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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

May 2011 Volume 31
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. Spotlight: Community Energy Challenge Member Chelmsford, MA, has met the Challenge by reducing energy use by more than 10%!
  2. ENERGY STAR Award Winners in New England
  3. Efficiency Maine Launches Energy Efficiency Loan Program
  4. US Department of Interior Issues Final Approval for Cape Wind Project
  5. Abstracts Invited for Conference on Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change – due May 15
  6. Connecticut Municipal Survey – due May 30

ARTICLES

  1. Putney, VT bike project wins $3,000 grant
  2. US EPA Publishes National U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory

EVENTS

  1. Springfield, MA – Solar Sense workshop sponsored by NESEA – May 10
  2. Hartford, CT – Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board – Public Input Session – May 11
  3. West Haven and Greater New Haven, CT – CT Home Energy Solutions Income-Eligible Program – May 13 (West Haven) and May 19-20 (Greater New Haven)
  4. Vermont – Workshops on Reducing School Energy Costs – May 9 (Fairlee), May 10 (Rutland) and May 11 (Burlington)
  5. New Hampshire – Spring 2011 NH Energy Code Workshop Series: Meet and Beat the NH Energy Code – May 12, 17, 19 and 24

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. US EPA – Region 1 Healthy Communities Grant Program – deadline May 2
  2. US EPA Environmental Education Regional Grants – deadline May 2
  3. US Economic Development Agency i6 Green Challenge: Proof of Concept Center – deadline May 2 and May 26
  4. US Department of Agriculture Conservation Innovation Grant Program – New Hampshire only – deadline May 6
  5. US Department of the Interior Regional Climate Science Centers host – deadline May 6
  6. US DOT Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program – deadline May 9
  7. US EPA - Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land – deadline May 20
  8. US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration Public Works, Economic Adjustment, and Global Climate Change Mitigation Programs Opportunity – deadline June 10
  9. US DOE Funding for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure – deadline June 13
  10. US DOE Weatherization Formula Grants – deadline varies

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR free webinars
  2. Webcast: Commercial Building Energy Alliance (CBEA) High Efficiency Parking Structure Lighting Specification – May 6
  3. Making the Grade: A Step-by-Step Guide for School Energy Champions

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Spotlight: Community Energy Challenge Member Chelmsford, MA, has met the Challenge by reducing energy use by more than 10%!
    US EPA Region 1 is proud to announce that Chelmsford, MA has reduced its municipal energy use by 16%!

    Chelmsford joined the Community Energy Challenge in 2007, and has received 6 ENERGY STAR labels - five K-12 schools and the town hall. ENERGY STAR labels indicate a building operates at least 75% more efficiently than the average for that building category. Chelmsford worked consistently and constantly on improving and upgrading their facilities. They have added occupancy sensors, variable frequency drives, and demand-control ventilation, all of which resulted in big savings. They recently added full-modulating condensing boilers to one of the schools, and have stepped into the world of renewable energy by adding solar panels to their library, their high school, and soon, their middle school. Chelmsford is also a Massachusetts Green Community. Through their hard work, they have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 666 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is the same as taking 131 cars off the road for a year!

    Congratulations Chelmsford!


    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 effort and dedication to reducing energy use in your community!
  2. ENERGY STAR Award Winners in New England
    On April 12, EPA and DOE honored businesses and organizations for their outstanding contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency at the 2011 ENERGY STAR Awards ceremony. EPA New England is proud to celebrate the success of organizations throughout our Region:

    Partner of the Year
    Efficiency Vermont, Burlington, VT for Energy Efficiency Program Delivery
    HEI Hotels and Resorts, Norwalk, CT for Energy Management
    Staples, Inc., Framingham, MA for Energy Management

    Excellence in ENERGY STAR Promotion
    National Grid, Waltham, MA for Service and Product Providers
    New Hampshire CORE Utilities, Manchester, NH for Service and Product Providers

    Sustained Excellence
    Joint Management Committee, Lexington, MA for Energy Efficiency Program Delivery
    OSRAM SYLVANIA, Danvers, MA for Product Manufacturer
    Raytheon Company, Waltham, MA for Energy Management
    Sponsors of Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, Inc. (NEEP), Lexington, MA for Energy Efficiency Program Delivery

    For biographies of all the winners nationwide »
  3. Efficiency Maine Launches Energy Efficiency Loan Program
    On April 4, 2011, Efficiency Maine officially launched Maine PACE Loans, a program for Maine homeowners that will offer a new way to finance energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. These loans provide a way for homeowners to borrow funding at a competitive interest rate to make energy improvements, such as installing a new energy efficient heating system, weatherizing a home with insulation and air sealing, and replacing inefficient appliances and lighting. Nearly sixty Maine municipalities statewide are making this new financing tool available. With a fixed interest rate of 4.99 percent, loans can have up to a 15-year repayment period, and are transferable upon the sale of the property.

