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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

August 2011 Volume 34
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. Welcome to the Newest Members of the Community Energy Challenge!
  2. Spotlight: Community Energy Challenge Member Manchester, NH, has met the Challenge by reducing energy use by more than 10%!
  3. See Deep Energy Retrofits at NESEA's Green Buildings Open House!
  4. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Better Building Challenge Partners
  5. U.S. Department of Energy Launches Home Energy Efficiency Education Campaign
  6. Connecticut Governor Signs Energy Policy Legislation

ARTICLES

  1. Massachusetts - Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Significant Energy Savings for First Year of Statewide Energy Efficiency Plans
  2. New Hampshire - Citing Jobs and Economic Growth, NH Gov. Vetoes Bill to Exit RGGI
  3. Vermont - Gov. Shumlin signs renewable energy bill into law
  4. Maine - Maine Community Seeing Things in a New Light
  5. Massachusetts - State sees sharp growth in energy efficiency efforts

EVENTS

  1. Massachusetts – Free informational sessions on solar energy – statewide, starting Aug 2
  2. Westwood, MA - Interconnection Workshop – August 11
  3. Boston, MA – Boston Greenfest – August 18-20
  4. Massachusetts – Deep Energy Measure Verification Workshops – September 13 (Raynham) and September 20 (Springfield)
  5. Berlin, NH – North Country Energy Fair – September 24

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. U.S. Department of Energy Announces State Energy Program Funding Opportunity – deadline Aug 3
  2. Transit, GHG, and Energy Reduction – deadline August 23, 2011
  3. Grassroots Environmental Campaigns – deadline August 31, 2011
  4. Energy Efficient Affordable Housing - Maine to Florida – deadline September 2, 2011
  5. Grassroots Environmental Fund - New England – deadline September 15, 2011
  6. Coastal Climate Adaptation – deadline November 22, 2011

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR free webinars
  2. U.S. EPA Releases Primer on Adaptation to Sea Level Rise
  3. Researchers Release Survey Report On American Attitudes Toward Climate Change
  4. Interstate Renewable Energy Council Releases Annual Solar Market Trend Report
  5. U.S. Department of Energy Releases Report on Building Efficiency Technologies
  6. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Tidal Energy Resource Database
  7. U.S. Department of Energy Releases Three Clean Energy 2010 Market Report

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Welcome to the Newest Members of the Community Energy Challenge!
    EPA New England welcomes the newest member of the Community Energy Challenge: Chester, CT! This community has pledged to form a local energy committee, benchmark their municipal buildings, and reduce energy use by 10%. With this addition there are 191 CEC members. Welcome!

    See a list of all CEC members »
  2. Spotlight: Community Energy Challenge Member Manchester, NH, has met the Challenge by reducing energy use by more than 10%!
    As a member of the EPA New England Community Energy Challenge since 2007, Manchester has saved a total of $800,000 and reduced their total energy usage at their school buildings by 15%. Manchester received assistance from EPA and Aramark Technical Services performed audits and energy service contracting for their buildings.

    The city's Chief Facilities Manager, Kevin O'Maley, took information from the audits and looked at low-cost and no-cost ways Manchester could implement the recommendations in their buildings. "The City of Manchester and the Manchester School District have always had a focus on energy consumption reductions and corresponding savings. There have been numerous people and numerous projects that have contributed to these superior results. The success of our programs is attributable to the work ethic of our teachers, students and administrators. It is very rewarding to accumulate and measure all this data to demonstrate to everyone that their efforts clearly have a significant impact on our limited resources. They also have made a serious contribution to minimizing our carbon footprint, and to the greening of our City."

    In addition to low cost and no cost measures the city has been very successful at being awarded grants and low interest loans for energy projects. Efforts to reduce energy within the school included:
    • Adding heat recovery systems mounted on the roof with carbon dioxide fan controls, and an energy management system
    • Retro-commissioning mechanical equipment
    • Installing T-5 fluorescent lighting with motion/occupancy sensors in classrooms, cafeteria, gymnasium, and hallway spaces
    • Implementing behavior modification actions, including a School District wide energy policy that mandates 68°F for heated areas.
    • Replacing old 600 horsepower boilers with more efficient boilers

    Replacing old 600 horsepower boilers with more efficient boilers

    Congratulations Manchester, NH!
    If your town or city has reached this energy reduction milestone (10% or greater), 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. See Deep Energy Retrofits at NESEA's Green Buildings Open House!
    While the cool autumn weather of October 1st seems like it is still far away, here at NESEA things are heating up as we prepare for this year's Green Buildings Open House. With the help of dedicated organizers throughout NESEA's 10-state region, 128 host sites have already registered to participate in the event.

    There are already a lot of interesting locations including schools and quite a few buildings that have achieved net zero or near-net zero energy, candidates for the Thousand Home Challenge, Passive House certified buildings and buildings that have undergone deep energy retrofits.

