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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

July 2011 Volume 33
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. Spotlight: Community Energy Challenge Member Medford, MA, has met the Challenge by reducing energy use by more than 10%!
  3. NH EnergySmart Schools Program enrollment open

ARTICLES

  1. Department of Energy Conditional Loan Guarantee Commitment to Support the Development of New Hampshire's Largest Wind Farm
  2. Connecticut House of Representatives Approves Energy Policy Legislation
  3. Connecticut Siting Council Approves Plans to Complete Wind Energy Farm
  4. Rhode Island House of Representatives Approves Renewable Energy Bills
  5. U.S. White House Announces Series of Smart Grid Initiatives
  6. Organizations Release Fifth Annual Global Energy Efficiency Survey

EVENTS

  1. Middletown and Norwalk, CT – Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund eesmarts 2011 Summer Energy Education Workshops – various in July
  2. Lynn, MA – North Shore Tech Council Sustainability Forum – July 6

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. Maine Solar Thermal Energy Incentive Program – ongoing
  2. Massachusetts – New Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program to Launch – July 28
  3. Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program Advance Notice

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR free webinars
  2. Clean Coalition Announces Local CLEAN Program Guide
  3. Local Climate and Energy Webcast on Energy Efficiency in Municipal Operations – July 12
  4. Clean Air Cool Planet Report: Preparing for the Changing Climate: a Northeast-Focused Needs Assessment

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Welcome to the Newest Members of the Community Energy Challenge!
    EPA New England welcomes the newest member of the Community Energy Challenge: Mansfield, CT! This community has pledged to form a local energy committee, benchmark their municipal buildings, and reduce energy use by 10%. With this addition there are 190 CEC members. Welcome!

    See a list of all CEC members »
  2. Spotlight: Community Energy Challenge Member Medford, MA, has met the Challenge by reducing energy use by more than 10%!
    Medford joined the EPA's Community Energy Challenge in 2007, and since then has saved over $500,000 in energy costs and reduced total energy usage at their elementary and middle school buildings by 35%. National Grid, the local utility, sponsored free energy audits for all of Medford's school buildings and identified opportunities for energy efficiency upgrades. The city's building manager, Roger Windt, took this information and looked at low-cost and no-cost ways Medford could implement the recommendations at their K-8 schools.

    The building manager implemented changes such as turning off unneeded lights and reducing heat settings at night and on weekends. The city also worked across department lines to enable an effective computer shutdown program.

    Other efforts to reduce energy within the school included:
    • upgrading lighting, control software, and remote energy management systems
    • retro-commissioning mechanical equipment
    • turning heat down at 3pm instead of 11pm
    • performing preventative maintenance
    • cleaning filters in gymnasium

    Five Medford schools have documented their greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and have a combined total reduction of 1,332 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to taking 261 cars off of the road for an entire year!

    In March 2011, five of the schools received ENERGY STAR plaques recognizing them for being in the top 25% of all schools nationally for energy use. The City is also in the process of installing 700kW of solar panels on school buildings through a Power Purchase Agreement. Medford's goal is to become a municipal leader in the use of clean power, by promoting clean power options to residents and encouraging more development of renewable energy sources in Medford.

    Congratulations Medford!
    If your town or city has reached this energy reduction milestone (10% or greater), please let us know so we can honor you!

    If you are almost there, and would like guidance on moving to the next step, or if you are just starting out and need assistance to begin tracking your community's energy use, please contact us.

    Email Cynthia Veit at veit.cynthia@epa.gov with your story or questions – and thank you for your efforts and dedication to reducing energy use in your community!
  3. NH EnergySmart Schools Program enrollment open
    NH EnergySmart Schools Program, a FREE energy assessment for NH's public and private schools, can help school boards and officials understand their schools' energy usage so they can make informed energy decisions.

    The NH EnergySmart Schools Program, administered by TRC Energy Services, is funded by NH Public Utilities Commission, with support from NH Department of Education, to help schools understand and reduce energy consumption, improve operations and save energy.

    Over 150 NH schools have participated in this energy benchmarking program to date, and the average energy savings associated with participation is 20%.

    Schools need to enroll by the end of July to qualify for free services.
    Please share this opportunity and deadline with your Superintendent of Schools or Principal(s) today.

    Learn more about the NH EnergySmart Schools Program and how YOUR schools can start saving today by visiting: www.nhschoolbenchmarking.com or contact Julia Dundorf at 603-957-4350.

