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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

January 2014 Volume 63
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. President Obama Signs Memorandum on Federal Leadership on Energy Management
  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Energy Efficiency Loan Program

ARTICLES

  1. New England Governors Sign Energy Statement Committing to Regional Cooperation on Infrastructure
  2. Connecticut Municipalities Complete Energy Efficiency Projects, Saving Energy and Costs
  3. Rhode Island Public Transit Authority Installs Solar Project, Creating 15 Jobs and to Save $55,000 per Year
  4. U.S. Weatherization Assistance Program Saving $16.4 Billion in Energy Costs

EVENTS

  1. Augusta, ME – Renewable Energy Options for the Farm – 2014 Maine Agricultural Trades Show – January 7
  2. Watertown, MA – Community Energy Forum 201 – January 9
  3. New Haven, CT and Vernon, CT – Farm Energy Grant Assistance Workshops – January 9 (New Haven) and January 16 (Vernon)
  4. Greenfield, MA – Community Energy Forum 201 – January 16
  5. Brunswick, ME - Affordable Solar Electric Power for Mainers: talk and tour – January 19
  6. Fairfield, ME – Solar PV Workshop for Maine Code Officials – January 21, 2014

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. National Endowment for the Arts – FY 2014 Our Town Initiative – deadline January 13
  2. Corporation for National and Community Service – AmeriCorps State and National Grants – deadline January 22
  3. EPA Seeks Environmental Education Grant Applications – deadline February 4
  4. MassDOER – Energy Manager Grant Opportunity – deadline February 14
  5. Georgetown University – Energy Prize – submit letter of intent before February 2014
  6. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center – Commonwealth Wind Development Grants – deadline May 15, 2014 or until funds run out

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
  2. Massachusetts Launches Climate Change Dashboard
  3. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Releases Report on Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Units
  4. American Council on Renewable Energy Releases Report on Renewable Energy in 11 Northeastern States
  5. U.S. EPA and U.S. Department of Energy Release 2014 Fuel Economy Guide

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. President Obama Signs Memorandum on Federal Leadership on Energy Management
    President Obama signed a Memorandum directing the federal government to consume 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, more than double the current level. The memorandum also directs agencies to update their building-performance and energy-management practices, by encouraging the use of the consensus-based, industry-standard Green Button data access system (Green Button) and the EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Energy Efficiency Loan Program
    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will take new steps to save consumers money on their energy bills in partnership with rural electric cooperatives. USDA plans to provide rural electric cooperatives up to $250 million to lend to business and residential customers for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems. The Energy Efficiency and Loan Conservation Program, by promoting energy savings in rural areas, is intended to support President Obama's Climate Action Plan.

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ARTICLES

  1. New England Governors Sign Energy Statement Committing to Regional Cooperation on Infrastructure
    Six New England governors signed a statement that commits their states to regional cooperation to develop an energy agenda designed to bring more affordable, cleaner, and reliable power to homes and businesses across the northeast. The six states involved in the New England Governors’ Commitment to Regional Cooperation on Energy Infrastructure are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
  2. Connecticut Municipalities Complete Energy Efficiency Projects, Saving Energy and Costs
    Thirty-five Connecticut municipalities participated in the state’s Clean Energy Communities program, which incentivizes energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Cumulatively, the municipalities’ energy efficiency efforts have saved over 441 million kilowatt hours and 5.8 million hundred cubic feet (ccf) of natural gas. These savings are equivalent to the annual energy use of about 52,000 homes and result in cost savings for the municipalities.
  3. Rhode Island Public Transit Authority Installs Solar Project, Creating 15 Jobs and to Save $55,000 per Year
    The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open a new 300-kilowatt solar roof field at the RIPTA Transportation Building in Providence, Rhode Island. The solar project was funded through a $1.2 million U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant, which required a 20 percent state match. The project is expected to produce 350,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which would meet approximately 25 percent of the facility’s demand and save about $55,000 per year. The project also created 15 jobs.
  4. U.S. Weatherization Assistance Program Saving $16.4 Billion in Energy Costs
    The U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program has weatherized hundreds of thousands of homes since 2009. The upgrades are saving each home between $250 and $500 per year on energy bills and, cumulatively, are expected to save nearly $16.4 billion in energy costs over the life of the upgrades.

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EVENTS

  1. Augusta, ME – Renewable Energy Options for the Farm – 2014 Maine Agricultural Trades Show – January 7
    9:00am – 12:00pm
    Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive, Augusta, ME

    From evaluation to implementation – hear how renewable energy options can save energy, improve the environment and strengthen your bottom line. Find out how USDA programs can help finance your efficiency and renewable investments.

    Contact: Dana Doran, ddoran@kvcc.me.edu, 207-453-5157
    Office of Energy Programs, Kennebec Valley Community College, 92 Western Avenue, Fairfield, ME 04937
  2. Watertown, MA – Community Energy Forum 201 – January 9
    5:30pm – 8:00pm
    Watertown Free Public Library, 123 Main Street, Watertown, MA

    The City of Watertown invites community members to participate in the second Watertown Community Energy Forum on Thursday January 9th, 2014. The forum is part of an ongoing initiative to create a Clean Energy Roadmap for Watertown.

