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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

May 2014 Volume 67
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. US EPA Announces Extension of Public Comment Period for Power Plant Emissions Standards – open until May 9
  2. Manchester, NH – Local Solutions: Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference **Travel Grants Available** – May 19-20
  3. US EPA Honors Organizations Participating in ENERGY STAR Program

ARTICLES

  1. Community Solar Success Stories In Vermont
  2. Westport, Connecticut Installs Solar Panels, Saving $30,000 per Year
  3. U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Discusses New England Energy Infrastructure

EVENTS

  1. Keene, NH – ES Colloquium: Building Resilient Communities through Ecological Design – May 2
  2. South Portland, ME – Solar Open House – May 3
  3. Derby, CT – The Great Bulb Exchange – May 3
  4. Salem, MA – Solarize Salem at Swap & Drop – May 3
  5. New Hampshire – How is climate change affecting NH wildlife right now? – May 12, 22 and 28
  6. Norwich, VT – Upper Valley Electric Vehicle Forum – May 15
  7. Durham and Middlefield, CT – Energy Efficiency Workshop – May 22
  8. Boston, MA - Greenovate Boston Community Summit – May 31
  9. Newport, RI – 2014 Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit – June 2-3

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. VT Clean Energy Development Fund – Request for Proposal for Community Renewable Energy Projects – deadline May 9
  2. US EPA – Request for Proposals for a Smart Growth Information Clearinghouse – deadline May 12
  3. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center – Commonwealth Wind Development Grants – deadline May 15 or until funds run out
  4. Applications Open for 2014 AIA Design and Resiliency Team – deadline May 27

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
  2. Smart Growth Webinar: Smart Location Database: Helping You Measure Location Efficiency – May 15
  3. US Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Releases U.S. Energy Analysis
  4. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Releases Report Highlighting Savings of States' Energy Efficiency Targets
  5. The Brookings Institution Releases Report on Clean Energy Finance Through State and Local Bond Marke
  6. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Releases Report on Cost of Saved Energy for Energy Efficiency Programs

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. US EPA Announces Extension of Public Comment Period for Power Plant Emissions Standards – open until May 9
    The US EPA announced that it is extending the public comment period on the proposed regulation, "Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units." EPA will extend the comment period by 60 days, to May 9, 2014.
  2. Manchester, NH – Local Solutions: Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference **Travel Grants Available** – May 19-20
    Antioch University New England and the US Environmental Protection Agency's Regions 1 and 2 are hosting a regional conference for local planners, decision-makers and educators to understand how to create healthy resilient communities that are better prepared to handle severe weather and climate impacts.

    Days 1 & 2
    The first two days of the conference are about Building Resilient Communities. The program will inform community planners, decision makers and those responsible for implementing change at the local level how best to identify current and future vulnerabilities, followed by adaptive responses to build resilient communities.

    Day 3
    The third day, the Educators Summit, will inform middle and high school teachers how to design community-based, problem-solving curriculum that will teach students how best to support municipal officials preparing for impacts from a changing climate.

    **Travel Grants Available for all States** Looking for travel grant support to participate in LOCAL SOLUTIONS? Check out opportunities.

    Register.
  3. US EPA Honors Organizations Participating in ENERGY STAR Program
    The US EPA honored 127 organizations for their commitment to energy efficiency measures. EPA selected the winners from 16,000 ENERGY STAR partners, including manufacturers, retailers, public schools, hospitals, real estate companies, and home builders.

    A complete list of the 2014 award recipients is available.

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ARTICLES

  1. Community Solar Success Stories In Vermont from VECAN
    There are growing numbers of Vermonters and communities that want to go solar. And there are many who already have implemented community or neighborhood-sized systems, using Vermont's successful net metering program. Read about a few compelling case studies that tell the story of what motivated these efforts — and why it matters.

    The Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN) is working to share information and inspiration to help more Vermonters go solar, more quickly and easily. Contact Johanna Miller at jmiller@vnrc.org or 802-223-2328 ext. 112 with information or questions about community solar opportunities.
  2. Westport, Connecticut Installs Solar Panels, Saving $30,000 per Year
    On April 8, 2014, it was reported that the town of Westport, Connecticut has installed solar panels on the roof of their Department of Public Works headquarters. This project is saving the town $30,000 per year over the next 20 years. The town has also approved seven additional solar projects.
  3. U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Discusses New England Energy Infrastructure
    U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz spoke to an audience in Hartford, Connecticut as part of a federal review of energy issues. According to the Secretary, New England delivery of heat, electricity, or natural gas is limited by a lack of delivery systems.

