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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

March 2010 Volume 17
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: Barrington, RI and Rye, NH
  2. EPA Announces New Web Site to Help State and Local Government Partners Tackle Climate Change
  3. Applications being accepted for the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement – deadline April 5
  4. Letters of Interest being accepted for the 2010 Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program – deadline April 9
  5. 2010 Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education (Massachusetts) – deadline March 30

ARTICLES

  1. New Federal Action Network, MA Plan Seek to Boost State Efficiency Efforts
  2. Massachusetts State Officials Announce Efforts to Expand Electric Vehicle Use

EVENTS

  1. March 9-11 – NESEA BuildingEnergy10, Boston, MA (online registration ends March 5 at 12:00pm)
  2. March 13 – FREE Solar Car Workshop for Grade 5-8 EDUCATORS, Coventry, RI

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. DOE Weatherization Assistance Program ($210 million) – deadline varies depending on fiscal year of applicant
  2. Community Action for a Renewed Environment ($2 million) – deadline March 9
  3. Seeking public input on Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program ($100 million) – deadline March 12
  4. Notice of Intent – State Efficiency Grants ($30 million) – release in March/April
  5. LED Lighting – Efficiency Vermont

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR free webinars
    • March 16 – Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR
    • March 17 – Office Buildings: Rating Energy Performance with EPA's
    • March 17 – Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment
    • March 23 – Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for Local and State Governments
    • March 25 – Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR
  2. New report from NEEP: Valuing building energy efficiency through rating and disclosure: a Roadmap for the Northeast U.S.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Welcome to the Newest Members of the Community Energy Challenge: Barrington, RI and Rye, NH
    EPA New England welcomes the newest members of the Community Energy Challenge: Barrington, RI and Rye, NH! These communities have pledged to form local energy committees, benchmark their municipal buildings, and reduce energy use by 10%. With these additions there are 163 CEC members. Welcome!
  2. EPA Announces New Web Site to Help State and Local Government Partners Tackle Climate Change
    EPA launched a new Web site to help state and local governments understand, plan, and implement strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within their jurisdictions. This site brings together EPA resources to serve as a one-stop shop for government officials seeking information and resources related to climate change and clean energy, including:
    • Resources on energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste management, workforce development, health, adaptation, and more.
    • "How to" information for developing a climate change action plan or greenhouse gas inventory, along with maps showing which states and localities have them in place.
    • Guidance on evaluating policy and program options and measuring results.
    • A calendar of upcoming climate change and clean energy webcasts and conferences.
    • Podcasts and video recordings of State and Local Climate and Energy Program webcasts.
  3. Applications being accepted for the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement – deadline April 5
    EPA is now accepting applications for the 2010 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. This competition is open to public- and private-sector entities that have successfully used smart growth principles to improve communities environmentally, socially, and economically. Up to five awards will be given in the following categories:
    • Programs, Policies, and Regulations
    • Smart Growth and Green Building
    • Civic Places
    • Rural Smart Growth
    • Overall Excellence
    For more information about the award program and to learn how to apply »
  4. Letters of Interest being accepted for the 2010 Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program – deadline April 9
    EPA is now accepting letters of interest for the 2010 round of the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA) Program. EPA, with the assistance of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation, is offering direct technical assistance from national experts to communities, tribes, regions, and states that want to incorporate smart growth techniques in their development. EPA is also interested in identifying and documenting innovative solutions to complex problems faced by communities as they seek to incorporate smart growth practices. EPA expects to select up to 4 applicants for assistance this year.
    For more information about the 2010 application process »
    For more information about the SGIA program »
  5. 2010 Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education (Massachusetts) – deadline March 30
    All Massachusetts schools (K-12) that offer energy and environmental education programs are eligible to apply for the Secretary’s Award from the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Ian Bowles. In 2008, 25 schools participated in programs that covered topics ranging from renewable energy, recycling, energy conservation, water testing, climate change, conservation ecology and Atlantic salmon egg-rearing. The Secretary’s Advisory Group on Energy and Environmental Education will review applications through mid-April. Qualified entrants are invited to attend a formal award ceremony with Secretary Bowles at the State House later in the spring. For application materials http://commpres.env.state.ma.us/exedu/ or contact Meg Colclough (meg.colclough@state.ma.us or 617-626-1110).

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ARTICLES

  1. New Federal Action Network, MA Plan Seek to Boost State Efficiency Efforts
    The U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week announced the creation of a program that aims to help states maximize gains from energy efficiency by 2020. The federal initiative was announced just days after one of the nation's most ambitious efficiency plans was approved by the Massachusetts State Department of Public Utilities. Read the full article »
  2. Massachusetts State Officials Announce Efforts to Expand Electric Vehicle Use
    The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) signed a memorandum of understanding with Nissan North America, Inc., beginning a non-exclusive partnership to explore ways to expand electric vehicle use in Massachusetts. Read the announcement »

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EVENTS

  1. March 9-11 – NESEA BuildingEnergy10, Boston, MA (online registration ends March 5 at 12:00pm)
    Meet the Professionals in Sustainability and Whole Systems Thinking Building Energy. Architects, designers, planners, builders, policymakers, manufacturers, and installers work together at this conference to determine what's possible. This year's theme: Reduce, Retrofit, and Renew. Conference sessions range from emerging trends in renewable energy to deep energy retrofits of commercial and residential buildings. The Trade Show features 160 exhibitors with the next generation of sustainable technologies and products. Hear about the things you can do today to reach the goal of zero net energy - where you produce as much energy as you use. For more information or to register »
  2. March 13 – FREE Solar Car Workshop for Grade 5-8 EDUCATORS, Coventry, RI
    The Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living is hosting a FREE model solar car leader workshop presented by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA). The workshop is suitable for teachers, community educators, and youth club leaders. Includes FREE eco-house tour! For more information »