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ARTICLES

  1. Department of Energy Conditional Loan Guarantee Commitment to Support the Development of New Hampshire's Largest Wind Farm
    Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the offer of a conditional commitment to Granite Reliable Power, LLC to provide up to $135.76 million in loan guarantees for a new wind generation project. The 99 megawatt (MW) project will be located in the central portion of Coos County in northern New Hampshire, approximately 110 miles north of Concord. According to project sponsors, the project will create nearly 200 construction jobs.

    Read full article »
  2. Connecticut House of Representatives Approves Energy Policy Legislation
    On June 7, 2011, the Connecticut State House of Representatives approved sweeping legislation that overhauls Connecticut's energy policy in response to consumer and business complaints about the high cost of electricity. The legislation merges the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Public Utility Control proposed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy to centralize state energy policy, focus on energy efficiency, and reduce rates. The legislation also establishes an agency to finance zero-emission projects such as solar and wind. The bill has already been approved by the Senate and will now be considered by the Governor.

    Read full article »
  3. Connecticut Siting Council Approves Plans to Complete Wind Energy Farm
    On June 9, 2011, the Connecticut Siting Council approved plans to complete the state's first wind energy farm. The decision approves plans for three wind-powered turbines off Rock Hall Road in Colebrook, on a 125-acre parcel of land known as Colebrook North. Colebrook North forms one-half of a proposed $24 million commercial wind farm development in Colebrook. The first half of the project was approved on June 2, 2011.

    Read full article »
  4. Rhode Island House of Representatives Approves Renewable Energy Bills
    On June 9, 2011, the Rhode Island House of Representatives approved a package of three renewable energy bills. The legislation would encourage further development of renewable energy in the state, while strictly regulating the price of power from wind turbines and other generators. The legislation will now be considered by the Senate.

    Read full article »
  5. U.S. White House Announces Series of Smart Grid Initiatives
    On June 13, 2011, the White House announced a number of new initiatives designed to accelerate the modernization of U.S. electric infrastructure, including smart grid technologies. The initiatives are intended to facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources into the electricity grid, accommodate electric vehicles, and increase overall electric system efficiency. The White House also released a new report by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), which outlines the Obama Administration's four overarching goals for the electric grid. The initiatives include $250 million in loans for smart grid deployment through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utility Service and the launch of Grid 21, a private sector initiative to promote consumer-friendly smart grid innovations.

    A fact sheet on the new smart grid initiatives is available.

    Read full article »
  6. Organizations Release Fifth Annual Global Energy Efficiency Survey
    On June 16, 2011, Johnson Controls' Institute for Building Efficiency, the International Facility Management Association, and the Urban Land Institute released the fifth annual Global Energy Efficiency Survey. According to the survey, the top three motivating factors for implementing energy efficiency projects are energy cost savings, government incentives, and enhanced public image.

    The survey is available online (PDF) (12 pp, 2.9 MB).

    Read full article »

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EVENTS

  1. Middletown and Norwalk, CT: Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund eesmarts 2011 Summer Energy Education Workshops – various in July

    The eesmarts and Learning for Clean Energy Innovation programs welcome Connecticut educators to attend summer workshops on energy, energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy sources. Our professional development workshops, led by the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science at Wesleyan University, review both content and pedagogy regarding energy-related scientific and mathematical concepts. Educators will receive training for inquiry-based, hands-on activities that can be utilized in the classroom environment. All lessons are fully aligned with Connecticut Science and Mathematics Framework standards.

    Benefits include:
    • Earn 0.6 CEUs (per day)
    • Receive a $100 stipend (per day)
    • Receive free program lessons and materials for your classroom
    • Learn inquiry methods
    • Gain knowledge, confidence and skills for teaching your students about energy and energy conservation
    • Receive a free year-long pass to one of these museums: Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Discovery Museum, or Connecticut Science Center
    Workshop locations and dates:
    Wesleyan University, Middletown
    • July 5 – 7: Grades PreK-2 and Grades 6-9
    • July 11: Grades 6-9 Climate Change Workshop
    • July 12 – 14: Grades 3-5
    • July 12 – 15: Grades 6-12 Topical Wind & Solar Workshop
    Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Norwalk
    • July 18 – 21: Grades 6-12 Wind & Solar Workshop
    For more information, contact Rebecca Meyer at meyerra@nu.com/860-665-5280 or see the eesmarts 2011 Summer Energy Education brochure (PDF) (4 pp, 1.4 MB).
  2. Lynn, MA – North Shore Tech Council Sustainability Forum – July 6
    Cleantech Innoventure Center, 20 Wheeler St., Lynn, MA
    8am-9:30am

    The Sustainability Forum is focused on understanding and promoting sustainable practices. There is no cost to attend.

