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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

December 2013 Volume 62
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 Releases Climate Change Adaptation Executive Order
  2. US Dept of Energy Opens Competition to Select Student Teams for Solar Decathlon 2015 – deadline December 20

ARTICLES

  1. Connecticut Governor Announces Funding for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
  2. Washington Gas Energy Systems Opens Solar Array at Landfill in Marshfield, Massachusetts, Saving Town $4 Million
  3. National Grid Energy Efficiency Program Created 529 Jobs in Rhode Island in 2012
  4. Indiana University Study Finds Americans Unaware of Financial Advantages of Electric Vehicles
  5. CT joins $1.5M solar savings initiative

EVENTS

  1. Newburyport, MA – Storm Surge Speaker Series film screening – December 2
  2. Falmouth, ME – Green Eggs: Community Weatherization – December 4
  3. Portsmouth, NH - NH Energy Code and Beyond: 2013 Residential Workshop – December 5
  4. Fairlee, VT – 2013 Vermont Community Energy and Climate Action Conference – December 7
  5. Amherst, MA - Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Community Energy Forum 201: Holyoke, Hadley, Amherst, Easthampton – December 9
  6. Augusta, ME - Annual Energy Efficiency & Indoor Air Quality Seminar: Green Buildings & IAQ – December 13
  7. Fairfield, ME – Solar PV Workshop for Maine Code Officials – January 21, 2014

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. Corporation for National and Community Service – AmeriCorps State and National Grants – deadline December 11, 2013 and January 8, 2014
  2. Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation – Environmental Solutions for Communities Grants Program – deadline December 16
  3. National Endowment for the Arts – FY 2014 Our Town Initiative – deadline January 13, 2014
  4. MassDOER – Energy Manager Grant Opportunity – deadline February 14, 2014
  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. Sign up now for US EPA Webcast Series "Communication Methods for State and Local Climate and Clean Energy Programs" – December 4, 8 and 11
  3. U.S. Department of Energy Launches Alternative Fueling Station Locator App
  4. Columbia Law School Releases Report Ranking States' Climate Change-Related Disaster Preparedness
  5. Johnson Foundation at Wingspread Releases Report on Increasing the Resiliency of Water and Electric Utilities
  6. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Releases Local Energy Efficiency Scoring Tool – Boston #1 in 2013
  7. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Releases State Energy Efficiency Scorecard – Massachusetts #1 and six New England states in top 25
  8. US Office of Management and Budget Issues Updated Values for Social Cost of Carbon

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. President Obama Releases Climate Change Adaptation Executive Order
    President Obama released an executive order launching a 24-member taskforce aimed at strengthening the roles of state and local governments in national preparation for the impacts of climate change. Including Vermont's Governor Shumlin, and six other state governors, Guam and officials from local and tribal governments, the panel is expected to make recommendations to the President within one year and will identify opportunities for removing barriers to climate-resilient investments, modernizing federal grant and loan programs to better support local efforts, and developing the information and tools needed to prepare.

    The Executive Order, "Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change," is available.
  2. US Dept of Energy Opens Competition to Select Student Teams for Solar Decathlon 2015 – deadline December 20
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) began the process to select collegiate teams to compete in DOE's Solar Decathlon 2015. The Solar Decathlon aims to educate students and the public about home energy efficiency and renewable energy products and designs and provide participating students with unique clean energy training. Colleges, universities, and other post-secondary educational institutions are encouraged to submit proposals, which are due on December 20, 2013.

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ARTICLES

  1. Connecticut Governor Announces Funding for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
    Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy awarded grants for 56 publicly-available electric vehicle charging stations in 42 locations across the state. The grants are being awarded to 36 municipalities, businesses, and organizations, some of whom will install charging stations at multiple locations as well as charging stations that can service multiple vehicles at one time.

