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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

February 2012 Volume 40
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.

This page provides links to non-EPA web sites that provide additional information related to Energy. You will leave the EPA.gov domain and enter another page with more information. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of information on that non-EPA page. Providing links to a non-EPA Web site is not an endorsement of the other site or the information it contains by EPA or any of its employees. Also, be aware that the privacy protection provided on the EPA.gov domain (see Privacy and Security Notice) may not be available at the external link. Click icon for EPA disclaimer. 

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. U.S. EPA Announces the ENERGY STAR 2012 Battle of the Buildings!
  2. The New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association (NHSEA) is Proud to Announce the Release of Energy Audit Guidelines for Municipalities
  3. U.S. EPA Releases 2010 Greenhouse Gas Reporting Data

ARTICLES

  1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Releases Report on Climate Change Adaptation
  2. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Approves Solar Projects
  3. Vermont Department of Public Service Releases State's Comprehensive Energy Plan
  4. U.S. Department of Energy Releases Report on Wind Energy Grid Integration
  5. U.S. Energy Information Administration Releases Report on State Carbon Emissions
  6. Institute for Electric Efficiency Releases Report on Energy Efficiency Programs
  7. U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Releases Climate Change Study

EVENTS

  1. Burlington, VT – Better Buildings by Design 2012 – February 8 and 9
  2. Warren, VT – Button Up Workshop – February 15
  3. Boston, MA - BuildingEnergy 12 Registration is LIVE! – March 6-8
  4. Penacook, NH – The Fourth Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference – March 31

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. U.S. EPA is seeking applicants for $1 million in Environmental Justice Small Grants – deadline February 29
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Smart Grid Data Access Funding Opportunity – deadline March 1
  3. U.S. Forest Service Requesting Proposals for Wood Biomass Projects – deadline March 1
  4. K-12 Environmental Projects – deadline March 15

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR free webinars (all times are EST; free but registration required)
  2. Webinar – New Hampshire Energy Programs: Increase Your Energy Efficiency and Your Bottom Line – February 8
  3. Webinar series – Climate Change and Energy Planning for MPOs
  4. New Online State and Local Resource: Clean Energy Financing Decision Tool and Guide
  5. U.S. Department of Energy's Laboratory Releases Renewable Energy Mapping Tool
  6. National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals Releases Primer on Brownfield Renewable Energy Development
  7. U.S. Department of Agriculture Launches Energy Website
  8. Global Cool Cities Alliance Releases Cool Roofs Toolkit for Local Governments

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. U.S. EPA Announces the ENERGY STAR 2012 Battle of the Buildings!
    Due to popular demand, EPA is pleased to announce it will offer the ENERGY STAR National Building Competition in 2012.

    More information will be provided shortly, but please note the following important changes to the timeframe, schedule, and recognition offerings for the 2012 competition:

    The baseline period will cover January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011
    The comparative period will cover January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012
    Applications will be accepted in Spring 2012
    EPA will publicly launch the competition in the Summer 2012
    EPA will recognize the winner, top finishers, and those buildings who improved by 20% or more in the spring of 2013.
  2. The New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association (NHSEA) is Proud to Announce the Release of Energy Audit Guidelines for Municipalities
    NHSEA, in coordination with the Municipal Energy Working Group of the NH Energy Efficiency & Sustainable Energy Board and through funding from the NH Charitable Foundation, is proud to announce the release of the "Field Guide to New Hampshire's Municipal Buildings & Energy Audit Guidelines (PDF) (71 pp, 2.9 MB)".

    This comprehensive guide will help people understand how energy is used in buildings and get the best, most cost effective results from their energy audits.This comprehensive guide will help people understand how energy is used in buildings and get the best, most cost effective results from their energy audits.
  3. U.S. EPA Releases 2010 Greenhouse Gas Reporting Data
    The U.S. EPA released comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) data through its GHG Reporting Program. The data released include public information from facilities in nine industry groups that directly emit large quantities of GHGs, as well as suppliers of certain fossil fuels. The interactive GHG Map Tool allows users to view and sort GHG data for 2010. This information can be used by communities to identify nearby sources of GHGs, help businesses compare and track emissions, and provide information to state and local governments.

