Energy Committee Meeting Minutes 8.17.2020

Arlington Energy Committee Meeting August 17, 2020 via Zoom

Present: Stephanie Moffett-Hynds, Mardi Crane, Bryan Dalton, Alexandra Ernst, Rich Lederer, Karen Lee, Garrett Siegel, Ron Weber.

Next meeting: Monday, August 31 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.


  1. Update on flyers to summer lunch program:  Bryan
  2. Update on Sandwich Board at Farmers Market:  Steph
  3. Collaboration with Sunderland Energy Committee:  news from Jeff Dexter.
  4. Hosting table at Farmers Market
  5. E-bike Seminar at Sunderland Town Hall
  6. Weather-stripping seminar
  7. Videos for GNAT/testimonials for Banner
  8. Update and Button Up VT 2020 Participating Community
  9. Visibility:  Happening in Vermont facebook page

Energy flyers: Bryan confirmed that Allison Strohl from the Bennington County Regional Commission (BCRC) copied 41 sets of flyers on energy savings and weatherization programs from Efficiency Vermont and the Bennington-Rutland Opportunity Council (BROC), which he then handed over to Sandy Grover to include in the bags of groceries handed out at Arlington High School on Tuesday, August 11 to families in town who need them.

Farmers Market sandwich board: Steph laminated the EV and BROC flyers and mounted them on the board.  Members agreed the board looks good but with social distancing the information is too small.  Steph has pressed EV for a QCR code so people can snap it with their phones and be led to all the handouts and websites; she will keep trying. During the week, per Nick the board can reside in the unlocked vestibule of Town Hall.  Staffing: members reported their experiences as volunteers at the Market, running the gamut from visitors without masks ignoring social distancing, to others keeping masks on and following the rules.  Steph will set up and take down the board and table each week.

There isn’t a booth available for us Friday, Sept. 28, but we will have a booth for the remaining two markets on Sept. 4 & 11.  Anyone who feels comfortable being a presence at the booth for any amount of time on those days would be most welcome.  Having someone there is what draws people over — especially if you call out to them that you want to make sure they know about efficiency rebates and incentives.

Steph will put a condensed flyer on the Heer store’s outside bulletin board.  It was agreed the bulletin board at the Rec Park would be too exposed to elements and damage.

Town Hall energy work: Town Manager Nick Zaiac reported bids on the boiler will be coming in this week.

E-bike event: Sunderland’s energy committee (Jeff Dexter) and Battenkill Bicycles owner Barrack Evans also are interested in hosting an event to explain e-bikes to local residents.  The new bike lane on Sunderland Hill Rd. just south of Hill Farm Rd. might be a good location, especially as it’s on a steep hill. Efficiency Vermont has increased the rebate on e-bikes from $200 to $300; the bikes start at around $1000.  They would be an option for local travel instead of a gas-powered car. Steph is talking with Jeff and Barrack.

Weatherstripping webinar: Sunderland EC’s Jeff Dexter is planning to run a webinar on DIY weatherstripping and air sealing. Members noted it should be focused on local people, and agreed AEC can publicize it.

Bennington Banner energy testimonials, and videos: Karen scheduled times to talk with Ron and Steph to work through their testimonial articles on their home improvements. 

Karen emphasized that even short videos on a single project are worthwhile in encouraging local residents to consider new technology to save energy and reduce pollution, showing our local faces.  Karen knows farmers in other towns who have done such projects and might also appear in videos.  People want to know the economics, as they perceive the new technology as expensive.  The videos can portray the gamut of projects, from very inexpensive rain barrels, battery operated lawn mowers, efficient toilets, and DIY weatherstripping, to larger installations that require more investment up front but also can be financed affordably.  The economics of solar panels are improving, as cost of production is going down and cost of other means of generating power are going up, even though government incentives are decreasing. These videos can run repeatedly on GNAT, and be shared through BCRC, BROC, Efficiency Vermont and other town energy committees.  Karen volunteered to work with anyone who’s willing to do a video of their energy projects — she is skilled in iMovie and GNAT’s equipment at their studio — and she will try to reformat her presentation on financing solar projects so we can use it. 

Button Up Vermont is publicizing Weatherization Wednesdays.  Efficiency VT does have several DYI weatherization videos on their website and are inviting people to share theirs.  We might want to do that with the ones we are making. But their videos are not really a step-by-step how-to.  This is where someone with know-how could really do a great service by making short videos.  Perhaps we should find local contractors or handy people who would consider doing so.  (We could also find some online and share links to them — if we just had our own website or facebook page or we used the “Happening in Vermont” page.)

Visibility: Steph pointed out we need to have a platform Arlingtonians can go to for information from the AEC, or to contact us. The Facebook page “Happening in Arlington VT” has the most traffic, and might be a good location.

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