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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

June 2011 Volume 32
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. 

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Welcome to the Newest Members of the Community Energy Challenge!
  2. Spotlight: Community Energy Challenge Member Medfield, MA, has met the Challenge by reducing energy use by more than 10%!
  3. Register your home or building now for the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association Green Buildings Open House Day in October

ARTICLES

  1. Vermont Governor Announces Climate Cabinet
  2. Maine Public Utilities Commission Approves Smart Meter Opt-Out Options
  3. Maine Governor Introduces Legislation to End Renewable Energy Requirement
  4. Connecticut Siting Council Rejects State's First Proposed Wind Energy Project

EVENTS

  1. VERMONT – June Forums on State Comprehensive Energy Plan - June 1 (Montpelier), June 9 (Springfield), June 16 (Rutland), June 28 (Colchester)
  2. Marlborough, MA – New England Wind Energy Education Project Conference & Workshop – June 7
  3. Stafford, CT – Energy and Environmental Fair – June 11
  4. Mansfield, MA – FREE ENERGY STAR Stretch Code Classes for Builders & Contractors – June 22

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration Public Works, Economic Adjustment, and Global Climate Change Mitigation Programs Opportunity – deadline June 10
  2. US DOE Funding for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure – deadline June 13
  3. US DOE Weatherization Formula Grants – deadline varies

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR free webinars
  2. New and Updated EPA Resources Available for Local Governments on Transportation Control Measures, Smart Growth, and Energy Efficiency in Affordable Housing
  3. The Green Homes Tourist!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Welcome to the Newest Members of the Community Energy Challenge!
    EPA New England welcomes the newest members of the Community Energy Challenge: Weathersfield, VT and Bennington, VT! These communities have pledged to form local energy committee, benchmark their municipal buildings, and reduce energy use by 10%. With this addition there are 189 CEC members. Welcome!

    See a list of all CEC members »
  2. Spotlight: Community Energy Challenge Member Medfield, MA, has met the Challenge by reducing energy use by more than 10%!
    US EPA Region 1 is proud to announce that Medfield, MA has reduced its municipal energy use by 19%!

    Medfield joined the Community Energy Challenge in 2008, and has received ENERGY STAR labels at the Memorial Elementary School and the Town Hall. The label indicates a building operates at least 75% more efficiently than the nationwide average for that building category. Medfield worked on improving and upgrading their municipal facilities. Their volunteer energy committee played a vital role in these accomplishments, using their experience and expertise to assist the town with energy efficiency projects.

    "It is a difficult position for a small town like us to rely on government subsidies for energy efficiency improvements; so a lot of the things we did had low up front capital investments and relatively short pay back periods" said Michael Sullivan, Town Administrator and member of the Energy Committee.

    Medfield has added lighting upgrades to all municipal buildings, changed their traffic lights to LEDs, installed variable frequency drives in their water and sewage treatment facilities, and installed energy management systems for the town hall and school buildings. They recently added carbon monoxide monitors in the schools to reduce heating costs. Through these projects Medfield has saved money and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 522 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to taking 102 cars off the road for an entire year!

    Congratulations Medfield!
    In future e-updates, Region 1 will be highlighting members of the Community Energy Challenge that have met the goal of reducing their energy use by at least 10%, as shown in Portfolio Manager. If your town or city has reached this milestone, please let us know so we can honor you!

    If you are almost there, and would like guidance on moving to the next step, or if you are just starting out and need assistance to begin tracking your community's energy use, please contact us.

    Email Cynthia Veit at veit.cynthia@epa.gov with your story or questions – and thank you for your efforts and dedication to reducing energy use in your community!
  3. Register your home or building now for the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association Green Buildings Open House Day in October
    The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association Green Buildings Open House will be Saturday, October 1, 2011

    NESEA is excited to have kicked off the registration process for the 2011 Green Buildings Open House!

    This year we are adding many locations that have undergone deep energy retrofits, built to net-zero energy capability and achieved LEED standards. Register your building and help show that energy efficient buildings that incorporate renewable energy are affordable, comfortable and worth the effort!

