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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

November 2011 Volume 37
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 Member of the Community Energy Challenge!
  2. Have you used Portfolio Manager to track energy efficiency projects in your town? EPA wants your input!
  3. Vermont – Public Review of the DRAFT 2011 Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) is available for review and comment – extended until November 4
  4. New England states in top 10 of American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy's National Ranking
  5. 2011 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report
  6. Renew Boston announces December 31st registration deadline for no-cost energy upgrades

ARTICLES

  1. Massachusetts Releases Climate Change Adaptation Report
  2. U.S. Interior Department Selects Three Locations as Climate Science Centers
  3. Maine Land Use Regulation Commission Approves $78 Million Wind Project

EVENTS

  1. Boston, MA – Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light – Moving from Faith to Action – November 2, 9 and 16
  2. Thetford, VT – Free Home Energy Expo – November 5
  3. Bow, NH - Simple and Affordable Ways to Reduce Energy Usage – November 9
  4. Thetford, VT – Weatherization Skillshop – November 12
  5. Fairlee, VT – Vermont Community Energy and Climate Action Annual Conference – December 3
  6. Bow, NH - Introduction to Renewable Energies – December 14
  7. Penacook, NH – Save the Date! The 2012 Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference - March 31, 2012

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. MAPC opportunity for LED streetlights – RSVP by November 2 for November 3
  2. U.S. EPA Announces Environmental Information Exchange Network Funding – deadline November 4
  3. Graduate Fellowships for the Environment – deadline November 8
  4. Environmental Education Sub-Grants – deadline November 8
  5. MAPC Clean Energy Initiative – deadline November 10
  6. Coastal Climate Adaptation – deadline November 22
  7. National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) – deadline December 22
  8. K-12 Environmental Projects – deadline March 15, 2012
  9. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center accepting feasibility study applications for community scale wind projects – rolling basis

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR free webinars (all times are EST; free but registration required)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Welcome to the Newest Member of the Community Energy Challenge!
    EPA New England welcomes the newest member of the Community Energy Challenge: Andover, 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 193 CEC members. Welcome!

    See a list of all CEC members »
  2. Have you used Portfolio Manager or implemented other energy efficiency projects in your town? EPA wants your input!
    We would like to know if you use or have used Portfolio Manager for your town buildings. Have you seen a reduction in energy use? Would you be willing to share your results with us and/or other towns? EPA New England would like to hear from towns and cities that use or have used Portfolio Manager to track reductions in energy use, or have done other energy efficiency projects and realized a reduction. We would like to highlight your efforts and share them with our other Community Energy Challenge members. Please contact Cynthia Veit (veit.cynthia@epa.gov or 617-918-1666).
  3. Vermont – Public Review of the DRAFT 2011 Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) is available for review and comment – extended until November 4
    The Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) announced that the Public Review DRAFT 2011 Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) is available for review and comment. The plan addresses Vermont's energy future for electricity, thermal energy, transportation, and land use. This document represents the efforts of numerous state agencies and departments, and input from stakeholders and citizens who shared their insights and knowledge on energy issues over the past six months. The Plan may be read and downloaded from the website or may be viewed at the Department of Public Service, 112 State Street, Montpelier during regular business hours.

    The formal Public Comment period has been extended until 5:00 pm on November 4, 2011.

    For more information and to download the plan »
  4. New England states in top 10 of American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy's National Ranking
    The ACEEE Scorecard shows that four of the top 10 energy efficient states are in New England: Massachusetts (taking the #1 position for the first time), Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont. Congratulations on leading the way!

    Read the press release »

    Read the full report »
  5. 2011 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report
    The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy development and implementation—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth in Massachusetts. MassCEC is the first state agency in the nation dedicated solely to facilitating the development of the clean energy industry. A recently released report shows the state of the clean energy industry in Massachusetts.

    Read the report »
  6. Renew Boston announces December 31st registration deadline for no-cost energy upgrades
    Renew Boston provides free building energy assessments and upgrades to qualifying Boston residents. There is a registration deadline of December 31st, 2011 for no-cost home energy assessments and weatherization services.

    To sign-up for the program, call 617-635-SAVE or go to www.renewboston.org

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ARTICLES

  1. Massachusetts Releases Climate Change Adaptation Report
    The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) has released the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report. The report was prepared by EEA and the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee established under the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008.

    The report examines potential climate change impacts to five broad sectors of the Commonwealth and potential strategies for adapting to those impacts. The sectors covered in the report are natural resources and habitat, infrastructure, human health and welfare, local economy and government, and coastal zone and oceans.

    The report is available.

