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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

April 2011 Volume 30
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. Welcome to the Newest Members of the Community Energy Challenge!
  2. City of Cambridge, MA – Nominations for 2011 GoGreen Awards – due April 4
  3. Tell us what you need to know – webinar planning topic request

ARTICLES

  1. Avoiding Health Pitfalls of Home Energy-Efficiency Retrofits
  2. National Association of Counties Video Success Stories for County Energy Projects
  3. US Department of Energy Offers Conditional Commitment for a Loan Guarantee to Support Maine Wind Project
  4. Piloting New Approaches to Home Energy Efficiency

EVENTS

  1. Penacook, NH – Third Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference – April 2
  2. New Haven, CT – Yale Climate and Energy Institute Conference: Technological Innovation for a Secure Energy Future – April 8-9
  3. Marlborough, MA – Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference – April 15
  4. Orange, CT – Celebrate Earth Day 2011: Taking Care of Our Planet – April 16

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. US Department of Agriculture Conservation Innovation Grant Program – Vermont and New Hampshire only – deadline April 5 (VT) and May 6 (NH)
  2. US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1 Healthy Communities Grant Program – deadline May 2
  3. US Economic Development Agency i6 Green Challenge: Proof of Concept Center – deadline May 2 and May 26
  4. US Department of the Interior Regional Climate Science Centers host – deadline May 6
  5. US Environmental Protection Agency - Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land – deadline May 20

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR free webinars
  2. University of Rhode Island Master Energy Training Program – April 4-21
  3. Solar America Cities – Solar Power Guides
  4. Cool Mass – Mass Climate Action Network (MCAN) Low Carbon Living Program

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Welcome to the Newest Members of the Community Energy Challenge!
    EPA New England welcomes the newest member of the Community Energy Challenge: Pomfret, CT! This community has pledged to form a local energy committee, benchmark its municipal buildings, and reduce energy use by 10%. With this addition there are 187 CEC members. Welcome!

    See a list of all CEC members »
  2. City of Cambridge, MA – Nominations for 2011 GoGreen Awards – due April 4
    The City of Cambridge is seeking nominations for the 2011 GoGreen Awards. The awards recognize businesses, institutions, and organizations for their actions on energy, transportation, waste reduction, stormwater management, and climate protection. Nominations are due by Monday, April 4. Self-nominations are welcome.

    An awards ceremony will be held in May, which is GoGreen Month.

    Obtain the nomination form and for more information »
  3. Tell us what you need to know – webinar planning topic request
    EPA Regions have the opportunity to collect suggestions for topics for webinar training through the EPA State and Local Climate and Energy program.

    See what they have already covered, and what is planned »

    (Their climate adaptation webcast had 1,800 lines!)

    To let EPA-Region 1 know what you would like to learn about, please send an email to Cynthia Veit at veit.cynthia@epa.gov with "Webcast suggestion" in the subject line.

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ARTICLES

  1. Avoiding Health Pitfalls of Home Energy-Efficiency Retrofits
    An energy-efficiency label attached to a product is meaningless if that product is installed incorrectly, and when it comes to green building techniques, the devil is in the details. The complexities of high-tech equipment and the subtle and usually invisible movement of air and moisture in homes mean even experienced and well-intentioned contractors do not get things right in every instance. This can result in health problems for occupants and installers alike.

    Read full article »
  2. National Association of Counties Video Success Stories for County Energy Projects
    The National Association of Counties (NACo) has created 11 short videos featuring successful implementation of energy projects by counties around the United States. The videos were filmed at NACo's County Forum on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in January 2011.

    Each three- to five-minute video includes interviews with county officials and staff, as well as images of county projects. Counties featured include Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; Broward County, Florida; Dorchester County, South Carolina; Frederick County, Maryland; Los Angeles County, California; Maricopa County, Arizona; McHenry County, Illinois; Snohomish County, Washington; Sonoma County, California; Tarrant County, Texas; and Will County, Illinois.

    The videos are available online.
  3. US Department of Energy Offers Conditional Commitment for a Loan Guarantee to Support Maine Wind Project
    U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the offer of a conditional commitment to Record Hill Wind LLC for a $102 million loan guarantee. The loan guarantee will support the Record Hill wind project, which includes a 50.6 megawatt wind power plant and an eight mile transmission line and associated interconnection equipment near the town of Roxbury, Maine. Developed and managed by Wagner Wind Energy of New Hampshire and Independence Wind of Maine, Record Hill is sponsored by the Yale University Endowment fund. In addition to providing clean, renewable power to New England's grid, the sponsor expects the project to create 200 construction jobs in Maine.

