Arlington Energy Committee
Monday, July 6, 2020
7:00pm via Zoom
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: MaryAnn Carlson, Mardi Crane, Bryan Dalton, Alex Ernst, Jean Freebern, Rich Lederer, Karen Lee, Stephanie Moffett-Hynds, Garret Siegel, later joined by Sunderland Energy Committee members Jeff Dexter, Andrew McKeever, and John Herrington
Town Hall Energy Audit Spreadsheet
Steph reported on the status of the memo that the committee will be sending to the select board, letting them know what information we need to gather in order to give them a full analysis of the cost benefits for each of the proposed efficiency measures for the Town Hall. Karen, who has already put together a spreadsheet of all the components, drafted the memo and Steph will send it to the select board, copying new town manager Nick Zaiac, essentially asking the town to solicit bids on the work and to provide access to the hall to our committee member Bryan so he can do an audit of all the light bulbs in the building that could be replaced with more efficient bulbs.
Connecting with the New Town Manager
The committee decided that we should invite Nick Zaiac to join us at our next meeting in two weeks so that we can make his acquaintance and explore how we can best work together. Steph will invite him and send him the minutes of tonight’s meeting. The next meeting is Monday, July 20, 7pm, via Zoom.
Steph reported on the ButtonUp webinar she attended today. It was specifically for town energy committees. Here is an excerpt from their website https://buttonupvermont.org/2020-campaign:
For Button Up 2020, we’ll continue to offer expert advice through online events, virtual home energy visits, and resources on our website. And we’re going a step further to help you help your neighbor. We’ve partnered with the Vermont Community Foundation to build the Button Up Vermont Fund, paying for weatherization projects for low income Vermonters. It’s an opportunity to help your neighbors and double your impact with matching contributions from Button Up sponsors.
Steph signed the Arlington Energy Committee up to be included in their plans. The biggest take-away from the webinar is that NOW is the time to do weatherization projects. There have never been so many incentives and funds, much of which may disappear after August 31. It would be great to get the word out to our neighbors asap (see notes below on table at farmers’ market).
Steph also contacted Vicki Loomis, Development and Marketing Specialist of BROC. Here is what Vicki communicated:
BROC Community Action is still providing Weatherization. We are just getting back into people’s homes to start work again. Right now we are using our website, social media sites and our weekly radio advertising to get the word out. We have everyone interested “Call Kelly” at 802.665.1748 and she is able to walk people through the application process and approval. Please let me know how the committee meeting goes tonight and if there is anything we can collaborate on to help get the word out and get people comfortable in their homes, I am happy to do that.
Sunderland Energy Committee members joined us at 7:30
It was great having Jeff, Andrew and John with us, bringing a whole host of ideas for us to discuss and consider as we figure out ways we might combine forces efficiently to help our townspeople. Karen Lee described the project the committee had been working on: gathering testimonials from committee members and others in our community who have already done weatherization and efficiency work in their homes. Karen will provide a template for what should be included in these and will then submit them to The Bennington Banner which has already approved having an ongoing column. Expanding on this, the two committees decided, with Andrew’s guidance, to encourage people to do short five-minute tapings of their efficiency improvements that could be aired on GNAT TV. Andrew advised that these be brief, zero in right away on what the project is, why it is important and how much money is being saved. It is important that the video be shot with appropriate light and without distracting background noise. Bryan also cautioned folks to be careful about what personal items are included in the background, to safeguard their privacy and security.
Arlington Farmers’ Market
The markets will resume this Friday and Garret will contact Jessica Roberts to find out more about what would be involved if we were to secure a table there. We would like to provide information to our citizens about ways they can make their homes more efficient, comfortable, and cost effective. Bryan advised that we put up a poster with all the pertinent descriptions and contact information for weatherization providers – an information sheet that people could take a picture of with their phones (since we want to cut down on paper and too much in-person contact because of the Coronavirus). MaryAnn will contact Jim Sullivan to see if the BCRC already has this information gathered on one sheet. Steph will ask Vicki Loomis of BROC to send something that we could post, in case their information is not on the BCRC list.
Getting the Word Out
We discussed the need to have a facebook page and to use all the different social media platforms to spread the word about any initiatives we might take on. Sunderland has a BBA student on their committee who has created their page and is overseeing the social media piece for them. Rich will reach out to AMHS again to see if there is a student or two who would like to do this for the committee. They could get credit for this work. Mardi pointed out that it would also be a great opportunity for us to serve as mentors.
The meeting adjourned at 8:25pm.
The next meeting is scheduled two weeks from today on Monday, July 20, 7pm. The Zoom invitation for the meeting will come from either Mardi or Rich.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Stephanie Moffett-Hynds