Weatherize Webinar, August 17

Weatherize Webinar with NHSaves
Monday, August 17 at Noon

Did Covid-19 stop your 2020 weatherization plans in their tracks? NOW is the right time to jump back on the weatherize band wagon. Lower energy bills and cozy toes, here we come! This event is FREE and open to all New Hampshire residents. Join our guest speaker, Gordon Tuttle from NHSaves to learn about:

  • Home energy efficiency basics
  • How weatherization can keep you warmer in winter AND cooler in summer
  • Rebates and financing from NHSaves (including INCREASED* rebates for a limited time only)
  • How NHSaves contractors have adapted their practices to keep you safe in the era of Covid-19

Click here to REGISTER for the webinar

Attend this LIVE event on Monday, August 17, 12:00 – 1:00pm. Can’t make it then? Register anyway and receive a link to the webinar recording so you can watch on your own time. Questions? Contact energy@vitalcommunities.org.

*The maximum rebate amount for weatherization through NHSaves was recently increased from $4,000 to $8,000, covering 50% of approved measures. This summer, Eversource and New Hampshire Electric Coop customers were temporarily eligible for 90% of project costs up to $8,000 for projects completed by Nov. 15, 2020. As of mid-August, NHSaves reports that any NEW customers will likely not be able to meet the deadline for that 90% rebate offer, since their contractors’ installation schedules are now filled through the fall. Customers are still encouraged to enroll in the program to receive the 50% rebate on weatherization services completed this year or next. For more information about NHSaves weatherization rebates, visit nhsaves.com/programs/energy-audits-weatherization/.

This webinar is hosted by Vital Communities, Kearsarge Climate Action, Sustainable Hanover, and the Cornish and Plainfield Energy Committees.

Five Inspiring Stories

On March 18, Vital Communities held a webinar featuring five inspiring stories from energy committees across the Upper Valley. Stories included:

  • Electric charging stations in Bethel
  • An Upper Valley eBike lending library
  • Energy saving window inserts for low income neighbors
  • A multi-town energy coordinator
  • A climate survey in Windsor

Video clips and resources related to these stories can be found at vitalcommunities.org/energyroundtable. Enjoy!

13th Annual Roundtable – September 15

You’re Invited!

The 13th Annual Upper Valley Energy Committee Roundtable will be held Tuesday, September 15, 5-8 pm in West Lebanon! This annual gathering of local energy volunteers is open to all, whether you serve on an energy committee, wish to join or start a committee, or simply want to be inspired. See you there!

Learn more and REGISTER to attend at vitalcommunities.org/energyroundtable.

Our 2020 Agenda

5 pm | Dinner and Conversation

5:30 pm | Who’s Who – Put names to faces and hear briefly from the sponsors and supporting organizations.

6:15 pm | Local Energy Showcase  – Five brief success stories featuring interesting and inspiring projects from the past year.

7 pm | Renewable Heating and our Energy/Climate Goals – Heating is the second-largest source of energy use and carbon emissions in our region (behind transportation). Let’s try to understand how renewable heating options (e.g. advanced wood heat systems and heat pumps) fit into our region’s renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon emissions goals. And discuss what we can do at the local level to promote these technologies.

Efficient Heating in Vermont

Check out this newly produced, six-minute YouTube video on Efficient Heating in Vermont, created by Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission.

The video describes the types and benefits of home heating options and describes the current rebates and incentives available for residential heating offered by Efficiency Vermont. Topics covered:

  • Cold Climate Heat Pumps

  • Efficient Wood Stoves

  • Wood Pellet Heat

Thank you and best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving,

Nov. 19 Green Real Estate Crash Course

Vital Communities is offering its popular Green Real Estate Crash Course again on Tuesday, November 19, at Service Credit Union, just off I-89 in Lebanon, NH. Earn 3 elective credits in VT and NH.

Register online at vitalcommunities.org/greenrealestate

This is NOT your average CE course.
Designed with input from Upper Valley Realtors®, Vital Communities, and Efficiency Vermont, this course is fun, practical, and hands-on. The Green Real Estate Crash Course and its accompanying resources expertly boil down the topic of energy efficiency to give you exactly what you NEED to know to help your clients, and no more!