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EVENTS

  1. Keene, NH – ES Colloquium: Building Resilient Communities through Ecological Design – May 2
    Antioch University NE, Community Room, 40 Avon Street, Keene, NH
    11:30 AM

    Steven Whitman is a professional planner with Jeffrey H. Taylor & Associates, a certified permaculture teacher, and an adjunct faculty member at Plymouth State University and Colby Sawyer College. His work is focused largely on community planning and sustainability issues.

    For More Information contact Joy Ackerman (jackerman@antioch.edu or 603-283-2345).

    Building Map (PDF) (2 pp, 272 K)
  2. South Portland, ME – Solar Open House – May 3
    South Portland Planning Office, 496 Ocean Street, South Portland, ME
    9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

    Come check out the South Portland Planning Office's solar array. You can learn more about solar energy systems, how they work in our Northeast climate, current pricing and incentives.

    You will have the opportunity to tour their solar electric system and learn more about how they are saving money and the environment.

    All are welcome to this event and refreshments will be provided.
  3. Derby, CT - The Great Bulb Exchange – May 3
    Home Depot, 117 Main Street, Derby, CT
    10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

    Residents of Derby, CT are invited to join Mayor Anita Dugatto and take control of their energy future by trading in their old incandescent light bulbs for high-efficiency LED counterparts. This town-wide initiative is focused on reducing energy usage, saving members of the Derby community money. Come meet Mayor Dugatto at the event and enjoy a free hotdog and beverage while exchanging your bulbs.

    To participate in the exchange, residents must present either the postcard received in the mail outlining the event or a driver's license to validate their address. Limit 2 bulbs per household.

    For more information contact: Lisa Romano at 203-499-2942.
  4. Salem, MA – Solarize Salem at Swap & Drop – May 3
    Salem Common, Salem, MA

    Check out the Solarize Salem table while you are at Salem Swap and Drop on May 3rd.

    Come by Salem Common to swap or simply drop off clothing, accessories, and small household items.
  5. New Hampshire – How is climate change affecting NH wildlife right now? – May 12, 22 and 28
    May 12, 6:30 PM, Howe Library, 13 South Street, Hanover
    May 22, 6:00 PM, Massabesic Audubon Center, 26 Audubon Way, Auburn
    May 28, 7:00 PM, NH Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord

    What is the connection between NH's declining moose populations and the skimpy shrimp catch off NH's coast in the last two years? And what is happening to NH's birds? Join conservation planners and wildlife enthusiasts to hear from expert biologists on the health trends of moose, shrimp and birds and the connection with climate change. Learn about the N.H Ecosystems and Wildlife Climate Change Plan to help better manage wildlife in our changing climate.

    Contact: Emily Preston at 603-271-2461
  6. Norwich, VT – Upper Valley Electric Vehicle Forum – May 15
    Montshire Museum of Science, Porter Community Room, 1 Montshire Rd, Norwich, VT
    5:30 PM – 8:15 PM

    EV Test Drives, Viewing and Presentation at the Montshire Museum Sponsored by Sustainable Energy Resource Group and Upper Valley Sierra Club

    5:30 PM – Outdoor viewing of cars from dealers and private owners, and electric bikes, with test rides
    7:00 PM – Drive Electric Vermont talk (David Roberts)
    8:15 PM – Finish

    There will be displays in the presentation room from dealers, and also from Ted Dillard, organizer of the MT Washington ALT Energy Summit 2013, with his electric motorcycle on display.

    For more information please contact co-sponsors:
    SERG, Bob Walker, bwalker@serg-info.org or (802) 785-4126
    Upper Valley Sierra Club, Karl Kemnitzer, kkemvt@gmail.com or (802) 738-0640
  7. Durham and Middlefield, CT – Energy Efficiency Workshop – May 22
    Durham Public Library, 7 Maple Avenue, Durham, CT
    7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

    The Durham and Middlefield Energy Task forces are partnering with Energize Connecticut to promote Home Energy Solutions. Join representatives from the task forces and Energize Connecticut to learn more at an informational workshop on May 22.