    For more information »

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. Maine Solar Thermal Energy Incentive Program – ongoing
    Our basic Maine Solar Thermal Energy Incentive Program offers 25% of the project cost up to a maximum of $1,000. Residential and commercial solar air and water heating systems are eligible.

    Potential Residential Bonus Incentive – additional $500 incentive if you do further work.

    Contact Efficiency Maine for more details at 866-376-2463/efficiencymaine@efficiencymaine.com or visit http://www.efficiencymaine.com/renewable-energy/solar-thermal
  2. Massachusetts – New Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program to Launch – July 28
    Up to $200 in rebates will be offered on ENERGY STAR® refrigerators ($150) and room air conditioners ($50) when the Massachusetts Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program launches on July 28.

    Based on similarly-designed programs in other states, $2 million for rebates should fund the purchase of 20,000 new energy efficient appliances to replace the same number of inefficient models. NEW: DOER recently announced it is waiving appliance turn-in requirements and setting aside $100,000 of the $2 million rebate pool for residents of the tornado-impacted areas.

    More details are available on www.MassEnergyRebates.com or visit http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eoeeapressrelease&L=1&L0=Home&sid=Eoeea&b=pressrelease&f=110607-pr-ee-appliance-rebates&csid=Eoeea
  3. Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program Advance Notice
    Department of Housing and Urban Development

    ADVANCE NOTICE ONLY NO APPLICATIONS BEING ACCEPTED. The Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program (Program) supports metropolitan and multijurisdictional planning efforts that integrate housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure investments in a manner that empowers jurisdictions to consider the interdependent challenges of:
    1. economic competitiveness and revitalization;
    2. social equity, inclusion, and access to opportunity;
    3. energy use and climate change; and
    4. public health and environmental impact.
    The Program places a priority on investing in partnerships, including nontraditional partnerships (e.g., arts and culture, recreation, public health, food systems, regional planning agencies and public education entities) that translate the Livability Principles (Section I.C.1) into strategies that direct long-term development and reinvestment, demonstrate a commitment to addressing issues of regional significance, use data to set and monitor progress toward performance goals, and engage stakeholders and residents in meaningful decision-making roles.

    More information »

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (all times are EST; registration required but free)
    • July 12, 2pm, Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients
    • July 13, 1pm, Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment
    • July 19, 1pm, Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR
    • July 21, 2pm, Financing Energy Efficiency Upgrades with ENERGY STAR
    • July 26, 12pm, Office Buildings: Benchmark Energy Performance Using Portfolio Manager
    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars »
  2. Clean Coalition Announces Local CLEAN Program Guide
    The nonprofit Clean Coalition has released the first of seven modules of its Local CLEAN Program Guide, a free, downloadable policy tool designed to help communities and utilities evaluate, design, and enact the most effective policies for the timely and cost-effective deployment of clean local energy.

    The first module provides an overview of Clean Local Energy Accessible Now (CLEAN) programs and the key considerations in assessing what a CLEAN program can do for communities and local utilities across the United States. A CLEAN program promotes the growth of a strong clean energy economy by reducing the time, risks, paperwork, and other costs involved in selling renewable energy from underused spaces in communities, such as warehouse rooftops and capped landfills. CLEAN programs have been implemented at the local, state, and national level around the world to drive renewable energy deployments.

    For more information on the Local CLEAN Program Guide and to download the first module, please visit the Clean Coalition website.
  3. Local Climate and Energy Webcast on Energy Efficiency in Municipal Operations – July 12 2 - 3:30pm
    Energy used by commercial and industrial buildings in the United States is responsible for nearly 50 percent of our national emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) that contribute to global climate change. Local governments can lead by example and achieve substantial energy cost savings across their facilities, demonstrate energy and environmental leadership, and raise public awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency to reduce GHG emissions. This July 12 Local Climate and Energy Webcast will provide an overview of how local governments can plan, implement, and evaluate projects to reduce the energy consumption and GHG emissions of their buildings. Federal tools and resources and local case studies will also be discussed.

    Register »
  4. Clean Air Cool Planet Report: Preparing for the Changing Climate: a Northeast-Focused Needs Assessment
    Clean Air Cool Planet released a new report – the first region-wide snapshot that includes information from regional, state and local governments on how communities are preparing for a changing climate — and what resources and assistance they need to succeed.

    Preparing for the Changing Climate: a Northeast-Focused Needs Assessment is based on direct outreach to over 200 communities from Maine to New Jersey, including survey responses from 34 local governments, 6 regional governments, and 8 state agencies.

    Download the report »

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