Foundational Climate Work in New Hampshire
The path to global warming solutions in the Cool Monadnock region starts with the Carbon Coalition.
The Carbon Coalition is a non-partisan coalition of citizens, scientists, businesses, students, communities and organizations, who came together to advocate for a national energy policy that protects our communities and environment from the ravages of global warming caused by carbon pollution.
The Carbon Coalition grew out of efforts by some of New Hampshire’s leading environmental groups, including the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Appalachian Mountain Club, Audubon Society of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Public Interest Research Group, and Clean Air-Cool Planet, a Portsmouth-based group specializing in solutions to global warming.
The Carbon Coalition took a major step towards reducing NH carbon emissions with its clarion call, in April 2003, for NH citizens to “put global warming and the damaging health and economic effects of carbon pollution high on the political agenda.” Just a few years later, the Carbon Coalition was the chief force behind the NH Climate Change Resolution, circulated in towns throughout NH in advance of the 2007 Annual Meeting. By May of that year, 164 NH towns had heeded the call.
Wasting no time, the Carbon Coalition created the Local Energy Committee Working Group (LECWG) to capitalize on the success of its climate change resolution initiative. The mission of the Local Energy Committee Working Group is to provide collaborative guidance and technical support to New Hampshire Local Energy Committees seeking to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions within their communities. Over 90 local energy committees (LECs) formed in 2007-2008.
Cool Monadnock Initiated
The same period saw the beginning of Cool Monadnock, a three-year joint initiative between Clean Air-Cool Planet and Antioch New England Institute. Cool Monadnock is a collaborative community mobilization effort, made possible by funding through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, that served the towns of the Monadnock Region that are members of the Southwest Region Planning Commission. The majority of the towns in this region passed resolutions at the 2007 Town Meeting to form local energy task forces (e.g., LECs) and to take action on greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction. The goal of Cool Monadnock is to achieve significant reductions in GHG emissions in the Monadnock Region.
Cool Monadnock Partner Organizations
Clean Air-Cool Planet is an action-oriented environmental group working directly with corporations, communities, and campuses to develop and implement voluntary greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts. A 501(c)(3) qualified non-profit organization, CA-CP works throughout the Northeast to provide practical solutions that demonstrate the economic opportunities and environmental benefits associated with early actions on climate change.
Antioch New England Institute (ANEI) is a consulting and community outreach department of Antioch University New England. ANEI promotes a vibrant and sustainable environment, economy, and society by encouraging informed civic engagement. It provides training, programs and resources (U.S. and international) in leadership development, place-based education, nonprofit management, environmental education and policy, smart growth and public administration.
Community Education, Networking and Workshops
With a plan to convert political resolution to action, Cool Monadnock held a kick-off event in Winter, 2008. By spring, additional events were providing community participants with the science of climate change. At the beginning of April, for example, Antioch New England Instituted hosted a lecture on Climate Change in the Northeast U.S.: Past, Present, & Future. Guest speaker was Cameron P. Wake, research associate professor with the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire.
In June, Cool Monadnock collaborated with EPA on a Community Energy Forum, held in Keene, NH at Antioch University New England. Attendees learned about the work of the Jordan Institute, a New Hampshire non-profit organization working to implement significant climate change solutions by reducing fossil fuel use in buildings. The forum moved from a discussion of rising carbon emissions and the potential effect in Southern New Hampshire to:
- a review of NH energy cost data (showing upward changes);
- an introduction to conducting a building energy assessment (using Portfolio Manager software);
- a demonstration of how reducing energy costs and carbon emissions might both result from increased energy efficiency in public buildings (e.g., schools); and, finally,
- an overview of ways to achieve greater efficiency.
In August 2008, the Carbon Coalition Local Energy Committee Working group and the NH Department of Environmental Services began a series of four regional round tables, one of which as hosted in Keene by Cool Monadonck. The round tables focused on a discussion of the Governor’s Climate Change Policy Task Force. The purpose of the round tables was to gather Action Plan input from Local Energy Committee members. Members’ ideas about content and implementation of an action plan were of special interest.
At a Breakfast Roundtable in February 2009, citizens, government officials, and community group leaders shared news, tips, and concerns about their energy efficiency efforts to date. They also gathered to hear Jim Gruber and Christa Koehler, directors of Cool Monadnock, tell them about new avenues for financial support of energy efficiency projects. Federal economic stimulus plan funds and monies from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) would be available for energy efficiency on a competitive basis.
Roundtable participants did some brainstorming around proposal ideas. The Cool Monadnock program offered assistance to those interested in submitting a proposal. Summary notes and a list of project ideas generated at the Breakfast Roundtable went out to all attendees.
Participants in the Breakfast Roundtable made the following recommendations for energy conservation actions (they have been taken into consideration in the writing of this Plan):
SPECIFIC TYPES OF PROJECTS/PROGRAMS
- Municipal retrofits
- A regional technical resource network
- Regional “green centers” – Green Center would be a one stop shop for educational resources.
- Weatherization of non and low income
- Strategy to share regional resources and skills
- First steps: committee formation, inventory and audits, forming an LEC
- Home energy audits
- Shovel ready projects identified, created and made available
- Public transportation (including buses) for local and inter community
- Buses that exist should incorporate bike racks for inter-modal transportation options.