    Read full article »
  4. Piloting New Approaches to Home Energy Efficiency
    The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is using U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding in the Greater Springfield area to test innovations designed to help homeowners implement more, or "deeper," energy efficiency upgrades, as well as create additional clean energy jobs. The innovations include a customized website, widespread thermal imaging of homes, and an Energy Performance Score (EPS).

    Read full article »

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EVENTS

  1. Penacook, NH – Third Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference – April 2
    Merrimack Valley High School
    8am - 4:30pm


    The third year of the Local Energy Solutions Conference is shaping up to be another vibrant, information-rich opportunity for NH citizens to address local energy issues.

    Merrimack Valley High School is an ideal venue for local energy committee members, municipal and school staff/volunteers, legislators, and interested citizens from around the state and region to convene to discuss and learn about local energy projects, issues and solutions. Merrimack Valley High School, centrally located just off interstate 93 north of Concord, has been a leader in implementing renewable energy projects and energy efficiency building upgrades. Facility tours will be integrated into the conference agenda.

    Who Should Attend in 2011:
    • Local energy committee volunteers
    • Town administrators and employees
    • Board of selectmen, planning board, budget committee members
    • Legislators and interested citizens
    • School staff and facility managers
    Maximize your Energy Projects - Learn About
    • Ways to finance your energy projects
    • Best practices and example of energy projects
    • How to measure municipal, school and residential energy use
    • Basics of energy technologies and practices
    • Elements of energy planning
    • Maximizing energy committee effectiveness
    For more information »

  2. New Haven, CT – Yale Climate and Energy Institute Conference: Technological Innovation for a Secure Energy Future – April 8-9
    Yale University Law School


    The Yale Climate & Energy Institute's annual conference, Technology Innovations For A Secure Energy Future, will focus on some of the scientific advancements in clean energy production, and the obstacles hindering the transition to a post-fossil fuel economy. The event's discussion and analysis of our clean energy future will be framed by leading experts in climate, finance, policy, and science.

    For more information, and to register »
  3. Marlborough, MA – Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference – April 15
    Holiday Inn, Marlborough


    The 1st Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference brings together experts and peers who are planning and implementing community sustainability efforts. This is your unique opportunity to connect with hundreds of community stakeholders and leaders, all in one place in Massachusetts. We hope you join us to:
    • Network with stakeholders from local government, community organizations, business and education
    • Learn about best practices, challenges and the latest trends in local sustainability
    • Go home with resources to help make communities more sustainable
    Keynote speakers include Mark Sylvia, Commissioner of Energy Resources and Jim Walker, Vice President and Director of Solar Grid-Tie Projects at Ameresco

    For more information, and to register »
  4. Orange, CT – Celebrate Earth Day 2011: Taking Care of Our Planet – April 16
    9:30am-3:30pm
    SmartLiving Center, 297 Boston Post Road


    The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund will celebrate Earth Day 2011 with a Taking Care of Our Planet free event, including workshops, live animal shows, eesmarts educational activities, face-painting, creative projects, and an energy efficient lighting sale.

    Please join us for this fun and interactive event for all!

    For more information, please visit http://www.ctenergyinfo.com/event.htm?id=03rs2x99&m=04&y=2011&p=0 or contact Kirsten Brooks, eesmarts@uinet.com, 203-799-0460.

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. US Department of Agriculture Conservation Innovation Grant Program – Vermont and New Hampshire only – deadline April 5 (VT) and May 6 (NH)
    The US Department of Agriculture requests proposals for the Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) Program in multiple states and territories. CIG seeks to stimulate innovative conservation approaches and technologies, in conjunction with agricultural production. Areas of interest vary by state/territorial priorities but may include areas such as transitioning to organic production, farm energy conservation, and carbon sequestration in soil.

