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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

June 2010 Volume 20
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.

This page provides links to non-EPA web sites that provide additional information related to Energy. You will leave the EPA.gov domain and enter another page with more information. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of information on that non-EPA page. Providing links to a non-EPA Web site is not an endorsement of the other site or the information it contains by EPA or any of its employees. Also, be aware that the privacy protection provided on the EPA.gov domain (see Privacy and Security Notice) may not be available at the external link. Click icon for EPA disclaimer.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Welcome to the Newest Members of the Community Energy Challenge: Cornwall, Middlefield, North Haven, Seymour, South Windsor and West Haven, CT; Shrewsbury and Greenfield, MA; Cranston, RI; and Hartford, VT
  2. NH EnergySmart Schools – Benchmarking/energy efficiency assistance for schools
  3. Update on the Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange

ARTICLES

  1. MIT: Wind Power Can Make Sense for Utilities
  2. Patrick-Murray Administration Designates Commonwealth's First Official "Green Communities"
  3. Report: Forest cover declining across New England

EVENTS

  1. Boston, MA - Massachusetts Clean Cities Coalition Meeting – June 10, 9:30am-12:00pm
  2. Lowell, MA – Innovative Cities Conference - Best Practices in Urban Development – June 17-19
  3. Concord, NH – Second Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference, Concord, NH – June 19

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. EPA Tribal Environmental Education, Outreach and Support Program – deadline June 18
  2. Efficiency Maine Commercial Project grant applications (municipalities and non-profits also eligible) – deadline June 21
  3. New Hampshire Rebate Program for the replacement of existing hot water heaters, boilers and furnaces – first come, first served – until funds are expended
  4. DOE Weatherization Assistance Program – deadline varies depending on fiscal year of applicant, range of 2/15/10 – 8/1/10
  5. US Dept of Commerce – Economic Development Administration Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund – deadline September 30
  6. EPA Climate Showcase Community grants solicitation – now open - deadline July 26, 2010

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. Encourage residents in VT to find out how much energy they are using – borrow a Watts Up Meter from Efficiency Vermont
  2. ENERGY STAR free webinars
  3. State and Local Climate and Energy webinars

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Welcome to the Newest Members of the Community Energy Challenge!
    EPA New England welcomes the newest members of the Community Energy Challenge: Cornwall, Middlefield, North Haven, Seymour, South Windsor and West Haven, CT; Shrewsbury and Greenfield, MA; Cranston, RI; and Hartford, VT! These communities have pledged to form local energy committees, benchmark their municipal buildings, and reduce energy use by 10%. With these additions there are 175 CEC members. Welcome!

    For more information »
  2. NH EnergySmart Schools – Benchmarking/energy efficiency assistance for schools
    The Sustainable Energy Division of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, in collaboration with the New Hampshire Department of Education (DOE), have sponsored TRC to develop the New Hampshire EnergySmart Schools Program to support New Hampshire K-12 public schools in the pursuit of energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives. The deliverables of the program analysis are designed to help your school in three ways:
    • Understand the energy consumption and cost trends at each of your buildings
    • Know your school's carbon footprint and energy performance compared to other schools, both locally and nationally
    • Identify opportunities for improving operations and reducing annual energy and maintenance costs
    Schools that have participated in TRC's energy benchmarking programs in other states have shown a decrease in overall energy use of approximately 22%.

    In order to participate in this innovative program, please fill out a one-page data request form and provide at least 12 months of utility bills. The data forms are available by visiting http://www.nhenergy.org/images/e/ec/NH_EnergySmart_Schools_Program-_Building_Data_Request_Form.pdf (2 pp, 370 K). Please contact TRC for further information or assistance at 603-766-1913 or 1-877-282-9378 or NHSchoolsBenchmarking@trcsolutions.com. Participation is voluntary, confidential, & FREE!
  3. Update on the Mass Save Great Appliance Exchange
    Massachusetts residents filled up the rebate reservation and waiting lists for the Recovery Act-funded Great Appliance Exchange within two and a half hours on April 22. This interest and many residents' frustrating online experience spurred Governor Patrick to direct that all wait list rebate reservations be fulfilled.