- Training for energy auditors and other programs to create green jobs in region
- Weatherization workshops created for region
- Energy Commissions created by state statute
- More community education and awareness on conservation and energy efficiency
- Education of forest resource importance
- Education on real impacts of bio-fuels (travel distance, displacement of food, energy ratio)
- Access to up to date climate science
- Develop tools and information on local adaptation
- Publicize success stories in region
- Adopt State Climate Action Plan
- State law for consideration of renewable energy in projects
- Requirement for funding for weatherization for homes receiving LIHEAP money must have weatherization
- Carbon Tax implemented
- Accelerate PUC rulemaking (in process) for renewable energy installation
- State legislation and policy created to provide initiatives for building standards and lighting
- Ability to purchase green power from utility
- Low interest or no interest revolving loan fund for energy retrofits. NH legislation would need to be amended to allow
- Form Buying Group through possibly Cool Monadnock: For example insulation bought in large quantities, etc. This would require funding to Cool Monadnock to buy quantities in bulk to then be distributed to towns at low price due to bulk purchasing
- Create state incentives for small communities to share certain facilities and resources on joint projects
- Support location tax credits
- Allow for a regional entity to disperse low interest loans to towns seeking funds to retrofit town buildings. Loans could be paid back as savings are accrued through reduction in energy usage. Loan would be structured to allow municipality to enter this type of performance contract without having to go through town meeting.
On May 20, 2009, the Cool Monadnock and the Keene Cities for Climate Protection Committee brought together resource people and local leaders and activists at a workshop titled From Data to Action. The resource people had expertise directly relevant to preparations in the Monadnock region to lower energy costs. Their areas of expertise included: audits and retrofitting of buildings, transportation and fleet management, streetlight reductions and retrofits, alternative energy technologies, and education outreach for behavior change.
Baseline Inventories for Monadnock Municipalities
In 2008 and 2009, Cool Monadnock assistants reached out to the 35 municipalities in the region and offered to assist each of them with creating a baseline inventory of their municipal energy usage. Over the course of the two years, twenty of the municipalities responded with the interest and local capacity (municipal staff and local volunteers) to be able to complete the baseline inventory process.
Cool Monadnock assistants worked with local citizens to review energy bills (electricity, heating fuel, and vehicle fuel) for all municipal operations (buildings, vehicle fleets, and street lighting) for one year, typically 2005. The data they collected included the cost of energy, as well as the number of units of energy used (gallons of fuel or kWh of electricity). This information was analyzed using the ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) Clean Air and Climate Protection software tool and the online Portfolio Manager software from the Environmental Protection Agency. Each participating municipality was provided with a report that described the relative amounts of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy costs of the municipal sectors as well as each individual municipal building. Each report gave specific recommendations about the priority actions the municipality can take to save energy costs.
Challenges experienced in the baseline inventory projects in 20 Monadnock municipalities were very informative to other inventory projects across the state. The Cool Monadnock team learned the critical need to gain the buy-in of local citizens, staff and officials who needed to really grasp the fiscal and strategic advantages of planned energy conservation. Another important challenge was dealing with the varied forms of billing from energy providers as well as record keeping within municipalities. In fact, experiences within the Monadnock region contributed to state-wide discussions with utility companies about stream-lining on-line access to energy data and possible mechanisms for moving municipal energy data directly into software tools.
The Cool Monadnock team completed baseline inventories for the following towns:
This report is a summary of greenhouse gas emissions and energy use for the town of Temple, NH for the year 2005. The focus of this report is the municipal operations of the town, with special emphasis on town-owned buildings. It does not encompass residential, commercial, or industrial energy use. It has been prepared by the Cool Monadnock Project4, a collaborative project of Clean Air-Cool Planet, Antioch New England Institute, and the Southwest Regional Planning Commission. Data was gathered through the volunteer efforts of the Cool Monadnock Town Representative and analyzed by the Cool Monadnock team, using EPA Portfolio Manager software and Clean Air and Climate Protection software provided by ICLEI.5
5For more information on EPA Portfolio Manager Software, see www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=evaluate_performance.bus_portfoliomanager. Information on CACP software is at www.cacpsoftware.org.
Town population: 1,554 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006)
Area of Municipality: 22.5 sq. mi.
Population Density: 69.8/sq. mi.
Number of municipal buildings: 4.
Total area of municipal building space: 10,108 sq. ft.
Average energy intensity of all municipal buildings: 43 kBtu/sq. ft.
Number of street lights: 1 (library, town hall parking lot)
Number of vehicles in fleet: 13
Number of municipal employees: 10
Total cost of municipal energy use in 2005: $31,991
Total municipal energy use in 2005: 2,163 MMBtu
Total municipal CO2 emissions in 2005: 159 tons
For each participating municipality, data was gathered on the operations of several sectors under the jurisdiction of the municipal government: the buildings, vehicle fleet, employee travel (how much municipal employees travel to work and other travel for municipal business), street lights, water and sewage, and waste. Different types of energy use were considered depending on the sectors, such as electricity use, heating fuel use, fuel for vehicles, and tons of waste. Where records were available, the costs of purchasing these energy sources were factored in to the analysis. The ICLEI software was used for the analysis of the aggregate data on all municipal sectors.
Table 1. Energy use, equivalent carbon emissions6, and costs, by municipal sector
Source: Cool Monadnock inventory, 2008 Generated by CACP Software
6According to the Clean Air and Climate Protection software, “Equivalent CO2 (eCO2) is a common unit that allows emissions of greenhouse gases of different strengths to be added together. For carbon dioxide itself, emissions in tons of CO2 and tons of eCO2 are the same thing, whereas for nitrous oxide, an example of a stronger greenhouse gas, one ton of emissions is equal to 310 tons eCO2.”