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ARTICLES

  1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Releases Report on Climate Change Adaptation (PDF) (2 pp, 33 K)
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change member governments approved a summary for policymakers on how disaster risk management and adaptation can assist vulnerable communities to better cope with a changing climate.
  2. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Approves Solar Projects
    The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced the selection of two commercial renewable energy projects using a new competitive process designed to help bring cheaper and cleaner energy to Connecticut. The two projects, East Lyme Solar Park and Somers Solar Center, are designed to provide five megawatts of solar energy for the electric grid. As a result of the selection, the developers of the two solar energy projects will have the right to enter into 20-year power purchase agreements with the state's two electric distribution companies.
  3. Vermont Department of Public Service Releases State's Comprehensive Energy Plan
    The Vermont Department of Public Service released the final Comprehensive Energy Plan, recommending that Vermont strive to obtain 90 percent of total energy from renewable sources by 2050.

    The Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan is available online.
  4. U.S. Department of Energy Releases Report on Wind Energy Grid Integration
    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a report to help states better integrate wind energy into the electrical grid. The report, titled "Strategies and Decision Support Systems for Integrating Variable Energy Resources in Control Centers for Reliable Grid Operations: Global Best Practices, Examples of Excellence and Lessons Learned (PDF) (222 pp, 6.6MB)," provides first-hand perspectives on the effects of variable energy sources and provides practical tools and information to help grid operators integrate more renewable energy resources into the nation's power grid.
  5. U.S. Energy Information Administration Releases Report on State Carbon Emissions
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a report detailing state-level energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 to 2009. The report found that from 2000 to 2009, total carbon dioxide emissions in the United States and in most states decreased; however 13 states experienced an increase in emissions. The state with the largest percentage increase in emissions was Nebraska, while the state with the largest absolute increase was Colorado. The state with the highest per capita carbon dioxide emissions in 2009 was Wyoming.
  6. Institute for Electric Efficiency Releases Report on Energy Efficiency Programs
    The Institute for Electric Efficiency published a report on the results of electric utility energy efficiency programs. The report found that ratepayer-funded energy efficiency and demand response programs in the U.S. saved enough electricity to power almost 10 million homes in 2010. Total electric savings from these energy efficiency programs are expected to continue to increase in the future.

    The report, Summary of Ratepayer-Funded Electric Efficiency Impacts, Budgets and Expenditures (2010-2011) (PDF) (22 pp, 704 K), is available online.
  7. U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Releases Climate Change Study
    The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced the results of a new study showing the health and food security benefits of climate change mitigation actions. The study, led by NASA scientist Drew Shindell, finds that global greenhouse gas reduction measures could increase global crop yields by up to 135 million metric tons per season and prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.

    The study considered approximately 400 emission control measures, and focuses on the 14 measures with the greatest climate benefits. These measures include infrastructure upgrades, carbon capture and storage, reductions in landfill emissions, updating wastewater treatment plants, reducing methane emissions from manure, and installing black carbon filters on diesel vehicles.

    The study, Simultaneously Mitigating Near-Term Climate Change and Improving Human Health and Food Security, is available.

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EVENTS

  1. Burlington, VT – Better Buildings by Design 2012 – February 8 and 9
    Efficiency Vermont Better Buildings Conference
    Sheraton Conference Center
    Burlington, Vermont

    Better Buildings by Design is the region's premier design and construction conference, featuring interactive learning about building durability, efficiency, and value for both residential and commercial projects.

    35+ Interactive Presentations with solutions for new and existing buildings
    Learn from leaders in the design and construction fields about the latest techniques and technologies for superior building efficiency, performance, and value. Find out what works, what doesn't, and what you can put into practice immediately.

    50+ Exhibits and Demonstrations
    Experience the latest energy-efficient products and services available for both the commercial and residential markets.