    Also, NESEA is collaborating with National Grid and the Deep Energy Retrofit Pilot Program in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Please visit the list of registered buildings at the Green Buildings Open House web site and check back often -- new sites are being added every day!

    For more information »
  4. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Better Building Challenge Partners
    On June 30, 2011, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu announced the first 14 partners committing to the Better Buildings Challenge. The Better Buildings Challenge is part of the Better Buildings Initiative that President Obama launched in February 2011 to catalyze private sector investment in commercial building upgrades and make America's commercial buildings 20 percent more efficient over the next decade. The early partners in the Challenge include the cities Atlanta and Los Angeles, and the Seattle 2030 District.

    For more information »
  5. U.S. Department of Energy Launches Home Energy Efficiency Education Campaign
    On July 19, 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Ad Council launched a national consumer education campaign to help consumers reduce their energy use and save money on energy bills. The campaign is comprised of Public Service Advertisements (PSAs) that direct homeowners to the Energy Savers website, where they can find tools and information to help make their homes more energy efficient.

    Energy-saving tips include using a programmable thermostat to save over $100 per year on heating and cooling, upgrading light bulbs, using ENERGY STAR appliances, and sealing leaks.

    For more information »
  6. Connecticut Governor Signs Energy Policy Legislation
    On July 1, 2011, Connecticut Governor Daniel P. Malloy signed SB 1243 into law. The legislation merges the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Public Utility Control to create the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), intended to centralize state energy policy, focus on energy efficiency, and reduce electricity rates. The act has a number of consumer protection provisions, including a code of conduct for competitive electric suppliers, and has many provisions promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, including a residential photovoltaic (PV) program and a program to finance the replacement of inefficient residential heating equipment.

    A brief summary of the bill is available online.

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ARTICLES

  1. Massachusetts - Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Significant Energy Savings for First Year of Statewide Energy Efficiency Plans
    On July 7, 2011, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts released a report that summarizes the results of the Commonwealth's energy efficiency plan after one year. The report found that in the first year of the program, the Commonwealth saved 625 gigawatt hours of electricity, 14 million therms of natural gas, and 376,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The energy efficiency program, authorized by the Green Communities Act of 2008, sets three-year targets for electricity and natural gas savings. The report states that the Commonwealth's investor-owned gas and electric utilities achieved 98 percent of electric and 103 percent of natural gas savings goals, while spending 10 percent less than budgeted.

    The report, "Efficiency as Our First Fuel: Strategic Investments in Massachusetts' Energy Future" (PDF) (24 pp, 2.2MB), is available for download.

    Read full article »
  2. New Hampshire - Citing Jobs and Economic Growth, NH Gov. Vetoes Bill to Exit RGGI
    On July 8, 2011, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch vetoed SB 154, a bill that would have removed the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI is a regional greenhouse gas cap and trade program in Northeastern United States. With the veto, New Hampshire will remain in the program unless the state House overrides the veto.

    Read full article »
  3. Vermont - Gov. Shumlin signs renewable energy bill into law
    Vermont has enacted a new law to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The measure supports a number of initiatives, including incentives for biomass heating and a boost for the Clean Energy Development Fund.

    Read full article »
  4. Maine - Maine Community Seeing Things in a New Light
    Fort Fairfield, a town in northern Maine, has leveraged a DOE Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant to provide LED streetlights that can shine during the long winter months.

    Read full article »
  5. Massachusetts - State sees sharp growth in energy efficiency efforts
    It has been estimated that by this time next year, Massachusetts' major electric utilities will have tripled their annual budgets for energy efficiency programs from 2009 levels. The companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year on home energy audits, rebates for ENERGY STAR qualified products, and dozens of other improvements. The state's utilities have always had energy efficiency programs, but they've never been on this scale before. The companies' approach changed dramatically after the Legislature passed the "Green Communities Act" in 2008, a law that set in motion new mandates for the utilities. In response, they developed three-year plans to show how they would meet these goals. The law also established an advisory council to keep tabs on the utilities' progress

    Read full article »

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EVENTS

  1. Massachusetts – Free informational sessions on solar energy sponsored by Sunlight Solar Energy – various/statewide, starting Aug 2

    Tues, Aug 2, 7:00 pm – Community Event at the Morse Institute Library, 14 East Central Street, Natick, MA
    Tues, Aug 9, 6:30 pm – Community Event at Swampscott Public Library, 61 Burrill Street Swampscott, MA
    Thurs-Sat, Aug 18-20 – Boston Greenfest, City Hall Plaza/Government Center, Boston, MA
    Tues, Aug 23, 7:00 pm – Community Events at Bedford Public Library, 7 Mudge Way, Bedford, MA
    Wed, Sept 7, 6:30 pm – Community Event at Waltham Public Library, 735 Main Street Waltham, MA
    Wed, Sept 21, 7:00 pm – Community Event at Lincoln Public Library, 3 Bedford Road, Lincoln, MA

    For more information »

  2. Westwood, MA - Interconnection Workshop – August 11
    8:30am – 12:00pm
    Massachusetts' distributed and renewable energy generation markets continue to grow rapidly, in large part due to your innovation and hard work. These seminars are designed to provide you with a wealth of helpful information in response to the growing demand for greater awareness and guidance regarding the interconnection process.