7The Clean Air and Climate Protection software presents energy use in MMBtus, which is one million British Thermal Units, a common measure of energy consumption (see www.energyvortex.com/energydictionary/british_thermal_unit_(btu)_mbtu_mmbtu.html).
Graph 1a. Municipal Energy Use (MMBtu)
Graph 1b. Municipal Carbon Equivalent Emissions (tons)
Graph 1c. Energy Costs by Municipal Sector ($)
The three graphs illustrate the fact that the vehicle sector is the most significant sector in Temple in terms of energy use and energy cost, and especially in terms of carbon equivalent emissions. The vehicle sector comprised 52% of energy use and 57% of energy costs, but a full 62% of emissions. The building sector is the only other significant energy sector in Temple, using 48% of the energy and comprising 41% of the energy costs, as well as contributing 37% of the carbon equivalent emissions. While the waste sector does not generally contribute to energy use in towns, it did register as 1% of the town’s emissions and 2% of its energy costs. In Temple, the town’s four buildings and thirteen vehicles offer the greatest opportunities for energy savings. The Cool Monadnock project performed specific analysis on municipal buildings that is outlined in the following section. This information should be helpful in identifying which buildings within the building sector present the greatest opportunities for savings.
Data was gathered for each individual building managed by the municipality. The following table combines data from EPA Portfolio Manager software (energy intensity, CO2 emissions) and CACP software (energy use). Data on costs were entered into the Portfolio Manager software. Graphs below illustrate the relative intensity of energy use and their costs among the buildings under the municipal jurisdiction.
Table 2. Carbon emissions, energy use, and costs, by municipal building
Source: Cool Monadnock inventory, 2008
Carbon data generated by EPA Portfolio Manager Program; energy use generated by CACP software
8Carbon emissions on the EPA Portfolio Manager software are measured as carbon dioxide emissions only and do not include equivalents for other types of greenhouse gas emissions.
Graph 2a. Energy Use by Building (MMBtu)
Graph 2b. Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Building (tons)
Graph 2c. Energy Costs by Building ($)
Graph 2a illustrates that two buildings – the highway department garage and the municipal building/fire department – used the most energy at 41% and 37% respectively. The library and town hall used less energy at 14% and 8% respectively. However, the town garage appears to have had very low carbon emissions relative to the amount of energy used, as it only accounts for 6% of carbon emissions (and 7% of the energy costs) despite occupying 41% of the energy use. The municipal building/fire department, on the other hand, accounted for a full 58% of the carbon emissions and 52% of the energy costs despite occupying only 37% of the energy use. The library, with 14% of the energy use, occupied 21% of the carbon emissions and 25% of the energy costs. The town hall, with the relatively small 8% of energy use, accounted for 15% of carbon emissions and 16% of costs. The library, town hall, and fire department have higher proportions of carbon emissions compared to their share of energy use. A closer look at the data would explain that the proportions of energy use, emissions, and costs are affected by the fact that the town garage used primarily wood heat9 which was obtained cost free to the town. Wood heat appears to provide a larger amount of energy with lower carbon equivalent emissions as well.
Table 3. Energy Intensity, by municipal building
Source: Cool Monadnock inventory, 2008
Energy intensity data generated by EPA Portfolio Manager Program
9The highway garage also shares a propane tank with the library. For the purposes of this study, we have estimated that 20% of the propane was used by the highway garage and the rest was used by the library. This estimate was made by the lead employee of the town garage.
10Site energy intensity = amount of energy expended per square foot on site to heat, cool, and electrify the area. This measure relates to how much is being used on site and fluctuates directly with how much lighting is being used, how thermostats are kept, etc.
11Source energy intensity = amount of energy expended per square foot based on the source of energy (hydropower, nuclear, coal, fuel oil, etc) and the efficiency of that fuel type.
Graph 3a. Site and Source Energy Intensity by Building (kBtu/sq.ft.)
Graph 3b. Site Energy Intensity and Average Site Energy Intensity for Type of Building (kBtu/sq.ft.)
Graph 3c. Source Energy Intensity and Average Source Energy Intensity for Type of Building (kBtu/sq.ft.)
Energy intensity is the most powerful tool that the Cool Monadnock Project has available for measuring the relative energy efficiency of particular buildings. Site energy intensity can be addressed through behavioral and energy conservation measures whereas source energy intensity would require alterations in the type of energy being used to power, heat, or cool a space. The best opportunities for saving energy on site would involve behavioral changes (such as keeping lights and computers turned off; turning down thermostats) and energy conserving technologies (such as motion sensor lighting). Measures to save source energy would include switching the type of fuel being used to heat or cool a space and asking your electricity provider to use green sources of energy.
In Temple, the building with the highest energy intensity in both categories is the library. The town garage has extremely low energy intensity numbers. All buildings in Temple have lower energy intensities than the average for buildings measured by Portfolio Manager. Nevertheless, there are opportunities to further reduce the energy intensities of the buildings and save energy and money in the municipal buildings in Temple. The relative efficiency of the town garage illustrates the possibilities available for further energy savings. The graphs also show that site energy intensity in the buildings is higher than source energy intensities, so the opportunities for savings can be found in behavioral changes on on-site updates that conserve energy.