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. DOE Weatherization Assistance Program ($210 million) – deadline varies depending on fiscal year of applicant
    DOE requests proposals for Weatherization Formula Grants to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce their total residential expenditures, and improve their health and safety. WAP assists persons who are particularly vulnerable, such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, families with children, high residential energy users, and households with high energy burdens. Prime applicant eligibility is restricted to agencies responsible for administering the annual WAP formula allocation. Fifty-eight awards are anticipated. The response due date depends on the fiscal year end of the prime applicant, with range of 2/15/10 – 8/1/10. For more information »
  2. Community Action for a Renewed Environment ($2 million) – deadline March 9
    EPA requests proposals for the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program, a community-based, community-driven, multimedia demonstration program designed to help communities understand and reduce risks due to toxic pollutants and environmental concerns from all sources. Eligible entities include local governments, federally recognized tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, and colleges and universities. Up to 9 awards are anticipated. For more information about the grants »
  3. Seeking public input on Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program ($100 million) – deadline March 12 (PDF) (15 pp, 147 K, about PDF)
    HUD is providing an Advance Notice and seeking input from the public on how the new Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program should be structured in order to have the most meaningful impact on sustainable regional planning. The notice of funding opportunity is expected to be published in April 2010 with applications due in June 2010.
    A full description of the proposed funding and areas for feedback is available (PDF) (15 pp, 147 K, about PDF)

    Comments must be received no later than midnight EST on Friday, March 12, 2010. Electronic responses are preferred and should be sent to: sustainablecommunities@hud.gov or submitted through the HUD Sustainable Housing and Communities website.
  4. Notice of Intent – State Efficiency Grants ($30 million) – release in March/April (PDF) (8 pp, 53 K, about PDF)
    DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) intends to issue two Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) to provide funding for programs to retrofit residential and commercial property and to develop policies which promote energy efficiency.
    • Strengthening Building Retrofit Markets: Up to $23 million for programs and strategies to retrofit residential and/or commercial properties. Open to State Energy Offices only. Anticipated awards will be in the range of $2 to 5 million per state.
    • Energy Efficiency Action Grants: Up to $7 million to support states and groups of states in achieving an annual minimum electricity savings target of 1 percent through energy efficiency. This area will be represented in 2 separate FOAs: one restricted to State Energy Offices and one that all entities, including Public Utility Commissions, are eligible to apply to.
    Complete descriptions of the proposed funding opportunities are available (PDF) (8 pp, 53 K, about PDF) »
  5. LED Lighting – Efficiency Vermont
    Efficiency Vermont now supports the installation of energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lighting through financial incentives (rebates). Check out their rebates »

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR free webinars
    • March 16, 1:00 – 2:00 pm: Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR This will help organizations realize substantial energy and financial savings available from computer and monitor power management; introduces a free innovative software tool that enables monitor power management from a central location, as well as educational outreach material.
    • March 17, 12:00 – 2:00 pm: Office Buildings: Rating Energy Performance with EPA's Portfolio Manager Learn how EPA's Portfolio Manager can help you evaluate the energy performance of office buildings you own, manage, or hold for investment; training will cover creating a user account, identifying data requirements, managing and sharing information, and establishing an energy performance rating.
    • March 17, 1:00 – 2:00 pm: Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment Purchasing products with the ENERGY STAR label can substantially reduce your organization's energy use and costs; training includes information about EPA support to help your organization purchase products with superior energy performance; guidelines that define energy performance for numerous products; sample procurement language for stipulating energy performance attributes to vendors; lists of ENERGY STAR labeled products; and energy savings software that calculates the life cycle costs of ENERGY STAR products and their less efficient counterparts.
    • March 23, 2:00 – 3:00 pm: Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for Local and State Governments This session will review EPA’s online energy management tool, Portfolio Manager, which allows you track the progress of energy efficiency efforts and compare the energy use of your buildings to peer buildings across the country. Attendees will learn how to measure and track energy use and carbon dioxide emission reductions to establish baseline energy use, prioritize investments, set goals, and track improvements over time.
    • March 25, 2:00 – 3:00 pm: Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR Learn how public sector organizations are improving energy efficiency with innovative solutions to financial barriers. Attendees will learn about financing projects in the public and private sectors, the basics of performance contracting, and how EPA’s tools and resources can help you make the decision to improve your facilities now or later.
    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars »
  2. New report from NEEP: Valuing building energy efficiency through rating and disclosure: a Roadmap for the Northeast U.S.
    As Northeast states and municipalities work to strengthen their economies, create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve greater energy efficiency and independence, mandatory disclosure and upgrade policies offer an exciting new opportunity to transform markets to value and secure significant energy savings. A new report commissioned by NEEP says that Northeast states could greatly increase the energy efficiency of homes and buildings through a public policy requiring the rating and disclosure of a building's energy performance. Key Concepts:
    • MANDATORY BUILDING ENERGY DISCLOSURE POLICIES which seek to better inform the housing market by requiring information about building energy performance be disclosed to potential buyers, renters and the public; and
    • MANDATORY UPGRADE POLICIES which would require adoption of certain cost-effective energy efficiency measures in relation to that disclosure.
    Find out more information »
    Download the report directly (PDF) (139 pp, 3 MB, about PDF) »

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