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FREE Button Up Workshop in Lebanon Oct. 19

FREE Button Up Workshop 
Wednesday, October 19
6-6:30 pm   Refreshments, gathering
6:30-7:45 pm   Presentation
7:45-8:15 pm   Q&A
Kilton Public Library – 80 Main Street West Lebanon
Refreshments will be served – no registration required
Button Up NH workshops are designed to provide homeowners with information and techniques to help them save money on home energy use. This presentation is conducted by an independent certified energy professional, Ted Stiles. Participants will learn basic building science concepts and learn the basics about air sealing, insulating, and conservation measures that reduce fuel and electricity use.
This free workshop is organized by the Lebanon Energy Advisory Committee and sponsored by Mascoma Bank of Lebanon.According to Sandra Jones, Co-Director of the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative, “These workshops over the past few years, have been bringing practical and valuable information to the people of New Hampshire to help them make good decisions about how to improve their home’s energy efficiency. Those attending will learn how to identify DIY energy saving opportunities and how to go a step further to have their home tested by a professional, all with the goal of having a toasty-warm home this winter for less!”

VIDEOS!
If you’d like to start learning right now about home energy issues and savings, and perhaps hone some questions before the workshop, you might
want to check out some mini energy Button Up videos: plymouthenergy.org… “Go to video page” myenergyplan.net/videos

In addition, workshop participants will learn how to sign up for Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES) – a program run by the energy efficiency services at Liberty Utilities, Eversource, NH Electric Cooperative and Unitil. HPwES is open to all NH families in these service areas and is based on whether your home has a higher than average heating fuel bill. By signing up, NH residents can access a home energy audit for $100, financial incentives up to $4000 and technical expertise.  To learn more about the Home Performance with Energy Star program go to the “Save @ Home” tab at www.nhsaves.com

The Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative (PAREI) of Plymouth, NH is working with local groups statewide to bring this important information to the public on behalf of New Hampshire’s utilities.  Look forward to seeing you at the Button Up Workshop in Lebanon on October 19!

Photo courtesy of Efficiency Vermont
Vermontivate Banner

Vermontivate Gone for Good

For those of you who missed this summer’s announcement from Vermontivate, below is a letter from Kathy Blume, Vermontivate’s founder and strongest advocate.

Hi Friends!

Well, it’s been four months to the day since I went to the hospital with what turned out to be an exploded appendix and sepsis. Quite a ride to be sure!

Though while the physical journey has been on the arduous side (though things have eased up considerably of late), the love and support from friends, family, and community have been lush, abundant, and exquisitely beautiful.

Nobody ever asks for their life to be upended, and it’s nothing anyone would wish on anybody. But, as I’m sure many of you know, if one is fortunate enough and supported enough to take the time and space to be transformed – and I have been – it can be a profoundly meaningful experience.

That said, one of the gifts of time and space is clarity, and in my case, the realization that while exciting and meaningful and rife with potential, Vermontivate! never achieved financial or organizational sustainability.

We were constantly in startup mode, requiring me to do the work of several more people than I am. And while I could imagine quite a few scenarios in which we achieved that sustainability, we didn’t get there before my appendix stepped in with its own opinions on the subject.

Due to the recovery time required by some highly invasive surgery and the sepsis, I’m looking at about a year before I’m really back in action, and I suspect that by then, both the needs of the world, and my ambitions, will have changed considerably. Which is actually remarkable.

The idea for Vermontivate! was conceived in 2011, when we felt a need to shake people by the lapels just to get them to even think about, much less acknowledge the reality of climate change and the need for climate action. That’s not the case anymore – in large part due to all of your hard work, and the weaving of all kinds of movements for justice, including climate justice, into a growing fabric of both political revolution and systems change.

So, it seems an appropriate time to shut Vermontivate! down, reflect, heal, and see what needs and interests pop up when next year rolls around.

Oh behalf of the whole Vermontivate! Team, thank you all beyond thanks for your support, encouragement, and the willingness to nurture a big, hairy, audacious idea and have the patience to watch it grow and evolve over time.

Vermontivate! has changed all our lives, and the lives of many of our players, and you’ve all had an inextricable hand in that process.

 

Nancy W. Open House

Solarize 2.0 for Cornish, Plainfield, and neighbors

The Energy Committees in Cornish and Plainfield led a Solarize Campaign in 2014 and helped over 20 homes go solar. Now they’re back for a second round and they’re happy to help ANYONE go solar!

Join this inspiring group of volunteers to learn more:

Are You Ready for Solar?
February 18, 7:00pm at the Plainfield (NH) Library

Learn the essentials about…

  • How solar works
  • Installation Options, including Do-it-yourself
  • What you need to know to go solar
  • Costs/incentives/payback

Learn from your neighbors’ experiences…

  • What were their reasons for going solar?
  • How are their systems performing?

