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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

June 2012 Volume 44
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.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Efficiency Maine Launches Program to Combine Energy Audits and Retrofits
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Launches Utility Data Access Map Tool
  3. Maine Public Utilities Commission Announces Renewable Energy Program
  4. The 11th Annual Vermont Renewable Energy Conference & Expo – Request for Proposals – due June 15

ARTICLES

  1. Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Awards Green Communities Funding
  2. Vermont Governor Approves Renewable Energy Bills
  3. Yale Survey Shows Americans Support Climate, Clean Energy Policies
  4. Researchers Publish Report on American Support for National Clean Energy Standard

EVENTS

  1. Portland, ME - "21st Century Maine: Warmer, Wetter, Wilder" Roundtable Discussion – June 5
  2. Concord, NH – Webinar: Adapting Cities to Climate Change – June 6
  3. Stamford, CT – NEEP Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit – June 13-14
  4. Danbury, CT – GreenFest by BIOS – June 22-24

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. New Hampshire - Community Planning Grant (CPG) Program – deadline June 15
  2. CDC Climate and Health Program – deadline June 18
  3. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Funding for Local Alternative Fuel Vehicle Initiatives – deadline June 18
  4. New England Grassroots Environment Fund – SEED grants (rolling deadline) and GROW grants – deadline September 15
  5. Vermont – Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program – rolling deadline

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
  2. U.S. EPA Releases Tools to Determine Renewable Energy Potential on Underutilized Land
  3. American Society of Landscape Architects Releases Report on Green Infrastructure Benefits

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Efficiency Maine Launches Program to Combine Energy Audits and Retrofits (PDF) (2 pp, 409 K)
    Efficiency Maine has launched the Direct Install program, which combines energy auditing and energy efficiency retrofitting services for homeowners. Under the program, contractors will receive up to $300 to conduct an energy audit and conduct a minimum of six hours of blow door driven air-sealing and insulation work. The program is designed to provide homeowners with immediate energy savings rather than waiting between the time of an energy audit and conducting retrofits.

    Additional information about the program is available (PDF) (2 pp, 409 K).
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Launches Utility Data Access Map Tool
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched the Utility Data Access Map tool, an interactive web-based tool that allows customers to see the data available from their utilities on their electricity use. The tool highlights local access to electricity data and allows consumers to compare their electricity data access to others in their state and across the country.

    The data access maps display different features of consumer electricity data including the time period and timeliness of data—informing consumers, for example, whether their utility supplies same-day electricity use information—and the extent to which the data can be shared. Access the map.
  3. Maine Public Utilities Commission Announces Renewable Energy Program
    The Maine Public Utilities Commission and 3Degrees, a renewable energy provider, announced the Maine Green Power Program. The voluntary program is designed to provide state customers the opportunity to purchase locally produced renewable energy. Residents and businesses that participate in Maine Green Power will be able to ensure that the electricity they use at their home or business is matched by electricity generated by solar, hydro, wind, biomass, or other renewable energy projects located in Maine.

    For more information »
  4. The 11th Annual Vermont Renewable Energy Conference & Expo – Request for Proposals – due June 15 (PDF) (3 pp, 141 K)
    Burlington, VT
    Interested in presenting at the 2012 Renewable Energy Conference & Expo? We invite you to submit your abstracts and posters based on this year's conference theme:

    "Vermont and the New England region must radically transform towards a renewables future, with significant increases in electrification, efficiency, and biotechnologies. What does this transformation look like?"

    What to Submit
    200-word abstracts must be submitted in a Word document with additional information as requested in the Request for Proposals. Abstracts must be submitted by June 15, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST.

    For more information (PDF) (3 pp, 141 K) »

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ARTICLES

  1. Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Awards Green Communities Funding
    This May, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources awarded $2 million in grants for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to 12 cities and towns that earned the designation of Green Communities in December 2011. The projects funded include installation of energy efficient lighting upgrades at municipal buildings, funding for efficient furnaces and windows, and solar photovoltaic projects.

    For full article, including the complete list of communities and projects awarded »
  2. Vermont Governor Approves Renewable Energy Bills
    On May 18, 2012, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed three pieces of legislation designed to increase development of renewable energy in the state. Among other measures, the bills are designed to establish a new pilot project in Chittenden County to promote community supported biomass heating and set a new flat property tax rate of 4 cents per kilowatt of capacity for small solar-electric projects.

    For full article »
  3. Yale Survey Shows Americans Support Climate, Clean Energy Policies
    The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication has released the results of a survey gauging public support for climate and energy policies. The survey showed that 40 percent of Americans think that climate change should be a very high or high priority for the federal government, while 32 percent believe climate change should be a medium priority. Similarly, 69 percent of Americans believe that developing clean energy sources should be a high priority and 75 percent support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant.

