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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

May 2012 Volume 43
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. EPA-New England Environmental Merit Awards Honorees
  2. U.S. EPA Releases List of Cities with Most ENERGY STAR Buildings in 2011
  3. EPA Launches 2012 ENERGY STAR Building National Competition – deadline May 23

ARTICLES

  1. U.S. EPA Releases National Greenhouse Gas Inventory
  2. Consortium for Energy Efficiency Releases Annual Industry Report
  3. MassINC Releases Assessment of Massachusetts' Response to Climate Change

EVENTS

  1. Salem, MA – 5th Annual Living Green & Renewable Energy Fair – May 19
  2. Nashua, NH – Granite State Clean Cities Green Your Fleet! Workshop – June 1
  3. Stamford, CT – NEEP Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit – June 13-14

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. USDA Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program – deadline May 15
  2. New England Grassroots Environment Fund – SEED grants (rolling deadline) and GROW grants – September 15

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
  2. Webcast Series: Funding and Financing Local Clean Energy Programs – May 16
  3. U.S. Interior Department Releases Guide for Resource Managers on Adaptive Management as Climate, Renewable Energy Tool
  4. New Report: Breaking New Ground: Promoting Environmental and Energy Programs in Local Government
  5. U.S. EPA Announces Upcoming Climate and Energy Webinars for State and Local Governments

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. EPA-New England Environmental Merit Awards Honorees
    Every year EPA-New England honors individuals and groups across the region at the Environmental Merit Awards. The merit awards, recognizing valuable contributions to environmental awareness and problem solving, are a unique way that EPA can recognize individuals and groups that are making significant impacts on environmental quality in distinct ways.

    Awarded by EPA since 1970, the merit awards honor individuals and groups who have shown particular ingenuity and commitment in their efforts to preserve the region's environment. This year's competition drew nearly 100 nominations from across New England.

    Awards were given in the following categories: individual; business (including professional organizations); local, state or federal government; and environmental, community, academia or nonprofit organization. Each year, EPA also may present lifetime achievement awards for individuals.

    This year, two Community Energy Challenge members were honored: Julia Lloyd-Wright from Weathersfield, VT, and Kevin O'Maley from Manchester, NH. Also recognized were 9 New England businesses as ENERGY STAR partners.

    For more information, including a list of 2012 honorees »
  2. U.S. EPA Releases List of Cities with Most ENERGY STAR Buildings in 2011 (PDF) (2 pp, 409 K)
    The U.S. EPA released its annual list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings for 2011. The list of 25 cities is led by Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Houston, Dallas, Riverside, Calif. and Boston.

    In 2011, the nearly 16,500 ENERGY STAR certified buildings in the United States helped save nearly $2.3 billion in annual utility bills and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual energy use of more than 1.5 million homes.

    Additional information is available (PDF) (2 pp, 409 K).
  3. EPA Launches 2012 ENERGY STAR Building National Competition – deadline May 23
    EPA is kicking off the 2012 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings!

    The competition offers commercial building owners and managers a platform to achieve real energy, water, and cost savings and be nationally recognized for their efforts.

    During the contest, commercial buildings from across the nation will compete in a head-to-head battle to see who can reduce energy waste the most. Competitors will have the opportunity to participate in monthly networking sessions, use free competition creative materials and logos, and be listed on the competition website. EPA will also promote the competition through traditional and social media.

    New in 2012! EPA is making the battle bigger and better than ever by expanding recognition opportunities and offering new ways for organizations to get involved. In addition to recognizing the overall winner and top finishers by building category, EPA will recognize any building that improves its energy efficiency by 20 percent or more. The Agency will also recognize top water savers. Also, many of you may own parking garages--they're eligible to compete too, and there will be a special category for parking structures in the competition.

    Any commercial building can compete, whether you own or manage an office building, school, church, hotel, stadium, or apartment building! To be eligible, a building must be benchmarked in EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager with complete data entered for calendar year 2011 (1/1/2011–12/31/2011).

