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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

April 2012 Volume 42
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 Recognizes Efficiency Vermont and Vermont Gas Systems as 2012 ENERGY STAR Partners of The Year in Energy Efficiency Program Delivery
  2. University of Michigan and U.S. Green Building Council Release Report on Green Building as a Climate Adaptation Strategy
  3. U.S. EPA Releases Final Local Government Guide on Landfill Gas Energy

ARTICLES

  1. U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Identifies New Wind Energy Area
  2. Researchers Publish Study on Impacts of White Roofs in Cities
  3. New Haven Free Public Library Unveils Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System

EVENTS

  1. Meriden, CT – Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund Leading by Example: New Energy Opportunities for Municipalities – April 3
  2. Providence, RI – Rhode Island College and the Sustainable Communities Initiative – Sustainable Lecture Series – April 5, 12, 19 and May 3
  3. Voluntown, CT – PACE: Just Plain Smart Clean Energy Tour/Seminar – April 14
  4. Boston, MA – Massachusetts Sustainable Campuses and Communities Conferences – April 20 and 21
  5. Medford, MA – Tufts Energy Conference – April 20-21
  6. East Falmouth, MA – Climate Adaptation Training for Local Governments in Southeast Massachusetts – April 24-26

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. HUD Funding Revitalization, Efficiency – deadline April 10
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Announces State Energy Program Funding Opportunities – deadline April 30
  3. HUD Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants – deadline May 1
  4. Roadmaps to Health: Community Grants – deadline May 2
  5. USDA Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program – deadline May 15
  6. U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Grant Availability for Rural Energy Projects – Different Closing Dates For Individual Programs

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Online Training Course to Improve Building Efficiency
  3. Master Energy Training - University of Rhode Island (URI) Outreach Center – starts April 3

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. EPA Recognizes Efficiency Vermont and Vermont Gas Systems as 2012 ENERGY STAR Partners of The Year in Energy Efficiency Program Delivery
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Efficiency Vermont and Vermont Gas Systems with a 2012 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award for their outstanding contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by delivering information and services to their customers to increase energy efficiency. Award winners were selected from about 20,000 organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program. This is the second consecutive year in which the EPA has honored the Vermont ENERGY STAR Homes program.

    Read full announcement »
  2. University of Michigan and U.S. Green Building Council Release Report on Green Building as a Climate Adaptation Strategy
    The University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and the U.S. Green Building Council released a report on the relationship between green building techniques and resilience to climate change. The report reviews areas of climate change uncertainty, climate change forecasts in the United States by region, and recommends green building actions that can help prepare for those anticipated impacts. The report also identifies synergies between the green building industry and climate adaptation planning

    The report Green Building and Climate Resilience: Understanding the impacts of preparing for changing conditions (PDF) (260 pp, 3MB) is available.

    More information »
  3. U.S. EPA Releases Final Local Government Guide on Landfill Gas Energy
    The U.S. EPA announced that it has released a final version of its guide for local governments on landfill gas energy. The guide is part of the Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series designed to help policy makers and program staff plan, implement, and evaluate cost-effective climate and energy projects that generate economic, environmental, social, and human health benefits. This guide covers options for local governments to recover and use landfill gas.

    The guide Landfill Gas Energy: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs (PDF) (34 pp, 2.1MB) is available.

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ARTICLES

  1. U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Identifies New Wind Energy Area
    The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that it has identified a Wind Energy Area off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

    The Wind Energy Area is part of an area with high wind potential that Rhode Island and Massachusetts identified as of mutual interest in an earlier Memorandum of Understanding. The Wind Energy Area identified by BOEM comprises nearly 165,000 acres, excluding commercially important fishing grounds, and was identified based on public comments and stakeholder input. BOEM will next complete an environmental assessment of wind energy development on the area.

    Additional information, including a map of the area, is available.

    Read article »
  2. Researchers Publish Study on Impacts of White Roofs in Cities
    A research team from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Columbia University's Earth Institute published a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters on the impact of white roofing materials on urban temperatures. The study examined the long-term performance of white roofing materials in New York City monitoring three rooftops, each with a different kind of white roofing. All of the white roofs reduced temperatures by as much as 43 degrees Fahrenheit, though the study showed that some types of white roofing materials are more durable than others.

    The study Bright is the new black – multi-year performance of high-albedo roofs in an urban climate is available.
  3. New Haven Free Public Library Unveils Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System
    The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) and the City of New Haven hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the New Haven Free Public Library (Fair Haven Library) to unveil a 13.5 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system. The system was installed by Connecticut company Ross Solar Group, and awarded through CEFIA's Clean Energy Communities Program.