    The full survey report is available (PDF) (34 pp, 2.1MB)

    For full article »
  4. Researchers Publish Report on American Support for National Clean Energy Standard
    Researchers at Yale and Harvard Universities have published a report on American support for a National Clean Energy Standard. Americans, on average, are willing to pay $162 per year in higher electricity bills to support a national standard requiring that 80 percent of the energy come from renewable energy.

    The paper, "Willingness to Pay and Political Support for a U.S. National Clean Energy Standard," is available online.

    For full article »

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EVENTS

  1. Portland, ME - "21st Century Maine: Warmer, Wetter, Wilder" Roundtable Discussion – June 5
    4pm – 6pm
    Abromson Center, Room 214/215, USM Portland, Maine

    A roundtable discussion presented by Clean Air/Cool Planet and E2Tech and featuring His Excellency Wegger Chr. Strommen, Ambassador of Norway to the United States.

    Clean Air-Cool Planet has partnered with the Norwegian Embassy to bring a roundtable discussion on the effects of climate change to Portland. This event is a wonderful opportunity to hear perspectives from internationally-recognized experts on how climate change will affect Maine and how our communities may begin planning to mitigate damage. Can we adapt our infrastructure and manmade environments to withstand the predicted changes? The speakers want to hear the local perspective from our business, government and civic leaders an engage in a discussion about actions for the future.

    For more information »
  2. Concord, NH – Webinar: Adapting Cities to Climate Change – June 6
    4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
    This webinar will be hosted by the NH Local Government Center, 25 Triangle Park Drive, Concord NH

    Cities and smaller communities are facing more severe hazards and sea-level rise. In this program, planners explore the issues of infrastructure and land changes, as well as environmental and economic changes. How do we know what the effects of climate change will be and how do we adapt? Explore both research and planning preparation.

    The New Hampshire Planners Association and New Hampshire's Regional Planning Commissions are sponsoring the American Planning Association's Advanced Intensive Series Webinars. Our organizations have jointly funded the purchase of these six programs, which are live presentations on topics of importance to planners to be held throughout the year. The webinars consist of a PowerPoint presentation and live audio commentary from national experts on the subjects. All are approved for AICP Certification Maintenance credit.

    To participate in this live session without paying, you must be on location at LGC—you cannot call in from your home or office without paying (to APA) to register. Refreshments will be provided.

    RSVP to nhplanners@gmail.com

    For more information »
  3. Stamford, CT – NEEP Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit – June 13-14
    The Business Case for Efficiency

    Hilton Stamford Hotel

    The annual Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit, the premier annual event for showcasing the region's leadership in accelerating energy efficiency, will be co-chaired by David McHale, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Northeast Utilities (NU), and Barbara Kates-Garnick, Massachusetts Undersecretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

    The 2012 Summit will be held in Stamford, Connecticut at the Hilton Stamford Hotel on June 13 & 14. The theme, The Business Case for Efficiency, will focus on how leading policy, industry, and business leaders use energy efficiency programs and policies as a tool to stimulate the economy, create jobs, decrease energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint.

    For more information and to register »
  4. Danbury, CT – GreenFest by BIOS – June 22-24
    CityCenter Danbury, CT

    3 Days...50 Bands...35 Green Vendors. A Green Living Festival & Benefit Concert For The BIOS World Peace Tour. Celebrating all that if good, green, healthy, holistic, organic, sustainable and energy efficient.

    The Concept: 3 Days of Comedy, Music, Dance & Food. Celebrating life and raising awareness of the benefits of green living.

    Contact Information: Steve Schappert (sales@thegreenmarketingcompany.com or 203-994-3950)

    For more information »

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. New Hampshire - Community Planning Grant (CPG) Program – deadline June 15
    New Hampshire Housing announces the launch of the Community Planning Grant (CPG) Program, which will provide over $1 million in competitive matching grants to New Hampshire municipalities.

    New Hampshire Housing is one of 27 state and local agencies to be awarded a share of $28 million in grants through HUD's Community Challenge Grant program, which aims to reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. New Hampshire Housing will be advised by a steering committee consisting of public agencies and non-profit organizations representing a diverse range of interests.

    CPG grants will be available in two rounds, one in 2012 and the other in 2013. In the first round, municipalities will be eligible to apply for one-year grants of up to $30,000 or two-year grants of up to $50,000 to provide technical assistance in modifying local regulations so that socially, economically and environmentally healthy communities can be achieved. Special funding allocations will be made specifically for communities that want to create neighborhood heritage districts or to adopt inclusionary zoning ordinances that promote housing affordability.