    Read the full press release »
  2. U.S. Interior Department Selects Three Locations as Climate Science Centers
    The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced that it has selected locations for three of its regional climate science centers (CSCs). The University of Massachusetts-Amherst was selected as the Northeast Climate Science Center, the University of Oklahoma was selected as the South Central Climate Science Center, and the University of Hawaii-Manoa was selected as the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center. DOI is establishing a total of eight CSCs, which will provide federal, state, and local land managers the best available scientific information regarding the impacts of climate change on natural resources and landscapes.

    Read the full article »
  3. Maine Land Use Regulation Commission Approves $78 Million Wind Project
    The Maine Land Use Regulation Commission approved a $78 million wind energy project. The project, proposed by Blue Sky East LLC of Portland, includes 19 windmills near Eastbrook in central Hancock County. The wind farm is to be built on 100 acres of private land owned by a forestry firm, Lakeville Shores, and is expected to produce enough electricity to supply the needs of 12,000 to 15,000 homes.

    Read the full article »

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EVENTS

  1. Boston, MA – Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light – Moving from Faith to Action – November 2, 9 and 16
    Gordon Library, Old South Church, UCC, 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

    Mass. Interfaith Power & Light is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a religious response to climate change. The 195 member faith communities have lowered their carbon emissions by as much as 70% and their utility bills by as much as 65% by implementing recommendations we have made in Environmental Stewardship Assessments of their facilities.

    Join them in Boston for discussion about:
    • What do the world's religions say about caring for creation?
    • How is our carbon economy affecting our health and the future of creation?
    • What should you do to lower your carbon footprint and your energy bills?
    • How can your faith community lower its carbon footprint?
    • How to make "creation care" part of your faith community's mission!
    • What you can do to make sustainability the public policy of your town and country!
    For more information contact Vince Maraventano (vince@MIPandL.org or 617-244-0755).
  2. Thetford, VT – Free Home Energy Expo – November 5
    Saturday, Nov. 5th from 9am to 2pm at the Thetford Academy gym

    Come learn how you can save energy, save money and increase your home comfort. Meet and talk with weatherization contractors, solar and wood dealers and financing representatives. Attend workshops, see demonstrations of weatherization measures being installed and learn from the Parish Players why "Weatherization IS Sexy!"

    The first 50 at the door win door prizes and there will be a drawing for Thetford residents who fill out a home energy survey to win a free home energy assessment, worth $450. TA Environment Club will sell refreshments to raise funds for an energy project at the Academy.
    • 9-10am – Registration, free door prizes to the first 50 attendees and resource tables
    • 10-11am – Main presentations, Parish Player skits and drawing for a free home energy assessment worth $450
    • 11am-2pm - Workshops, demonstrations and resource tables
      • Button Up Home Energy Saving Workshop
      • Blower Door and Infrared Camera Demonstrations
      • Dense-packed Cellulose Demonstration
      • Spray Applied Foam Demonstration
      • Door and Window Weatherstripping Demonstrations
      • Petal Powered Bikes that Generate Lights and Blend Smoothies
      • Home Energy Makeover Tours
      • And much, much more!
    Organized by Sustainable Energy Resource Group and the Thetford Energy Committee. For more information contact SERG@valley.net or 802-785-4126
  3. Bow, NH - Simple and Affordable Ways to Reduce Energy Usage – November 9
    This premier educational workshop (part of the Button Up Series) is being sponsored by Baker Free Library and Bow Energy Committee for the second year in a row. This easy to understand and fun workshop will focus on how you can to reduce your energy usage, without sacrificing your lifestyle, through energy efficiency and conservation.

    When:      November 9, 2011 - 6:30 - 7:30pm
    Where:     Baker Free Library, 509 South Street, Bow, NH
    Who:        Bow Energy Committee
    Register:  Eldredgebob@gmail.com or call the library at 224-7113

    Questions? Call Bob Eldredge at (603) 717-6530
  4. Thetford, VT – Weatherization Skillshop – November 12
    Saturday Nov. 12th, 9am to 4pm at the Thetford Center Community Center.

    Central Vermont Community Action Council will provide hands-on training in fundamental techniques for improving your home's efficiency. Participants will learn the basics of building science, how to find and seal trouble spots and practice installing rigid foam insulation, door weather stripping, and spray foam gun sealing in the attic and basement.

    This will prepare you to participate in Efficiency Vermont's Do-It-Yourself program that provides financial incentives for owner-installed weatherization improvements.

    $50 registration fee includes training and lunch. For more information, visit http://www.weatherizationskillshop.com or contact 888-514-2151 or email info@weatherizationskillshop.com

    Ten scholarships are available to Theftord residents upon request, to attend the Weatherization Skillshop. Please contact Mike Kiess or Rick Hoffman at 785-2438 if you are interested.
  5. Fairlee, VT – Vermont Community Energy and Climate Action Annual Conference – December 3
    9:00 am – 4:00 pm
    Lake Morey Inn

    Mark your calendars for the Vermont Community Energy and Climate Action Conference which will be held on Saturday, December 3rd from 9:00 am- 4:00 pm at the Lake Morey Inn in Fairlee, Vermont.

