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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

November 2013 Volume 61
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. U.S. EPA Releases Third Year of Greenhouse Gas Data from Large Facilities

ARTICLES

  1. National Governors Association Releases Report on Governor Actions to Advance Energy Efficiency
  2. Connecticut Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority Launches Solar Energy Financing Web Portal
  3. Finance Authority of Maine Approves Loan for Biomass Production Plant

EVENTS

  1. Portland, ME – Efficiency Maine 4th Annual Symposium and Awards Ceremony – November 6
  2. Biddeford, ME – Making Sustainability Work: Sustain Southern Maine – November 7
  3. Westport, CT – PASSIVHAUS ON TOUR – November 9
  4. Fairlee, VT – 2013 Vermont Community Energy and Climate Action Conference – December 7

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. NOAA Climate Program Office funding opportunity for FY 2014 now available – deadline November 14
  2. Bureau of Indian Affairs – 2013 Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Grant Program – deadline November 29
  3. Corporation for National and Community Service – AmeriCorps State and National Grants – deadline December 11, 2013 and January 8, 2014
  4. Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation – Environmental Solutions for Communities Grants Program – deadline December 16
  5. National Endowment for the Arts – FY 2014 Our Town Initiative – deadline January 13, 2014
  6. Georgetown University – Energy Prize – deadline February 2014
  7. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center – Commonwealth Wind Development Grants – deadline May 15, 2014 or until funds run out

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
  2. NH Local Energy webinar series – Land Use and Transportation Planning: Realizing Social, Economic and Environmental Benefits – November 13
  3. Interstate Renewable Energy Council Releases Annual Updates and Trends Report on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
  4. Consumer Federation of America Releases Report on Benefits of Energy Efficiency Performance Standards
  5. Interstate Renewable Energy Council Releases Report on Determining the Benefits and Costs of Distributed Solar Generation

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. U.S. EPA Releases Third Year of Greenhouse Gas Data from Large Facilities
    The U.S. EPA released the third year of greenhouse gas data from large facilities, which shows greenhouse gas emissions and trends broken down by industrial sectors, greenhouse gases, geographic regions, and individual facilities. The data show a ten percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions for these facilities between 2010 and 2012, largely due to utilities switching to natural gas.

    The data can be accessed through EPA's online data publication tool, FLIGHT.

    View the press release.

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ARTICLES

  1. National Governors Association Releases Report on Governor Actions to Advance Energy Efficiency
    The National Governors Association (NGA) released a report describing successful actions U.S. governors have taken to expand energy efficiency. Entitled "An Energy Efficiency Primer for Governors (PDF) (16 pp, 722 K)," the report explains the role governors play in supporting and advancing energy efficiency efforts. It also provides examples of recent state actions, including conducting energy planning to find potential energy savings, supporting new ways of financing energy efficiency, and incentivizing spending by utilities to provide energy efficiency to consumers.

    View the press release.
  2. Connecticut Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority Launches Solar Energy Financing Web Portal
    The Connecticut Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority (CEFIA) launched a web portal and campaign designed to build awareness of the money saving benefits for homeowners seeking to install solar panels. The website includes an online tool enabling Connecticut homeowners to obtain specific data regarding their home's suitability for solar and to compare energy and cost savings for solar leases and loans. The GoSolarCT.com website is part of the state's Energize Connecticut initiative seeking to provide residents and businesses with cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy opportunities.

    View the press release.
  3. Finance Authority of Maine Approves Loan for Biomass Production Plant
    The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) approved a $25 million loan guarantee for Thermogen Industries to launch a northern Maine operation to produce a biomass-based source of energy. The plant would convert torrefied wood into wood pellets that would be shipped primarily overseas as an alternative fuel for coal-fired power plants. FAME is an independent state agency that develops and administers programs related to the financing of business in the State of Maine.

    View the story.

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EVENTS

  1. Portland, ME – Efficiency Maine 4th Annual Symposium and Awards Ceremony–November 6
    Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring St., Portland, ME
    1:00 pm – 7:00 pm

    Efficiency Maine is gathering some of the region's foremost experts and vendors on heating equipment, industrial processes, and building envelope technology – as well as some prominent companies and customers that have benefited from them — to participate in its 4th Annual Symposium and Awards Ceremony. The event features informative panels, an exhibit hall, and an awards ceremony.

    For more information, contact Paul Badeau of Efficiency Maine at 207-213-4157 or paul.badeau@efficiencymaine.com

    View the agenda and to register.
  2. Biddeford, ME – Making Sustainability Work: Sustain Southern Maine – November 7
    North Dam Mill, 2 Main St., Biddeford, ME
    1:30 pm – 6:30 pm

    This is an interactive event where people can view first-hand how sustainable development could look in nine very different Southern Maine communities.