    For funding in the first round, grant applications are due on June 15, 2012.

    If you want to be informed of CPG Program updates, please email Ben Frost bfrost@nhhfa.org with "CPG Updates" in the subject line, to be added to the distribution list.

    For more information »
  2. CDC Climate and Health Program – deadline June 18
    A new CDC Funding Opportunity Award (FOA) NCEH CDC-RFA-EH12-1202 - Building Resilience against Climate Effects in State, Territorial and Tribal Health Departments - has been published in www.grants.gov.

    The CDC Climate and Health Program intends to fund state health departments to conduct analytic and programmatic activities aimed at reducing the health consequences of climate change and variability by developing public health adaptation strategies. The application deadline date is June 18, 2012.

    For more information »
  3. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Funding for Local Alternative Fuel Vehicle Initiatives – deadline June 18
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that up to $5 million will be available in fiscal year 2012 to help expand the use of alternative fuel vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs) in cities and towns across the United States. The funding will support projects that address barriers to the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles, provide safety training, coordinate initiatives, and drive market development to make these vehicles and fueling infrastructure widely available.

    DOE anticipates funding 10 to 20 projects, to be completed within two years.

    Additional information is available: search for opportunity number DE-FOA-0000708
  4. New England Grassroots Environment Fund – SEED grants (rolling deadline) and GROW grants – September 15
    NEGEF grants are designed for groups that:
    • are doing community-based environmental work in CT, ME, MA, NH, RI or VT;
    • are volunteer-driven or have up to 2 full-time paid staff (or equivalents);
    • have an annual budget up to $100,000
    SEED grants are for quick project-focused grants dedicated to help volunteer groups launch and build their newly evolving project(s).

    Deadline: Apply anytime (expect a decision in 3 weeks)
    Grant range: $250 – $1,000
    Apply for a Seed grant if your group:
    • is launching a new or evolving community-based project;
    • expenses are for materials, outreach and/or other project expenses;
    • project costs generally less than $10,000;
    • needs a quick decision;
    • has not received a SEED grant within one year of the current application.
    GROW grants are competitive group development grants dedicated to help established groups increase capacity, collaborate, and leverage impact.

    Deadlines: March 15 & September 15 (expect decisions early June & December)

    Grant range: $1,000 – $3,500
    Apply for a Grow grant if your group:
    • needs help evolving and expanding the community group;
    • expenses can include general operating, stipends, capacity building, program development, expert assistance, etc.
    • has been active for more than 1 year;
    • has not received a GROW grant within one year of the current application.
    For more information »
  5. Vermont – Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program – rolling deadline
    The Vermont Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program provides incentives for qualifying solar electric, solar hot water, small wind systems, and micro-hydro systems and is now accepting Incentive Reservation Applications for the 2012 Incentive Program.

    *****New mailing address for all submissions:
    Renewable Energy Resource Center
    Vermont Renewable Energy Incentive Program
    128 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 401
    Burlington, VT 05401

    You should submit the form as soon as you are committed to install a system. Incentives are reserved on a first-come first-served basis.

    For more information, visit http://www.rerc-vt.org/incentives/index.htm and http://www.rerc-vt.org/incentives/forms.htm or contact the Renewable Energy Resource Center at 1-877-888-7372

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (free but registration required)
    • June 7, 2pm, Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments
    • June 11, 2pm, K-12 Benchmarking 101
    • June 14, 2pm, Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR
    • June 19, 2pm, Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR
    • June 19, 2pm, Benchmarking Water/Wastewater Treatment Facilities in Portfolio Manager
    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars
  2. U.S. EPA Releases Tools to Determine Renewable Energy Potential on Underutilized Land
    The U.S. EPA has released new tools designed to test underutilized sites and contaminated land for solar and wind energy potential. The tools are designed to provide local communities and landowners ways to evaluate sites for renewable energy potential without the need for technical expertise.

    The solar energy tool (PDF) (18 pp, 814 K) is available online.

    The wind energy tool (PDF) (18 pp, 863 K) is available online.
  3. American Society of Landscape Architects Releases Report on Green Infrastructure Benefits
    The American Society of Landscape Architects, Water Environment Federation, and ECONorthwest has released a report on the economic benefits of green infrastructure. The report documents green infrastructure benefits on energy bills, public health, and urban flooding.

    The report, "Banking on Green: How Green Infrastructure Saves Municipalities Money and Provides Economic Benefits Community-wide (PDF) (44 pp, 7.2 MB)," is available.

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