    For more information regarding the Green Buildings Open House tour, visit www.nesea.org/greenbuildings or call Michelle Rose at (413) 774-6051 x17

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ARTICLES

  1. Vermont Governor Announces Climate Cabinet
    On May 17, 2011, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced the formation of the Vermont Climate Cabinet, a group of senior officials in the state charged with leading Vermont in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and consumption of fossil fuels. The Climate Cabinet includes the Secretaries of the State Agencies of Natural Resources, Administration, Agriculture Food and Markets, Commerce and Community Development, and Transportation, as well as the Commissioners of the Departments of Economic, Housing and Community Development, Buildings and General Services, and Public Service. The duties of the cabinet are to coordinate climate change efforts across all state agencies and departments, inform Vermonters about climate change, identify strategies to reduce energy use and emissions in the state, and promote the development of renewable energy sources in Vermont.

    Read full article »
  2. Maine Public Utilities Commission Approves Smart Meter Opt-Out Options
    On May 17, 2011, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a smart meter opt-out plan, providing other options to Central Maine Power Co. customers who do not want wireless smart meters installed at their homes and businesses. Customers can choose to keep their existing, analog meters, have a modified smart meter installed with its wireless transmitter turned off, or have a wireless smart meter moved to another location on their property. Customers who want to opt out must pay any costs associated with this choice. Choosing a digital smart meter with the wireless transmitter turned off will cost $20 upfront, plus a monthly charge of $10.50 while keeping an existing mechanical meter will cost $40 upfront, plus a $12 monthly charge.

    Read full article »
  3. Maine Governor Introduces Legislation to End Renewable Energy Requirement
    On May 12, 2011, Maine Governor Paul LePage introduced legislation that would eliminate the renewable energy requirement for electric utility companies in the state. The ultimate goal of the bill, L.D. 1570, is to lower the price of electricity for Maine consumers. The current renewable energy goal in Maine is for 10 percent of electricity to come from new forms of renewable generation by 2017.

    Read full article »
  4. Connecticut Siting Council Rejects State's First Proposed Wind Energy Project
    On May 12, 2011, the Connecticut Siting Council, which is responsible for ruling on sites for power facilities, transmission lines, and hazardous waste facilities, rejected the state's first proposed wind power project, citing the visual impact of the project in Prospect, CT. The project included two 492-foot industrial turbines and was rejected due to the density of homes in the area and the turbines' height.

    Read full article »

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EVENTS

  1. VERMONT – June Forums on State Comprehensive Energy Plan - June 1 (Montpelier), June 9 (Springfield), June 16 (Rutland), June 28 (Colchester)

    To guide the state in making some complex and strategic choices on how Vermont will meet its energy needs far into the future, the Department of Public Service (DPS) recently commenced a much-needed update to Vermont's Comprehensive Energy Plan, last officially adopted in 1998. Public input into this forward-looking plan is imperative, and VNRC is helping to organize a series of forums aimed at hearing how Vermonters think and hope the state will meet its energy needs.

    These forums are hosted by the DPS, VECAN, VNRC and many regional planning commissions, and are targeted largely to energy leaders like you. The DPS wants to hear from those of you who have been so active and engaged on energy issues in your community and beyond to inform the crafting of this new, important guidance document. These events are open to the public, but the experiences of energy committee leaders and local energy innovators like you are something very specific that the DPS wants to hear about. Please attend if you can!

    For more information on all the forums, including details and directions »
  2. Marlborough, MA – New England Wind Energy Education Project Conference & Workshop – June 7
    Best Western Royal Plaza, Marlborough, MA

    The conference and workshop builds on the NEWEEP Webinar series, an ongoing, free resource providing decision-makers, individuals and communities with information on which to make informed decisions about proposed wind energy projects in New England. It is intended to provide an opportunity for education, dialogue, and progress.

    For more information (PDF) (4 pp, 355 K) »
  3. Stafford, CT – Energy and Environmental Fair – June 11
    Stafford High School, 145 Orcuttville Rd, Stafford, CT
    10am-3pm

    Event is to promote renewable and sustainable energy and practices. Open to the general public. Free Admission and free reusable bags to the first 250 people, plus door prizes and a raffle for a free home energy audit. Attending will be U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney and Agriculture Commissioner Steve Reviczky

    Also available to see: Hybrid Cars, Chevrolet Volt Electric Car, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Car, PV Solar, Solar Thermal, Geothermal

    For more information (PDF) (1 pg, 7 K) »
  4. Mansfield, MA – FREE ENERGY STAR Stretch Code Classes for Builders & Contractors – June 22
    245 Oakland St., Mansfield, MA
    2-5pm

    National Lumber will be hosting a free ENERGY STAR informational meeting, including important information about the Massachusetts Stretch Code for builders and contractors. This meeting will be held upstairs at the National Lumber store and drive-thru lumberyard in Mansfield at 245 Oakland St. We hope you'll join us.