    Additional booths on how to develop communities more sustainably, frequent snacks from Union House Pizza and eloquent speakers.

    The major speaker, Jeanne Dubois, Executive Director of the Dorchester Bay Development Corporation, will discuss how to move toward funding and implementation of infrastructure projects at the local and regional level. She will speak at 4:15 pm.

    From 5-6:30 pm there will be networking, more snacks, drinks and conversation.

    More information »
  3. Westport, CT – PASSIVHAUS ON TOUR – November 9
    Private home in Westport, CT
    12:00 noon or 2:30 pm

    A retrofit solar house uses 90% less energy than a traditional home. Attend a tour/seminar at a Passivhaus retrofit passive house.

    Sponsored by PACE and the CT Chapter of the Sierra Club.

    For tour information, contact: Judi Friedman, 860-693-4813 or visit: www.pace-cleanenergy.org

    For tickets ($20), contact: 860-796-4543.
  4. Fairlee, VT – 2013 Vermont Community Energy and Climate Action Conference–December 7
    Lake Morey Resort, 1 Clubhouse Rd., Fairlee, VT
    8:00 am – 4:30 pm

    This conference is for those interested in how Vermont communities can take action to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy for municipal government, businesses, and residents, as well as support statewide initiatives.

    Designed to inspire, support and grow the statewide network of town energy committees and other energy-ambitious Vermonters, this one-day conference emphasizes clean energy and climate action strategies that can be implemented locally. Workshops and roundtables will address energy efficiency, transportation, renewable energy, legislative action, coalition-building and other essential solutions needed to meet Vermont's energy and climate goals.

    Keynote speaker: May Boeve, director of 350.org

    For more information and to register »

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. NOAA Climate Program Office funding opportunity for FY 2014 now available – deadline November 14
    NOAA's Climate Program Office (CPO) has announced a federal funding opportunity for the 2014 fiscal year. The full announcement of opportunity is available on the CPO Funding Opportunities page and on the Grants.Gov website.
  2. Bureau of Indian Affairs – 2013 Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Grant Program – deadline November 29 (PDF) (12 pp, 234 K)
    Eligible Entities: Federally Recognized Tribes and inter-tribal organizations

    The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has made available competitive grants for tribal adaptation, training, and tribal travel support to participate in technical training, workshops, forums, and cooperatives. Grants in the following categories will be considered for funding: Category I) Design a series of tribal workshops to support tribal leaders/climate change coordinators/planners to gain the skills needed to guide a tribal government level climate adaptation plan; Category II) Development of tribal government climate adaptation plans, vulnerability assessments, or data analysis that supports multiple tribes. Category III) Travel support to attend technical workshops or to participate in cooperative climate change adaptation efforts.

    More information (PDF) (12 pp, 234 K) »
  3. Corporation for National and Community Service – AmeriCorps State and National Grants – deadline December 11, 2013 and January 8, 2014
    Eligible Entities: Government entities within states or territories; Tribes; public or private nonprofit organizations; institutions of higher education; labor organizations; partnerships and consortia

    The AmeriCorps State and National Grants provide funding to engage AmeriCorps members in service interventions strengthen communities. Focus areas for the grants include: Disaster Services, Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Stewardship, Healthy Futures, and Veterans and Military Families. Grants may be used to provide support for direct services that contribute to increased energy and water efficiency, renewable energy use, or improving at-risk ecosystems.

    More information »
  4. Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation – Environmental Solutions for Communities Grants Program – deadline December 16
    Eligible Entities: State, tribal, and local governments; educational institutions; and non-profit 501(c) organizations

    Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation seek to promote sustainable communities through Environmental Solutions for Communities by supporting highly-visible projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. Funding priorities include ‘greening' traditional infrastructure and public projects such as storm water management and flood control, urban forestry, and education and training of community leaders on sustainable practices.

    More information »
  5. National Endowment for the Arts – FY 2014 Our Town Initiative – deadline January 13, 2014
    Eligible Entities: All applications must involve two primary partners: a local government entity and a nonprofit organization. Local governments include counties, parishes, cities, towns, villages, or federally recognized tribal governments. Local arts agencies or other departments, agencies, or entities within an eligible local government may submit the application on behalf of that local government.

    The National Endowment for the Arts will provide a limited number of grants, ranging from $25,000 to $200,000, for creative placemaking projects that contribute toward the livability of communities and help transform them into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The Our Town initiative will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with their arts and design organizations and artists, seek to improve their quality of life, foster stronger community identity and a sense of place, and revitalize economic development.