What’s Covered:

 Why “Green” matters in real estate |  Home energy efficiency 101
 Working with green buyers |  Listing green homes |  MLS green fields
 Appraisal Institute Green Addendum |  Hands-on examples

Instructors: 

Lynne LaBombard, Green Designated Realtor® and licensed instructor

Sarah Brock, Energy Program Manager at Vital Communities

Learn more and explore free online resources at vitalcommunities.org/greenrealestate

November Course Details

WHEN: Tuesday, November 19, 9 am-12:15 pm

  • 8:30-8:55 am | Registration and Light Continental Breakfast
  • 9:00 am-12:15 pm | Green Real Estate Crash Course (with one 15min break at ~10:30)
    **You MUST be in your seat at 9:00 am to receive credit**

WHERE: Service Credit Union, 225 Mechanic Street, Lebanon, NH

FEE: Pre-registration: $50 (register online by Friday, November 15). Otherwise $60 at the door.

Thanks to our generous host and sponsor, Service Credit Union, your entire course fee goes toward Vital Communities’ Green Real Estate Program, which provides free resources and direct support for you and your clients year-round.

Questions? Contact Sarah Brock at sarah@vitalcommunities.org or 802-291-9100 x109

12th Annual Roundtable – May 7

You’re Invited!

The 12th Annual Upper Valley Energy Committee Roundtable is Tuesday, May 7, 5-8 pm in West Lebanon! This annual gathering of local energy volunteers is open to all, whether you serve on an energy committee, wish to join or start a committee, or simply want to be inspired. See you there!

Learn more and REGISTER to attend at vitalcommunities.org/energy/roundtable.

Our 2019 Agenda

5 pm | Dinner and Conversation

5:30 pm | Who’s Who – Put names to faces and hear briefly from the sponsors and supporting organizations.

6:15 pm | Local Energy Showcase  – Five brief success stories featuring interesting and inspiring projects from the past year.

7 pm | Transportation: the Elephant in the Room – Transportation is a huge piece of our energy footprint. With improved carpool programs in VT and NH, innovative partnerships, and more attention given to how people and things move around, we’ll identify ways Upper Valley energy committees can make an impact in the realm of sustainable transportation.

Seeking Bids from Solar Installers by Nov. 30

Vital Communities is teaming up with Kearsarge Climate Action to launch a Solarize Kearsarge campaign in spring 2019, following on the tails of the upcoming Weatherize Kearsarge campaign launching in January 2019.

We are seeking proposals from solar photovoltaic (PV) installers who can provide competitive tiered pricing for solar PV installations at private residences and businesses (average size 5 to 6kW) located within Andover, Newbury, New London, Wilmot, and Warner. As more residents sign contracts to go solar with the partner installer prior to the campaign deadline, prices will be reduced for everyone.

Proposals must be submitted to Vital Communities by Friday, November 30.

To learn more and request a copy of the Request for Proposals, contact Sarah Brock, Sarah@VitalCommunities.org or 802.291.9100 x109.

Big News: SERG Joins Vital Communities

Big news from the Vital Communities Energy Program:
Sustainable Energy Resource Group (SERG) is merging into Vital Communities.

The Sustainable Energy Resounce Group (SERG) is an Upper Valley nonprofit with a strong legacy of local energy action in the Upper Valley. Since its founding in 2002, SERG has pioneered many innovative local energy projects that have since been replicated throughout the Northeast.

After 14 years as an independent nonprofit organization, we are thrilled to announce that SERG has decided to combine forces with Vital Communities’ growing Energy Program. Vital Communities and SERG have been close allies since Vital Communities first began work on energy issues in 2009, collaborating on many projects and working together to support our region’s expanding network of town energy committees. In combining our two programs we are confident we can accomplish more together than we ever could on our own.

Just a few highlights from the long list of SERG accomplishments over the past 14 years:

  • Established the first town energy committees in Vermont and New Hampshire in 2002 (there are now more than 200 across both states)
  • Inspired and helped develop the “Button Up” weatherization workshop series that has been presented dozens of times throughout the Upper Valley
  • Led an effort that tripled the number of weatherized homes in Thetford in one year, and helped launch a Vermont Home Energy Challenge to get other towns to do the same
  • Created an online resource library and e-newsletter to help residents in the Upper Valley improve their energy footprints
  • Organized and hosted dozens of public forums on everything from solar hot water to electric vehicles

Read our summary for more detail about SERG’s work, plus some of our plans for the future.

In the coming year, SERG Founder and Executive Director Bob Walker will work directly with Vital Communities as a consultant and mentor to ensure a strong transition.

We’re seeking partners and supporters in this exciting transition – make a gift today to support Vital Communities in carrying forward SERG’s legacy of inspiring sustainable energy action in the Upper Valley.

The move will be official as of January 1, and we’re planning a big old party in February to celebrate SERG’s accomplishments and kick off our exciting new work together. Stay tuned!