    Bring a copy of your electric bill and ask the energy experts your specific questions.

    Registration is recommended as space is limited.
    Contact Energy Resource Group at (203) 484-2594 to save your seat.
  8. Boston, MA - Greenovate Boston Community Summit – May 31
    Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, Medical Center Area, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA
    10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    Join Mayor Walsh, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) CEO Beverly Scott, and residents from Boston neighborhoods on May 31st 2014 for the Greenovate Boston Community Summit.

    The Summit is a one-day event that's all about empowering the Boston community to address climate change and help make Boston the greenest, most climate-prepared city in the U.S.

    The Summit will include:
    • world-class speakers,
    • interactive workshops and trainings,
    • the Greenovate Boston Awards Ceremony,
    • and a Marketplace of Ideas to showcase local innovations, products, and services.
    The Summit provides participants with information, tools, and resources needed to take action in their communities and network with leaders to make Boston's neighborhoods more resilient, energy efficient, and sustainable.
  9. Newport, RI – 2014 Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit – June 2-3
    Hyatt Regency Newport, 1 Goat Island, Newport, RI

    Join NEEP and 2014 Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit Co-Chairs, Marion Gold, Rhode Island Commissioner of Energy Resources and Tim Horan, President - National Grid Rhode Island, for the ninth annual Summit to be hosted in beautiful Newport on June 2 & 3.

    Each year the Summit brings over 300 people together to share ideas, network and learn about how energy efficiency acts as a cornerstone of sustainable energy policy to help achieve a cleaner environment and a more reliable and affordable energy system.

    In 2014 we will be looking at how to scale up energy efficiency as we move towards a low-carbon future and we are introducing the NEEP Power Talks as a way to engage our audience, spur discussion and bring Summit attendees some of the brightest minds working on paving the way to a low-carbon future using energy efficiency.

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. VT Clean Energy Development Fund – Request for Proposal for Community Renewable Energy Projects – deadline May 9
    Competitive grants of up to $125,000 are available through the Clean Energy Development Fund for community solar photovoltaic and wind turbine installations.

    Community Solar and Wind RFP - Questions & Answers (PDF) (9 pp, 343 K)
    • Proposals are due by 4:00 P.M. on Friday, May 9
    • Proposals must include the following two Excel Appendixes:
      • Appendix A – Cover Sheet
      • Appendix C – Budget
  2. US EPA – Request for Proposals for a Smart Growth Information Clearinghouse – deadline May 12
    EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities is seeking proposals for a Smart Growth Information Clearinghouse. Under this solicitation, EPA intends to fund further development and ongoing maintenance of a web-based national information clearinghouse focused on smart growth. The clearinghouse will function as a "one stop shop" for the best information currently available on effective smart growth approaches that can help communities make development choices that deliver environmental, economic, and quality of life benefits. The clearinghouse will also serve as the virtual home of the Smart Growth Network (SGN), a nationally recognized coalition of leadership organizations that have formally endorsed the principles of smart growth. This RFP builds on Smart Growth Online, an information service currently supported through a competitively awarded assistance agreement that expires in summer 2014.

    Eligible applicants are States and local governments, as well as the District of Columbia; U.S. territories and possessions; foreign governments; international organizations; Indian Tribes; interstate organizations; intrastate organizations; public and private colleges and universities; and hospitals, laboratories, and other public or private nonprofit institutions. For-profit organizations and individuals are not eligible to apply.

    Proposals must be received by EPA or through www.grants.gov by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, May 12, 2014.

    If you have questions about this solicitation, please contact Lynn Desautels (desautels.lynn@epa.gov, 202-566-2840).

    Request for Proposals for a Smart Growth Information Clearinghouse (EPA-AO-OP-OSC-14-01) (PDF) (29 pp, 363 K)
  3. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center – Commonwealth Wind Development Grants – deadline May 15 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.

    Apply.
  4. Applications Open for 2014 AIA Design and Resiliency Team – deadline May 27
    Applications are currently being invited for a new pilot program, the AIA Design and Resiliency Team (DART). A DART can assist a local governments to address resiliency issues through an intense charrette with a multi-discipline team of outside experts. Teams will be custom selected to meet the needs of each selected community, with roughly half the team drawn from around New England and half from all over the country.