    Organized by VECAN and the UVM Extension Service, this daylong conference is for town energy committees, municipal officials, local and regional planners, and concerned citizens interested in reducing energy costs and tackling climate change. This year's conference will feature Commissioner Elizabeth Miller with the Vermont Department of Public Service Commissioner and Secretary Deborah Markowitz with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

    Commissioner Miller will talk about the new State Energy Plan and what it means for communities, and Secretary Markowitz will discuss the work of the State's Climate Cabinet. The conference will also feature environmental activist, actor, and writer Kathryn Blume who will talk about how one individual can make a difference in affecting climate change.

    The day will include 14 different workshops focused on promoting efficiency and renewable energy at the local level, along with a number of different roundtable discussions topics designed to promote dialogue.

    For more information, contact: Jessie Schmidt, UVM Extension (jessica.a.schmidt@uvm.edu or 866-860-1382 x203)
  6. Bow, NH - Introduction to Renewable Energies – December 14
    This free workshop, about how to use renewable energies to heat your home, hot water and make electricity, is being sponsored by Baker Free Library and Bow Energy Committee. This workshop will introduce you to alternative energies such as solar, geothermal, wind and biomass. With the cost of heating fuels and electricity increasing, now is the time to look at alternatives including making your own energy.

    When:      December 14, 2011 - 6:30 - 8:00pm
    Where:     Baker Free Library, 509 South Street, Bow, NH
    Who:        Bow Energy Committee
    Register:  Eldredgebob@gmail.com or call the library at 224-7113

    Questions? Call Bob Eldredge at (603) 717-6530
  7. Penacook, NH – Save the Date! The 2012 Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference - March 31, 2012
    The Local Energy Working Group is proud to announce the date of the fourth annual Local Energy Solutions (LES) Conference. On Saturday, March 31st, 2012 at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook, NH (just north of Concord), they will again deliver a content rich series of plenary and breakout sessions to help local energy committees, municipalities and schools plan for and address local energy issues. Dozens of exhibitors of energy services and technologies will be on hand to answer your questions. And the phenomenal staff of Merrimack Valley High School will again provide tours of their groundbreaking energy projects and keep attendees well fed and comfortable. Stay tuned for exciting enhancements to this year's agenda. View last year's agenda.

    The LEWG conference planning team has begun planning for this day-long event and wants to hear from you.
    • How to improve on last year's conference?
    • What sessions, topics or speakers would you like to see?
    • Are there topics you think have been already covered effectively and this year should make room for new topics?
    • Have an idea for a stellar key note address?
    For more information or to share ideas, contact Julia Dundorf (jdundorf@cleanair-coolplanet.org).

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. MAPC opportunity for LED streetlights – RSVP by November 2 for November 3
    The Metropolitan Area Planning Council would like to inform you of an opportunity to participate in a group RFP for LED streetlights, which MAPC intends to issue in collaboration with the cities of Boston, Cambridge, and Chelsea, among others. If your city or town is looking into procuring LED streetlights, participation in this group procurement is an opportunity to secure competitive pricing for these fixtures.

    MAPC would like to invite all prospective participants to attend a roundtable at the MAPC offices on Thursday, November 3, from 10am-12pm. The purpose of this roundtable will be to discuss specifications for the bid documents and to facilitate an exchange on experiences with current LED streetlight projects. Representatives from the City of Boston and the Department of Energy Resources, as well as others with experience in the LED street lighting field, will be present to help answer questions about the process.

    If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Helen Aki (haki@mapc.org) no later than 5pm on Wednesday, November 2nd with a brief description of the retrofit project your city or town is interested in pursuing. Please also specify whether your city or town owns its street lighting infrastructure, or whether it is managed by NSTAR or National Grid.

    For more information »
  2. U.S. EPA Announces Environmental Information Exchange Network Funding – deadline November 4
    On August 15, 2011, the U.S. EPA announced funding for state and local governments through the Exchange Network Grant Program. The program supports the exchange of environmental data and collaborative work within the network, as well as the standardization, exchange, and integration of geospatial information to support work to preserve and improve the environment, natural resources, and human health.

    In Fiscal Year 2012, EPA expects to award a total of $10 million in 40 to 50 grants of up to $350,000.
    Applications for funding are due November 4, 2011.

    For more information »
  3. Graduate Fellowships for the Environment – deadline November 8
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requests proposals for Graduate Fellowships, for master's and doctoral level students in environmental fields of study. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to: Environmental Entrepreneurship; Global Change; Built Environment and Land Use/ Protection; Tribes and American Indian/Alaska Native/Pacific Islander Communities; Green Energy/Natural Resources Production & Use; and Green Engineering/Building/Chemical Products & Processes/Materials Development. $4.5 million expected to be available, 80 fellowships anticipated.