- Review existing Master Plan, Zoning Ordinances, and other town policies for inconsistencies with the goal to reduce energy usage
- Focus on the Municipal Building and Library for: Implementation of a behavioral change program based on the CA-CP guide. Then expand the program to all other buildings. See attached guide.
- Focus on the Library, Town Hall and Municipal buildings for increased energy conservation through weatherization, insulation and recommendations from Energy Audit on Municipal Building.
- Implement buying strategy of Energy Star equipment and Products and environmentally sensitive office products, and implement awareness campaigns to encourage “thoughtful” consumption of equipment and products.
- Evaluate ways to reduce fuel usage with vehicle fleet. This can be done by analyzing routes, usage, and a strict anti-idling policy.
- Find alternative energy sources to reduce escalating fossil fuel prices and emissions. Investigate payback for possibly installing: a small CHP unit, biomass heating system or geothermal heat pump.
- Create an Energy Savings Trust Fund to be used in the future for energy saving initiatives within a 5 year payback. Submit this Fund for majority vote at 2009 Town Meeting. Work with CA-CP to create this fund.
- Encourage recycling and composting to the extent possible, in order to divert the amount of municipal solid waste (organic matter) going to landfill.
As members of the Southwest Regional Planning Commission and the Cool Monadnock project, your municipality has access to support and guidance as you plan for the most effective and targeted energy saving measures. It is recommended that each town have a Local Energy Committee that will meet with the Cool Monadnock staff to review the findings of this report. The Carbon CO2alition’s New Hampshire Handbook on Energy Efficiency and Climate Change can be a resource on energy committee formation and energy efficiency options12. Through collaboration and consultation between the Local Energy Committee, the Board of Selectpersons or City Council, and Cool Monadnock, the town may identify the most effective and feasible projects that are likely to save energy and costs in the shorter and longer terms. With further collaborative research, the committee, with the assistance of the Cool Monadnock staff, can then identify any sources of financial support that will facilitate energy saving projects.
Greenhouse gas inventory approach
Data collection for this inventory involved collaborative efforts between the Cool Monadnock staff, which organized the data collection process over all, and the local town representative volunteers. With personal connections to their home towns, volunteers were better able to ascertain where to access certain data and to spend time at local offices sorting through bills and records. To collect the data in each town, data sheets were developed based on the software/program that was used for data processing. We used 2005 as a baseline year to collect the fuel and energy consumption information. Data sheets were sent to the town representative, who then collected and/or accessed the data. Follow-ups were done on a regular basis to make sure that the inventory progressed, the data collection process was effective, and the data needed was more or less accurately collected.
Data processing and data analysis
To process the data collected, we used two types of fuel and energy assessment software. The first was the Clean Air and Climate Protection (CACP) software used to quantify and estimate the amount of energy used and the greenhouse gases (GHG) generated from the energy usage. The CACP software allowed us to make community and government analysis of the GHG inventory. The second was the EPA Portfolio Manager Benchmarking Program, used to assess the energy consumption and GHG generated in specific buildings, based on square footage.
List of Acronyms
CACP ==== Clean Air and Climate Protection (software)
CA-CP === Clean Air-Cool Planet
EPA ===== Environmental Protection Agency
GHG ===== Greenhouse Gas
kBtu ===== Kilo British Thermal Units
MMBtu === Million British Thermal Units
SWRPC === Southwest Region Planning Commission
TEMPLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE: Since establishing the Temple Economical Energy Committee (TEEC) in 2007, Temple has become a model of the growing movement to invest in community-level efforts to save energy costs and address climate change issues.
Temple was prompted to take action on energy through the climate change resolution at the 2007 Town Meeting. The Temple Economical Energy Committee was established as a result of the town passing the resolution. From its inception, the TEEC aimed to reduce energy use among Temple residents as well as within the municipal operations. They used the Smart Start Program from Public Service of New Hampshire to install energy efficient lighting in municipal buildings and they set up a booth at the Community Harvest Festival to educate residents about energy conservation and give out energy efficient CFL light bulbs. The TEEC has continued to deepen its relationship with the community by participating in major community events and providing recycling services.
Measure in Order to Manage
In the winter of 2008, the TEEC conducted a baseline inventory of energy use by Temple’s municipal structures and operations for the year 2005. While the TEEC began the data collection necessary to complete the baseline inventory study of the municipality, the inventory process itself afforded the TEEC opportunities to make important connections with department heads, selectmen, and municipal staff. The inventory used Clean Air and Climate Protection Software from ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) and Portfolio Manager benchmarking software from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to compare energy use, energy cost, and emissions across the municipal sectors (buildings, vehicle fleet, street lighting, and water/sewage) as well as among buildings. The energy intensity of individual buildings was also assessed and compared to regional and national averages.
Board of Selectmen and Planning Board
The inventory allowed the TEEC to identify priority areas to address within the town’s operations. The TEEC completed an inventory report and presented the inventory results to the Board of Selectmen. The report pointed out that two of the town’s four buildings, the Municipal Building and the Library, appeared to be the highest priorities for energy-saving projects. In the spring of 2008, the selectmen agreed with the TEEC’s recommendation to have these two buildings receive in-depth energy audits, and the selectmen allocated funds for the audits.
