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.

Lebanon Area Businesses – Join us on Sept. 27

leaflogo_a_plastic text

So many small businesses in the Upper Valley are burdened with high energy costs. And not enough time to do anything about it!

We’ve got some good news for you. A group of Lebanon residents are teaming up with Energy & Climate Upper ValleyVital Communities, the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Lebanon Energy Advisory Committeeto host an event this September just for Lebanon businesses.

Business Energy Innovation Conference
Thursday, September 27, 8:30-1pm
(Breakfast and Lunch Included)
Fireside Inn, West Lebanon

The day will focus on innovative renewable energy technologies that will help businesses stay competitive in a clean energy future. Lebanon area businesses will have an opportunity network with other businesses, hear testimonials from industry leaders who have already started to make this transition to renewable energy, and connect with experts in the renewable energy technology field. The event will explore the processes, financial benefits, financing options, and NH State policies surrounding Solar Power, Battery Power Storage, Lighting Design, Heat Pumps, Geo-thermal, and Biomass Heating.

Learn more, view the agenda, and sign up to attend at VitalCommunities.org/Energy/BEIC2018.

Get Stoked on Automated Wood Heat!

Boiler on its last legs? Looking to opt out of fossil fuels? Come learn about today’s self-stoking automated wood heat! Opt out of oil with delivery of local wood pellets and whole home wood heating systems controlled by your thermostat.

Fully automated pellet boilers take the place of your old oil or propane boiler (or furnace) for hands-off, whole-home wood heating. Heating with regionally sourced wood pellets retains wealth locally, creates jobs for our neighbors, decreases your carbon footprint, and helps keep forests as forests. On top of that you may decrease your heating bill by up to 30%.

Join us on Tuesday, April 10th from 7:00-8:30pm at the Chelsea Town Hall for a presentation, learn about $7000 in available rebates, meet local installers, and enjoy light refreshments.

For questions, please contact Sarah Brock, Energy Program Manager at Vital Communities, 802-291-9100 x109 orsarah@vitalcommunities.org.

Weatherize Events in January

Weatherize Round Two kicks off this month across the Upper Valley region.

What is Weatherize? 

Vital Communities partners community volunteer teams with local contractors to help Weatherize participants complete cost-effective home energy improvements. These upgrades save residents money on heating bills, increase comfort, and reduce the amount of energy needed to stay warm throughout the winter.

How can you get involved?

New Hampshire residents living in Orford, Piermont, Lyme, Lebanon, Plainfield, and Cornish and Vermont residents living in Springfield, Chester, Woodstock, Pomfret, and Bridgewater can participate in this round of Weatherize. Visit your state’s Weatherize homepage or sign up here to stay in the loop about all the latest Weatherize events and deadlines.

Each community team will be hosting a launch event later this month. See below to learn more about your community’s upcoming kick-off.

  • Orford-Piermont-Lyme: Saturday, January 27 at the Rivendell Academy in Orford. 2 – 3:30 pm.
  • Lebanon: Monday, January 29 at the Kilton Library. 7 – 8:30 pm.
  • Plainfield-Cornish: Wednesday, January 24 at Plainfield Elementary School. 7 – 8:30 pm.
  • Springfield-Chester: Thursday, January 25 at the Springfield First Congregational Church. 6 – 7:30 pm.
  • Woodstock-Pomfret-Bridgewater: Tuesday, January 30 at Norman Williams Public Library. 6 – 7:30 pm.

What happens at the kick-off events?

The kick-off event is an opportunity to meet your community’s volunteer team, partner contractors, and Vital Communities in a fun and informational setting. You’ll learn about what you can expect from the Weatherize program, chat with neighbors who’ve been through the process before, and get the nitty gritty on costs, benefits, financing, and incentives– all in one place! You don’t want to miss it. Refreshments will be provided and the events are free and open to the public with no registration required.

We’ll see you in January!

Photo credit: Molly Drummond

Green Real Estate Network Kick Off

​Working together to empower home buyers and sellers throughout the Upper Valley to understand home energy costs and invest in energy efficiency.

Over 50 real estate professionals from across the Upper Valley will gather on January 9 to kick off the new Upper Valley Green Real Estate Network, a project of Vital Communities. Participants include Realtors, lenders, home inspectors, appraisers, real estate lawyers, and home energy professionals.

Five Reasons Buyers Care about Energy

  1. The Upper Valley is home to some of the oldest housing stock in  the nation
  2. Energy is often the second highest cost of home ownership (behind mortgage/taxes/insurance)
  3. $7-12k of air sealing and insulation can reduce energy costs by 15-30% andimprove home comfort
  4. Rebates and special financing programs exist to help residents pay for energy improvements
  5. Cost effective energy efficiency improvements are possible in almost any home

Why Time of Sale?

Energy efficiency upgrades deliver cash savings and home comfort from month one. Waiting to weatherize means leaving cash on the table. Buyers can use the transaction process to gather necessary information for efficiency improvements. For example:

  • Past heating fuel use data needed to qualify for rebate programs
  • Confidence that cost effective energy improvements are possible
  • Ability to secure financing for energy improvements alongside a mortgage

Vital Communities and our partners believe we can do more to promote “Green Real Estate” in the Upper Valley by working together than we can by working in isolation. Stay tuned for more from this inspiring group of local real estate leaders!