    Those individuals holding the more than 39,000 reservations have been sent applications, purchases have been made, and the first rebate checks will be sent out soon. Reservation holders have until June 26, 2010 to take delivery of their new appliances, have the old, inefficient ones picked up for recycling, and submit the necessary paperwork.

    For questions about the program, please continue to call 1-877-MASWAP1 (627-9271). If you would like to speak to the Department of Energy Resources, please call 1-617-626-7350.

    In response to public interest, another rebate program for residents and businesses will be offered this summer. This one too is expected to boost the Massachusetts economy and deliver significant energy savings. Details coming soon.

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ARTICLES

  1. MIT: Wind Power Can Make Sense for Utilities
    MIT researchers have concluded that some of the price problems associated with wind power can be remedied right now, given a couple of changes to the electricity grid. A key insight of the study is that wind's apparent drawbacks as a power source — it only blows intermittently, and in many places blows harder at night than during the day — could actually be used to the advantage of power companies, with one condition. If power grids were equipped with large storage batteries that are commercially available right now, placed near urban areas, they could accumulate energy via wind power during off-peak night hours, then discharge the saved power during peak afternoon hours (when people have their air-conditioning on during the summer, for instance). That would make economic sense for the power-grid operators, which pay higher rates to generators during peak hours, while keeping consumer prices intact.

    Read entire article »
  2. Patrick-Murray Administration Designates Commonwealth's First Official "Green Communities"
    Governor Deval Patrick designated 35 cities and towns from the Berkshires to Cape Cod as the Commonwealth's first official "Green Communities" - a status that makes them eligible for $8.1 million in grants for local renewable power and energy efficiency projects. The projects promise to create green jobs and advance both municipal and state clean energy goals.

    Read entire article »
  3. Report: Forest cover declining across New England
    The study by Harvard Forest found that New England forests, having grown back after a spate of land clearings by European settlers, have come under increasing pressure from a new wave of commercial development, industrial use and invasive species. Less than 20 percent of New England's 33 million acres of trees, waters and wetlands are permanently protected from development.

    Read entire article »

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EVENTS

  1. Boston, MA - Massachusetts Clean Cities Coalition Meeting – June 10, 9:30am-12:00pm
    Location: MA DEP on Winter Street Boston, MA, Room 2212, A, B, & C
    RSVP: Stephen.russell@state.ma.us or call at 617 626-7325.
  2. Lowell, MA – Innovative Cities Conference - Best Practices in Urban Development – June 17-19
    Conference topics will include economic development, the creative economy, sustainability, transportation, housing, education, etc. The conference will provide a forum for dialogue on these issues and offer participants a chance to contribute their thoughts toward concrete policy proposals. This is an opportunity to help shape an effective strategy for urban America.

    Register »
  3. Second Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference, Concord, NH – June 19, 8:00am – 4:30pm
    This is a one-day conference for officials and volunteers of towns and schools, citizens, and local energy committees to learn about resources to reduce energy costs and save taxpayer dollars. Registration is open. Organized by Clean Air-Cool Planet and the Local Energy Committee Working Group. It will be held at the Grappone Center.

    For more information and to register »

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. EPA Tribal Environmental Education, Outreach and Support Program – deadline June 18 (PDF) (25 pp, 95 K)
    Eligible Applicants: States, local governments, federally recognized Indian tribal governments and others

    Since 1993, EPA's Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) has provided assistance agreements to ensure that tribes receive appropriate support as they work to develop and implement air quality management programs. Under this funding opportunity, OAR will continue its support for the Tribal Environmental Education Outreach and Support Program as an ongoing independent program to ensure that American Indian students, educators, and communities are properly informed and provided with opportunities to participate and pursue environmental careers, particularly in the field of air quality management. OAR is seeking applications from eligible entities to provide environmental outreach, education, and associated support to tribes that will encourage tribal students (grades K through 12) to develop interest, understanding, and abilities to pursue careers in the field of air quality management.

    More information (PDF) (25 pp, 95 K) »
  2. Efficiency Maine Commercial Project grant applications (municipalities and non-profits also eligible) – deadline June 21
    The Commercial Grant Program allows industrial, commercial, municipal and non-profit organizations to apply for grants of up to $50,000. Projects funded under this program and ARRA are expected to meet goals that include energy savings, job creation and/or retention, and sustainable economic impact. Applicants are required to demonstrate the ability to provide matching funds at least equal to the amount of grant funding requested. Grants will be awarded based upon a competitive evaluation process.