    Responses due 11/8/11.

    For more info, including contacts »
    Refer to Sol# EPA-F2012-STAR.
  4. Environmental Education Sub-Grants – deadline November 8
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requests proposals for the Environmental Education Sub-Grants Program. The RFP will provide support to recipients that make and manage sub-awards to organizations, other than their own, to design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, and/or techniques. $1.5 million expected to be available, up to 10 awards anticipated.

    Responses due 11/8/11.

    For more info, including Regional contacts »
    Refer to Sol# EPA-EE-11-03.
  5. MAPC Clean Energy Initiative – deadline November 10
    The MAPC Clean Energy Initiative is pleased to announce the launch of the Local Energy Action Program, a program that aims to help cities and towns create and implement local energy action plans over a two-year period. Three to five communities will be chosen to participate in the program starting in January 2012.

    The communities participating in the Local Energy Action Program will receive technical assistance from MAPC to plan for and launch innovative and financially sustainable projects that reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the municipal, residential, and commercial sectors. Projects initiated through this program will vary based on the extent to which each community has previously engaged in clean energy work. Projects will be tailored by both a public engagement process and the efforts of a municipal working group to meet the unique needs and abilities of each participating city or town.

    All communities, including those with their own muni-electric component, are eligible to apply for funding. The program is to be spread over two years in each town selected and the money can be applied both developing new climate action plans, or reviewing existing CA plans to see how they could be improved and CE projects implemented more effectively.

    If you are interested, a letter of interest must be submitted by November 10 and final application is due December 15. Program participants will be announced in January 2012.

    Letters of interest can be submitted by anyone in a city or town (e.g., municipal staff, energy committee member, community leader, etc.) who can commit to recruiting support from municipal leadership.

    The application must be signed by the municipal CEO and should be accompanied by additional letters of support from municipal officials and other stakeholders (e.g. community leaders, community organizations, local businesses, etc.). MAPC staff can provide support for putting together an application upon request.

    Applicants will be asked to show good faith in implementing the scope of work with MAPC, and will be expected to match MAPC's technical assistance with funding and/or staff time.

    MAPC will use a comprehensive selection process to choose a diverse and dedicated group of MAPC member municipalities to participate in the program. Among other criteria, applicants will be chosen based on shown level of commitment, interest from diverse body of stakeholders, and matching ability.

    Completed applications and questions can be directed to:
    Erin Brandt (ebrandt@mapc.org or (617) 451-2770 ext. 2044)

    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
  7. National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) – deadline December 22
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requests proposals for the National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3). The P3 Awards program was developed to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the planet, and improved quality of life for its people. Areas of interest include: Energy; Built Environment; Materials and Chemicals; Water; Agriculture; Green Infrastructure; and Clean Cookstoves. $1.05 million expected to be available, up to 45 awards anticipated.

    Responses due 12/22/11.

    For more info »
    Refer to EPA-G2012-P3.
    Or contact Cynthia Nolt-Helms (nolt-helms.cynthia@epa.gov)
  8. K-12 Environmental Projects – deadline March 15, 2012
    Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education Launch request applications for the We Can Change the World Challenge for K-12 Students. Through this Challenge, Siemens invites students to team up with classmates under teacher/mentors to solve environmental problems in their school, community, and world.

    $250K expected to be available, responses due 3/15/12.

    For more info »
  9. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center accepting feasibility study applications for community scale wind projects – rolling basis
    The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is now accepting feasibility study applications on a rolling basis for the development of eligible Community Scale wind energy projects. MassCEC will review complete applications for feasibility study grants within approximately 30 days of receipt. The applicant and project site must either be a customer of a Massachusetts investor-owned electric distribution utility or be a customer of a Municipal Light Plant Department that pays into MassCEC's Renewable Energy Trust Fund.

    Access the solicitation, application and other documents related to the Commonwealth Wind Community Scale Wind Initiative.

    Access the Community Scale Site Assessment Solicitation page. Site Assessment Services are available to all qualified Public Entities on a rolling basis.

    If you have any questions about the solicitation, please contact us at commwind@masscec.com

    Answers to all questions will be posted on the Community Scale Program page within seven days of receipt.

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (all times are EST; free but registration required)
    • Nov 1, 2pm, Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients
    • Nov 9, 2pm, ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating System
    • Nov 15, 1pm, Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR
    • Nov 15, 1pm, Office Buildings: Benchmark Energy Performance using EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
    • Nov 15, 2pm, Responding to the Climate Change Imperative: Setting Energy Use Targets with ENERGY STAR
    • Nov 16, 1pm, Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment
    • Nov 29, 2pm, Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients
    Register for all ENERGY STAR webinars »

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