Plug-In to Electric Vehicles at the Upper Valley Electric Vehicle Expo

Plug-In to Electric Vehicles at the Upper Valley Electric Vehicle Expo

Vital Communities, Upper Valley Sierra Club, and volunteers from several Upper Valley energy committees are joining forces to host the Upper Valley Electric Vehicle Expo on Saturday, September 9, from 12 to 4 p.m. (rain or shine) at the Dothan Brook School in White River Junction, Vt. as part of National Drive Electric Week. The Expo is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to pre-register online at UVEVExpo.org for a chance to win $250 and other prizes.

Ariel Arwen with the Upper Valley Sierra Club at the New London Electric Vehicle event. Photo Credit: Allyson Samuell

Ariel Arwen with the Upper Valley Sierra Club. Photo Credit: Allyson Samuell

Electric vehicle owners from across the region will show off their wheels, with several local car, bicycle and motorcycle dealers bringing the latest all-electric models for visitors to explore. Vehicles will include the popular Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt, as well as the Tesla Models X and S, Tesla Roadster, BMW i3, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Smart Fourtwo and others. The Dartmouth Racing Team will also bring their electric race car. Free test rides will be offered throughout the afternoon.

“Our 2016 event in New London had over 300 attendees and dozens of electric vehicles. This year’s event in White River Junction will be even bigger,” said Jamie Hess, a volunteer from New London. “Electric vehicle technology keeps getting better. I’m seeing more and more people making the switch.”

An attendee learns about charging plug-in vehicles. Photo Credit: Dave Roberts

An attendee learns about charging plug-in vehicles. Photo Credit: Dave Roberts

It’s true. Most new fully electric vehicles can drive more than 100 miles, with some current models going more than 200 miles on one charge. Driving electric is cheaper, too—comparable to paying $1.50/gallon at the pump. Not to mention great acceleration and increased traction thanks to efficient electric engines and heavy batteries.

According to Drive Electric Vermont, the number of electric vehicles in Vermont has increased by 40 percent over the last year alone. That trend is expected to continue in the Upper Valley and across both Vermont and New Hampshire as vehicle ranges increase and more charging stations are installed.

Ted Dillard with electric bike at the event at the Montshire Museum. Photo Credit: Karl Kemnitzer

Ted Dillard with electric bike at the event at the Montshire Museum. Photo Credit: Karl Kemnitzer

The September 9 Expo will feature more than just cars—electric motorcycles, bicycles and even lawn equipment will also be available for visitors to see, touch and try. Drop-in presentations from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. will cater to both electric-vehicle enthusiasts and those who are new to the technology.

Families are welcome and there will be free refreshments. Event sponsors include Catamount Solar, Cyclewise, Energy Emporium, Green Mountain Power, Lyme Green Heat, Newport Chevy, Nissan of Keene, Norwich Technologies, Omer and Bob’s, ReVision Energy, Solaflect Energy, SunCommon, Twin State Ford, Zoom Bikes, Building Energy and Anne’s Country Store.

Solar Expo in Lebanon 4/1

Solar Installers Expo

Hosted by the Plainfield, Cornish, Lebanon, and Enfield Energy Committees
Saturday, April 1 at 2 pm
Kilton Library at 80 Main Street in West Lebanon

(Contact mary.n.boyle@gmail.com for more information and to RSVP)

Act now before Net Metering Tariffs change
(and PV Solar electricity becomes more expensive)

  • Find out more about PV solar installation options
  • Talk with members from area Energy Committees
  • Have your questions answered by experts from local solar installation companies
  • Sign up for site visits
  • Learn about DIY options

 

Why Weatherize?

Many thanks to our friends at CATV and Emily Gardner for helping our Hartford Weatherize volunteer team film this hilarious video explaining why YOU should participate in Weatherize Upper Valley.

- Randolph Team PictureSince Weatherize Upper Valley kicked off in early January, we’ve seen a surge of interest from residents across all fourteen participating towns. Over 130 people attended our kick off events across the region, and we now have over 280 residents signed up to get involved.

Most of those 280+ participants are now in the process of filling out a Home Energy Profile, which will then be sent to the participating contractor(s) of their choice, who will then provide a free at-home consult and proposed scope of work… FREE OF CHARGE.

It’s not too late to sign up! Learn More at VitalCommunities.org/Weatherize.

Upgrade with NH Saves

DID YOU KNOW….

Liberty Utilities, and other NHSaves electric utilities, are offering rebates to NH-based Retail and Large Commercial customers who upgrade their old heating systems to a new high efficiency system. The program also offers rebates up to 35% of the project cost for weatherization (air sealing and insulation). NHSaves approved vendors can perform free energy analysis for businesses along with the installation of free energy savings improvements. These free analyses will help identify energy savings opportunities and help you drive down your energy costs. Businesses are welcome to select a contractor of their choice if they choose to complete the recommended improvements. Here is an example of just some of the program offerings:

  • Free: Energy Analysis
  • Free: Low flow spray valves, shower heads, aerators and hot water pipe insulation
  • $1,000 to $10,000 Rebate for high efficient oil or propane boilers
  • 35% Rebate for weatherization projects

All projects are for buildings using propane or oil only and must be pre-approved. Incentives are limited so contact us today. Please use the contact information below for Liberty Utilities’ customers. This program is valid in all NH utility territories (Eversource, Liberty Utilities, NH Electric Co-op, and Unitil).

nhsaves.com/save-work/retrofits

1 2 3 6