    Read article »

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EVENTS

  1. Meriden, CT – Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund Leading by Example: New Energy Opportunities for Municipalities – April 3
    Four Points Sheraton
    8:00am – 1:00pm

    CCM, along with the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority & the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, is presenting an education seminar for municipalities. The program will introduce an expanded Clean Energy Communities program & the State's Lead by Example Performance Contracting initiative as well as best practices to implement energy efficiency and clean energy programs in municipal buildings

    For more information, visit http://www.ctenergyinfo.com/event.htm?id=gc6rj30o&m=04&y=2012&p=0

    Or contact Lisa Romano (lisa.romano@uinet.com / 203 499-2942)

  2. Rhode Island College and the Sustainable Communities Initiative – Sustainable Lecture Series – April 5, 12, 19 and May 3
    Rhode Island College, Providence, RI

    This spring 2012 semester, the Sustainable Communities Initiative and Rhode Island College are teaming up to offer a public lecture series that will survey the field of Sustainability. All lecture series events are free and open to the public.

    Location: Clarke Science Building, Room 128
    Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.

    April 5 – Sustainable Cities
    April 12 – Climate Change
    April 19 – Earth Day and US Environmental History
    May 3 – Ethics of Sustainability
    Date TBA – Biodiversity

    For more information and to register »
  3. Voluntown, CT – PACE: Just Plain Smart Clean Energy Tour/Seminar – April 14
    11:00am – 5:00pm

    Tours/seminars of a "smart" solar house, the winner of the 2011 CT Zero Energy Challenge, showcasing Geothermal heating and cooling; superior insulation; leased PV system and much more.

    Starting at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm

    Tickets: $20.

    For more information, visit http://www.ctenergyinfo.com/event.htm?id=kvgppbt7&m=04&y=2012&p=0

    Or contact Judi Friedman (jfriedeco@aol.com / 860-693-4813)
  4. Boston, MA – Massachusetts Sustainable Campuses and Communities Conferences – April 20 and 21
    UMass Boston Campus Center

    The Sustainable Communities and Campuses Conference connects leading experts and peers from municipalities, college campuses, government, businesses and nonprofits. Everyone wanting to learn more about sustainability best practices and resources will find this conference timely, practical and valuable.

    THE OBJECTIVES
    • Engage in cross-sector dialogues to support collaboration, partnerships and action
    • Learn about best practices, services and products for sustainability
    • Network with local, regional and statewide stakeholders
    • Go home with knowledge and resources to improve campus and community sustainability
    WHO SHOULD ATTEND
    • Municipal elected and non-elected officials, facilities, planning, conservation, DPW, sustainability/energy, environment, school committees
    • Higher education administrators, sustainability coordinators, career services, workforce development, community relations, faculty, facilities managers, researchers, innovators, students, graduates
    • Business owners, staff and business organization reps
    • Non-profit community group members and leaders
    • Everyone interested in learning about sustainability
    For more information and to register »
  5. Medford, MA – Tufts Energy Conference – April 20-21
    Transforming the Global Energy Debate: From Challenges to Solutions

    TEC 2012 will bring together policymakers, scholars, business leaders, professionals and students to exchange ideas on the most promising solutions to our most pressing energy challenges.

    We will discuss pivotal questions such as: What role will fossil fuels play as part of a diverse and secure low-carbon energy mix? What policies and regulatory measures can be employed for upgrading the safety and security of existing and planned nuclear facilities? How do developing countries plan to meet growing energy demand while at the same time alleviating poverty, sustaining the environment and addressing climate change? In the U.S., how should the role of the government and the private sector evolve to close the financing gap for renewable energy? What are the new management approaches being developed to address the trade-offs between water consumption and energy production?

    For more information and to register »
  6. East Falmouth, MA – Climate Adaptation Training for Local Governments in Southeast Massachusetts – April 24-26
    9:00 am – 5:00 pm

    Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

    This intensive and highly interactive three-day training course provides individuals with a climate adaptation tool kit to proactively address adaptation planning priorities in the context of local government priorities. Course modules are taught by NOAA's Coastal Services Center expert training staff and local partners. You will learn about local climate adaptation efforts from expert practitioners working in Massachusetts. Through individual work and group discussions, you will apply what you learn in each module to your issue and identify and document steps that your organization can take to effectively integrate climate adaption strategies into policies, plans, and programs

    Space is limited and registration is required by April 10!