    More information »
  4. US Department of Interior Issues Final Approval for Cape Wind Project
    On April 19, 2011, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced that its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has approved a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for the Cape Wind Energy Project, a large offshore wind farm planned for the Nantucket Sound off the coast of Massachusetts. The COP is the final regulatory approval required before construction can begin on the project, which could occur as early as the fall of 2011. As part of its evaluation of the COP, the Bureau conducted an Environmental Assessment that determined all impacts had been properly examined.

    More information »
  5. Abstracts Invited for Conference on Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change – due May 15
    State and local climate and energy programs are encouraged to submit abstracts for the fifth annual Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Conference, to be held from November 29-December 2, 2011, in Washington, DC.

    The conference, sponsored by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, California Institute for Energy and Environment, and Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, will bring together a diverse group of policymakers, social scientists, program implementers, media, and energy experts to explore the practical application of social and behavioral insights to address energy and climate challenges.

    The conference organizers request abstracts for presentations on behavioral approaches, results, and best practices in energy/climate policies and programs focusing on commercial and residential buildings, transportation, urban design, and sustainable consumption. One track will focus on the use of policy to influence behavior at the local, state, and federal levels. Use this opportunity to showcase your climate and energy programs!

    Details are available.
  6. Connecticut Municipal Survey – due May 30
    The Connecticut Municipal Partnership is looking for input from Connecticut Towns to assess town needs in addressing climate change, mitigation and adaptation.

    The partnership includes: DEP, CT Clean Energy Fund, CT Energy Efficiency Fund, Office of Policy and Management, EPA, Clean Air-Cool Planet, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, Capitol Region Council of Governments, Clean Water Action, Neighbor-to-Neighbor Challenge, CT Sea Grant Program, UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research, and municipalities.

    CT participants who have a broad knowledge of the commitments and initiatives your town has already made to address energy and climate issues and your town's needs for support to take additional steps are encouraged to take the survey.

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ARTICLES

  1. Putney, VT bike project wins $3,000 grant
    As bike riding weather inches closer, organizers of the Putney Green Bike Project are getting ready to get their bicycles back on the road. A recently awarded grant is going to help grease the wheels a little bit.

    Read full article »
  2. US EPA Publishes National U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
    On April 18, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the 16th annual U.S. greenhouse gas inventory. The "Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2009" estimates national annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2009. The final report shows overall emissions decreased by 6.1 percent from 2008 to 2009. This decrease was attributed to a decrease in fuel and electricity consumption across all U.S. economic sectors. The report indicates that overall emissions have increased by more than 7.3 percent from 1990 to 2009. Emissions in 2009 represent the lowest total GHG emissions in the U.S. since 1995.

    For more information, including the report »

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EVENTS

  1. Springfield, MA – Solar Sense workshop sponsored by NESEA– May 10
    Springfield High School of Science and Technology
    3:30pm – 6pm


    Are you a teacher, museum or nature center staff, youth group leader or home school parent living or working in a town served by Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo)?

    Interested in learning the basics in solar energy including how a photovoltaic solar panel works and have an opportunity to sample a variety of educational activities to offer your students about aspects of solar energy? Then register for this free educator workshop!

    Through the Clean Energy for a Clean Environment program, educators and youth gain an introduction to renewable energy choices and energy efficiency, and are empowered to take action toward sustainable living practices through community-based projects.

    For more information and to register (required), please visit http://www.nesea.org/events/solarsensespringfieldma_264/ or contact the Education Department at 413-774-6051 or agrindrod@nesea.org

  2. Hartford, CT – Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board – Public Input Session – May 11
    CT Dept of Environmental Protection, 79 Elm St, Phoenix Auditorium, 5th Floor
    9:30am – 12pm


    The Energy Efficiency Board welcomes input as part of its collaborative process with utility companies, interested stakeholders, and the general public for formulating the annual draft Conservation and Load Management Plan. Electronic copies of remarks are requested to be sent no later than May 9 to ct_eeb@att.net

    For more information, please visit http://www.ctenergyinfo.com/event.htm?id=ic0k8ca6&m=05&y=2011&p=0 or contact Tim Cole at tim@westwindconsulting.net or 860-874-7134.
  3. West Haven and Greater New Haven, CT – CT Home Energy Solutions Income-Eligible Program – May 13 (West Haven) and May 19-20 (Greater New Haven)

    The Home Energy Solutions Income-Eligible Program (HES-IE), provides valuable weatherization measures to help renters or homeowners reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. HES-IE is a free service for income-eligible residents. Households may qualify for insulation and energy efficient appliances.