    Building on community input from the first forum, as well as city mapping assessments and other research, participants at the 201 forum will review and prioritize a range of clean energy project types for Watertown. Experts will also be on hand to discuss pros, cons, and options for local project development with Watertown citizens.

    The 201 Forum will be hosted in the Watertown Savings Bank Room in the Watertown Free Public Library from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, with refreshments and networking beginning at 5:30 pm.

    For more information and to register.
  3. New Haven, CT and Vernon, CT – Farm Energy Grant Assistance Workshops – January 9 (New Haven) and January 16 (Vernon)
    January 9 – 2:00pm – 4:00pm
    January 16 – 4:00pm – 6:00pm

    Attention Connecticut farms! Learn about resources available to help you save energy and money at your farm. Learn about programs offered through: Connecticut Farm Energy, USDA, NRCS, EQIP and Energize Connecticut.

    January 9 – CT AG Experiment Station, The Johnson - Horsdall Building Atrium, 123 Huntington Street, New Haven, CT

    January 16 – UConn Extension Center, Tolland AG Center, 24 Hyde Avenue, Vernon, CT

    Contact: ctfarmenergy@aol.com or 860-345-3977
  4. Greenfield, MA – Community Energy Forum 201 – January 16
    5:30pm – 8:00pm
    Greenfield Community College (GCC) Cafeteria, One College Drive, Greenfield, MA

    The Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) invites you to participate in a Community Energy Forum 201 on, Thursday, January 16th. The forum is part of an ongoing initiative to create a Clean Energy Roadmap for the Franklin County region by drawing on the experiences and knowledge of residents, businesses, and municipal officials of Buckland, Greenfield, Montague, and Shelburne.

    Participants at the Community Forum 201 will work with renewable energy technical experts to prioritize clean energy projects. Experts in various renewable energy technologies will discuss pros, cons, and options for local project development.

    The Community Forum 201 will be hosted in the Greenfield Community College (GCC) Cafeteria from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Refreshments will be served starting at 5:30 pm.

    The event is accessible. Please contact Stacy Metzger, FRCOG 413-774-3167 x128 for any requests for accessibility.

    For more information and to register »
  5. Brunswick, ME - Affordable Solar Electric Power for Mainers: talk and tour – January 19
    2:00pm – 4:00pm
    Curtis Memorial Library, Pleasant Street, Brunswick, ME

    Learn how to make solar power affordable and practical. Fred Horch shares his family's experience transitioning to energy independence in downtown Brunswick, Maine. After a short presentation, take a field trip to see solar hot water, solar electricity, and electric heat in operation in a home built in 1828.

    Plus - take a ride in a fully electric car.

    Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
  6. Fairfield, ME – Solar PV Workshop for Maine Code Officials – January 21, 2014 Pre-register by January 9
    Kennebec Valley Community College, 92 Western Ave, Fairfield, ME
    8:30 am – 4:00 pm

    Learning objectives for the workshop include:
    • Identify PV system types with a focus on 10KW or less
    • Identify the major topics from National Electrical Code 690 and other NEC articles related to PV
    • Identify building/fire codes and safety standards related to PV systems
    • Effectively inspect a PV system and identify common violations and issues
    Cost: $50 Lunch and Refreshments included
    • All participants will receive a KVCC certificate of completion of 6 contact hours
    • Contact hours can be applied to Residential or Commercial Energy Code requirements
    • Fire inspectors may apply to NFPA to receive CEUs
    • CEUs from International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) can be received at an additional charge
    • CEUs are authorized by IACET
    For more info, visit http://www.efficiencymaine.com/solar-pv-workshop-maine-code-officials/ or email Amy Hudnor at ahudnor@kvcc.me.edu.

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. National Endowment for the Arts – FY 2014 Our Town Initiative – deadline January 13
    Eligible Entities: All applications must involve two primary partners: a local government entity and a nonprofit organization. Local governments include counties, parishes, cities, towns, villages, or federally recognized tribal governments. Local arts agencies or other departments, agencies, or entities within an eligible local government may submit the application on behalf of that local government.

    The National Endowment for the Arts will provide a limited number of grants, ranging from $25,000 to $200,000, for creative placemaking projects that contribute toward the livability of communities and help transform them into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The Our Town initiative will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with their arts and design organizations and artists, seek to improve their quality of life, foster stronger community identity and a sense of place, and revitalize economic development.
  2. Corporation for National and Community Service – AmeriCorps State and National Grants – deadline January 22
    Eligible Entities: Government entities within states or territories; Tribes; public or private nonprofit organizations; institutions of higher education; labor organizations; partnerships and consortia

    The AmeriCorps State and National Grants provide funding to engage AmeriCorps members in service interventions strengthen communities. Focus areas for the grants include: Disaster Services, Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Stewardship, Healthy Futures, and Veterans and Military Families. Grants may be used to provide support for direct services that contribute to increased energy and water efficiency, renewable energy use, or improving at-risk ecosystems.
  3. EPA Seeks Environmental Education Grant Applications – deadline February 4
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently accepting applications for environmental education projects under the agency’s Environmental Education Grant Program. The program works to engage communities across the country through a wide variety of educational projects that have a lasting impact on people’s health by facilitating environmental stewardship. Projects in the past have engaged students in stream monitoring, created sustainable mentoring communities, and provided professional development to teachers on subjects including science, technology, engineering and math. Eligible organizations include local education agencies, colleges or universities, state education or environmental agencies, tribal education agencies, 501(C)(3) nonprofit organizations, and noncommercial educational broadcasting entities working in education.

