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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

August 2012 Volume 46
Community Energy Challenge (CEC) Monthly Update

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Welcome to the Community Energy Challenge Monthly Update, a monthly publication by EPA New England promoting energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy.

Disclaimer: Some of the events, articles and websites listed in this email are not sponsored by EPA. EPA is listing them for your information only. EPA is not responsible for the content of information from non-EPA sources, and does not endorse any commercial product, service, enterprise, or policy that may be included.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. New EPA Air Quality Planning Resources for State, Tribal and Local Air Agencies
  2. U.S. Internal Revenue Service Releases Public Guidance on Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds
  3. U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Releases Report on Incorporating Sea Level Change Scenarios at the Local Level
  4. Vermont Greenest Awards – Award Program for Vermont’s Greenest Buildings – due August

ARTICLES

  1. U.S. Geological Survey Publishes Report on Sea Level Rise along Atlantic Coast
  2. U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation Authority
  3. Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Awards Green Communities Grants
  4. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Releases Report on Energy Efficiency Programs
  5. New Hampshire Governor Signs Bill Adding Thermal Energy to Renewable Portfolio Standard

EVENTS

  1. Orange, CT –Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund - Energy Efficiency & Solar - Free Informational Seminar – August 11, 18 and 25
  2. Boston, MA – Greenfest 2012 – August 16-18
  3. Portsmouth, NH – The Fundamentals of Asset Management - A "Hands-On" Approach – August 21-22
  4. Burlington, VT – The 11th Annual Vermont Renewable Energy Conference & Expo 2012 – October 1-2
  5. South Portland, ME – Alternative Fuel Vehicle Odyssey Day 2012 - October 19 & 20

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. U.S. Green Building Council Announces Funding for Sustainable Neighborhood Development Projects – deadline August 10
  2. Funders Network Local Sustainability Matching Fund – Advanced Notice – August 2012
  3. IBM Smarter Cities Challenge – Technical Assistance – deadline September 7
  4. New England Grassroots Environment Fund – SEED grants (rolling deadline) and GROW grants – deadline September 15
  5. AIA Sustainable Design Assessment Teams (SDAT) – Technical Assistance – deadline October 12
  6. Vermont – Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program – rolling deadline

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
  2. U.S. EPA Offers Webcast on Heat Island Reduction – August 8
  3. U.S. General Services Administration Updates Sustainability Tool
  4. RI Renewable Energy Siting Partnership Launches RIenergy.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. New EPA Air Quality Planning Resources for State, Tribal and Local Air Agencies
    EPA has released a new Roadmap to help state, tribal, and local air agencies include emission reductions from energy efficiency and renewable energy in State and Tribal Implementation Plans (SIPs/TIPs) to improve air quality. The Roadmap focuses on emissions benefits from energy efficiency/renewable energy policies and programs in the electric power sector. It reflects input received from a number of stakeholders, including state and local energy and air quality agencies.

    Now is a great time to include energy efficiency/renewable energy strategies in SIPs and TIPs. First, many states have substantially increased their commitment to energy efficiency/renewable energy policies and programs over the last 10 years. The emissions impacts from these policies and programs are already happening: this manual outlines the latest tools, information, and approaches to quantifying those impacts. Second, emissions reductions from energy efficiency/renewable energy policies and programs can help states and tribes comply with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) at a lower cost than traditional control measures. Third, this information could be very helpful for areas participating in the Ozone Advance Program. Finally, these resources can help state, tribal, and local agencies estimate potential emissions reductions and determine whether they want to reflect those reductions in their SIPs/TIPs.

    To accompany the Roadmap, EPA is providing:
    • A webinar on the Roadmap
    • Draft tool for quantifying the emissions impacts of state, tribal, and local energy efficiency/renewable energy policies and programs
    • Online training for air quality planners on the electric energy sector
    • Data on the projected energy impacts of existing state energy efficiency/renewable energy policies to help states and tribes account for policies not reflected in Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook 2010
    For more information, please visit the Roadmap website »
  2. U.S. Internal Revenue Service Releases Public Guidance on Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (PDF) (12 pp, 40 K)
    The U.S. Internal Revenue Service released guidance regarding certain qualified conservation purposes eligible for financing with qualified energy conservation bonds (QECBs). The guidance is expected to make it easier for state and local governments to access more than $2 billion in existing low-cost financing to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through QECBs.

    For more information (PDF) (12 pp, 40 K) »
  3. U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Releases Report on Incorporating Sea Level Change Scenarios at the Local Level (PDF) (20 pp, 873 K)
    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coastal Services Center has released a report which outlines eight steps a community can take to develop site-specific sea level rise scenarios. Using the information provided in the report, communities are expected to be able to develop a process that incorporates a range of possibilities and factors to address the specific circumstances of a community, in addition to developing the data and information that officials will need to make communities readily adaptable to changing circumstances.