    For more information, visit http://www.ctenergyinfo.com/calendar.htm?m=05&y=2011 or contact Sarah Miller-Brooks at Sarah.Miller-Brooks@uinet.com or 203-499-2780
  4. Vermont – Workshops on Reducing School Energy Costs – May 9 (Fairlee), May 10 (Rutland) and May 11 (Burlington)
    All workshops 9am – 12 noon
    May 9 – Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee
    May 10 – Holiday Inn Rutland/Killington, Rutland
    May 11 – Double Tree Hotel, Burlington


    Efficiency Vermont is pleased to announce three upcoming workshops on improving energy efficiency and reducing energy costs in schools. The workshops will provide a step-by-step approach to taking action, review major energy savings opportunities, and address financing options for funding school energy efficiency projects. Financial incentives that Efficiency Vermont offers to help make schools more energy efficient and a success story at a Vermont school will also be discussed.

    School administrators, school board members, school facility managers, town energy committees, and town officials should attend these workshops. Attendees will also receive a copy of the guide to taking action and achieving energy efficiency in schools, Making the Grade.

    For more information, and to register, visit http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/for_my_business/solutions_for_me/K_12_schools/general_info/overview.aspx or contact Lisa Judge at 888-921-5990 ext. 1019 or ljudge@veic.org
  5. New Hampshire – Spring 2011 NH Energy Code Workshop Series: Meet and Beat the NH Energy Code – May 12, 17, 19 and 24
    8:30am – 3pm


    With the IECC 2009 Energy Code having gone into effect April 1st of 2010, it is important that all building and design professionals be aware of what will be required of them by code, as well as to understand the benefits to exceeding code. These spring 2011 workshops will be related specifically to meeting and exceeding the 2009 IECC Energy Code.

    All workshops this spring/summer will be offered free of charge and lunch will be provided to all attendees. Each workshop this spring will be designed as a single day session that will run from 8:30am - 3:00pm with a mid-day break for lunch. Live hands-on demonstrations during coffee breaks and some excellent door prizes are planned for these events.

    There are currently four (4) NEW workshops open for registration:
    May 12th 2011 - Residential Workshop - Preferred Building Systems, Claremont, NH
    May 17th 2011 - Commercial Workshop - Preferred Building Systems, Claremont, NH

    May 19th 2011 - Residential Workshop - Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH
    May 24th 2011 - Commercial Workshop - Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH

    New workshops will be continually added throughout the season.

    For more information »

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. US EPA – Region 1 Healthy Communities Grant Program – deadline May 2
    The US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, requests proposals for the Healthy Communities Grant Program. This program seeks to work directly with communities to reduce environmental risks to protect and improve human health and the quality of life. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to: Targeting resources to benefit communities at risk; assessment and reduction of environmental and human health risks; and increasing collaboration through community-based projects.

    Projects must take place in CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, or VT. $300K expected to be available, up to 20 awards anticipated. Responses due May 2, 2011.

    For more info, contact Jennifer Padula at Padula.Jennifer@epa.gov or visit http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/uep/hcgp.html Refer to Sol# EPA-R1-HC-2011
  2. US EPA Environmental Education Regional Grants – deadline May 2
    Eligible Applications: Local education agencies, colleges or universities, state education or environmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, or noncommercial educational broadcasting entities

    EPA is seeking grant proposals from eligible applicants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental stewardship and help develop knowledgeable and responsible students, teachers, and citizens. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques as described in this notice. Under this solicitation EPA expects to award environmental education grants from the 10 EPA Regional offices.

    EPA expects approximately $1.9 M to be available for grants in amounts of a minimum of $15,000 and a maximum of $100,000. Each of EPA's 10 Regions anticipates funding a minimum of 2 grants resulting in a minimum number of grants issued to be approximately 20 grants nationwide.

    For more information, contact Karen Scott at EEgrants@epa.gov or read the full solicitation.
  3. US Economic Development Agency i6 Green Challenge: Proof of Concept Center – deadline May 2 and May 26
    The i6 Green Challenge is a $12 million competition that builds on the success of last year's inaugural i6 Challenge. It focuses on the nexus between economic development and environmental quality and rewards innovative, ground-breaking ideas that enable technology commercialization, new venture formation, job creation, and economic growth.

    i6 Green will reward communities that utilize Proof of Concept Centers to accelerate technology-led economic development in pursuit of a vibrant, innovative clean economy.

    An emerging contributor to the establishment, growth, and success of regional innovation clusters is the Proof of Concept Center. They serve as a hub of collaborative, innovative, and entrepreneurial activity.