Temple also elected to audit their town’s master plan and land use regulations. This Land Use and Energy Policy Audit process identified the inconsistencies, from an energy perspective, between the Master Plan, Zoning, Site Plan and Subdivision Regulations. The purpose of conducting an audit of a community’s planning documents and land use regulations is to ensure that future land use and associated recommendations in the Master Plan can actually be implemented under the existing regulations. This audit goes a step further and identifies energy and land use related issues that should be addressed in a future Master Plan update and regulatory changes that should be pursued. The policy audit findings were presented at a shared meeting of the Planning Board and the TEEC in February of 2009. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Planning Board invited the TEEC to meet again to begin addressing the findings of the policy audit which will include drafting an Energy Chapter for the Master Plan and adopting changes to local land use regulations. A draft Energy Chapter was completed by Clean Air Cool Planet for Temple and is under review and revision by the TEEC.
Throughout the fall of 2008, the TEEC coordinated a number of presentations and meetings to share and discuss the results of the inventory and building audits with the Board of Selectmen and citizens of Temple. The result of the policy audit was presented to the Planning Board as well and is scheduled for additional public workshops with Temple citizens for fall 2009. Based on results from the building energy audits, the TEEC in January of 2009 made formal recommendations to the Board of Selectmen to retrofit the Municipal Building and the Library to improve energy efficiency and conservation. The selectmen approved the recommendations, but the town did not have the funds necessary to support the work.
Careful Measurements and Planning Leads to Major Funding
With the inventory, building audits and policy audit as a foundation, the town of Temple submitted a proposal to the NH Public Utilities Commission for funds to complete the retrofits to the two municipal buildings, weatherize homes of low-income residents, educate residents about energy conservation, and run a pilot recycling project in the elementary school.
The proposal was among 84 very strong proposals submitted to the PUC. Temple’s proposal stood out because the early efforts to create inventories and set realistic goals, based on solid data, demonstrated their readiness to successfully complete their proposed program. This summer they were fully funded at $332,000.
Once Temple’s municipal retrofits are completed, the same software tools used in the first inventory will be used again to assess the savings in energy usage, carbon emissions, and financial costs. Even as early projects are completed, the TEEC and its supporters will continue to build on their successes, identifying deeper levels of energy saving opportunities, pursuing them, and measuring the results. Recommendations from the policy audit can provide residents with significant future energy and greenhouse gas reductions.
Strategy 1: Save Money by Eliminating Energy Waste in Buildings
Approach a: Raise Energy Efficiency Standards in New Buildings
Potential Ideas: Revise local building codes and standards; offer energy efficiency incentives
Advantages: Long term energy cost savings
Challenges: Politics of changing ordinances and codes; increase in initial building costs
- If every new building in our region were built 30% more efficiently
- by 2025 we would save $45 million
- by 2050 we would save $100 million
- If every new building in our region were built 70% more efficiently
- by 2025 we would save $55 million
- by 2050 we would save over $200 million*
Approach b: Improve Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings
Potential Ideas: Support, information and incentives for energy efficient renovations
Advantages: Significant future cost savings
Challenges: Possible barriers when retrofitting and possible rise in property taxes
- If just 1170 homes a year were made 30% more efficient
- By 2025 we would save $28 million a year
- If just 2340 homes a year were made 30% more efficient
- By 2025 we would save $65 million a year
- In either case, by 2050 we would save over $70 million a year*
Approach c: Encourage Energy Efficient Technology in All Buildings
Potential Ideas: Make lots of information available on money saved with energy efficient appliances
Advantages: Long term cost savings
Challenges: High-efficiency equipmentis more expensive at first
Approach d: Help Building Managers Increase Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings
Potential Ideas: Have every building assign an energy manager
Advantages: The commercial savings can be passed down to consumers
Challenges: It can be hard to take time and staff away from regular work
Approach e: Help Everyone to Save Energy and Money in their Homes
Potential Ideas: Inform the public of easy energy saving methods through schools, churches, civic groups and other community organizations
Advantages: Everyone in the region saves money on heating, cooling and lighting their homes
Challenges: It may take time and money to get information out to people
Strategy 2: Use Less Energy for Transportation
Approach a: Increase Miles per Gallon (mpg) in Vehicles
Potential Ideas: Create local perks for efficient vehicle users (i.e. prime parking, reduced registration fees)
Advantages: Increased mpg saves money at the pump
Challenges: Higher initial sticker price of more efficient vehicles
- Driving 20,000 miles a year and paying $2.60 per gallon costs
- $2500 for a car getting 20.8 mpg
- $1677 for a car getting 31 mpg
- $1486 for a car getting 35 mpg*
Approach b: Encourage Energy and Cost Saving Traffic Behavior
Potential Ideas: Create a no-idle policy; make more roundabouts and one-way streets
Advantages: Less money wasted on gas while sitting in traffic
Challenges: Re-engineering traffic can be expensive
Approach c: Expand and Improve Bicycle and Pedestrian Passageways
Potential Ideas: Plan for more bike paths and pedestrian walkways in the community
Advantages: Reduce traffic congestion, energy use and costs while providing access to recreation
Challenges: May cause temporary disruption to traffic and neighborhoods
Approach d: Expand Bus Service
Potential Ideas: Improve local and between-town public transportation services
Advantages: If enough people ride, bus service saves money, reduces cars on the road and eases traffic congestion for everyone
Challenges: There may be an initial cost to the town; early organization of the bus services may be challenging
Approach e: Reduce Energy Use for Travel to Work
Potential Ideas: Encourage carpooling, telecommuting and 4-day work weeks so people can drive less
Advantages: Money saved and traffic congestion reduced
Challenges: Getting people and their work places on board
- For each person added to the carpool, the amount spent on gas is cut by that number.
