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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

April 2013 Volume 54
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. Department of Energy Announces Three Companies Join Better Buildings Challenge
  2. U.S. EPA Presents Climate Leadership Awards to 23 Individuals and Organizations
  3. U.S. EPA Releases Annual Report on Fuel Economy of Vehicles Sold in United States

ARTICLES

  1. U.S. Cities Consider Creating Municipal Utilities
  2. Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board Releases Energy Efficiency Annual Report
  3. Research Institutes Release Report on Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage Risks

EVENTS

  1. Boston, MA – Northeastern University Open Classroom Series on Climate Change – April 3, 10, 17
  2. Littleton, NH – North Country Green Energy Fair – April 6
  3. Providence, RI – RI Interfaith Power and Light – ECO: Inspired Solutions for a Sustainable Future – April 11
  4. Tilton, NH – Local Energy Solutions Conference 2013 – April 1

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. Patagonia Environmental Grants – deadline April 30

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Webinar on Combined Heat and Power Systems and Resilient Energy Infrastructure – April 3
  3. Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships Launches Regional Energy Efficiency Database – instructional webinar April 8

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Three Companies Join Better Buildings Challenge
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that three companies joined the Better Buildings Challenge, a campaign in which corporations, universities, and municipalities strive to increase energy efficiency, reduce waste, and reduce energy costs. Johnson Controls, Macy’s, and Sprint intend to upgrade a total of more than 200 million square feet of building space to reduce energy costs by at least 20 percent by the year 2020. The three companies are expected to work with DOE to adopt energy savings practices and share facility-level data and successful strategies with Better Buildings Challenge partners.

    Additional information on the Better Buildings Challenge is available.
  2. U.S. EPA Presents Climate Leadership Awards to 23 Individuals and Organizations
    The U.S. EPA hosted the second annual Climate Leadership Awards, which recognized 23 winners for their leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change. The awards program honors corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in internal operations and throughout the supply chain. Winners included local government, construction, finance, defense, transportation, retail, energy, and technology organizations.

    A full list of winners is available.
  3. U.S. EPA Releases Annual Report on Fuel Economy of Vehicles Sold in United States
    The U.S. EPA released its annual report on the fuel economy of vehicles sold in the United States, which reports that large increases in the fuel economy of these vehicles have been made in the past several years. Entitled "Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2012 (PDF) (120 pp, 1.8 MB)," the report estimates that fuel economy has increased by 16 percent while carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by 13 percent between 2007 and 2012. Additionally, fuel economy increased by 1.4 miles per gallon (mpg) for cars and trucks.

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ARTICLES

  1. U.S. Cities Consider Creating Municipal Utilities
    Cities across the United States are showing a renewed interest in taking over the electricity business from private utilities, reflecting concerns about climate change, responses to power disruptions, and a desire to use more renewable energy. For instance, residents of Boulder, Colorado helped fund a multiyear study after growing concerned about the private electric company’s pace in reaching the town’s environmental goals. The Boulder City Council is scheduled to vote to create its own municipal utility. Furthermore, officials and advocates in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Santa Fe, New Mexico are considering splitting from their private utilities, and lawmakers in Massachusetts are trying to make it easier for towns and counties to do the same.
  2. Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board Releases Energy Efficiency Annual Report
    The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board released an annual report which found that more than 4,500 businesses and municipalities and 500,000 homeowners in the state participated in energy efficiency programs in 2012. By participating in energy efficiency programs, Connecticut businesses and residents saved $53.8 million in energy costs and avoided over 200,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2012. The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board is designed to oversee the state's energy efficiency programs.

    The report, "2012 Programs and Operations Report (PDF) (24 pp, 7.1 MB)," is available.
  3. Research Institutes Release Report on Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage Risks
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Community Capital and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) released a report that shows the risk of mortgage default is one-third lower for energy efficient, ENERGY STAR-rated homes.

    The report, "Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage Risks," is available.

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EVENTS

  1. Boston, MA – Northeastern University Open Classroom Series on Climate Change – April 3, 10, 17
    6:00pm – 8:00pm
    Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 20, Boston, MA

    Each semester Northeastern University selects one graduate-level seminar and opens it up to the public-at-large to attend for free. Each week a prominent guest lecturer is featured with real-world expertise and experience. For Spring Semester 2013, the Open Classroom will be on Climate Change: Challenges & Solutions.

