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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

January 2012 Volume 39
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. Department of Energy Releases Notice on 2010 Energy Efficiency Standards

ARTICLES

  1. U.S. Green Building Council Launches App Lab to Support Green Building Certificate
  2. Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Releases Report on Clean Energy Standard
  3. Burgess BioPower Plant Breaks Ground in New Hampshire, to Create 400 Construction, 40 Permanent Jobs
  4. U.S. Department of Energy's Laboratory Announces Energy Center Partnership

EVENTS

  1. Statewide Vermont – Button Up Workshops – throughout January
  2. Thetford, VT – Film Showing of Carbon Nation – January 8
  3. Boston, MA - Mobilize Energy Efficiency in America – January 9
  4. Portland, ME – Biodiesel Workshop for Fleets – January 25
  5. Boston, MA - BuildingEnergy 12 Registration is LIVE! – March 6-8
  6. Penacook, NH – Save the Date! The 2012 Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference - March 31

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. U.S. Federal Highway Administration Announces Funding for Transportation Grants – deadline January 6
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Funding to Reduce Non-Hardware Solar Costs – deadline January 16
  3. U.S. EPA is seeking applicants for $1 million in Environmental Justice Small Grants – deadline February 29
  4. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Smart Grid Data Access Funding Opportunity – deadline March 1
  5. U.S. Forest Service Requesting Proposals for Wood Biomass Projects – deadline March 1
  6. K-12 Environmental Projects – deadline March 15

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR free webinars (all times are EST; free but registration required)
  2. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Launches Energy Efficiency Policy Tool
  3. U.S. Department of Energy Releases Guidance for Local Residential Energy Efficiency
  4. Webinar series – Climate Change and Energy Planning for MPOs

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. U.S. Department of Energy Releases Notice on 2010 Energy Efficiency Standards
    On November 21, 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a notice of final determination on the energy savings from DOE's 2010 energy efficiency standard (PDF) (20 pp, 233 K). The notice shows that implementing the 2010 version of Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings, Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, achieves energy savings of 18.5 percent compared to the 2007 standard. States are now expected to review the new code provisions and update their building code to meet or exceed the energy efficiency of the new standard. The states must do so by October 18, 2013.

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ARTICLES

  1. U.S. Green Building Council Launches App Lab to Support Green Building Certificate (PDF) (2 pp, 63 K)
    On November 22, 2011, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) launched the online App Lab, a searchable catalog of third-party apps that are integrated with leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) data. The lab is designed for use with Internet browsers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices and is expected to introduce commercially available software tools and services to accelerate the adoption of LEED. USGBC's LEED green building certification system is a program for the design, construction, and operation of energy and cost efficient green buildings.

    The App Lab is available online.
  2. Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Releases Report on Clean Energy Standard
    On November 17, 2011, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) released a report examining clean energy standards (CES) in the United States. The report found that 31 states in the U.S. have a CES, but that unless more states adopt a CES or a national CES is passed, the proportion of electricity derived from clean energy sources is unlikely to change over the next 25 years.

    The report, "Clean Energy Standards: State and Federal Policy Options and Implications (PDF) (81 pp, 1.4MB)", is available for download.
  3. Burgess BioPower Plant Breaks Ground in New Hampshire, to Create 400 Construction, 40 Permanent Jobs
    On October 6, 2011, Cate Street Capital broke ground on the Burgess BioPower plant in Berlin, New Hampshire. The $275 million, 5-megawatt facility will generate electricity from biomass wood chips by late 2013. The project is expected to create approximately 400 construction jobs over its two year construction period and 40 permanent jobs in the area once construction is completed in 2013. The plant is also expected to support hundreds of indirect jobs for foresters, loggers, and chippers.
  4. U.S. Department of Energy's Laboratory Announces Energy Center Partnership
    On December 13, 2011, Sandia National Laboratories Vice President Rick Stulen, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and Governor Peter Shumlin announced a $15 million, three-year partnership to establish a joint Center for Energy Transformation and Innovation expected to be housed at the University of Vermont. Researchers at the center are expected to collaborate on research in areas such as energy efficiency, complex systems, consumer response and acceptance, and energy policy and governance. Funding for the center comes from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Sandia Labs and the state of Vermont.

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EVENTS

  1. Statewide Vermont – Button Up Workshops – throughout January
    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 December scheduled across Vermont are:
    January 5 – Georgia
    January 7 – Stamford
    January 11 – Charlotte
    January 12 – Weybridge
    January 25 – Canaan
    January 26 – Jericho and St. Johnsbury
  2. Thetford, VT – Film Showing of Carbon Nation – January 8
    First Congregational Church of Thetford on Thetford Hill, Thetford, VT
    6:30pm

    The film Carbon Nation will be shown as part of the Thetford Energy Committee's Warmth in the Winter film series, Sunday, Jan. 8th, 6:30pm at the First Congregational Church of Thetford (on Thetford Hill). Carbon Nation is an optimistic, solutions-based, non-preachy, non-partisan, big tent film that shows how tackling climate change boosts the economy, increases national security, and promotes health and a clean environment.