- If you spend $1000 driving alone, then you will spend
- $500 when driving with one other person
- $333 when driving with two other people
- $250 when driving with three other people*
Approach f: Encourage Growth that Require Less Energy for Transportation
Potential Ideas: Plan new housing in areas where there is public transportation; include pedestrian and bicycle paths to all new housing areas
Advantages: Saves money in transportation and provides incentives for people to move to the area
Challenges: Additional costs and time in development
Strategy 3: Protect Natural Resources and Ecosystems
- The managed NH forest can offset carbon emissions but many acres are needed. Each year,
- The average NH home needs 4.7 acres to offset its carbon emissions
- A car getting 20.8 mpg needs 2.67 acres to offset its carbon emissions
- A car getting 31 mpg needs 2.15 acres to offset its carbon emissions*
Approach a: Preserve Forests and Farms to Maximize Carbon Storage
Potential Ideas: Create policies and incentives that encourage land owners to protect natural vegetation for carbon sinks and habitat
Advantages: Improve the quality of our air and the quality of our communities
Challenges: There could be initial costs; some people want to develop the land
Approach b: Sustainably Manage Forests to Provide Local Goods and Services
Potential Ideas: Get people involved with the forests and aware of the recreation, timber, energy and ecosystem that it provides for our area
Advantages: The forest supports the local economy and the ecosystem in the short and long term, ensuring that our region will stay beautiful, habitable and more energy independent in the future
Challenges: Balancing the uses of the land against one another will be a difficult task
Approach c: Sustainably Manage Farms to Provide Local Goods and Services
Potential Ideas: Support local farms, farmers markets and cooperatives
Advantages: Less energy spent getting the foods to our region means more money saved for the buyers and sellers
Challenges: Community support
Approach d: Decrease the Amount of Waste Going to Landfills and Incinerators
Potential Ideas: Tax trash and use the funds to support recycling programs
Advantages: Space and cost for landfills and incinerators decreased
Challenges: It takes more time to separate trash and what is and is not recyclable is often confusing
Strategy 4: Promote Alternative Local Energy Sources
Approach a: Heat and Cool Homes and Businesses with Renewable Energy
Potential Ideas: Provide incentives for initial investment in new energy efficient technology
Advantages: Significant long term savings and energy independence
Challenges: Initial costs for new heating and cooling systems are high
Approach b: Generate Electricity at Homes and Work Places (Distributed Generation)
Potential Ideas: Create incentives for residents and businesses to install energy efficient electricity generation systems (like solar panels)
Advantages: Long term energy cost savings while creating little to no carbon emissions
Challenges: Initial costs of installing systems can be high
*The information provided is a summary of charts and graphs that were adopted for this document from other sources and are available to your upon request from your host.
Seventeen gatherings were held across the Monadnock region, with over 100 people participating in the process.
- Encourage compact development such as taller buildings that are closer together with one shared green space and stores on the bottom and housing on top, make sure there are lots of bike and pedestrian pathways
- Create a “Solar Leasing Program” where the municipalities set up solar or wind at people’s homes, it still belongs to the city, the people lease, all profits go the city, they make money, the people pay less for energy and energy is greener
- Barn-raising model: Have local educated people share their knowledge and expertise (i.e. survey others’ houses to see if solar hot water would be viable)
- Using Micro-Financing for citizens to purchase Energy Star appliances
- Zip car system – tap into the zip car system and neighborhood vehicle program (TEEC & BOS)
- Promote local farms by supporting the development of farmers markets and other forms of agri-tourism
- “Energy Roadshow”
- ANE/KSC/HS set up contests/test-house where all/most moving parts capture energy (doors, cabinets, etc.)
The following four sections explain the priorities (high-medium-low) that participants in the Neighbors Helping Neighbors gatherings and forum expressed. They were not presented with the four sectors (Municipal-Residential-Business-Educational), however, this section is meant to demonstrate the level of priority participants gave to particular actions, while matching them with the categories in which the appear in the body of the Plan.
Participants in the gatherings and the forum strongly supported four actions to be taken at the municipal level to reduce overall energy demand or dependence on non-renewable energy:
- Provide tax incentives (Property Assessed Clean Energy was named as an example) to property owners to install renewable energy technologies on their properties (such as solar panels, geothermal systems, etc)
- Create a community-owned green (renewable) electrical power generation project and/or cooperatively purchase electrical power from renewable sources
- Pass local green building codes and building energy efficiency standards
- Expand public transportation
Ideas for municipal action that received moderate support from gathering and forum participants included:
- Assess fees (or taxes) for carbon-emitting activities
- Create compact development districts (such as the proposed SEED district in Keene13)
- Create and/or participate in voluntary “Challenges” that encourage residents or businesses to take voluntary action to increase their energy efficiency (i.e., the Keene 10% Challenge)
- Create energy chapters in local Master Plans
- Retrofit municipal buildings
- Set aside more municipal green space
- Promote farmer’s markets and agri-tourism
- Assess areas of the municipality to determine what type of development is optimal for that area
- Reduce the number of operating days for municipal services in order to reduce energy demands
- Provide residents with grants to pay for home energy audits
- Make zoning rules that encourage smaller homes
- Encourage local schools to invest in energy efficiency
- Have an urban tree planting program
- Use biodiesel in the municipal fleet
13 See details under Municipal Actions in the Plan
Ideas for municipal action that received less support included:
- Educating those seeking building permits about energy efficiency
- Having a municipal collection of energy efficiency equipment (such as thermal imaging cameras) that could be loaned to the public
- Make zoning rules that support more home-based businesses
- Make affordable conference space available to people so that it is easier for them to work out of the home (but have a place for occasional meetings)
- Start a biochar project at the landfill
- Provide zero-sort recycling and make recycling mandatory (educate the public about the program)
- Provide grants and incentives for green heating appliances
- Ensure the whole municipality has access to the internet
- Recognize good models
- Support a ZipCar system and a grocery delivery system
The far strongest priority affecting citizens at home is that they should receive and share education about energy efficiency. Participants offered ample suggestions about the social and civic groups that ought to serve as platforms for exchanging information about energy efficiency, including faith community groups, neighborhood associations, local energy committees, and others. Informal adult education could take the form of bringing in presentations, trainings, and discussions that may be presented by non-profit organizations or governmental agencies. Participants named adult education as one of the top priorities to implement energy goals in the areas of distributed generation, home energy conservation and increasing energy efficiency in existing buildings, and preserving farms and forests.