    The report, "Incorporating Sea Level Change Scenarios at the Local Level (PDF) (20 pp, 873 K)," is available.
  4. Vermont Greenest Awards – Award Program for Vermont’s Greenest Buildings – due August 3
    The Vermont Green Building Network is pleased to announce our inaugural award programs Vermont Greenest Building Awards. This year the awards will be focused on actual energy use in Commercial and Residential buildings. Any building constructed in Vermont with one year of energy data is eligible to submit for an award. Most awards will be judged solely on the actual energy usage of the building. One Commercial and one Residential or Small Commercial project may also be awarded our premier award of Vermont Greenest for the lowest overall energy usage.

    The awards will be presented at our Annual Summer Networking Event help this year on Friday, August 17th at the Green Mountain Club in Waterbury, VT. At the event one additional award will also be granted. All attendees at the event will have the opportunity to vote for one of the qualified projects for the People’s Choice Award. All award winning projects will be featured on our website and on Facebook as well as displayed at VGBN events around the state.

    VGBN reserves the right to modify award requirements or not to give the awards if no viable submissions are received. VGBN will not take responsibility for verifying reported energy performance.

    All entries must be received by 5:00 PM on August 3rd.

    Please contact Edward Pais at edward.pais@paisarchitects.com for more information on the awards, or visit http://vgbn.org/page.php?pid=97&pname=Vermont%20Greenest%20Awards

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ARTICLES

  1. U.S. Geological Survey Publishes Report on Sea Level Rise along Atlantic Coast
    The U.S. Geological Survey published a report on the rate of sea level rise along portions of the U.S. Atlantic Coast that states that sea level rise along portions of the east coast are increasing three-to-four times faster than global rates.

    The study, "Hotspot of accelerated sea-level rise on the Atlantic coast of North America," was published in the journal Nature Climate Change and is available.

    Read full article »
  2. U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation Authority
    On June 26, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled to uphold a finding by the U.S. EPA that greenhouse gases pose a danger to public health. The court ruled that EPA was "unambiguously correct" to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act as a result of the endangerment finding. The court also upheld EPA's regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources and motor vehicles, which had been challenged by fourteen states.

    Read full article »
  3. Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Awards Green Communities Grants
    On June 28, 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) awarded $2.8 million in grants to fund 55 clean energy projects in 19 communities across the Commonwealth. This first round of DOER Green Communities Competitive Grants is awarded to existing Green Communities that have successfully invested their initial designation grants.

    A full list of funded projects is available (5 pp, 917 K).

    Read full article »
  4. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Releases Report on Energy Efficiency Programs
    The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released a report examining energy efficiency programs, which have been helping electric utility customers reduce and manage their energy costs for 30 years or more in many states. In 2010, the total budget for electric utility customer energy efficiency programs was $4.6 billion, about a four-fold increase from the $1.1 billion spent on such programs a decade earlier.

    The report, "Three Decades and Counting: A Historical Review and Current Assessment of Electric Utility Energy Efficiency Activity in the States," is available.

    Read full article »
  5. New Hampshire Governor Signs Bill Adding Thermal Energy to Renewable Portfolio Standard
    New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed into law a bill that adds thermal energy to the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The New Hampshire RPS requires that 23.8 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2025. The new bill allows for renewable thermal sources, such as wood pellet boilers, solar water heating panels, and geothermal heating and cooling systems, to count toward that target and qualify for state renewable energy incentives.

    Read full article »

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EVENTS

  1. Orange, CT – Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund - Energy Efficiency & Solar - Free Informational Seminar – August 11, 18 and 25
    The Smart Living Center, 297 Boston Post Rd, Orange, CT 06477
    10am – 12noon

    Join us at the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund’s SmartLiving Center to learn how you can benefit from incorporating weatherization, energy efficiency upgrades and to determine if solar is the right option for your home.

    Stephen Pelton from EcoSmart will discuss comprehensive energy efficiency packages and solar electricity. Space is limited – call 203-799-0460 to reserve your spot today!