    Applications are due by May 23, 2012. Applying is easy. Just go to the step-by-step instructions to nominate one, several, or all of the buildings in your portfolio. Also visit the competition page to sign up for a webinar on how to apply for the 2012 competition, read the rules of the game, download frequently asked questions, and find out about past winners.

    EPA will hold webinars on How to Apply on May 2 and May 15, 2012, at 1 pm Eastern. To register for one of these webinars, visit the ENERGY STAR webinars page.

    For instructions and applying »

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ARTICLES

  1. U.S. EPA Releases National Greenhouse Gas Inventory
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the 17th annual U.S. greenhouse gas inventory. The final report shows overall emissions in 2010 increased by 3.2 percent from the previous year. The trend is attributed to an increase in energy consumption across all economic sectors, due to increasing energy demand associated with an expanding economy, and increased demand for electricity for air conditioning due to warmer summer weather during 2010.

    The report, "The Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2010," is available online.
  2. Consortium for Energy Efficiency Releases Annual Industry Report (PDF) (35 pp, 1.3MB)
    The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) released its 2011 Annual Industry Report, which summarizes energy efficiency programs across the United States, as well as in Canada. The report states that in 2011, consumers saved $13.3 billion in energy costs due to energy efficiency programs. The report also states that budgets for electricity efficiency more than doubled between 2007 and 2011.

    The report (PDF) (35 pp, 1.3MB) is available.
  3. MassINC Releases Assessment of Massachusetts' Response to Climate Change (PDF) (130 pp, 5.4MB)
    MassINC released an assessment of Massachusetts action on climate change since the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008. According to the report, the commonwealth has implemented greenhouse gas mitigation programs and policies across agencies and different levels of government, but will face challenges to meeting emission reduction targets. MassINC is an independent think tank which uses nonpartisan research, civic journalism, and public forums to help shape public policy.

    The report, "Rising to the Challenge: Assessing the Massachusetts Response to Climate Change (PDF) (130 pp, 5.4 MB)," is available online.

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EVENTS

  1. Salem, MA – 5th Annual Living Green & Renewable Energy Fair – May 19
    10 am - 3 pm at Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA.

    The 5th Annual Living Green & Renewable Energy Fair, organized by the Salem Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Salem Renewable Energy Taskforce, will take place on Saturday, May 19 from 10 am - 3 pm at Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA.

    The Living Green & Renewable Energy Fair will bring together green industry professionals and consumers from the Greater Boston & North Shore regions to discuss products, services and information that encourage healthier, more sustainable consumption and lifestyles for businesses and families.

    For more information »
  2. Nashua, NH – Granite State Clean Cities Green Your Fleet! Workshop – June 1
    Nashua Community College

    This workshop will include speakers, panelists, informative breakout sessions, vendor exhibits and vehicle displays.

    The event is being hosted by Nashua Community College and is free to attendees.

    Fleet managers will learn about the experiences of their peers in the areas of:
    • Alternative Fuels
    • Advanced Vehicle Technology
    • Fuel Economy Strategies
    Vehicles will be located in the parking lot directly in front of the Automotive and Health, Science, and Humanities buildings.

    Sponsor exhibits will be located in the dining room of the Health, Science, and Humanities building, which also houses the auditorium and event classrooms.

    For more information »
  3. Stamford, CT – NEEP Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit – June 13-14 The Business Case for Efficiency
    Hilton Stamford Hotel

    The annual Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit, the premier annual event for showcasing the region's leadership in accelerating energy efficiency, will be co-chaired by David McHale, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Northeast Utilities (NU), and Barbara Kates-Garnick, Massachusetts Undersecretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

    The 2012 Summit will be held in Stamford, Connecticut at the Hilton Stamford Hotel on June 13 & 14. The theme, The Business Case for Efficiency, will focus on how leading policy, industry, and business leaders use energy efficiency programs and policies as a tool to stimulate the economy, create jobs, decrease energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint.