    The utilities will host these seminars on a regular basis at locations throughout the state. Representatives from both the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) will also participate and provide updates on DOER's interconnection reform process as well as answer questions regarding distributed generation policy and MassCEC renewable energy programs.

    Space is limited so please register soon. Presentation materials will be posted on the Massachusetts DG and Interconnection Website.

    For more information and to register »
  3. Boston, MA – Boston Greenfest – August 18-20
    City Hall Plaza/Government Center

    Thursday, Aug 18, 5 pm - 9:30 pm (Performers/Food)
    Friday, Aug 19, noon - 9:30 pm (Exhibitors/Food/Vendors/Performers)
    Saturday, Aug 20, 11 am - 8 pm (Exhibitors/Food/Vendors/Performers)

    2011 HIGHLIGHTS:

    • Native American Drum Ceremony
    • Green Fireworks and Light Show
    • EcoQuest: EcoHistory Scavenger Hunt
    • GreenSoul Stage
    • Great Escape with Alexanderia!
    • NOCHE LATINA
    • EcoSalsa Fashion Show
    • Jambalaya and Samba Dancers
    • YMAA Kung Fu Demonstration
    • NESA Gymnastic Presentation
    • Tap Off with Boston Tap Company
    • Green Entrepreneur Small Biz Forum
    • EcoCafé, EcoGallery, EcoBazaar
    • GreenFilmFest
    • EcoFashion Store
    • One Gallon Challenge™
    • EcoTimeTunnel
    • BPS EcoPhoto Contest
    • EcoPoetry with Seitu
    • Boston GreenFest Quilt
    • Fun for Kids!
    Boston GreenFest is organized by the Foundation for a Green Future, Inc. As the region's largest multicultural environmental festival, Boston GreenFest celebrates the many ways we can create a better world by greening our lives and our communities. We can have fun at the same time!

    For more information »

  4. Massachusetts – Deep Energy Measure Verification Workshops – September 13 (Raynham) and September 20 (Springfield)
    Sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER)

    This full-day workshop will explore how building energy professionals can specify and verify deep energy envelope measures in residential buildings, provide an update on lessons learned in the recent deep energy retrofit pilot projects that have earned $20K to $72K in incentives in MA and RI, and examine technical concepts and proven techniques for high performance retrofits that achieve greater than 50% energy savings

    Cost is $50, lunch included, advance registration is required - workshop is eligible for 7 AIA Continuing Education credits (seven hours).

    Tues, September 13, 9:00 am–4:30 pm
    Courtyard Boston Raynham, 37 Paramount Drive, Route 44, Raynham, MA 02767 – (508) 822-8383

    Tues, September 20, 9:00am–4:30pm
    Springfield Technical Community College, Scibelli Hall, Building #2, Springfield, MA 01102

    Register for September 13 training in Raynham.

    If you encounter problems with the online registration, please call James Gardner at (978) 589-5100 x5278

    Register for September 20 training in Springfield.

    If you encounter problems with the online registration, please call Lisa Karlin at (413) 586-7350 x240 or email training@cetonline.org
  5. Berlin, NH – North Country Energy Fair – September 24
    Looking for Vendors, Demonstrations and Lecturers to be a part of the North Country Energy Fair!

    For more information, contact Cimbria Badenhausen, Community Manager at 603-326-6166 or CimbriaB@NHCDFA.org

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. U.S. Department of Energy Announces State Energy Program Funding Opportunity – deadline August 3
    The U.S. Department of Energy's State Energy Program is making $39 million in funding available to state energy offices. Funding will be used to help states and territories design and implement renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, to address their energy priorities, and adopt emerging technologies. Applications for funding are due August 3, 2011.

    For more information »
  2. Transit, GHG, and Energy Reduction – deadline August 23
    The U.S. Department of Transportation requests proposals for Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER). This program supports: 1) Capital investments that will assist in reducing the energy consumption of transit systems, and 2) Capital investments that will reduce GHG emissions in public transportation systems. $49.9 million expected to be available, individual awards NTE $15 million. Responses due August 23, 2011.

