Energy Committee Meeting Minutes 1.24.24

Arlington Energy Committee


Wednesday, January 24, 2024; 5:00 – 6:30 pm 

In Person at Town Hall and Online

In attendance:

Present in Town Hall: Stephanie Moffett-Hynds, Joan Nash, Mary Anne Holmes, Andrew McKeever (GNAT-TV)

On zoom: Mardi Crane,


Jenny Murtaugh, Karen Lee, Alexandra Ernst, Nick Zaiac

  1. CALL TO ORDER: at 5:00 pm
  2. Special Working Session:  The purpose of the meeting was to focus on the next steps in creating instructions for the carbon tracking tool that will eventually be available on the AEC page on the town website. The goal was and continues to be to create guidance and access to the tool so that other towns may use a template version of it, as well.  

Most of the discussion centered around three things:  the spreadsheet, the home and landing pages of the AEC tab on the website, and the PowerPoint that will provide a tutorial on how to use the template.

Over the previous two weeks before the meeting, committee members added their thoughts to a shared document on Dropbox that provided a space for input on each of the areas that will be on the Landing Page (Tools, References and Sources, Feedback, Contact/Support, Disclaimer, PowerPoint). Karen provided some excellent language in the document that will go on the Landing Page (Who the AEC is, what we are attempting to provide with the tool, etc.)

Mardi advocated for really clear language in the Tools section that will make sense to the average person on the street. 

Mary Anne, Joan and Steph dovetailed that with a report on the good meeting they had with Don Keelan the day before in which Don emphasized the need for the committee to talk about the work of the committee and the tool in clear, relatable terms.  Find equivalencies for comparing the tons of carbon used or saved by different entities (a car, a person, a house, an acre of trees), for example, in everyday objects.  Create illustrations. This will be important at Town Meeting and at the Energy Fair in May. The committee asked themselves, “How do we communicate this to anybody outside of our committee—to the Select Board, to our fellow residents, to other energy committees?”, “How do we show the money involved and saved?”, “How do we show where the opportunities for saving are?” The group’s homework is to find clear analogies to explain what it is doing.

There was a lot of discussion about what to include/create to tell the story.  One idea might be to have a link on the Landing Page to an explanation called something like, “Energy Efficiency Basics: What You Need to Know.” In addition, in the Tools section, there could be a succinct glossary of the functions in the spreadsheet with a link for each that would take the reader to an illustration of the function (which could also be one of the pages of the PowerPoint Joan is going to create). 

Next Steps:


  • Steph will find out from Nick who the website administrator is and put that person in touch with Joan to make sure that what the committee is envisioning can actually work and to plan for next steps in design layout and functionality.
  • Steph will also check with Nick on the kind of legal language needed for the disclaimer.
  • Steph will confer with Nick on the Contact/Support link.
  • Steph will refine the Landing Page verbiage.
  • Mary Anne will work on the Feedback document, as well as the References & Sources section (as well as seek out analogies to help illustrate the purpose of the tool).
  • Joan will work on the glossary.
  • Joan will develop the contact/support page for a workable process.
  • Everyone is asked to continue to add to the working document and to add their thoughts to the comment pane.  When adding something to the document, PLEASE be sure to first click on the REVIEW tab at the top and then click on TRACK CHANGES.  Then when you type something into the document, it will automatically change the color and show who is making the addition.

TESTING:  Steph relayed that Bob Bois, chair of the newly formed Wilmington Energy Committee, is very interested in using the tool. While Steph let him know that it is not quite ready yet to be shared with the public, she did ask him if they might like to test the tool for the AEC.  Bob was not sure if they had someone proficient in Excel to do this, but he’ll check. The committee also asked Andrew McKeever (who was taping b-roll during this meeting for a piece on the tool) if Sunderland might like to take it for a test drive, too (he thought they probably would).  Dorset?  Steph will ask Jim Hand.  Mary Anne Holmes knows someone in Quebec who is also interested (Joan advised that the AEC add a conversion column for English units, in this case.)

The committee will continue its work on the project, coming back together again in two weeks to bring it ever closer to being ready for prime time.

  • OTHER:

Meanwhile, the energy fair subcommittee continues to meet every Friday morning.  Steph had a walk-through of the Arlington Common on Sunday with Sandra to see what the AEC might be able to use for the fair.  She will also meet with Jessica Twardy Roberts next week to learn from Wilmington’s experience putting on an energy fair.  More on that at the next meeting.

  • Meeting adjourned at 6:15 pm.

Next mtg:  Feb 7, 6:30pm   

Minutes respectfully prepared by Stephanie, edited by Mary Anne Holmes.

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