    Funding for the grants, which total $135,946, comes from provisions of the April 2012 settlement agreement with the state that allowed for the merger of Northeast Utilities and NStar.
  2. Washington Gas Energy Systems Opens Solar Array at Landfill in Marshfield, Massachusetts, Saving Town $4 Million
    Washington Gas Energy Systems held a ribbon cutting for a new solar panel project on the closed Sylvester Ray Construction landfill in Marshfield, Massachusetts. Washington Gas will sell the electricity from the 3.87-megawatt capacity solar array to the town of Marshfield to power public buildings and schools at a reduced rate. The town estimates that the project will save $4 million in electricity costs over the life of the contract. This project is one of 16 landfill renewable energy projects operating in Massachusetts. For example, the town of Rockland is also completing a landfill solar energy project that will account for about half of the town's municipal electricity needs.
  3. National Grid Energy Efficiency Program Created 529 Jobs in Rhode Island in 2012
    National Grid released a report estimating the economic impact of its $83-million energy efficiency program in Rhode Island. National Grid estimates that the energy efficiency program supported 529 full-time job equivalents in the state in 2012. The total payroll for the program included plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, and weatherization workers and amounted to $27 million, with average annual earnings for each job of $51,410.
  4. Indiana University Study Finds Americans Unaware of Financial Advantages of Electric Vehicles
    Two Indiana University researchers co-authored a survey which found that many U.S. consumers know little about the tax incentives and other financial benefits of owning plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). The survey, administered to more than 2,000 drivers in 21 of the nation's largest cities, found that 95 percent of the respondents didn't know about state and local subsidies, rebates, and other incentives. A large majority, 75 percent, was uninformed about the savings in fuel and maintenance costs that all PEVs are expected to generate compared to gasoline vehicles.
  5. CT joins $1.5M solar savings initiative
    The Connecticut Clean Energy Finance Authority has joined a New England effort to reduce the cost of installing solar electric systems.

    The New England Solar Cost-Reduction Partnership – which includes every New England state but Maine – received $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to explore ways of reducing the soft cost of solar.

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EVENTS

  1. Newburyport, MA – Storm Surge Speaker Series film screening – December 2
    Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 6 Plum Island Tpke, Newburyport, MA
    7 pm

    Film: Ocean Frontiers II: A New England Story for Sustaining the Sea

    The Storm Surge speaker series continues at 7 p.m. Monday, December 2, at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 6 Plum Island Tpke., with a screening of “Ocean Frontiers II: A New England Story for Sustaining the Sea,” followed by a panel discussion. The film describes how people representing many varied interests have come together to work on the nation's first multi-state ocean management plan.
  2. Falmouth, ME – Green Eggs: Community Weatherization – December 4
    Maine Audubon, Gilsland Farm Education Center, 20 Gilsland Farm Rd, Falmouth, ME
    7:30 am to 9:00 am

    The Maine Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council will feature weatherization at its next monthly breakfast meeting. Join the Maine USGBC on December 4th for a discussion of greening existing homes, and how groups are leveraging state-wide incentives to engage communities in cooperative weatherization projects. Brooks Winner from the Island Institute will share how Weatherization Weeks are reducing energy costs in high-energy price communities and using the power of community engagement to weatherize up homes on Maine islands; Sue Inches from Habitat for Humanity will discuss how engaging a mix of volunteer and professional labor can weatherize homes; and Dana Fischer from Efficiency Maine will share details of new residential incentives for insulation and heating system projects.

    For more information and to register.
  3. Portsmouth, NH - NH Energy Code and Beyond: 2013 Residential Workshop – December 5
    27 Elwyn Road, Urban Forestry Center, Portsmouth, NH
    9:00 am – 4:00 pm

    Registration is now open

    All Energy Code workshops are FREE and included FREE MORNING COFFEE and FREE LUNCH. Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) will be offered at all workshops, including AIA, BPI, InterNACHI and others.

    These workshops will cover the requirements of the energy code, important building science, how to meet and go beyond the NH Energy Code, as well as ENERGY STAR Version 3 Information.
  4. Fairlee, VT – 2013 Vermont Community Energy and Climate Action Conference–December 7
    Lake Morey Resort, 1 Clubhouse Rd., Fairlee, VT
    8:00 am – 4:30 pm

    This conference is for those interested in how Vermont communities can take action to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy for municipal government, businesses, and residents, as well as support statewide initiatives.

