COVID-19 policies

Location Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation, Waltham