    Admission is free and open to all.
  3. Boston, MA - Mobilize Energy Efficiency in America – January 9
    Boston Convention Center, 415 Summer Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210
    7:30am – 5pm

    Mobilize Energy Efficiency in America is a series of symposium-style meetings aimed at stimulating economic activity through energy efficiency by encouraging open communication and collaboration among energy efficiency stakeholders. Emphasis will be placed on how attendees can participate in and utilize resources from the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge.

    Participants will be afforded educational presentations from leading industry experts and government leaders. The breakout sessions, tailored to each stakeholder group, provide educational tool-kits and roadmaps to implement energy efficiency projects. Participants will receive valuable information on the Better Buildings Challenge recently announced by the Department of Energy. Supporting the Better Buildings Challenge as either an asset owner or financial partner will make a difference in generating growth of the New England economy.

    This is an invitation-only event and no fees are required for attendance. If you are aware of any stakeholders that are interested in attending, please contact us at: pburke@energi.com or esw@energi.com

    For more information and to register »
  4. Portland, ME – Biodiesel Workshop for Fleets – January 25
    Greater Portland Council of Governments, 68 Marginal Way, 4th Floor, Portland, ME 04101
    1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

    Maine Clean Communities will hold a workshop for fleets focused on biodiesel as a transportation fuel. Hear from experienced Maine fleet operators who are using biodiesel in blends of 5% to 40% or greater.

    The workshop will also address the basics of biodiesel including:
    • Benefits of biodiesel as a transportation fuel
    • Operational aspects of biodiesel for fleets
    • Local biodiesel fuel suppliers and availability
    • Dispelling the myths of biodiesel usage
    • Biodiesel fuel storage and blending
    • Cold weather considerations
    • And more!
    For more information, and to register, contact GPCOG at 207-774-9891 (toll-free phone 1-800-649-1304) or visit the Greater Portland Council of Governments website.
  5. 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 »
  6. Penacook, NH – Save the Date! The 2012 Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference - March 31
    The Local Energy Working Group (LEWG) 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. Vew 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. U.S. Federal Highway Administration Announces Funding for Transportation Grants – deadline January 6
    The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced the availability of $29 million in funding for state, local, and tribal organizations through its Transportation, Community, and System Preservation Program.

    Grants may be used to plan and implement strategies that improve the efficiency of the transportation system; reduce environmental impacts of transportation; reduce the need for costly future public infrastructure investments; ensure efficient access to jobs, services, and centers of trade; and examine development patterns and identify strategies to encourage private sector development patterns that achieve these goals. Applications are due January 6, 2012.
  2. U.S. Department of Energy Announces Funding to Reduce Non-Hardware Solar Costs – deadline January 16
    On November 15, 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that up to $7 million in funding will be available to reduce the non-hardware costs of residential and commercial solar power installations. .

    Funding is available through the SunShot Incubator Program, and will support the development of tools and approaches that reduce costs such as installation, permitting, interconnection, and inspection.

    Applications are due by January 16, 2012.
  3. 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) »
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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)
    • Jan 18, 2pm, Responding to the Climate Change Imperative: Setting Energy Use Targets with ENERGY STAR
    • Jan 19, 2pm, Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR
    • Jan 24, 2pm, Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients
    • Jan 25, 1pm, Energy Efficiency Program Sponsors: Scoring Energy Performance with EPA's Portfolio Manager
  2. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Launches Energy Efficiency Policy Tool
    On November 22, 2011, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy launched a tool designed to provide energy efficiency policy technical assistance. The local energy efficiency policy calculator (LEEP-C) is designed for local policymakers and stakeholders interested in advancing the adoption of energy efficiency in their communities. Based on existing research on the costs and savings from specific policies and user inputs regarding local energy, economic characteristics, and level of investment, LEEP-C is expected to calculate estimated impacts of specific policy choices on energy savings, cost savings, jobs, and other outcomes.
  3. U.S. Department of Energy Releases Guidance for Local Residential Energy Efficiency
    On November 28, 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released new case studies and resources for local governments to support residential energy efficiency programs. The resources were developed using real-world results from DOE's Better Buildings Neighborhood Program. The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program resources guide home and building owners, building contractors, and energy efficiency program administrators in designing, implementing, and marketing a comprehensive energy efficiency upgrade program.
  4. 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 Partners and Collaboration – January 10, 2012*
    • 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).

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