    Vermont: $185K expected to be available, up to 4 awards anticipated. Responses due 4/5/11.
    For more info, contact Robert Kort at bob.kort@vt.usda.gov or visit http://www.vt.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/CIG/index.html
    Refer to Sol# USDANRCSVT1101

    New Hampshire: $80K expected to be available, up to 4 awards anticipated. Responses due 5/6/11.
    For more info, contact Deborah Weymouth at deb.weymouth@nh.usda.gov or visit http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do?mode=VIEW&oppId=77053
    Refer to Sol# USDA-NRCS-NH-11-01
  2. US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1 Healthy Communities Grant Program – deadline May 2
    The US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, requests proposals for the Healthy Communities Grant Program. This program seeks to work directly with communities to reduce environmental risks to protect and improve human health and the quality of life. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to: Targeting resources to benefit communities at risk; assessment and reduction of environmental and human health risks; and increasing collaboration through community-based projects.

    Projects must take place in CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, or VT. $300K expected to be available, up to 20 awards anticipated. Responses due 5/2/11.

    For more info, contact Jennifer Padula at Padula.Jennifer@epa.gov or visit http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/uep/hcgp.html
    Refer to Sol# EPA-R1-HC-2011
  3. US Economic Development Agency i6 Green Challenge: Proof of Concept Center – deadline May 2 and May 26
    The i6 Green Challenge is a $12 million competition that builds on the success of last year's inaugural i6 Challenge. It focuses on the nexus between economic development and environmental quality and rewards innovative, ground-breaking ideas that enable technology commercialization, new venture formation, job creation, and economic growth.

    i6 Green will reward communities that utilize Proof of Concept Centers to accelerate technology-led economic development in pursuit of a vibrant, innovative clean economy.

    An emerging contributor to the establishment, growth, and success of regional innovation clusters is the Proof of Concept Center. They serve as a hub of collaborative, innovative, and entrepreneurial activity.

    Letter of intent: To be eligible to be considered for an i6 Green award, applicants must email a letter of intent to i6@eda.doc.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 2, 2011.

    Complete Application: To be considered timely, a complete application must be transmitted and time-stamped at www.grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 26, 2011.

    For more information, and to download the Request for Proposals (RFP)
  4. US Department of the Interior Regional Climate Science Centers host – deadline May 6
    The purpose of this Program Announcement is to identify organizations that are willing to host a Department of the Interior Climate Science Center with appropriate space for up to twelve USGS and DOI co-located employees, and to determine if their science and partnership capabilities are sufficient to serve as a Host organization.

    Eligible organizations include State governments, County governments, City or township governments, Special district governments, Public and State controlled institutions of higher education, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education, and Private institutions of higher education.

    For more information »
  5. US Environmental Protection Agency - Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land – deadline May 20
    The US Environmental Protection Agency requests proposals for RE-Powering America's Land: Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites. Through this initiative, EPA will support NREL-conducted feasibility studies to evaluate the potential development of renewable energy on potentially or formerly contaminated properties. Up to 20 studies are anticipated. Responses due 5/20/11.

    For more info, contact Lura Matthews at Matthews.Lura@epa.gov or visit http://www.epa.gov/renewableenergyland/

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (all times are EST; registration required but free)
    • April 5, 2pm, K-12 Benchmarking 101
    • April 7, 2pm, Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients
    • April 13, 12pm, How to Save Money and Energy Without Spending a Dime – IT Energy Savings for Non-Techies
    • April 14, 2pm, The New EISA Requirement: What You Need to Know about ENERGY STAR to Stay in Compliance
    • April 19, 1pm, Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR
    • April 19, 1pm, Energy Efficiency Program Sponsors: Scoring Energy Performance with EPA's Portfolio Manager
    • April 19, 2pm, Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR
    • April 20, 1pm, Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment
    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars »
  2. University of Rhode Island Master Energy Training Program – April 4-21
    URI's Kingston Campus


    The URI Master Energy Training Program is a series of introductory-level evening classes that provide property owners and any interested individuals with practical information on how to save money, protect the environment and support RI's green economy with energy efficiency, conservation, renewable energy and alternative fuels. The program also covers the latest information on state and federal incentives, legislation and policy, and cutting edge research. No prior experience or knowledge required.

    For more information and to register »

  3. Solar America Cities – Solar Power Guides
    Solar America Cities, a program of the US Department of Energy, has issued two guides on solar power:

    Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments (PDF) (172 pp, 6MB)

    A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development (PDF) (56 pp, 2.8MB)

    For more information »

  4. Cool Mass – Mass Climate Action Network (MCAN) Low Carbon Living Program
    MCAN works with its local member organizations to develop teams of 5 to 8 households to assess their household carbon footprints and undertake actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program is based on the Low Carbon Diet workbook and involves 3 to 4 meetings.

    For more information »

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