    More than 1000 Participants
    Connect with the region's top architects, builders, contractors, designers, developers, electricians, engineers, and more.

    For more information and to register »
    or call 877-258-9900
  2. Warren, VT – Button Up Workshop – February 15
    Start thinking about where your home or small business might be losing heat and costing you money.

    Attend a Button Up Vermont workshop to find out more about:
    • Reducing your energy bills,
    • Staying more comfortable in your home throughout the seasons,
    • How an energy audit can be the first step to improving the efficiency of your home.

    Workshops for February scheduled across Vermont are: February 2 – Warren

    For more information, and to see specific location details and schedule »
  3. Boston, MA - BuildingEnergy 12 Registration is LIVE! – March 6-8
    Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Drive, Boston, MA

    BuildingEnergy is the most established and most cross-disciplinary renewable energy and high performance building conference in the region. Organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, it brings together architects, engineers, builders, policymakers, developers and building managers for three days of networking, accredited educational sessions and a high-level trade show.

    For more information and to register »
  4. Penacook, NH – The Fourth Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference – March 31
    Don't miss the opportunity to network with and hear from your peers, learn from energy experts working in the field, visit the diverse exhibitors and address your energy related questions to those already navigating this complex field.

    Keynote Speaker Announced!
    Mike Breen, decorated former Army Captain and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan

    View details and register »

    Discounts offered to military/veterans and students. Lunch included.

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. U.S. EPA is seeking applicants for $1 million in Environmental Justice Small Grants – deadline February 29

    EPA will host pre-application teleconference calls on January 12, February 1 and February 15, 2012 to help applicants understand the requirements.

    EPA has announced it is seeking applicants for $1 million in environmental justice small grants expected to be awarded in 2012. EPA's environmental justice efforts aim to ensure equal environmental and health protections for all Americans, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. The grants enable non-profit organizations to conduct research, provide education, and develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in communities overburdened by harmful pollution.

    Applicants must be incorporated non-profits or tribal organizations working to educate, empower and enable their communities to understand and address local environmental and public health issues.

    Environmental justice means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income, in the environmental decision-making process.

    For more information on the Environmental Justice Small Grants program and a list of prior grantees »

    For the Environmental Justice Small Grants 2012 Request for Proposals and schedule of pre-application teleconference calls (PDF) (47 pp, 636 K) »
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Smart Grid Data Access Funding Opportunity – deadline March 1
    The U.S. EPA announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s National Energy Technology Laboratory is offering $8 million in funding to state and local governments or tribes through the DOE Smart Grid Data Access program. The program will fund projects in two phases.

    Under the first phase, applicants must demonstrate the capability for electricity customers to access their energy consumption data through a functional proposed tool or software product. In the second phase, those tools or software products will be adopted by an entire service territory, region, or community within the jurisdiction of the applicant.

    The program is intended to support the use and spread of real time electricity consumption data, which can ultimately reduce consumer energy consumption.

    Applications for funding are due March 1, 2012.
  3. U.S. Forest Service Requesting Proposals for Wood Biomass Projects – deadline March 1
    The U.S. Forest Service announced a request for proposals from state and local governments, tribes, and other organizations for wood energy projects. These projects will use woody biomass, such as material removed from forest restoration activities, wildfire hazardous fuel treatments, insect and disease mitigation, and/or forest management due to catastrophic weather events. The woody biomass shall be used in a bioenergy facility that uses commercially proven technologies to produce thermal, electrical, or liquid/gaseous bioenergy.

    The funding must be used to further the planning of such facilities by funding the engineering services necessary for final design and cost analysis. Applications are due March 1, 2012.
  4. K-12 Environmental Projects – deadline March 15
    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.

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (all times are EST; free but registration required)
    • Feb 7, 2pm, K-12 Benchmarking 101
    • Feb 8, 2pm, ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems
    • Feb 9, 12pm, Multifamily Housing: Benchmark Energy Performance Using EPA's ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager
    • Feb 14, 2pm, Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients
    • Feb 15, 2pm, Responding to the Climate Change Imperative: Setting Energy Use Targets with ENERGY STAR
    • Feb 21, 1pm, Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR
  2. Webinar – New Hampshire Energy Programs: Increase Your Energy Efficiency and Your Bottom Line – February 8
    12 – 1pm

    This is of value to the commercial/industrial sector, including municipalities, schools and counties. This webinar is open to non-NHBSR members.