The second energy saving action priority for the residential sector was to support the local food movement. Participants suggested promoting home and neighborhood gardening, municipally supported composting programs, and organizing training (through organizations like the Cooperative Extension) for home gardeners.
Actions for residents that received mid-level support included:
- Marketing, or spreading the word to people through newsletters, web-clouds, school-based communications to parents, using social networking (Facebook, etc), about how to save energy costs in the residential sector
- Organizing residential contests, such as the New England Carbon Challenge, or something like “Biggest Loser,” allowing families or neighborhoods to compete to see who reduces their energy use the most
- Lobbying municipalities, state government, banks, utilities, or other businesses or organizations to provide more financial incentives to make the purchase of energy conservation appliances (efficient heating systems, green energy technology, or geothermal systems, etc) more affordable
- Cooperatively purchasing green power at the neighborhood level, or cooperatively purchasing home energy audits, or bulk quantities of items such as insulation and energy efficient light bulbs
- Holding or participating in public events to reach out to the general public with information about energy conservation
- Organizing and training landlords to improve energy efficiency in their properties
- Organizing “Energy Raisers” based on the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative model to help neighbors weatherize homes and/or install green technology
Other ideas for the residential sector included:
- Citizens getting involved in municipal master planning and advocating that the municipality plan for energy demand reduction
- Advocate that realtors be trained to educate home buyers about energy conservation
- Set up a neighborhood “lighting watch” and ask neighbors to reduce their outdoor lighting when it is excessive
- Develop and move in to affordable co-housing communities
- Create and join a web-based ride share program
Participants in the community consultation focused less on the business as well as the education sector than they did on the municipal and residential sectors. The action items that gained the most support in these areas were:
- Engage in cooperative purchasing with other businesses to buy green power, heating fuel, green power technology (solar panels) and materials for increasing energy efficiency in their places of business
- Increase public transportation. Private transportation companies should increase the services they offer and other businesses should advocate for and support the amplification of public transportation systems
Mid-level priorities in the business sector for the participants included:
- Advocate that utilities amplify their offerings of incentives for purchasing energy efficient equipment, and take advantage of the current offerings to upgrade the business’ equipment
- Network with other businesses to exchange information about energy conservation through business forums, Rotaries and other professional networks
- Engage in a public marketing campaign to publicly promote energy efficiency and tie one’s business in to the efforts
- Invest in energy conservation research and development and in energy retrofits
- Inventory energy use at one’s business – audit the built environment of the business
- Provide training to support careers that contribute to energy conservation including, enhancing the energy-related knowledge of building professionals, construction managers and inspectors, and inspiring and training young farmers
- Redevelop previously occupied properties rather than using habitat and open space when starting up new business ventures
Action items for the business community that received less support included:
- Reducing employee travel by encouraging telecommuting and carpooling as well as making affordable space available to other businesses that may need space for meetings
- (Those in the building industry) help local officials develop green building standards
- Retrofit the place of business with smart metering and smart systems, such as motion detector lighting, to save energy in the building
- Get grants to do larger retrofitting projects
Participants in the consultation process were interested in education mostly in terms of education for adult citizens about how to save energy. Even when conversations were directed to the education sector, the top priority for participants appeared to be educating parents through their children about saving energy costs at home. With this being the top action item for participants in the area of schools, others that followed included:
- Installing solar panels at schools and using them as an educational tool for students (as well as energy for the school)
- Holding energy science fairs
- Adjusting the school schedule to reduce how many heating days are used
- Get schools involved in a competition to reduce their energy use or increase their recycling program (compete against another school)
Participants also discussed a need to increase the technical training opportunities in the region to prepare people for green jobs. As noted in the business section, training for building science and inspection as well as farming were mentioned (though it was not specified whether local educational institutions should provide this training).
NH Energy Wiki
This is a gateway, on-line forum for NH professionals and volunteer Local Energy Committee members to share information and resources for energy-related projects. It features space for each municipality to share their energy conservation projects, news from the LEC working group, an archive of LEC newsletters, resources for communities working on energy conservation projects and more. http://nhenergy.org/index.php?title=Main_Page. For information on how and why to form a Local Energy Commission in your municipality, link here: http://www.nhenergy.org/images/b/b8/HB189_factsheet.pdf
NH Energy Committee Handbooks
Volume l: This guide gives New Hampshire citizens a brief introduction on how to help mitigate climate change at the local level. Community-scale activities such as energy benchmarking and efficiency upgrades will not only reduce your town’s fossil fuel emissions and fuel-related costs; they will also make an important public statement about your values and priorities.