    For more information »
  2. Boston, MA – Greenfest 2012 – August 16-18
    City Hall Plaza/Government Center, Boston, MA

    Thursday, Aug 16, 5 pm - 9:30 pm, (Performers/Food)
    Friday, Aug 17, noon - 9:30 pm, (Exhibitors/Food/Vendors/Performers)
    Saturday, Aug 18, 11 am - 8 pm, (Exhibitors/Food/Vendors/Performers)

    2012 HIGHLIGHTS:
    • Native American Drum Ceremony
    • Over 200 Exhibitors
    • 100 Live Performances
    • GreenSouleStage, EcoStage, Family Stage
    • Eco Dine & Drink Emporium
    • NOCHE LATINA
    • EcoSalsa Fashion Show
    • Tap Off with Boston Tap Company
    • Green Entrepreneur Small Biz Forum
    • EcoCafé, EcoGallery, EcoBazaar
    • GreenFilmFest
    • One Gallon ChallengeTM
    • EcoTimeTrail
    • BPS EcoPhoto Contest
    • Fun for Kids!
    Boston GreenFest is organized by the Foundation for a Green Future, Inc. As the region's largest multicultural environmental festival, Boston GreenFest celebrates the many ways we can create a better world by greening our lives and our communities. We can have fun at the same time!

    For more information »
  3. Portsmouth, NH – The Fundamentals of Asset Management - A "Hands-On" Approach – August 21-22
    NHDES Portsmouth Office, Pease International Tradeport, 222 International Drive, Suite 175
    Portsmouth, NH 03801

    Over the past half century, America has spent trillions of dollars building some of the finest infrastructure that history has ever seen. But in many communities, this infrastructure is severely stressed from overuse, under funding of maintenance and renewal and aging.

    A comprehensive approach to managing our capital assets is overdue - one that brings "state of the practice" advanced asset management (AM) concepts, tools, techniques, and technologies to bear on managing for cost-effective performance. This approach focuses relentlessly on providing sustained performance to the customer at the lowest life-cycle cost and at an acceptable level of risk to the organization.

    REGISTER EARLY - SPACE IS LIMITED!

    Registration Deadline is Friday, August 10, 2012

    For more information, visit http://www.newea.org/Events/SeminarsEvents/JointAssetManagementWorkshop/tabid/326/Default.aspx

    Or email mail@newea.org
  4. Burlington, VT – The 11th Annual Vermont Renewable Energy Conference & Expo 2012 – October 1-2
    Sheraton Conference Center, Burlington, VT

    Renewable Energy 2012, provided by Renewable Energy Vermont, will continue to bring together key players in the renewable sectors: business leaders, system operators, manufacturers, engineers, scientists, policy makers, regulators and academics. The conference, typically drawing hundreds of attendees and exhibitors, is consistently the largest renewable energy conference in the state, and is rapidly expanding to accommodate growing regional interest.

    The Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) conference provides technical trainings, industry presentations and poster sessions on policy, regulatory, and financial issues focusing on the power, heating and transportation needs expected from future solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and bio-technologies, with a highlight on SmartGrid, battery development and the electrification of our transportation system. This 11th Annual Conference is offered by Vermont’s renewable trade association, Renewable Energy Vermont.

    For more information »
  5. South Portland, ME – Alternative Fuel Vehicle Odyssey Day 2012 - October 19 & 20
    Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, ME

    Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Odyssey Day will build awareness and enthusiasm for alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, showcasing a wide range of technologies and fuels, including electric, propane, natural gas, biodiesel, hybrids, and idle reduction.

    Maine Clean Communities and Southern Maine Community College's (SMCC) Transportation Technology Department are teaming up again to offer "Odyssey Day" in South Portland on Friday October 19, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 20th from 10:00-3:00 p.m. at SMCC. (In case of bad weather the event will be held inside.)

    Numerous alternative fuel vehicles, along with displays and exhibitors of fuel reduction techniques, speakers and experts will be on hand to promote the newest in alternative fuel vehicles and technologies.

    For more information »

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. U.S. Green Building Council Announces Funding for Sustainable Neighborhood Development Projects – deadline August 10
    The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the availability of $250,000 in funding to public agencies through its 2012 Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program. The program funds projects seeking to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2009 for neighborhood development (LEED-ND) certification. LEED-ND promotes integration of the principles of smart growth, urbanism, and green building into a system for neighborhood design.

    Applications are due August 10, 2012.

    Additional information is available.
  2. Funders Network Local Sustainability Matching Fund – Advanced Notice – August 2012
    The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network have joined together to launch a Local Sustainability Matching Fund. The fund will provide matching investments from national foundations on a competitive basis to build partnerships between sustainability directors and local place-based foundations to advance discrete sustainability initiatives that demonstrate broad-based community support and engagement.

    The Local Sustainability Matching Fund will begin accepting applications for its next round of funding in late summer 2012.

    For more information, visit the Funders’ Network.
  3. IBM Smarter Cities Challenge – Technical Assistance – deadline September 7
    Eligible Entities: Cities, with a letter of affirmation from the mayor or equivalent executive officer of the municipal government.