    For more information and the agenda »

    For directions »
  2. Littleton, NH – North Country Green Energy Fair – April 6
    9:00am – 5:00pm
    Littleton High School, 159 Oak Hill Avenue, Littleton, NH

    The fair will focus on energy efficient businesses and what they can do to help you live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. There will be a multitude of businesses and individuals displaying their environmentally friendly and energy efficient products and services. There will be displays, vendors, demonstrations, and seminars. Exhibitors will include everyone from solar panels, energy audits, green builders, geothermal, and vendors that showcase environmentally green home products.

    This free event is sponsored by the Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce.

    For more information, contact Chad Stearns at cstearns@littletonareachamber.com or 603-444-6561
  3. Providence, RI – RI Interfaith Power and Light – ECO: Inspired Solutions for a Sustainable Future – April 11
    6th annual RI Interfaith Conference on Climate Change
    Roger Williams Park Casino, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI

    Talk with faith leaders and experts in small group setting to create the network, gain the knowledge/know-how to involve your faith community in responding to climate change issues.
    • Socially Responsible Investing & the Fossil Fuel Disinvestment Campaign
    • RI IPL SOLAR Program -Take advantage of RI's new incentive for small scale solar - and benefit your house of worship as you go solar at home!
    • Hosting a "Sustainable" Event - wind offsets, composting & more
    • Free Energy Assessment & new 2013 Rebate Program for Houses of Worship, businesses & homes through RISE
    • Socially Conscious Gardening - from organics to soup kitchens
    • Organizational Fund Raising opportunities with "green energy" & "organic" products
    • RI's legislative response to Climate Change and effort to create a plan to count & reduce our GHGs
    • Faith Networking
    Register »
  4. Tilton, NH – Local Energy Solutions Conference 2013 – April 13
    8:30am – 3:30pm
    Winnisquam Regional High School, Tilton, NH

    The Fifth Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference (LES) will be held on April 13th at Winnisquam Regional High School in Tilton, NH, organized by the NH Local Energy Work Group.

    Multi-track sessions, panel discussions and keynote address
    • Project specific information: new resources and best practices
    • Networking opportunities with over 250 participants including local energy committee members, municipal/school staff and board members, businesses, legislators and community volunteers
    • Sessions planned and delivered by New England energy leaders
    For more information and to register »

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. Patagonia Environmental Grants – deadline April 30
    Patagonia funds environmental work, most interested in making grants to organizations that identify and work on the root causes of problems and that approach issues with a commitment to long-term change.

    Support for small grassroots organizations with direct-action agendas, working on multi-pronged campaigns to preserve and protect our environment.

    For more information »

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
    There are currently no regularly scheduled webinars for April 2013. Please check back at this link for new postings.

    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars.

    Special webinars demonstrating the Portfolio Manager upgrade are as follows:

    What you need to know to get ready for the June launch of the Upgrade: trainings, schedules, and a final sneak preview:
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Webinar on Combined Heat and Power Systems and Resilient Energy Infrastructure – April 3
    The U.S. DOE is hosting a webinar on how combined heat and power (CHP) systems can meet the need for resilient critical infrastructure while producing energy that is cost and fuel efficient. Entitled "CHP: Enabling Resilient Energy Infrastructure," the April 3 webinar will discuss the benefits of CHP systems in critical infrastructure applications and provide case studies of how CHP systems powered facilities through Hurricane Sandy.

    Register »
  3. Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships Launches Regional Energy Efficiency Database – instructional webinar April 8
    The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) launched the Regional Energy Efficiency Database (REED). REED includes 2011 energy efficiency data for eight states, and data from additional jurisdictions are expected be added in fall 2013. The purpose of REED is to develop transparency and consistency in reporting of energy efficiency impacts across the region; to increase the credibility and understanding of the energy efficiency resource; and to support state and regional energy, economic, and environmental policies.

    REED is available.

    NEEP is holding a public REED user webinar on Monday, April 8. This webinar will provide background information about REED and instructions on how to download reports and underlying data.

    Register »

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