    Designed to inspire, support and grow the statewide network of town energy committees and other energy-ambitious Vermonters, this one-day conference emphasizes clean energy and climate action strategies that can be implemented locally. Workshops and roundtables will address energy efficiency, transportation, renewable energy, legislative action, coalition-building and other essential solutions needed to meet Vermont's energy and climate goals.

    Keynote speaker: May Boeve, director of 350.org

    For more information and to register »
  5. Amherst, MA - Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Community Energy Forum 201: Holyoke, Hadley, Amherst, Easthampton – December 9
    Amherst Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst, MA
    5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

    The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) invites you to participate in a Community Energy Forum 201 on Monday December 9th. The forum is part of an ongoing initiative to create a Clean Energy Roadmap for the PVPC region by drawing on the experiences and knowledge of residents of Holyoke, Amherst, and Easthampton. This forum will build on the input received from participants at the first Community Forum 101 held October 16.

    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 Amherst Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Refreshments will be served starting at 5:00 pm. Parking in Boltwood Garage, entrances on Kellogg and Main Streets.
  6. Augusta, ME – Annual Energy Efficiency & Indoor Air Quality Seminar: Green Buildings & IAQ – December 13
    Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Dr., Augusta ME
    7:45 am – 12 pm

    This program will explore the tension between energy efficiency initiatives in the design and operation of high performing buildings and a healthy indoor environment.

    The guest presenter is Dr. Andrew Persily of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dr. Persily is the chairperson for ASHRAE Standard 189.1, "Standard for the Design of High Performance Green Buildings". He will provide attendees with a review of the latest version of ASHRAE 189.1: its scope and purpose, requirements to comply with the standard, and its role in providing for indoor air quality. He will also present a summary of his review of more than 100 case studies of high performance buildings, to highlight how this tension between energy efficiency & IAQ is being addressed in the real world.

    At the conclusion of Dr. Persily's presentations, there will be an interactive panel discussion exploring how well this information translates to practices being implemented here in Maine.

    For more information and to register »
  7. Fairfield, ME – Solar PV Workshop for Maine Code Officials – January 21, 2014
    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
    Pre-register by January 9

    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. Corporation for National and Community Service – AmeriCorps State and National Grants – deadline December 11, 2013 and January 8, 2014
    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.
  2. Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation – Environmental Solutions for Communities Grants Program – deadline December 16
    Eligible Entities: State, tribal, and local governments; educational institutions; and non-profit 501(c) organizations

    Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation seek to promote sustainable communities through Environmental Solutions for Communities by supporting highly-visible projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. Funding priorities include ‘greening' traditional infrastructure and public projects such as storm water management and flood control, urban forestry, and education and training of community leaders on sustainable practices.
  3. National Endowment for the Arts – FY 2014 Our Town Initiative – deadline January 13, 2014
    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.
  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)
    • Dec 10, 2013, 1:00 pm, Portfolio Manager for U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Applicants
    • Dec 10, 2013, 2:00 pm, Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR
    • Dec 11, 2013, 1:00 pm, Portfolio Manager Web Services: February 2014 Schema Changes
    • Dec 11, 2013, 2:00 pm, ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems
    • Dec 12, 2013, 2:00 pm, Portfolio Manager 101
    • Dec 17, 2013, 3:45 pm, Using EPA's Target Finder & Portfolio Manager for Commercial New Construction Projects
    • Dec 19, 2013, 1:00 pm, Portfolio Manager 201
  2. Sign up now for US EPA Webcast Series “Communication Methods for State and Local Climate and Clean Energy Programs” – December 4, 8 and 11
    On December 4, 11, and 18, 2013, EPA's State and Local Climate and Energy Program will host a three-part webcast series on communications. This series will provide information on communications strategies and methods that state and local governments can use to ensure the ongoing success of climate and clean energy programs. The structure of the three webcasts will parallel the general phases of program development and implementation: attracting stakeholder support and participation, sustaining change, and gaining momentum from program successes. Participants will learn how to design communications strategies to engage and empower stakeholders, use communications methods to instigate and sustain behavior change and foster individual and community solutions, and effectively communicate their programs' successes and resulting benefits to diverse audiences.