    This competitive grants program will total $2.77 million. Each of the ten EPA regional offices will award two or three grants and one or two grants will be awarded from EPA’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Each award will be an estimated $75,000 to $200,000. EPA expects to award between 22 and 32 grants nationwide.
  4. MassDOER – Energy Manager Grant Opportunity – deadline February 14, 2014
    MassDOER's Green Communities Division is now taking applications for a two-year Energy Manager Grant program that will enable additional communities to devote specific staff to local energy matters.

    A total of $1.7 million is available over the 2-year period for municipalities and regional school districts to hire their own full- or part-time energy managers, or to increase the hours of an existing energy manager now working no more than 15 hours per week. This opportunity is open to all cities and towns, regardless of Green Community designation, and regional planning agencies may apply on behalf of two or three municipalities.

    For more information and the application (MSWord, 11 pp, 81 K) »
  5. Georgetown University – Energy Prize – submit letter of intent before February 2014
    Eligible Entities: For this competition, a "community" is defined geographically by the limits of a municipality – a town, city, or county that has corporate status and local government. All small to medium municipalities in the U.S.A. with populations between 5,000 and 250,000 are eligible to apply.

    The Georgetown University Energy Prize is a competition in which communities will be challenged to work together with their local governments and utilities in order to develop and begin implementing plans for innovative, replicable, scalable, and continual reductions in the per capita energy consumed from local natural gas and electric utilities. Participating communities will be asked to develop a long-term energy efficiency plan and to demonstrate initial effectiveness and sustainability over a two-year period. Participating communities will benefit from access to various resources and the winning community will receive $5 million, which will help to support their continuing community-based energy efficiency efforts. Interested communities are encouraged to submit a non-binding letter of intent as soon as possible.
  6. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center – Commonwealth Wind Development Grants – deadline May 15, 2014 or until funds run out
    The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is pleased to invite applications for grants to support the development of community wind and commercial wind projects.

    Community wind projects may use development grants for both development activities (such as permitting, environmental impact evaluation, geotechnical studies, public outreach, interconnection studies, etc.) and for construction activities (such as turbine procurement, erection and commissioning). Commercial wind projects may only use development grants for development activities.

    This solicitation describes the general scope, grant levels, application process and payment process. Applications may be submitted at any time and will be accepted for evaluation on a first-come, first-served basis.

    As the program evolves over time, this solicitation may be updated or withdrawn without notice.
    MassCEC expects applications will be accepted through May 15, 2014.

    Please contact commwind@masscec.com with any questions.

    For more information and to apply »

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
    • Jan 15, 1pm, Getting to know the new ENERGY STAR Buildings & Plants website
  2. Massachusetts Launches Climate Change Dashboard
    The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) launched a new dashboard for Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) initiatives. The dashboard is designed to show EEA’s progress towards compliance with the 2020 greenhouse gas emission limits. The dashboard aims to be a user-friendly and engaging website that utilizes graphics and case studies to present data and enhance public awareness on the status of GWSA implementation.

    The dashboard is available.
  3. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Releases Report on Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Units
    The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released a report designed to serve as a roadmap for utilities to reach underserved multifamily customers. The report states that more than 20 million U.S. families live in apartment or condo buildings that are often underserved by energy efficiency programs. The report recommends ten best practices for designing and implementing effective multifamily programs with examples and case studies of leading programs.

    The report, "Apartment Hunters: Programs Searching for Energy Savings in Multifamily Buildings," is available.
  4. American Council on Renewable Energy Releases Report on Renewable Energy in 11 Northeastern States
    The American Council on Renewable Energy released the northeastern region report of its sixth annual “Renewable Energy in the 50 States” report, focusing on the renewable energy sector in eleven northeastern states and the District of Columbia. The report is a review of state energy policies and programs, investment, and market openness as they relate to the current state of renewable energy and its potential for further growth.

    The report, "Renewable Energy in the 50 States: Northeastern Region," is available.
  5. U.S. EPA and U.S. Department of Energy Release 2014 Fuel Economy Guide
    The U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy released the 2014 Fuel Economy Guide, which provides consumers with a resource to identify and choose fuel efficient and low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles in a variety of classes and sizes. The guide provides "Top Ten" lists allowing consumers to see the most efficient advanced technology vehicles, as well as the most efficient gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles.

    An online version of the 2014 Fuel Economy Guide is available.

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