Returning to our old New England Wisdom – Being Frugal, Reducing Waste, Respecting the Land, Watching out for our Neighbors, and Practical Community Solutions. It’s the way human beings have lived since the dawn of time. We’ve shared shelters and shared fires. We built our towns on rivers so the waterpower could operate our small mills. Gristmills ground our grain. Sawmills cut our timber. Carding mills combed the wool sheared from our sheep. By 1811 every town had at least one carding mill. In 1840 the United States had 23,000 grain mills and over 31,000 sawmills. In the 1880’s the first commercial power utility was built in Manhattan. It connected a 100 volt coal generator to power street lamps. Small AC and DC grids grew up in cities and large towns throughout the 1800’s. Early electric generation was powered by coal and waterpower. Most of these small scale, locally owned practical operations were frugal, produced little waste, respected the land, and helped their neighbors. Most were powered by locally owned renewable energy. Climate scientists agree, now is the time for us to kick our addiction to fossil fuels. We live on a finite living planet. Extracting every last drop of oil will have consequences. If we want to leave a living planet for our children and their children, it’s time now to return to the old time New England wisdom we were raised on. Cutting our energy use by half would give us the lifestyle of a modern day European, hardly a hardship. It’s time we tighten up our homes and build locally-owned, renewable energy systems. Join Lynn as she reminds us that we are the leaders for which we’ve been waiting to tackle these challenges and opportunities.
.Jumping Through Hoops: Municipal and School Energy Project Case Studies: A successful energy project typically requires project facilitators to overcome several obstacles or, in other words, jump through theoretical hoops. A new energy project can face financial, technical, behavioral and approval challenges. In this session we will hear the stories and advice of two communities that have successfully identified a variety of funding mechanisms, convinced decision-makers that their project is a worthwhile investment rather than a cost, educated occupants on how to maximize the potential of their building’s systems and much more. The highlighted projects are Kingswood School Complex in Wolfeboro and the Town of Holderness. Facilitator: Rhonda Harmych*, TRC Energy Services. Speakers: Andy Duncan, PhD, Professor of Energy Services, Lakes Region Community College; Phil Custeau, Building Operations Supervisor, Governor Wentworth Regional School District; Larry Spencer, Conservation Commission Chairman & Energy Committee Member, Town of Holderness. Presentation
Financing Energy Projects: The Reality of Funding Public Projects. By improving energy efficiency, local governments and school systems can decrease energy consumption, reduce operating costs and improve cash flow. Session attendees will leave with a sound understanding of existing funding mechanisms and resources available to municipalities and school systems that can be used to implement cost saving energy and renewable energy projects. Participants will gain an understanding of the pros and cons of various funding options and whether such opportunities are right for your project or town. Facilitator: Clay Mitchell Esq. PhD, Revolution Energy. Speakers: Jim Fenn, Business Administrator, SAU 88; Jules Chatot Jr., AIA LEEP AP, Banwell Architects -Presentations; Tom Palma, Unitil - Presentation
Saving Energy with Mixed-Use Villages: Learn how Lebanon is changing its land use regulations to encourage mixed-use villages and a long-range multimodal transportation plan (LMTP) as a way of reducing energy consumption. Experts Andrew and Nate will guide you through questions of “mode shift” (getting people out of their cars and back on their feet), sprawl avoidance (it takes a village…), and how many people are necessary to support robust transit and “multimodal travel” (does it take a village?). Presenters will discuss the associated energy savings with different land use patterns, along with lots of other associated issues such as climate resiliency, GHG processing, distributed generation, and streetlights. Facilitator: Ben Frost, NH Housing Finance Authority. Speakers:Andrew Gast-Bray, City of Lebanon. Nate Miller, Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission.Presentation
Working Toward Community-Wide Energy Action.This session will spotlight the comprehensive energy planning and projects of two New Hampshire communities: the City of Lebanon and the Town of Durham. Each community has strong municipal and school district support, an active energy committee, developed energy chapters for their master plans, and is taking a broad view toward addressing local challenges and opportunities around energy and sustainability work. Bring your curiosity and questions, to this interactive session. Facilitator: Barbara Bernstein, NH Public Utilities Commission Speakers: Todd Selig, Town Administrator, Durham. George Murray, Solid Waste Manager, Lebanon.
Connecting with Community Members.Designing effective outreach strategies to reach your community’s residents and taxpayers is complex and often frustrating. How is it that energy efficiency and avoiding waste can make so much sense but be so hard to get folks to actually embrace? Hear from Ludy Biddle about one of the top- performing grantees of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Projects, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, about how they successfully increased demand for residential energy efficiency through effective community engagement and partnerships with broad community partners. Cheryl King Fischer will share ideas and inspirations for leveraging the Grassroots Fund’s small grants program for greater community engagement. Facilitator: Jill Longval, Nashua Regional Planning Commission. Speakers: Ludy Biddle, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont - Presentation. Cheryl King Fischer, New England Grassroots Environment Fund.