    Planning for community resiliency, ranging from adapting to climate to a wide range of other resiliency issues, is increasingly critical for most municipalities. The address this need, the New England Municipal Sustainability Network (NEMSN) and American Institute for Architects' Center for Communities by Design have collaborated to create the Design and Resiliency Teams (DART) program for 2014.

    Applications are open to any local government or local government partner anywhere in New England and in the New York Capital Region (which collectively make up the NEMSN region). There is no direct cost to local governments or their partners, but communities must show that they are ready to address resiliency issues and that the time is right for an intense charrette effort.

    Applications will be considered starting on May 27th and will be accepted until two projects are selected for 2014.

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
    • May 8, 2014 1:00 pm, Planning for Updates to the ENERGY STAR 1 to 100 Score with 2012 CBECS Data
    • May 13, 2014 1:00 pm, Benchmarking Water/Wastewater Treatment Facilities in Portfolio Manager
    • May 15, 2014 1:00 pm, Portfolio Manager Office Hours, Focus Topic: Editing Use Details
    • May 15, 2014 3:00 pm, Using EPA's Target Finder & Portfolio Manager for Commercial New Construction Projects
    • May 20, 2014 2:00 pm, Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR
    • May 27, 2014 1:00 pm, Portfolio Manager 101
    • May 28, 2014 1:00 pm, Portfolio Manager 201
    • May 29, 2014 1:00 pm, How to Apply for the ENERGY STAR
  2. Smart Growth Webinar: Smart Location Database: Helping You Measure Location Efficiency – May 15
    2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

    The Smart Location Database is an online mapping tool and free nationwide geospatial data resource for measuring location efficiency (compact, walkable street grid patterns with easy access to public transit, jobs, stores, and services) and the built environment. In this webinar, Ted Cochin from EPA's Smart Growth Program will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to use the database, which includes more than 90 attributes that consistently summarize characteristics such as housing density, diversity of land use, neighborhood design, workforce and job accessibility, transit service, employment, and demographics. Most attributes are available for every census block group in the United States. The database was recently updated to include Access to Jobs and Workers Via Transit, a free geospatial data resource and web mapping tool for comparing the accessibility of neighborhoods via public transit service.

    The Smart Location Database can be used for:
    • Assessing and comparing neighborhood conditions
    • Developing new indicators of workplace location efficiency
    • Regional land use scenario studies
    • Nationwide modeling studies on the relationships between built environment and daily travel
    To get the most out of this webinar, we advise that you review the Smart Location Database before the session begins.

    Continuing Education This webinar qualifies for 1.5 certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association
  3. US Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Releases U.S. Energy Analysis
    US Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory released an analysis that details the sources of energy production, how Americans use energy, and the magnitude of energy waste. According to the report, Americans increased total energy consumption by 2.3 quadrillion British Thermal Units relative to 2012. The analysis also concluded that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increased to 5,390 million metric tons, the first annual increase over the previous year since 2010.
  4. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Releases Report Highlighting Savings of States' Energy Efficiency Targets
    The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a new report which finds that states with energy efficiency resource standards (EERS) are generally achieving their mandated savings targets. The report, "Energy Efficiency Resource Standards: A New Progress Report on State Experience," finds that 26 states with EERS policies are on track to meet long-term savings targets and are making contributions to national energy savings. In 2011, 13 states exceeded their electricity savings targets and six others came within 90 percent of them. In 2012, 15 states met or exceeded their electricity savings targets and six others came within 90 percent of their savings targets for the year.
  5. The Brookings Institution Releases Report on Clean Energy Finance Through State and Local Bond Market (PDF) (3 pp, 516 K)
    The Brookings Institution released a report that proposes a new approach to financing clean energy through the state and local bond market. The report identifies states and communities that have successfully applied this approach while also exploring barriers to widespread adoption of bond finance and strategies to overcome them.

    The report, "Clean Energy Finance Through the Bond Market: A New Option for Progress," is available.
  6. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Releases Report on Cost of Saved Energy for Energy Efficiency Programs
    Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released a report on the cost of saving energy through efficiency programs funded by utility customers in the period 2009-2011. The report presents the costs at the national and regional level for all sectors and the most prevalent program types. This research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

    The report, "The Program Administrator Cost of Saved Energy for Utility Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs (PDF) (77 pp, 2.3 MB)," is available.

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