Shared Energy Staffing Services


Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration

Shared Energy Staffing Services

In the wake of a national economic recession and insufficient federal and state energy funding, many municipalities are challenged by the lack of energy staffing capacity for sustaining and expanding local energy efforts.

Shared energy staffing services provide an innovative and flexible solution to help communities with limited resources support and build energy staffing capacity, while promoting regional collaboration in clean energy efforts.

How it Works

MAPC helps to build partnerships among communities that share similar interests and energy staffing needs. As part of the program, MAPC provides technical assistance with the following steps to ensure all community partners’ interests and needs are met:

  1. Seeking Municipal Partners: MAPC facilitates collaboration among communities to discuss their interests and needs regarding energy staffing capacity, as well as their financial resources for pursuing energy staffing services.
  2. Identifying a Suitable Regionalization Model: MAPC provides assistance to help community partners identify the most appropriate regionalization models based on energy interests and staffing needs:
    • Contract for Services Model – One municipality hires or hosts an energy staff person and shares the position with one or multiple municipalities on an as-needed or pre-determined basis.
    • Host Agency Model – A host agency (i.e., MAPC) hires one or multiple energy staff persons and municipalities to provide staff services on an as-needed or pre-determined basis.
    • Outside Vendor Model – Municipalities pay for services from an outside vendor.
    • Energy District Model – Municipalities create an independent energy district or agency, where energy staff work with municipalities on an as-needed or pre-determined basis.
  3. Energy Manager Recruitment: MAPC helps communities determine the scope and cost of the energy staffing services, as well as provides technical assistance in negotiating and drafting the Inter-Municipal Agreement (IMA).

case studies

Shared Energy Manager Pilot – Towns of Arlington and Bedford

In fall 2011, MAPC began discussions with the Towns of Arlington and Bedford to coordinate hiring for a shared energy manager position. MAPC assisted the two towns with (1) establishing energy interests and staffing needs, (2) determining the responsibilities and salary of the position by researching similar positions in Massachusetts and across the country, and (3) drafting the IMA to address the position details, identify lead municipality and agency, determine overhead costs, and establish the IMA language. Arlington and Bedford eventually signed an IMA in September 2012 to hire a shared energy manager, who began work in early 2013.

Survey of Municipal Energy Needs and Interests

In October 2012, MAPC administered a survey of municipal energy needs and interests. Out of the 101MAPC member municipalities, 60 responded to the survey. The survey asked a range of questions regarding municipal staff capacity and energy projects. The survey responses helped MAPC better understand the energy needs and interests of our municipalities, and will continue to shape how MAPC supports our communities’ energy staffing and project needs. The survey results are presented in the DLTA 2012 Circuit Rider Final Report.