Arlington Energy Committee Meeting Minutes 9.30.19

Arlington Energy Committee

Meeting Minutes, taken by Stephanie Moffett-Hynds

Monday, September 30, 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, Rich Lederer, John Williams, MaryAnn Carlson, Jean Freebern, Gerret Siegel, Alexandra Ernst, Madison Kremer, Karen Lee

The meeting began with a welcome to Karen Lee whom we are delighted to have join us.  Stephanie offered to continue as committee chair and the group approved the offer.

UPDATES

  1. Rich reported on the light bulb replacement project in all school classrooms. He was in touch with Jamie Paustian who said he is waiting for Efficiency VT to get back to him to do a walk-through before he can go forward with replacing the light bulbs, as they have some money to put towards this project, but need to see the buildings first. 

Steph wondered if it might not be helpful to have a few students to help with this project.  They would be offering great community service (that’s a lot of light bulbs to change) while they would be learning about the ways in which such upgrades can save the town money and lower its carbon footprint.  Service + learning.  These students could come from the AMHS Environmental Club or simply be any interested students.  Going a step further, they could share what they have accomplished with the school in an assembly and/or in their school newspaper and/or on GNAT TV.  Rich will go to the next school board meeting on Oct. 16 to see what they think of the idea and how it might be implemented.

  • Regarding a Town Hall energy walk-through vs audit:  John already reported at the last meeting that he had applied the efficiency equation to the building and 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 next step then would be a walk-through and then an audit.  Steph will call Megan Chambers at EV to double check that the walk-throughs are free and to get a sense of how soon one could be scheduled, should the select board give the go-ahead.  She will also find out how much an audit might cost for a building that size and how much of a rebate Arlington could get for having done an audit.

The committee decided that it would be good to attend the next select board meeting at 7:00pm on Oct. 7th to officially introduce ourselves, to acknowledge all the great efficiency work the town has already undertaken, and to offer our services to help with future projects, beginning with an efficiency walk-through with EV of the town hall.  We will ask their permission to schedule this and also ask that at least one select board member be in attendance.  Steph will call Janet Barry to ask to be put on the select board agenda.  Madison will pull together a list of items discussed that we’d like to share with the select board.  Are there other municipal buildings that they would want EF to walk through while they are here?  It will be important to get the walk-through and audit done asap, so that any recommended projects can be entered as line items in the next budget.

  • John also said that, regarding the Rec. Park lights, Efficiency VT should also look at those and give us a sense of what we might do to make them more efficient.  Perhaps they could do this when they look at the town hall.
  • Garret and John reported that the Energy Chapter of Town Plan is being reviewed by the BCRC to make sure it is all legal and then it will come back to the select board for approval.
  • Charles Moore reported via email: “I sent letters to the homeowners identified on the map as potential solar sites. Only one homeowner declined to be included on the map. BCRC will update the map and the energy chapter to reflect this change.”
  • AEC Visibility
    • MaryAnn:  will attend the next Arlington Area Renewal meeting to see if there is anyone who would like to work with us as a representative from the AAR group.
    • Front Porch Forum:  Karen offered to post our meetings on FPF in the future and Madison will also continue to help with social media outreach.  She has done a great job reaching out and locating community members.
    • Madison and Stephanie have both reached out to teachers at AMHS, but have not yet heard back from them.  Seeing that Bennington appointed a student to their new energy committee, the group agreed that it would be excellent for Arlington to have a student on our energy committee.  Rich offered to reach out in person to Breana and Jaclyn at AMHS.

MEETING ACTIVITY:  Asset Mapping with Madison Kramer from the BCRC

Madison took the group through a very helpful mapping exercise wherein we brainstormed about the wealth of resources we have mostly right within our own community.  We put them in four categories:  human, institutional/civic, physical, and cultural.  It was wonderful to realize how many resources we have all around us.  Madison will compile our lists and share them back with the group. 

OTHER

  • We scheduled the next two meetings:  November 4 and December 2, in addition to the select board meeting we will attend on October 7

The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.

Minutes taken by Stephanie.

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