    For more information and to register »

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. USDA Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program – deadline May 15
    Eligible Entities: Local governments, federally recognized tribes, non-profit entities.

    The purpose of the Community Forest program is to establish community forests by protecting forest land from conversion to non-forest uses and provide community benefits such as sustainable forest management, environmental benefits including clean air, water, and wildlife habitat; benefits from forest-based educational programs; benefits from serving as models of effective forest stewardship; and recreational benefits secured with public access. Eligible entities may apply for grants to establish community forests through fee-simple acquisition of private forest land. Individual grant applications may not exceed $400,000 and all applicants must demonstrate a 50 percent match of the total project cost.

    For more information »
  2. 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 »

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
    • May 8, 2pm, K-12 Benchmarking 101
    • May 10, 2pm, Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients
    • May 16, 2pm, ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems
    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars
  2. Webcast Series: Funding and Financing Local Clean Energy Programs – May 16
    May 16, 2012, 2:00-3:30 PM (EDT)

    Part I: Getting Started: Answering Big Picture Funding Questions

    Many local governments are investing in clean energy programs to meet their energy, environmental, and economic policy goals. In this post-ARRA world, they're also asking how they should fund these clean energy programs. This introductory webinar will cover the big picture questions that local governments should consider. What resources are available? What are the program priorities? How can these programs pay for themselves? What funding is available? This webinar will guide local governments through these and other questions in the context of their own unique circumstances and illustrate the concepts through case studies that explore how local governments have used both conventional and unconventional methods to gain support, line up partners, and design and implement their funding programs.

    Learn more and register »
  3. U.S. Interior Department Releases Guide for Resource Managers on Adaptive Management as Climate, Renewable Energy Tool (PDF) (136 pp, 107 MB)
    The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) released a guide for federal, state, tribal, and other natural resource managers on how to use an adaptive management approach to address climate change and other challenges to natural resource management. Adaptive management provides a mechanism for managers, scientists and other stakeholders to collaboratively improve resource management over time by learning from previous and ongoing management activities and outcomes.

    The guide includes case studies ranging from river flow management and protecting migratory birds to siting renewable energy projects. The guide, "Adaptive Management: The U.S. Department of the Interior Applications Guide (PDF) (136 pp, 107 MB)," is available.
  4. New Report: Breaking New Ground: Promoting Environmental and Energy Programs in Local Government
    This report presents findings from an International City/County Management Association (ICMA) survey that was sent to over 8,000 local governments across the nation.

    The survey asked questions regarding sustainability initiatives that have been undertaken by local governments. Over 2,000 local governments responded to the survey. The survey was developed by ICMA's Center for Sustainable Communities, the Center for Urban Innovation at Arizona State University, the Arizona State University's Global Institute of Sustainability, and the Alliance for Innovation.

    In brief, the survey found that a large majority of the localities responding to the survey were at an "early stage" of adopting sustainability initiatives. While over 80% of localities reported initiatives in the area of recycling, transportation, and building energy use, adoption rates were much lower for other sustainability initiatives such as alternative energy generation and workplace alternatives.

    Download a copy.
  5. U.S. EPA Announces Upcoming Climate and Energy Webinars for State and Local Governments
    The U.S. EPA announced that a series of upcoming webinars related to climate and energy will be available to state and local governments. EPA will host five webinars in May 2012 on topics such as connecting materials and discards management with climate, an overview of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE), and funding and financing local government clean energy programs.

    ENERGY STAR will host four webinars in May 2012, covering topics such as the ENERGY STAR National Building Competition, Portfolio Manager training for Energy Efficiency Program Sponsors (EEPS), benchmarking in Portfolio Manager, and green building rating systems. EPA also announced that the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations will hold a webcast on linking climate change solutions to other planning goals.

    For additional information and to register »

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