    For more information and to register »

    Registration Fee: $30.00

    Contact: Tonna-Marie Rogers (tonna-marie.surgeon-rogers@state.ma.us / 508-457-0495 ext. 110), Coastal Training Program Coordinator, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. HUD Funding Revitalization, Efficiency – deadline April 10
    The U.S. EPA announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is offering $110 million in funding through the HUD Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants Program. The program is aimed at helping communities develop and implement a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy to achieve three core goals, including transforming distressed public and assisted housing into energy efficient, mixed income housing with access to public transportation. Applications for funding are due April 10, 2012.

    Additional information is available.
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Announces State Energy Program Funding Opportunities – deadline April 30
    The U.S. EPA announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is soliciting annual grant applications through its State Energy Program. Approximately $15 million will be available through competitive awards for projects that advance energy efficiency in public facilities, stimulate energy efficiency action that will assist states in generating the necessary policy and program frameworks to support investment in cost-effective energy efficiency by 2015, or improve or develop a fee-based self-funded Public Facilities Energy Retrofit Program.

    Additional information is available.
  3. HUD Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants – deadline May 1
    Eligible Entities: Local governments, tribal entities, public housing authorities, non-profits, and for-profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity.

    The HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants Program is aimed at helping communities create a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy. The goals of the program include transforming distressed public and assisted housing into energy-efficient, mixed-income housing that is physically and financially viable over the long term, and transforming distressed, high-poverty neighborhoods into viable, mixed-income neighborhoods with access to well-functioning services, including public transportation.

    For more information »
  4. Roadmaps to Health: Community Grants – deadline May 2
    The Roadmaps to Health Community Grants program (Community Grants) will support communities to implement policy or system changes to address one of the social or economic factors that, as defined by the County Health Rankings, most strongly influence health outcomes in their community. These include: education; employment and income; family and social support; and community safety. Grantees will be organizations that participate in established coalitions or networks that span multiple sectors and perspectives and may include representatives from business; education; public health; health care; community organizations; community members; policy advocates; foundations; and policy-makers.

    Applicants must engage community members in the planning and implementation of projects, and must collaborate with organizations having expertise in improving the health of the public. Applicants must secure 100 percent matching support, including a cash match of at least 50 percent with the balance as in-kind support.

    Key Dates:
    March 20, 2012 (12:00-1:30 p.m. ET) – Applicant Web conference call (first in the series)
    April 10, 2012 (12:00–1:30 p.m. ET) – Applicant Web conference call (second in the series). Registration required.
    May 2, 2012 (3 p.m. ET) – Deadline for receipt of brief proposals.
    July 25, 2012 (3 p.m. ET) – Deadline for receipt of full proposals.

    Contact:
    Alexis Brimage-Major (roadmaps@communitycatalyst.org or (617) 275-2865), Community Catalyst

    For more information »
  5. 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 »
  6. U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Grant Availability for Rural Energy Projects – Different Closing Dates For Individual Programs
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a request for applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Funding is available from USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). For 2012, USDA has approximately $25.4 million budget authority available to fund REAP activities, which will support at least $12.5 million in grant and approximately $48.5 million in guaranteed loan program level awards.

    Additional information is available.

    News Release: USDA Invites Applications for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
  2. There are currently no live webinars scheduled for April.

    Please check the link below throughout the month as webinars will be advertised as scheduled.

    Recorded webinars are also available from this link.

    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars

  3. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Online Training Course to Improve Building Efficiency
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that an online training course will be available to help reduce energy use from commercial buildings. The course will be available through DOE's Commercial Building Re-tuning Project, and will teach building owners, operators, contractors, and students how to improve energy efficiency by collecting and analyzing data from building automation systems and identifying energy-wasting operational problems. The course will be available through DOE's National Training Educational Resource portal.
  4. Master Energy Training - University of Rhode Island (URI) Outreach Center – starts April 3
    Spring 2012 Registration Now Open!
    EAST GREENWICH, NORTH PROVIDENCE, SOUTH KINGSTOWN & WARWICK residents & businesses can enter the code "EPA50" to receive a 50% discount!

    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.

    Learning from a variety of local experts, participants gain a basic yet broad understanding of energy issues on local, regional, national and global scales. Past speakers have included representatives from Alteris Renewables, National Grid, RI Office of Energy Resources, University of Rhode Island, RI Energy Efficiency and Resource Management Council, Environment Northeast, and Ocean State Clean Cities.

    Register »

    For more information, contact Rachel Sholly (rachel@uri.edu or (401) 874-5558).

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