    For more information »

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration Public Works, Economic Adjustment, and Global Climate Change Mitigation Programs Opportunity – deadline June 10
    Application Due: Depends on funding cycle; next funding cycle is due June 10, 2011

    Eligible Applications: State and local governments, federally recognized tribes, nonprofits, private institutes of higher education

    DOC's Economic Development Administration (EDA) helps distressed communities establish a foundation for durable regional economies throughout the United States. EDA generally allocates funds for the Global Climate Change Mitigation Incentive Fund (GCCMIF) to support projects that foster economic competitiveness while enhancing environmental quality. EDA anticipates that these funds will be used to advance the green economy by supporting projects that create jobs through and increase private capital investment in initiatives to limit the nation's dependence on fossil fuels, enhance energy efficiency, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and protect natural systems.

    While the amount of funding available through this opportunity is dependent on FY2011 appropriations and is not yet known, EDA allocated $25,000,000 for the GCCMIF in 2010.

    The average size of a GCCMIF investment was approximately $840,000. For more info, including regional contacts »
  2. US DOE Funding for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure – deadline June 13
    The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the availability of $5 million in funding for community-based efforts to deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Through the DOE Clean Cities Program local governments and private companies can partner to apply for funding to help accelerate the installation of electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure.

    Communities will work to develop plans and strategies for EV deployment, update their EV permitting processes, develop incentive programs, or launch other local or regional initiatives that improve the experience of EV users and help bring electric vehicles to the marketplace. Applications are due June 13, 2011.

    For more information »
  3. US DOE Weatherization Formula Grants – deadline varies
    Funding – Likely to be approximately $210 million
    Application Due: Varies by program year

    Eligible Applications: Agencies that administer the WAP program

    DOE requests proposals for the Weatherization Assistance Program Formula Grant. The purpose of WAP is to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce residential expenditures, and improve health and safety. Lead applicants must be agencies that administer the WAP program.

    Proposals due date varies by prime applicant's program year.

    Grantees will be notified as soon as an update on FY 2011 funding becomes available. For planning purposes, until a final budget is passed and signed by the President, grantees should proceed with their respective plans using the same funding level as the DOE 2010 appropriated funds.

    For more info, contact Meghaan Hampton at Meghaan.Hampton@netl.doe.gov or go to: https://www.fedconnect.net/FedConnect/?doc=DE-FOA-0000446&agency=DOE

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (all times are EST; registration required but free)
    • June 2, 2pm, Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients
    • June 7, 2pm, K-12 Benchmarking 101
    • June 8, 2pm, Office Buildings: Benchmark Energy Performance Using EPA's ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager
    • June 15, 1pm, Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment
    • June 16, 2pm, Benchmarking Water/Wastewater Treatment Facilities in Portfolio Manager
    • June 21, 1pm, Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR
    • June 28, 1pm, The Biggest Green IT Opportunities for Nonprofits and Libraries
    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars »
  2. New and Updated EPA Resources Available for Local Governments on Transportation Control Measures, Smart Growth, and Energy Efficiency in Affordable Housing
    EPA's State and Local Climate and Energy Program has released three documents that give straightforward overviews of how local governments can use transportation control measures, smart growth principles, and energy efficiency in affordable housing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These documents are part of the Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series, which helps policy makers and program staff plan, implement, and evaluate cost-effective climate and energy projects that generate economic, environmental, social, and human health benefits.

    NEW: Transportation Control Measures, developed jointly with EPA's Office of Transportation & Air Quality
    UPDATED: Smart Growth
    UPDATED: Energy Efficiency in Affordable Housing

    In 2009, EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Transportation formed the Partnership for Sustainable Communities to help communities increase transportation choices, improve access to affordable housing, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment. Although these documents are not issued by the Partnership, they support Partnership goals by helping communities integrate energy efficiency, transportation efficiency, and smart growth principles into their climate protection programs.

    Learn more »
  3. The Green Homes Tourist!
    This tool can help you locate homes near you that use energy efficiently or have renewable energy systems in place. You can then take a virtual tour of homes that interest you through photographs the homeowner has provided. Many of these homes are also available for a face to face tour, where you can see the home with the homeowner and ask questions directly. If you're interested in a face-to-face tour, Green Homes Tourist can request a tour on your behalf.

    Let the Green Homes Tourist be your energy guide!

    For more information »

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