Engaging Minds, Building Community: Partnerships in School-based Energy Initiatives. Schools are cornerstones of our communities and one of the largest consumers of energy in our towns. Yet in New Hampshire we have limited resources to support school or community-based initiatives to address energy efficiency challenges. This session will explore opportunities to build in-school efforts and partnerships within communities to catalyze staff and student engagement on “green” initiatives. Speakers will show examples of how they support and work with school administration, staff and students on energy and cost savings, and broader environmental sustainability efforts. The session will also address the realities and challenges of implementing school-based energy projects. The Island Institute will share examples of their innovative work with Maine’s remote coastal and island communities. The Maine Energy Education Program (MEEP) will present its method of experiential learning to teach students about energy. MEEP has been visiting schools for 25 years and reaches more than 7,000 Maine students annually. Representatives of Brattleboro (VT) Union High School will discuss “Project Atlantic”, an innovative student project that partners with and supports the Brattleboro Energy Committee. Facilitator: Bart Westdijk, New England Grassroots Environment Fund. Speakers: Suzanne MacDonald, Island Institute (by remote teleconference) - Presentation. Stefany Gregoire, Maine Energy Education Program - Presentation. Michael Auerbach and Students, Brattleboro Union High SchoolProject Atlantic Intro Video. Sample Project Video: Biogas
Making the Case for Solar in NH. Solar energy may already make more sense than you think. This session will explore current solar technologies, payback predictions, financing options, available incentives, and creative approaches for supporting homeowners, businesses, and communities to “go solar”. Facilitator: Sarah Simonds, Vital Communities. Speakers: Elizabeth Nixon, New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, Jonathan Gregory, Revision Energy, Bill Dowey, Bristol Energy Committee. Presentation.
Leveraging Energy Codes to Accelerate Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings. Is your town or city ready to be an energy efficiency leader? At least one town in NH has already adopted the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC); while the rest of us still use the 2009 version. Session speakers will review key aspects of the 2012 IECC, the draft 2015 IECC and discuss controversy about approving the latest version. Attendees will learn about the progressive code the State of NH has adopted for its projects and “beyond code” standards being used by other municipalities, states and our federal government. The session will outline how energy codes can accelerate energy efficiency efforts in the future and the role energy committee members and local leaders can plan in local adoption of the IECC. Two UNH Manchester students will also share findings from their recent energy audits/recommendations of four New Hampshire town and school buildings. Facilitator: Brian Adams*, Integrated Building Energy Associates (IBEA), LLC. Speakers: Paul Leveille, Jordan Institute, - Presentation, Christopher Treadwell, UNH Student - Presentation, Andrew Mack, UNH Student - Presentation.
Let the Numbers Be Your Guide: Letting the data tell the story . You’ve heard it before: you can’t manage what you don’t measure. This session will share examples of how New Hampshire communities are leveraging their energy data to prioritize, support decision-making and accelerate energy project implementation. Attendees will also learn how they can support their own town’s energy project successes by joining BenchmarkNH, an initiative working to engage all of New Hampshire’s municipalities and towns to track and utilize energy data using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®. This recently updated online tool will help you measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Use it to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings, all in a secure online environment. Learn how to sign up for one-on-one on-site assistance from EPA staff and interns that will help get you started. Panelists: Linda Darveau, US EPA Region 1 - Presentation. Michele Sopher, Rye Energy Committee - Presentation
Energy Action Planning: Making YOUR Community’s Plan a Reality. Does your community have an energy chapter in the master plan or an energy planning strategy? How can community leaders help to prioritize the many energy efficiency priorities and renewable energy opportunities? What should the local policy priorities be? These are a few of the questions that will be addressed in this hands-on session. Bring your questions and challenges regarding energy planning and project implementation in your community. Facilitator: Barbara Bernstein, NH Public Utilities Commission. Panelists:Todd Selig, Town Administrator, Durham; George Murray, Solid Waste Manager, City of Lebanon; Jim Fenn, Business Administrator, SAU 88.
Getting What You Need from Community Decision-Makers. Once you have an audit and a plan, what are some ways to engage and work with your town officials – including staff and volunteer leadership – to make changes in energy use? This workshop is an opportunity to gather tools and information on effective community engagement and to gain insight into how to effectively communicate to your community. The presenters are two New Hampshire experts with years of public relations, community organizing and local government experience. Panelists:Jim O’Brien, Chair, Hopkinton Select Board; Roger Stephenson, Stephenson Strategic Communications.
Shedding Light on Group Net Metering and Community Solar. This workshop is the third element of a three-part series on group net metering and community-invested solar opportunities that began with Local Energy Solutions Webinars (info at www.nhenergy.org). This session will expand on these webinars in a fully interactive discussion that will address participant questions on project implementation, planning, and best practices. This discussion is intended for an audience that is familiar with the concepts of group net metering and community solar projects, and is ready to dive into the details needed for their community to move forward in their decision-making and planning process. Attendees are strongly encouraged to watch the precursor webinars (live or recorded and archived post-airdate). Bring your questions and share ideas with industry leaders on these exciting but complex topics. Facilitator: Kate Epsen*, New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association.Panelists: Clay Mitchell Esq. PhD, Revolution Energy; Jack Ruderman, NH Public Utilities Commission; Richard Labrecque, PSNH.
Heating Buildings in Your Town with Wood: Chips, Pellets and Logs. Tired of the roller coaster pricing and high cost of oil and propane? Are your municipal budgets strapped by unexpected spikes in energy costs? Want to keep your fuel dollars here at home, working to improve our local economy, instead of continuing our dependence on foreign oil? This workshop will explain the potential advantages of either converting to or designing institutional scale buildings for wood biomass heating including local sourcing of fuel, technology options, costs and benefits. Several NH-based examples will be cited, including schools, municipal buildings and private businesses and organizations. In addition, a program of the NH Wood Energy Support Team offering low or no cost technical assistance, will be announced. Facilitator: Maura Adams*, Northern Forest Center. Panelists:Members of the Wood Energy Support Team (NH WEST), Rick Demark, North Country Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council, Charlie Niebling, Innovative Natural Resource Solutions LLC,Sarah Smith, UNH Cooperative Extension. Presentation.