Arlington Energy Committee Meeting Minutes 11.4.2019

Arlington Energy Committee

Meeting Minutes

Monday, November 4, 2019

7:00 to 8:30pm, Arlington Community House

The mission of the Arlington Town Energy Committee is to assist Arlington residents, businesses, schools and Town government in reducing energy consumption and costs through conservation, increased energy efficiency, conversion to renewable energy sources, and the promotion of energy education and awareness.  The committee will assist the Town (Energy Coordinator) in planning and carrying out projects to advance these goals and will serve as a resource to the town on energy-related issues.

Present:  Stephanie Moffett-Hynds, Ron Weber, MaryAnn Carlson, Jean Freebern, Madison Kremer, Karen Lee

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. Congratulations to Madison Kremer who finishes with AmeriCorps VISTA/BCRC and begins position as development assistant/communications specialist at Shires Housing.  New email address is madisonkremer@yahoo.com
  2. ButtonUpVermont kickoff will be this Sunday, November 10, 2:00 to 4:00pm, at the Bennington Fire Station on River Street.  Bring a friend!  Learn more about weatherization and have your questions answered.  For more info:  ButtonUpVermont.org
  3. Vermont Legislature’s Climate Solutions Caucus Hosts Bennington County Forum. The Vermont Legislature’s Climate Solutions Caucus is hosting a series of forums around the state to outline its priorities for the 2020 legislative session and seek input from Vermonters on the solutions they’d like to see advanced. Local legislators Rep. Kathleen James, Rep. David Durfee and Sen. Brian Campion invite you to join them for one of the events in this series on Wednesday, November 13 from 6:30 to 8 pm at the Federated Church of East Arlington. Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, co-chair of the nonpartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, will be the lead presenter. For information on the event, email James: KJames@leg.state.vt.us
  4. The VECAN Conference, Dec. 7, 9:00 to 4:30, Lake Morey Resort.  Madison went last year and reports that it is really very helpful for anyone who is on a town energy committee or involved in energy issues. The Vermont Environmental Climate Action Network will go over public policy, creating successful strategies, energy systems training, financing, energy committee bootcamp, etc. (It costs $45 for energy committee members, in advance.)  If you want to carpool, contact Madison who is arranging this with BCRC members.  To sign up directly:  https://Cvent.me/ngn7x
  5. Madison is working on putting together a residential wood heating event to encourage people to use biomass heating.  Stay tuned for more on this.

UPDATES

  1. Rich was not able to make the meeting, but will report next time on: 
    1. Report on school board meeting regarding suggestion that a student(s) be involved with light bulb replacement in all school classrooms as a service project
    1. Report on reaching out to Breana Einsig and Jaclyn Doran (AMHS Environmental Club) to see if they would have one or more students who would like to be on our committee
  2. Steph:  Report on status of Town Hall energy audit.  Having applied the efficiency equation to the building, the results clearly indicated that steps should be taken to make the building considerably more efficient.  This will not only lower the town’s use of fossil fuels, but will also save the town a lot of money.  The committee attended the select board meeting October 7 to ask the Town to approve funds to have an energy audit done on the Town Hall.  The select board voted to do this and asked Steph to send the list of approved energy efficiency network (EEN) contractors, which she did.  A follow-up email with the select board indicated that an audit has not yet been scheduled.  Steph will reach out to make sure they have seen her initial email with the list of contractors and remind them that one or more of the committee members would like to be present for the audit, if possible.
  3. MaryAnn:  Report on attending the Arlington Area Renewal meeting and asking for someone from AAR to join our board.  She said that nobody has stepped forward, but she will attend their meeting again tomorrow night, November 5, and ask again to have an AAR member join us.
  4. Charles Moore informed the committee that he has to step down, as he is spread too thin, but he is glad that we are off to a good start.  The committee would like to thank Charles for all his work on the Energy Chapter of the town plan, along with Garret, and to thank him for his efforts on the energy committee. It was suggested that we ask him to keep us informed by sending us any relevant updates from the planning commission.
  5. Ron Weber, who is on the Arlington Rec. Park committee, reported that the lights in the park have structural issues and need work.  It may be that the bulbs themselves could be changed to be more efficient when they are addressing the problem.

BRIEF REVIEW of the Asset Mapping list which Madison Kremer helped us draw up.  Any additions?  Spelling corrections?  Karen Lee identified a big hole here in Arlington:  where are the plumbers and electricians who are knowledgeable in installing things like cold weather heat pumps, etc.  There is a huge demand.  MaryAnn had three heat pumps installed in her house recently and the contractors came from Chester.  They did an excellent job, but we do wish we could hire locally.

GOALS:  Immediate and Long-term:  What would we like to tackle next?  What events are coming up in Arlington for which we might want to have a table with information?  (Steph wondered if it might be worthwhile for one or more of us to attend the next Bennington Energy Committee meeting on Tuesday, November 26, 7pm at BCRC, just to introduce ourselves and to see how they discuss the list of 47 recommendations listed in the Energy Plan section of their town plan…)

  • The committee discussed how to get the word out to our neighbors about the incentives available and the benefits of weatherization projects.  Karen came up with a great idea:  let’s collect testimonials from people who have done this and can speak for themselves on how this is benefiting them financially and in terms of having more comfortable homes.  Karen will check with local papers to see if they will include these weekly or every other week.  Everyone in the committee is encouraged to come back at our next meeting with one of these one paragraph testimonials.  “Good News Energy Corner,” for example.  “Cozy Corner”
  • Madison suggested that contributions for the column mentioned above could rotate amongst the area’s town energy committees, to share the responsibility and connect with more people.
  • Jean came up with the idea that a program should be created for children on energy and environmental education.  Perhaps, if the AMHS Environmental Club is active, they could do a presentation at Fisher and do a project with the kids, give them coloring books from Efficiency VT, etc.  MaryAnn will talk to Sarah Merrill.  We would offer our support.

OTHER

  • Next meeting is December 2
  • January 6 is the first meeting for the new year.  We aim to meet the first Monday of every month.

The meeting adjourned at 8:15pm.

Minutes taken by Stephanie.

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