Arlington Energy Committee Meeting Minutes 7.28.19

Arlington Energy Committee

Meeting Minutes, taken by Stephanie Moffett-Hynds

Sunday, July 28, 2019

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

Present:  Stephanie Moffett-Hynds, Madison Kremer, Charles Moore, John Williams, Ron Weber

Reports from:

  1. Rich Lederer sent an email regarding light bulb replacement to LEDS….  “I have followed up with the school and town garage on their LED progress.  The schools’ outside lights and interior hallways have been updated to LED’s. None of the classrooms have been done. 1400 bulbs. This is Fisher and AMHS.  Town garage has started the update process and Randy Novotny is the electrician doing the installations.”  The committee will seek further clarification, to find out whether Randy will be replacing the 1,400 bulbs in question.  Changing so many bulbs to LEDs is bound to save the town lots of money!
  2. Madison went over the information on the very informative email she sent us on what she learned from Efficiency Vermont about the possibility of their providing free audits for town halls… She spoke with Meghan Chambers on audits and rebates. “She was very helpful and explained that municipal buildings are treated as ‘commercial,’ but there are many incentives to help. Also, Meghan said she is the best point of contact if the you Arlingtonions want to talk more about walk-throughs and rebates. She can be reached at (802)774-8233.
  3. First, Meghan explained that Efficiency Vermont does provide free walk-throughs of municipal buildings. These are not comprehensive audits but can give you the opportunity to look at the high-level and determine opportunities and explain costs and priorities.
  4. Second, she explained that EV does provide referrals to qualified contractors with whom the town could take advantage of rebates up to $5000 per municipal building for audits.
  5. Third, she suggested Arlington look into their rebates for lighting fixtures and installation. You would first want to get a quote from an electrician and then reach out to EV. Check out available rebates here:”
  6. Regarding the Town Hall, John found out the number of gallons of oil used per year from Miles Lumber (2,105 gallons for 2018) and the square feet of the town hall (from the listers, 4,510 square feet).  He applied the efficiency equation, and came up with 64,563 BTU/square feet of heated area.  Anything over 40,000 means there is room for improvement.  Considering how infrequently the hall is used, this is significantly high and means there are things to be done to become more efficient and save the town money.  An energy audit would definitely be warranted.  John will call Meghan Chambers at Efficiency Vermont, to see about an audit versus a walk-through.  An audit would give the town some solid numbers and a paper trail, and a list of opportunities to make the building more efficient.  It may be that a free walk-through is still the best first step.  John will check with Keith Squires about this.
  7. John said that Keith would like us to look into what it could mean for the town to change out the bulbs in the park for night lighting, via Efficiency Vermont. 
  8. Madison reported on many funding sources that we should look into, some small and local and others larger.  These resources are on the VECAN website, which also puts out a monthly newsletter.
  9. Charles reported on the energy report he and Garret are working on for the town.  A draft of the energy chapter (which details measures already taken by the town, and private industry, to become more efficient) was approved at the Planning Commission meeting of 7/26. The next step, after making the changes requested by the committee, is to submit it to the BCRC for inclusion into the larger town plan.  The BCRC will then return the town plan to the Planning Commission for final approval.
  10. Charles shared solar and wind maps for the town of Arlington.  While there are very few sites that would be good for wind, there are many places where solar would make sense.  He will continue to identify viable sites and speak to land owners (letting the select board know ahead of time).  Charles is sure that as more people find out about this, more still will be wanting to participate.
  11. Ron will talk to MaryAnn to find out if she has had any conversations with Jim Baker regarding a town energy coordinator and our being present at the next Renewal meeting to tell people about our committee and mission.  Charles will also be talking to Jim about another issue and will ask him if someone on the Renewal committee could be a part of our committee.  It is clear that we need to do outreach and gather in more interested townspeople.
  12. Charles suggested that we should raise our visibility by posting on Front Porch Forum.  Steph will look into doing this.

Madison also recommended our contacting Button Up Vermont.  They can help us to raise our visibility.  Steph will look into this.

Steph will send out an email to the committee on the importance of gathering more members for our committee so that we can remain viable.  Charles also suggested that we do a PSA at GNAT.  Steph could do this, as well.

  1. As Steph will be very busy with the Vermont Leadership Institute beginning in September, it will be important for someone else on the committee to be willing to take a turn at setting the agendas, doing the minutes, and keeping the meetings on track.  Steph will help with this, when available, but someone else will need to be the point person.  We are off to such a good start.  It will be great welcoming in more people to help fulfill the mission set out by the committee to reduce our town’s carbon footprint while saving the town lots of money.
  2. Madison will help us with Asset Mapping at the beginning of our next meeting, which will be MONDAY, Sept. 23, 7 to 8:30pm, Arlington Community House.  Please note new weekday meeting date!

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