    The Smarter Cities Challenge is designed to help cities address some of the critical challenges they are facing, such as energy efficiency and climate change impacts. Selected cities will receive assistance from IBM experts from different business units and geographies, who will work on the ground with city leaders and deliver recommendations on how to make the city smarter and more effective.

    You should submit the form as soon as you are committed to install a system. Incentives are reserved on a first-come first-served basis.

    For more information »
  4. New England Grassroots Environment Fund – SEED grants (rolling deadline) and GROW grants – September 15
    NEGEF grants are designed for groups that:
    • are doing community-based environmental work in CT, ME, MA, NH, RI or VT;
    • are volunteer-driven or have up to 2 full-time paid staff (or equivalents);
    • have an annual budget up to $100,000
    SEED grants are for quick project-focused grants dedicated to help volunteer groups launch and build their newly evolving project(s).

    Deadline: Apply anytime (expect a decision in 3 weeks)
    Grant range: $250 – $1,000
    Apply for a Seed grant if your group:
    • is launching a new or evolving community-based project;
    • expenses are for materials, outreach and/or other project expenses;
    • project costs generally less than $10,000;
    • needs a quick decision;
    • has not received a SEED grant within one year of the current application.
    GROW grants are competitive group development grants dedicated to help established groups increase capacity, collaborate, and leverage impact.

    Deadlines: March 15 & September 15 (expect decisions early June & December)

    Grant range: $1,000 – $3,500
    Apply for a Grow grant if your group:
    • needs help evolving and expanding the community group;
    • expenses can include general operating, stipends, capacity building, program development, expert assistance, etc.
    • has been active for more than 1 year;
    • has not received a GROW grant within one year of the current application.
    For more information »
  5. AIA Sustainable Design Assessment Teams (SDAT) – Technical Assistance – deadline October 12
    Application Due: Two review cycles; upcoming due date is October 12, 2012

    Eligible Entities: Committees with a cross-section of residents, local government agencies, businesses, institutions, and community groups. A letter of support from the local AIA chapter is required.

    The Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program focuses on the importance of developing sustainable communities through design. The American Institute of Architects’ Center for Communities by Design is seeking potential partner communities that can demonstrate the capacity to convene a diverse set of community leaders and stakeholders for an intensive, collaborative planning process focused on long-term sustainability. The Center is particularly focused on identifying communities that have the ability to leverage local resources and build strong partnerships for implementation of an SDAT process. Awarded communities will receive pro bono services from a multidisciplinary team through the program, and the AIA commits to funding up to $15,000 for each project to cover team expenses.

    For more information, visit the AIA SDAT page.
  6. Vermont – Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program – rolling deadline
    The Vermont Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program provides incentives for qualifying solar electric, solar hot water, small wind systems, and micro-hydro systems and is now accepting Incentive Reservation Applications for the 2012 Incentive Program.

    *****New mailing address for all submissions:
    Renewable Energy Resource Center
    Vermont Renewable Energy Incentive Program
    128 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 401
    Burlington, VT 05401

    You should submit the form as soon as you are committed to install a system. Incentives are reserved on a first-come first-served basis.

    For more information, visit http://www.rerc-vt.org/incentives/index.htm and http://www.rerc-vt.org/incentives/forms.htm or contact the Renewable Energy Resource Center at 1-877-888-7372

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
    • Aug 8, 2pm, ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems
    • Aug 14, 2pm, Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR
    • Aug 21, 2pm, The Basics of Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager
    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars
  2. U.S. EPA Offers Webcast on Heat Island Reduction – August 8
    The U.S. EPA announced an upcoming webinar on heat island reduction scheduled for August 8, 2012 that will discuss approaches to heat island reduction.

    Reservations for the webcast.
  3. U.S. General Services Administration Updates Sustainability Tool
    The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has updated its Sustainable Facilities Tool. The tool provides suggestions for government and private-sector property managers on how to improve sustainable building practices. The update includes an additional 50 percent of website content, an updated interface, an upgraded search engine, and a green products compilation tool.

    The tool is available as a mobile application and online.
  4. RI Renewable Energy Siting Partnership Launches RIenergy.org
    In order to sustain capacity for promoting data-driven energy decision-making, the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Siting Partnership (RESP) has developed the first Rhode Island-specific website housing energy data, resource mapping and siting tools, and information for citizens, businesses, and government officials.

    By providing Rhode Island decision-makers and communities with easy access to a centralized source of energy information, RIeEnergy.org will pave the way for the Ocean State to capture a smarter and brighter energy future.

    This energy information clearinghouse is available.

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