    Letter of intent: To be eligible to be considered for an i6 Green award, applicants must email a letter of intent to i6@eda.doc.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 2, 2011.

    Complete Application: To be considered timely, a complete application must be transmitted and time-stamped at www.grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 26, 2011.

    For more information, and to download the Request for Proposals (RFP) »
  4. US Department of Agriculture Conservation Innovation Grant Program – New Hampshire only – deadline May 6
    The US Department of Agriculture requests proposals for the Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) Program in multiple states and territories. CIG seeks to stimulate innovative conservation approaches and technologies, in conjunction with agricultural production. Areas of interest vary by state/territorial priorities but may include areas such as transitioning to organic production, farm energy conservation, and carbon sequestration in soil.

    New Hampshire: $80K expected to be available, up to 4 awards anticipated. Responses due May 6, 2011.

    For more info, contact Deborah Weymouth at deb.weymouth@nh.usda.gov or visit http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do?mode=VIEW&oppId=77053
    Refer to Sol# USDA-NRCS-NH-11-01
  5. US Department of the Interior Regional Climate Science Centers host – deadline May 6
    The purpose of this Program Announcement is to identify organizations that are willing to host a Department of the Interior Climate Science Center with appropriate space for up to twelve USGS and DOI co-located employees, and to determine if their science and partnership capabilities are sufficient to serve as a Host organization.

    Eligible organizations include State governments, County governments, City or township governments, Special district governments, Public and State controlled institutions of higher education, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education, and Private institutions of higher education.

    For more information »
  6. US DOT Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program – deadline May 9
    Eligible Applications: Federal land management agencies, as well as state, tribal and local governments acting with the consent of a federal land management agency.

    This program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative transportation systems such as buses, trams and non-motorized systems in, and in the vicinity of, federally managed parks and public lands. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, projects that introduce innovative technologies, prevent or mitigate adverse impact on a natural resource, and that reduce congestion and pollution.

    $25 million expected to be available, up to 45 awards anticipated. Responses due May 9, 2011.

    For more info, contact Patrick Centolanzi at Patrick.Centolanzi@dot.gov or go to: http://www.fta.dot.gov/funding/grants_financing_7829.html. Refer to Sol# FTA-2011-013-TPM-TRIP.
  7. US EPA – Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land – deadline May 20
    The US Environmental Protection Agency requests proposals for RE-Powering America's Land: Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites. Through this initiative, EPA will support NREL-conducted feasibility studies to evaluate the potential development of renewable energy on potentially or formerly contaminated properties. Up to 20 studies are anticipated. Responses due May 20, 2011.

    For more info, contact Lura Matthews at Matthews.Lura@epa.gov or visit http://www.epa.gov/renewableenergyland/
  8. 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, go to: http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do?mode=VIEW&oppId=58457.
  9. 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 »
  10. 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)
    • May 5, 2pm, Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients
    • May 11, 2pm, ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems
    • May 12, 12pm, Office Buildings: Benchmark Energy Performance Using EPA's ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager
    • May 16, 7pm, UUA and ENERGY STAR: Green Sanctuaries and Portfolio Manager for Congregations
    • May 17, 1pm, Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR
    • May 19, 1pm, Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment
    • May 25, 2pm, Energy Efficiency Program Sponsors: Scoring Energy Performance with EPA's Portfolio Manager
    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars »
  2. Webcast: Commercial Building Energy Alliance (CBEA) High Efficiency Parking Structure
    Lighting Specification – May 6 12:00 p.m. ET (9:00 a.m. PT)


    Speakers: Michael Myer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and John D'Angelo, Cleveland Clinic

    Parking structures/garages typically operate more than 16 hours a day and many operate 24 hours per day. These spaces require special considerations in terms of design and operation in order to maximize energy efficiency and performance. In the past few years, new lighting options have entered the market for lighting parking structures and include light source (fluorescent, induction, and light-emitting diode [LED]) considerations as well as lighting controls (occupancy sensor and daylighting sensor) options.

    Michael Myer will provide an overview of the High Efficiency Parking Structure Performance Specification and address energy-efficient lighting options for parking structures and garages as well as financial incentives.

    John D'Angelo will present and discuss Cleveland Clinic's recent parking structure lighting renovation at their site in Cleveland.

    This webcast will include a 60-minute presentation, followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session with attendees. Register now.
  3. Making the Grade: A Step-by-Step Guide for School Energy Champions
    Learn the six steps to taking action and achieving energy efficiency improvements in Vermont schools with Making the Grade.

    Download the publication (pdf) and Project checklists.

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