Learn how we can work together to…

  • Conserve natural resources
  • Reduce our global carbon footprint
  • Affect climate change
  • Save money
Soveren Solar

Central Vermont Solar Forum November 2015

Central Vermont Solar Forum – November 21, 2015

Town energy committees from central Vermont came together on November 21 in Randolph, Vermont to learn about and discuss solar power development, siting problems, and solar project types. The forum focused on how to best expand solar electrical generation in the region on a community scale. Many thanks to the Randolph Energy Committee and Vermont Technical College for hosting the event, and to the many presenters and participants whose thoughts and questions gave us all much to think about.

Presenters included community solar activists, solar developers, solar technical and legal experts, local community leaders, and the Vermont Public Service Board will present information at this forum. The day’s agenda is linked below along with slides from the day’s presenters (not every presenter used slides).

Introduction (agenda) (introduction slides)

Solar Developer Panel

Solar Influencers Panel

Contact Pete Thoenen of the Randolph Energy Committee with questions related to this forum: call 802-477-3189 or email randolph.home.energy@gmail.com

 

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Presentation: Animals of the North & Climate Change

Kids and the curious of all ages won’t want to miss wildlife expert Sue Morse’s program, Animals of the North & Climate Change.

Saturday, Nov. 21, 2 pm
Trumbull Hall, Etna

Sue’s knowledge and intimate photographic images of the wildlife of northern New England are legendary. Free and open to the public. Info:etna.library@hanovernh.org

Co-sponsored with the Etna Library, the Hanover Conservancy, and Sierra Club Upper Valley Group.

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Webinar Nov. 5 at Noon: Low Income Energy Efficiency

Another great webinar from our friends at the New England Grassroots Environment Fund – grab your lunch and tune in:
Energy Efficiency for Low-Income People: The Importance of Grassroots Outreach
Thursday, November 5, 201512:00pm

Some of the most effective strategies to bring energy efficiency programming to low-income people are those that use local, trusted community-based networks. Whether you are working to improve the visibility of a short-term campaign or a long-term program, this webinar will help by providing proven strategies and techniques to reach the hard-to-reach. An overview of some of the best practices will be accompanied by discussions of programs through Efficiency Vermont and the Dunbarton Energy Committee and the successful mechanisms used to bring their messages to low-income people.Presenters:
Elizabeth Chant, VEIC – Elizabeth Chant is a Principal Consultant at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), where she focuses on energy efficiency policy and programming for low-income people and multifamily buildings. Most recently, she has been on the VEIC team tasked with developing and implementing a public purpose energy services company, with multifamily affordable housing as a primary market of interest. In 2011, she directed the design, development, and implementation of low-income multifamily services during the launch of the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU).  From 2002 to 2010, Elizabeth was Weatherization Director at Vermont’s largest community action agency, providing weatherization services to single- and multifamily housing throughout northwestern Vermont. Prior to that, she was at VEIC, leading its award-winning multifamily programming from 1997 to 2002. Elizabeth has testified before legislative committees on low-income energy efficiency programming, and she serves on the boards of directors of the Home Performance Coalition, the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition, and the National Housing Trust.
Paul Markowitz, Efficiency Vermont – Paul Markowitz is the Community Energy Program Manager with Efficiency Vermont where he promotes partnerships with non-profit organizations, businesses, and municipalities to implement community-based energy efficiency programs. Paul has 32 years experience in energy and environmental project management, community planning, leadership training, and facilitation in non-profit institutions, state government, and academia. He has managed local environmental action programs in Central and Eastern Europe, directed state recycling programs, taught university courses on energy and solid waste policy, and promoted least-cost electrical planning. He has an MS in Resource Economics from the University of Vermont.
Bob Ray, Dunbarton Energy Committee – Bob has a MS Electrical Engineering graduate of Rutgers University with a BSEE from University of Maine. He has extensive project management and system design experience in software systems in telecom companies. He is a founding member of Transitions Dunbarton and a member of the Dunbarton NH Energy Committee. He is a Director of the American Friends of Asian Rural Institute and ARI teachs sustainable agriculture and community leadership & development to rural leaders from Southeast Asia & Africa.
toolkit

Solarize Toolkit Ready Just in Time

24 Upper Valley towns have Solarized – Will your town be next?

After two years of experience coordinating Solarize campaigns in the Upper Valley, Vital Communities has created a comprehensive toolkit with timelines, templates, and examples to help any community Solarize. The Toolkit is now online and ready to use. Check it out today:

VitalCommunities.org/Energy/SolarizeToolkit

For towns interested in helping residents go solar before the federal solar tax credit expires at the end of 2016, we recommend getting to work in November or December of 2015. You’ll need about four months to get ready to launch your campaign, and we recommend launching 2016 campaigns between February and April.

Contact Sarah@VitalCommunities.org for more information.

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Take the Green School Energy Challenge!

As you start to make fall plans, the Vermont Energy Education Program wants to remind you about the Green School Energy Challenge, an academics-to-action program that lasts several months to a year or more. Students collect and analyze their school’s energy data, then recommend and implement concrete actions to reduce energy use, with support from teachers, facility managers, and VEEP staff.

Download an application at veep.org/veep-programs/green-school-energy-challenge. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.