Have questions, comments, or well wishes? Email Sarah@VitalCommunities.com.

 

 

Cornish and Plainfield Charge Ahead

The Cornish and Plainfield Energy Committees Invite You To Inaugurate NH’s 39th Public Electric Vehicle Charging Station

(Guest Post from STEVE LADD, one of our Solarize volunteers from 2014)

The Upper Valley now has one more Electric Vehicle Charging Station, conveniently located at Anne’s Plainfield Country Convenience Store, at 1190 Rt 12A, Plainfield, halfway between Claremont and West Lebanon.  You are invited to join us for a short inaugural ceremony on April 29th, 6:30pm at Anne’s Country Store.

The Plainfield and Cornish Energy Committees elected to install an EV charging station as the towns’  commitment to alternative energy use by increasing the number of EV charge points in NH.  There are currently 38 public charging stations in NH, and 54 in Vermont (according to the US Dept of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center).  Other public Upper Valley chargers are located at the Hartland Exit 9 Commuter lot, King Arthur Flour in Norwich, the Hanover Parking Garage, and DHMC in Lebanon.  This new location fills a gap between these charging stations.

The charger is  Siemens VC30GRYU Versicharge 30-Amp, 240 volt level 2 Electric Vehicle Charger, which can completely recharge most EV batteries in less than 3.5 hours.  A more typical use would be to recharge a vehicle for 30 minutes to provide an additional range of 6-11 miles to get home or to continue to a fast-charge location.  It is compatible with all plug-in electric vehicles (SAE J1772 vehicle plug).

Anne’s Country Store is offering the charging service free of charge to all EV owners. Customers can enjoy Anne’s food, dining room, WiFi and restroom while they charge their cars. There is also an ATM and if you still need fossil fuels, there’s gas and diesel too! Walking maps of Plainfield Village are also available at the store, so you can take a pleasant stroll to some of the historic sites nearby while your car is charging. Anne Yates, the proprietor of Anne’s Country Store, is considering installing solar panels in the near future so that charging a car would take advantage of a renewable energy source.

Frank Perotti charging his Chevy Volt. Bill Cable is in the background holding an award from the Cornish Conservation Commitee.

Much of the funding for the charger came from a $1000 donation from Solar Source of Keene, in recognition for exceeding Solarize Cornish-Plainfield’s goal of installing 60kW of new residential PV solar systems. Over the past summer, 33 new PV solar systems were installed in Cornish and Plainfield for a total of 180 kW in potential renewable energy production.  This initiative was a joint effort between the towns’ energy committees and Vital Communities aimed at making residential and small business solar photovoltaic (PV) energy more accessible across our region.  It served to educate the communities on energy alternatives, provide coordination and group pricing on solar installation, and inspired additional community projects such as the EV charging station, DIY options and net metering/group solar installations. Solar Source was selected as the project’s preferred solar vendor and installed 23 of the systems.

The Cornish Conservation Commission recently awarded Solarize Cornish-Plainfield a plaque mounted on a solar panel that reads, “The Cornish and Plainfield Energy Committees, with the help of Vital Communities helped support energy independence and the lowering of our communities’ carbon footprint through the successful promotion of solar energy in the two communities.”  The plaque is displayed at the charging station kiosk.

 

Congrats to our Volunteer of the Year!

Plainfield Resident Named Vital Communities’ Volunteer of the Year

Nancy Mogielnicki was honored earlier this month as Vital Communities’ 2014 Volunteer of the Year.

“Nancy has been a phenomenal volunteer for Vital Communities not only this year but for many,” said Energy Program Manager Sarah Simonds. “As a key volunteer for the Solarize Cornish-Plainfield initiative last spring, Nancy helped more than 20 homeowners go solar in her community. She also represents Plainfield as an active member of our Upper Valley Transportation Management Association Steering Committee, and has been an enthusiastic supporter of many Vital Communities projects.”

Nancy received her award at the annual Vital Communities Open House. This is the organization’s third annual Volunteer of the Year Award, which last year honored Lyme, N.H., resident Carola Lea and in 2012 recognized Nancy and George Smith of Hartland, Vt.

“Vital Communities projects are appealing for several reasons, including the fact that they are regional in nature and that they address a wide range of ‘sustainability’ issues – the things that make communities vital,” said Nancy, who has lived in the Upper Valley since 1977 and also volunteers for the Plainfield Energy Committee. “There is something for everyone among Vital Communities’ offerings, and they make it really easy to be an effective volunteer.”

THANKS, NANCY!

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