    Space is limited so reserve your Webinar seat now.

    Learn about two energy programs focused on improving the energy efficiency of New Hampshire businesses. This webinar will share how these programs can help you lower energy expenses and earn incentives for doing it.

    After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

    System Requirements
    PC-based attendees
    Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

    Macintosh®-based attendees
    Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
  3. Webinar series – Climate Change and Energy Planning for MPOs (PDF) (2 pp, 618 K)
    The Federal Highway Administration-sponsored upcoming series of Capacity Building webinars on Climate Change and Energy Planning will seek to provide a peer exchange of experiences at various Municipal Planning Organizations, and conclude with a findings report of the diversity of challenges, ongoing and planned activities and identified needs to assist agencies

    Webinars are tentatively scheduled for the following:
    • Climate Change Communications – March 2012*
    • Linking Climate Change Solutions to Other Planning Goals – May 2012*
    • Effective Implementation of Traffic Operations and Management – June 2012*
    For general descriptions and dates (PDF) (2 pp, 618 K) »

    *Specific details on date and time will be announced. For questions, please contact Rich Denbow (rdenbow@ampo.org).
  4. New Online State and Local Resource Available Now: Clean Energy Financing Decision Tool and Guide

    States and communities are increasingly investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy to achieve their air quality, economic, and energy goals. In doing so, they have found that the up-front costs of improving energy efficiency and increasing renewable energy generation can be a barrier for many homeowners, building owners, and businesses.

    One way to address these barriers is by adopting clean energy financing programs that can make efficiency and renewable energy more affordable for these sectors. EPA's State and Local Climate and Clean Energy Program is supporting these efforts with the launch of a new online Financing Program Decision Tool and a Financing Program Decision Guide.

    The Financing Program Decision Tool is designed for state and local staff in the early stages of choosing a clean energy financing program. Answer a handful of simple questions, and the Tool highlights quickly the most promising program options for your jurisdiction to pursue.

    The Financing Program Decision Guide complements the Tool. This Guide includes the basics on financing-program options, as well as key considerations and factors for states and communities to weigh as they start up or expand their clean energy financing programs.

    Financing Tool
    Financing Guide
    Learn more »
  5. U.S. Department of Energy's Laboratory Releases Renewable Energy Mapping Tool
    The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a new geospatial application designed to allow users to map potential renewable energy resources in the United States. The tool creates dynamic maps of renewable resources, including biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind.
  6. National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals Releases Primer on Brownfield Renewable Energy Development
    The National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP) released a primer for local governments on how to promote renewable energy development on brownfields in their communities. The primer includes an overview of renewable energy options; guidance on relevant economic issues; information on permitting, zoning, liability, and other regulatory issues; and case studies demonstrating success stories.

    The primer, Cultivating Green Energy on Brownfields: A Nuts and Bolts Primer for Local Governments (PDF) (40 pp, 1.4MB), is available.
  7. U.S. Department of Agriculture Launches Energy Website
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the launch of a new website that will provide stakeholders with easy access to USDA energy efficiency and renewable energy data. The USDA energy website provides access to all USDA energy resources, including agricultural, forestry, economic, and social data.

    The website is part of an effort to increase awareness of USDA’s energy research, commercialization of new technologies, program delivery, outreach, and education activities.
  8. Global Cool Cities Alliance Releases Cool Roofs Toolkit for Local Governments (PDF) (2 pp, 95 K)
    The Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA) launched a Cool Roofs and Pavements Toolkit to help local governments, regions, organizations, and building owners develop and implement cool surface initiatives. Cool surface initiatives are intended to increase energy efficiency in buildings, as well as provide health benefits.

    The Toolkit is an online resource.

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