Volume II: This volume is provided to help local governments and energy committees or commissions measure and manage their energy consumption. Volume II explains how to obtain your energy data, what tools and software exist, and includes a chapter focused on financial resources available to communities.
Cool Monadnock (CM)
A three-year joint initiative between Clean Air-Cool Planet and Antioch New England Institute. CM is a collaborative community mobilization effort working to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the Monadnock Region. Visit our website for information on energy-related events and resources in the Monadnock region and updates from some of our communities. www.coolmonadnock.org The Cool Monadnock presentation on the Regional Inventory: http://www.antiochne.edu/anei/download/268_regional_inventory.pdf
Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP)
Dedicated to finding and promoting solutions to global warming. CA-CP partners with companies, campuses, communities and science centers throughout the Northeast to help reduce their carbon emissions. CA-CP showcases practical climate solutions that demonstrate the economic opportunities and environmental benefits associated with early actions on climate change. www.cleanair-coolplanet.org
CA-CP Community Toolkit
Community climate solution to assist communities in implementing sustainable policies and projects. This web-based “how-to” guide for municipal staff and elected or appointed representatives provides: step-by-step project guides, important contacts, financing mechanisms, cost implications, and model ordinances. www.cleanair-coolplanet.org/for_communities/toolkit_home.php
Antioch New England Institute (ANEI)
A consulting and community outreach department of Antioch University New England. ANEI promotes a vibrant and sustainable environment, economy, and society by encouraging informed civic engagement. It provides training, programs and resources (U.S. and international) in leadership development, place-based education, nonprofit management, environmental education and policy, smart growth and public administration. www.antiochne.edu/anei/
NH Southwest Regional Planning Commission (SWRPC)
The mission of the SWRPC is working in partnership with the communities of the Southwest Region to promote sound decision-making for the conservation and effective management of natural, cultural and economic resources. One of New Hampshire’s nine regional planning agencies, The Commission covers a planning district made up of 36 towns and covering approximately 1,000 square miles comprising the Southwest Region of the State. www.swrpc.org
NH Climate Action Plan
The Climate Change Policy Taskforce, a diverse group of regulators, scientists, business leaders, utilities, and environmental groups, is charged with recommending quantified goals for reductions of NH greenhouse gases. The group has also been further with recommending specific regulatory, voluntary and policy actions, based on stakeholder input that the New Hampshire government, businesses, industry, and residents can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. NH Climate Action Plan
NH Sustainable Energy Association
Educates NH citizens about sustainable energy and advocate for favorable NH sustainable energy policies. www.nhsea.org
The Jordan Institute
The Jordan Institute works to implement significant climate change solutions by reducing energy use in buildings. They offer workshops in building energy efficiency, consult on energy efficiency standards, and work with municipalities, schools, businesses, and residents to improve the efficiency of their buildings. http://www.jordaninstitute.org/. The Jordan Institute Presentation on Climate Change Solutions and the Built Environment: http://www.antiochne.edu/anei/download/270_jordan_institute.pdf
Local Energy Committee Working Group
Provides collaborative guidance and technical support to New Hampshire Local Energy Committees seeking to reduce energy use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions within their communities. www.carboncoalition.org/community/EnergyCommitteesResources.php
New Hampshire Community Energy Project
Devoted to the distribution and sharing of information. Germinating during the series of statewide sessions for local energy committees, this idea began to take form during the meetings as discussion focused on how to keep everyone informed. http://nhenergy.org
New England Carbon Challenge
A joint initiative of the University of New Hampshire and Clean Air – Cool Planet, both recognized leaders in climate mitigation and solutions. Works to educate, inspire, and support sustained reductions in residential energy consumption. http://necarbonchallenge.org/
A non-partisan coalition of citizens, scientists, businesses, students, communities and organizations who’ve come together to advocate for a national energy policy that protects our communities and environment from the ravages of global warming caused by carbon pollution. The website has a link to sign up for the monthly LEC newsletter. www.carboncoalition.org
NH Local Government Center
The LGC is a resource for local governments, providing programs and services that strengthen the ability of New Hampshire schools, municipalities and county governments to serve the public. Legal support, legislative advocacy, training programs and risk management services are a few examples of LGC offerings. LGC also publishes a variety of educational and informational materials. http://www.nhlgc.org/LGCWebsite/index.asp
NH Office of Energy and Planning
An Executive Department in the Office of the Governor, the OEP promotes energy sustainability and works to ensure energy security in the state. It offers many energy-related community services. The website is a source of information on funding for energy related projects. http://www.nh.gov/oep/index.htm
NH Public Utilities Commission
The PUC is the commission vested with jurisdiction over NH utilities. They administer the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) program, funding projects throughout the state to increase energy efficiency and independence. http://www.puc.state.nh.us/
Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA Region 1 has been an important leader and partner in the work to reduce energy demand in New Hampshire. Most residents and businesses are familiar with the EPA through their EnergyStar program that offers incentives for home and business energy efficiency upgrades and standards for energy efficient appliances. http://www.energystar.gov/. The Cool Monadnock project used the EPA Portfolio Manager Benchmarking Tool to assess the energy efficiency of municipal buildings in the Monadnock region: http://www.antiochne.edu/anei/download/269_epa_presentation.pdf