    More information »
  6. Georgetown University – Energy Prize – deadline February 2014
    Eligible Entities: For this competition, a "community" is defined geographically by the limits of a municipality – a town, city, or county that has corporate status and local government. All small to medium municipalities in the U.S.A. with populations between 5,000 and 250,000 are eligible to apply.

    The Georgetown University Energy Prize is a competition in which communities will be challenged to work together with their local governments and utilities in order to develop and begin implementing plans for innovative, replicable, scalable, and continual reductions in the per capita energy consumed from local natural gas and electric utilities. Participating communities will be asked to develop a long-term energy efficiency plan and to demonstrate initial effectiveness and sustainability over a two-year period. Participating communities will benefit from access to various resources and the winning community will receive $5 million, which will help to support their continuing community-based energy efficiency efforts. Interested communities are encouraged to submit a non-binding letter of intent as soon as possible.

    More information »
  7. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center – Commonwealth Wind Development Grants – deadline May 15, 2014 or until funds run out
    The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is pleased to invite applications for grants to support the development of community wind and commercial wind projects.

    Community wind projects may use development grants for both development activities (such as permitting, environmental impact evaluation, geotechnical studies, public outreach, interconnection studies, etc.) and for construction activities (such as turbine procurement, erection and commissioning). Commercial wind projects may only use development grants for development activities.

    This solicitation describes the general scope, grant levels, application process and payment process. Applications may be submitted at any time and will be accepted for evaluation on a first-come, first-served basis.

    As the program evolves over time, this solicitation may be updated or withdrawn without notice. MassCEC expects applications will be accepted through May 15, 2014.

    Please contact commwind@masscec.com with any questions.

    For more information and to apply »

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
    • Nov 13, 1:00 pm, How to Launch an ENERGY STAR Energy Efficiency Competition
    • Nov 14, 1:00 pm, The Value of ENERGY STAR: How America's Top Energy Efficiency Brand Can Make Your Efforts Stand Out
    • Nov 20, 1:00 pm, Water: Benchmarking and Best Practices from WaterSense
    • Nov 21, 1:00 pm, Portfolio Manager "Office Hours"
  2. NH Local Energy webinar series – Land Use and Transportation Planning: Realizing Social, Economic and Environmental Benefits – November 13
    The rate of community growth and development is expected to increase particularly in southern portions of NH and along major transportation corridors. With growth, municipalities will be faced with choices that affect capacity to provide services, capital expenditures, and quality of life.

    This session will: describe the overall profile and trends relating to the state's transportation systems, energy use and emissions; show how local decisions about transportation and land use planning can help communities achieve long term benefits, and the role of individual action, choice and investment; and highlight examples that show the positive relationship between community development and the local economy. We will examine the multiple benefits and economic values that integrated planning brings to a community and how participation and full use of local, regional and state programs and mechanisms can help communities be successful in achieving their vision and goals.

    Speakers
    • Julie LaBranche, Rockingham Planning Commission
    • Gerald Coogan, AICP, Lakes Region Planning Commission
    • Chris Skoglund, NH Department of Environmental Services
    For more information and to register »
  3. Interstate Renewable Energy Council Releases Annual Updates and Trends Report on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
    The Interstate Renewable Energy Council released its "Annual Updates and Trends Report (PDF) (32 pp, 4.7 MB)" for 2013, which provides information on the year's growth in renewable energy and energy efficiency in the United States. The report gives a collection of models, new best practices, and training standards, and offers insight on current issues faced by renewable energy and energy efficiency stakeholders.

    View the announcement.
  4. Consumer Federation of America Releases Report on Benefits of Energy Efficiency Performance Standards
    The Consumer Federation of America released a report finding that homeowners and business could reduce energy costs by nearly $1,000 per year if energy efficiency performance standards were more prevalent and better understood. The report, "Energy Efficiency Performance Standards: The Cornerstone of Consumer-Friendly Energy Policy (PDF) (107 pp, 2 MB)," finds that when effectively implemented, energy efficiency performance standards are the best method for obtaining such savings.

    View the announcement.
  5. Interstate Renewable Energy Council Releases Report on Determining the Benefits and Costs of Distributed Solar Generation
    The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) released a report providing lessons learned from 16 regional and utility-specific distributed solar generation (DSG) studies summarized in a recent review by the Rocky Mountain Institute. Entitled "A Regulator's Guidebook: Calculating the Benefits and Costs of Distributed Solar Generation (PDF) (46 pp, 965 K)," the report finds that there is a need for a standardized approach in measuring the benefits and costs of DSG.

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