    More information »
  3. New Hampshire Rebate Program for the replacement of existing hot water heaters, boilers and furnaces – first come, first served – until funds are expended
    The State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP) has been allocated approximately $1.2 million for implementation and will offer residential consumers rebates for the replacement of existing hot water heaters, boilers and furnaces to more energy efficient models. Rebates will be available on a first come - first serve basis and will not be available on purchases prior to the commencement of the program.

    ARRA- Home Heating System Rebate Program (fossil fuels):  NHSaves.com Start Date: April 19, 2010
    ARRA- Solar Thermal Rebate Program:  Public Utilities Commission.  Start Date: April 21, 2010

    More information »

    *Note: Household appliances such as clothes washers and air conditioners are not included under the New Hampshire SEEARP and instead will continue to be offered through the electric utility EnergySTAR Appliance Rebate Program.
  4. DOE Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) ($210 million) – deadline varies depending on fiscal year of applicant, with range of 2/15/10 – 8/1/10
    DOE requests proposals for Weatherization Formula Grants to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce their total residential expenditures, and improve their health and safety. WAP assists persons who are particularly vulnerable, such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, families with children, high residential energy users, and households with high energy burdens. Prime applicant eligibility is restricted to agencies responsible for administering the annual WAP formula allocation. Fifty-eight awards are anticipated. The response due date depends on the fiscal year end of the prime applicant, with range of 2/15/10 – 8/1/10.

    For more information »
  5. US Dept of Commerce – Economic Development Administration Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund – deadline September 30
    Eligible Entities: State and local governments, nonprofit organizations
    The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) advances economic growth by assisting communities experiencing chronic high unemployment and low per capita income to create an environment that fosters innovation, promotes entrepreneurship, and attracts increased private capital investment. EDA requests proposals for the following programs: Public Works, Planning, Local Technical Assistance, and Economic Adjustment Assistance. Under the Economic Adjustment Assistance program, EDA has allocated $14.7 million to the Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund, which supports projects that foster economic competitiveness while enhancing environmental quality. Proposals are being accepted and are being reviewed on an ongoing basis.
    For more information, including contact info »
  6. EPA Climate Showcase Community grants solicitation – now open - deadline July 26, 2010
    RFP# EPA-OAR-CPPD-10-09 - Closing Date: July 26, 2010
    Climate Showcase Communities (PDF) (29 pp, 146 K)

    This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals from eligible entities to compete for financial assistance through the Climate Showcase Communities Grant Program. This program will assist local and tribal governments in developing plans, conducting demonstrations, and implementing projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while achieving additional environmental, economic, public health, and/or community benefits. The overall goal of the Climate Showcase Communities program is to create replicable models of sustainable community action that generate cost-effective and persistent greenhouse gas reductions while improving the environmental, economic, public health, or social conditions in a community.

    To view the PDF directly (PDF) (29 pp, 146 K) »

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. Encourage residents in VT to find out how much energy they are using – borrow a Watts Up Meter from Efficiency Vermont
    You can measure how much electricity your appliances use with the Watts Up Electric Meter. With this information, you'll be better able to identify the connection between your appliance use and the amount of your electric bills. Efficiency Vermont offers these meters free of charge for a period of three weeks to Vermont electric utility ratepayers.

    More information »
  2. ENERGY STAR webinars (all times are EST; registration required but free)
    • Tuesday, June 8, 2010, 2pm, Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR
    • Wednesday, June 9, 2010, 2pm, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for EECBG Grantees and State & Local Governments
    • Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 1pm, Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 1pm, Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment
    • Thursday, June 17, 2010, 2pm, K-12 Benchmarking 101
    • Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 2pm, ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems
    • Tuesday, June 29, 2010, 2pm, Benchmarking Water/Wastewater Plants in Portfolio Manager
    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars »
    Energy Star also now has a Portfolio Manager tool to assist Congregations.
  3. State and Local Climate and Energy webinars (registration required and free)
    Tuesday, June 8, 2010, 2 - 4 pm, Implementing Green Roof Programs at the Local Level

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