    For more information »
    Or contact Walter Kulyk (walter.kulyk@dot.gov)
  3. Grassroots Environmental Campaigns – deadline August 31
    Patagonia corporate headquarters and retail stores request proposals for Grassroots Environmental Campaigns. This program supports small, grassroots activist organizations that have provocative direct action agendas, and are working on multi-pronged campaigns to preserve and protect the environment. Grant range generally $3K - $8K each. Corporate grant applications due August 31, 2011, retail store applications accepted year round.

    For more information »
    Foundation Center RFP Bulletin 6/24/11
  4. Energy Efficient Affordable Housing - Maine to Florida – deadline September 2
    The TD Charitable Foundation, TD Bank, requests proposals for the "Building for the Future" competition, in support of affordable housing initiatives. This competition focuses on areas including but not limited to: Energy efficiency, including weatherization initiatives, HVAC improvements, or implementation of alternative or renewable energy sources. 25 awards of $100K each are anticipated. Responses due September 2, 2011.

    For more information »
  5. Grassroots Environmental Fund - New England – deadline September 15
    The New England Grassroots Environment Fund requests proposals from New England organizations for the Small Grants Program. The Fund supports long-term civic engagement in local initiatives that create and maintain healthy, just, safe, and environmentally sustainable communities. Grant range generally $500 to $2.5K. Responses due September 15, 2011.

    For more information »
  6. Coastal Climate Adaptation – deadline November 22
    The U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, requests proposals for the Sea Grant Community Climate Adaptation Initiative 2011. This initiative will fund climate adaptation efforts as part of an overall plan to enhance climate adaptation in coastal communities. $1 million expected to be available, individual awards NTE $100K. Responses due November 22, 2011.

    For more information »
    Or contact oar.hq.sg.competitions@noaa.gov

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (all times are EST; free but registration required)
    • Aug 2, 2pm, K-12 Benchmarking 101
    • Aug 9, 2pm, Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients
    • Aug 16, 1pm, Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR
    • Aug 17, 1pm, Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment
    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars »
  2. U.S. EPA Releases Primer on Adaptation to Sea Level Rise
    In June 2011, the U.S. EPA's Climate Ready Estuaries program released a primer on climate change adaptation for low lying coastal areas. The primer is a guide for communities to preserve shoreline property owners' development rights while acknowledging the threat of sea level rise. The report examines rolling easements, a collection of approaches allowing beaches and wetlands to migrate inland as sea levels rise in cases where traditional protective measures, such as the construction of dikes, seawalls, and other structures, are economically or environmentally unsustainable.

    The report, "Rolling Easements" (PDF) (179 pp, 6.1 MB) , is available.

    For more information »
  3. Researchers Release Survey Report On American Attitudes Toward Climate Change
    On June 28, 2011, researchers at Yale and George Mason universities released a report of survey results tracking Americans' views of anthropogenic climate change. The survey finds that nearly all Americans fall into one of six groups generalizing their views toward anthropogenic climate change: Alarmed, Concerned, Cautious, Disengaged, Doubtful, and Dismissive. The survey found that in May 2011, 12 percent of Americans were classified as Alarmed, 27 percent were classified as Concerned, and 25 percent were classified as Cautious.

    Read the report »
  4. Interstate Renewable Energy Council Releases Annual Solar Market Trend Report
    On June 29, 2011, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) released the Solar Market Trends report for 2010. The report includes 2010 installation data for solar electric, solar heating and cooling, and concentrating solar technologies. According to the report, the solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed in 2010 doubled capacity installed in 2009, with over 124,000 solar installations taking place in 2010.

    The report is available for download (PDF) (20 pp, 805 K).

    Read more »
  5. U.S. Department of Energy Releases Report on Building Efficiency Technologies
    On June 30, 2011, the DOE released a report highlighting energy-saving products and technologies for buildings that are currently available in the market or projected to enter the market in the near future. The technologies are organized into four key areas: building envelope; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and water heating; lighting; and windows.

    The report, "Buildings R&D Breakthroughs: Technologies and Products Supported by the Building Technologies Program (BTP)", is available.

    For more information »
  6. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Tidal Energy Resource Database
    On July 6, 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new database of tidal energy potential in the United States. The database was formed through a partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology, detailing the potential extractable energy for tidal streams in the U.S.

    The database is available for download.

    Read more »
  7. U.S. Department of Energy Releases Three Clean Energy 2010 Market Reports
    On July 12, 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released three 2010 market reports summarizing market conditions and trends for wind energy, advanced vehicles, and fuel cell technologies. The 2020 Wind Technologies Market Report shows that wind energy installations made up 25 percent of new U.S. electricity capacity in 2010, and that domestic wind turbine prices have declined 33 percent. The 2010 Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report shows that the number of fuel cell units shipped from North America quadrupled between 2008 and 2010. The 2010 Vehicle Technologies Market Report documents trends in fuel efficiency, component suppliers, and the overall market for alternative fuel vehicles.

    The reports are available for download.

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