    Webcast 1: Gaining Support and Attracting Participation through Communication
    December 4, 2013, 1:00-2:30 PM (EST)
    This webcast will explore how to gain support from partners and attract participation in climate and clean energy programs. It will address the importance of developing a communications plan and using it as a framework throughout the course of the initiative and cover tactics that engage, empower, and transform community-level participation into actionable results. The importance of understanding intended audiences and tailoring strategies to their needs will be emphasized.

    Webcast 2: The Role of Communication in Ensuring Sustained Behavior Change
    December 11, 2013, 1:00-2:30 PM (EST)
    This webcast will address how communications tools can be used throughout the implementation of climate and clean energy programs to achieve behavior change and ensure sustained, lasting impacts. Key points that will be discussed include the role of behavior change in the success of a program; the value of communicating program results and successes in sustaining change; and how to assess behavior change.

    Webcast 3: Using Effective Communication to Showcase Program Successes
    December 18, 2013, 1:00-2:30 PM (EST)
    This webcast will focus on how communities can effectively showcase the benefits and successes of a clean energy initiative to ensure additional funding opportunities, continued engagement, and sustained behavior change. How to encourage replication of successes will also be addressed.
  3. U.S. Department of Energy Launches Alternative Fueling Station Locator App
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched a new mobile app to help drivers find stations that provide alternative fuel for vehicles. The Alternative Fueling Station Locator app was developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with support from DOE and provides information on more than 15,000 stations across the country offering electricity, biodiesel (B20), natural gas (compressed and liquefied), ethanol (E85), hydrogen, and propane.

    The app is free and available for the iPhone and iPad.
  4. Columbia Law School Releases Report Ranking States' Climate Change-Related Disaster Preparedness
    Columbia Law School's Center for Climate Change Law released a report that coastal states are further along than land-locked states in incorporating the effects of climate change into their hazard mitigation plans. The analysis gathered data from all 50 state plans, which are required in order to receive federal disaster mitigation funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The report then ranks the states based on the extent to which they address climate change. The results of the survey indicate that coastal states are more likely to include a discussion of climate change.

    The report, "State Hazard Mitigation Plans & Climate Change: Rating the States," is available.
  5. Johnson Foundation at Wingspread Releases Report on Increasing the Resiliency of Water and Electric Utilities (PDF) (2 pp, 131 K)
    The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread released a new report on how electric and water utilities should work to address potential water shortages and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report, "Building Resilient Utilities: How Water and Electric Utilities Can Co-Create Their Futures (PDF) (26 pp, 1.3 MB)," recommends new approaches for stronger coordination between water and electric power utilities, such as stimulating cross-sector communication, engaging in collaborative planning, and others.
  6. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Releases Local Energy Efficiency Scoring Tool – Boston #1 in 2013
    The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released a tool designed to allow users to score the energy efficiency policies in their own community and to compare them with those of other localities. For example, sustainability officers can use it to benchmark municipal energy efficiency efforts and help inform future policy decisions, while nonprofit organizations can discover new energy efficiency programs and policy types that they can work to implement in their communities.

    The Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool (Version 1.0 BETA) is available.
  7. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Releases State Energy Efficiency Scorecard – Massachusetts #1 and six New England states in top 25
    The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released an annual scorecard that ranks states on their energy efficiency policy and program efforts, and provides recommendations for ways that states can improve their energy efficiency performance in a variety of policy areas. The top 10 states for energy efficiency are: Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Maryland, and Illinois.

    The seventh edition of the "State Energy Efficiency Scorecard" is available.
  8. U.S. Office of Management and Budget Issues Updated Values for Social Cost of Carbon
    The U.S. White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued updated values for the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC), which are used to estimate the value to society of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The updates include minor technical corrections to estimates made in May 2013, resulting in an estimate $37 per metric ton of carbon dioxide in 2015.

    OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is expected to provide a new opportunity for public comment on the estimates in the Federal Register soon.

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