Energy Committee Minutes, 01.26.2023
Town of Guilford
Energy Committee Meeting Notes
6:00 pm Thursday, January 26, 2023
Call to order: 6:07
Energy Committee Members Present: Nancy, Gary, Anne, Jen (absent Chris)
Recognition of Public: none
Updates & Discussion:
Member Updates– General
Goodbye and thanks to Jen?
!! Moving out of town to Pennsylvania . .. all ready! Leaving sometime between May and August. We’re sorry to see you go. We’ll expect you to remain on the committee via Zoom and remote advocacy!-) Jen will be here at least until our April meeting. Jen is still on board until her departure to continue working with us on projects/initiatives that are in the pipeline or vaguely on the horizon.
E-Bikes grant & project
In the absence of Chris, several questions remain. Apparently, EBike rental won’t notably impact the Town’s liability insurance. But this is unclear. Open questions as to purchasing bikes and where to store them. Chris has apparently reached out to Brooks library and spoke with Tony Duncan (Bratt. Energy Committee). We will hopefully get updates from him on what he found.
Ann listened in on a presentation from the Vermont Legislature with VPIRG presenting information on clean energy initiatives in the State, but doesn’t have specific details to relay. Possibly some information on transportation alternatives and Clean Energy standards, in part regarding New England states needing to increase their development of in-State renewable resources. Vermont is lagging in this metric. Ann will send a link to the presentation for those who want to listen to it. It’s apparently a very interesting presentation.
Act 172 is a State program. Municipal Energy Resilience Grant Program. Needs a Guilford resident to represent (as a contact) for applications. Not sure if this Act has passed the legislative process at this point. Nancy will keep a pulse on the status and progress of this opportunity.
Window Dressers- Plans for 2023 Build
Nancy has requested a “build” time period for early October 2023.
WD requests that towns attempt to provide their own subsidies in order for WD to continue to afford providing some free inserts.
Nancy tried to organize a February build in association with HATCH Space. Hatch was going to provide the space as well as a few of their own volunteers to help out. They also were anticipating developing the own set of jigs for the build process.
New England Grassroots Environmental Grant (GROW) – $1,700
ARPA Grant ($1,000) specifically for subsiding the library inserts.
Finally, another grant for the E-Bikes ($2,179) was awarded by the Vermont Council for Rural Development, Climate Catalyst Innovation fund.
Jen: Mini-grants to be distributed to Towns and want them to be distributed by Town Meeting Day 2023. $4,000 for education and audits for town’s municipal facilities. (Jen’s more detailed notes are in Addendum at end of minutes)
Ann: VNRC has a program for an on-line presentation hosted by VCAN for a community -led resilient hubs. It will occur 12:00 on Wednesday, February 1st. Here’s a link for more information:
Schedule Next Meeting: Thursday February 23, 2023
Close of Meeting: Meeting adjourned at 6:51
Addendum: Notes from webinars attended by Jen regarding Act 172 and transportion initiatives
From: Jennifer McDuffie <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, Dec 14, 2022 at 6:54 PM
Subject: Re: You’re invited: 2022 VECAN Conference
To: Sara Coffey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Nancy Detra <email@example.com>, Ann Zimmerman <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Thayer Tomlinson <email@example.com>
I attended the two webinars I said I would. Here are a few notes. If I got anything wrong – everyone talked so fast and used so many acronyms! – please, correct me. 🙂
Tuesday: Act 172 Speakers were Senator Sibilia, Commissioner Fitch, BGS Program Manager Brian Sewell, and Bennington RPC member Jim Sullivan
1. This act is about making municipal buildings more efficient with the exception of schools. (That’s OK for us. Guilford doesn’t own the elementary school anyway.)
2. There are grants from BGS (Department of Buildings & Services) Matches are not required
3. MERP is Municipal Energy Resilience Program and totals 45 million in one-time funding.
4. MELP is Municipal Energy Loan Program and totals 2.8 million in revolving loan funds
5. Goals are:
* to have municipalities do energy audits on all buildings. If an audit has already been done, they (BGS) will do an “audit light” based on how old the audit is and how extensive it was.
* to provide up to $4000/municipality for education (what IS energy efficiency, what does it look like in our town, etc.)
* to provide up to $500,000/municipality for energy resilience projects
6. Timeline is complete assessments by 1/15/24, BUT: have grants obligated by 12/31/24 BUT THEY WANT THE $4000 MINI_GRANTS DISTRIBUTED BY TOWN MEETING DAY 2023!!! expend grants by 12/31/26
7. towns are encouraged to work with their RPC to do audits, fill out grant aps; RPC will then coordinate with BGS & Efficiency VT
8. the state is prioritizing areas with the highest energy burden and the lowest resources (I was not sure what this meant but there was a map with each county (?) shaded according to where it fell on this)
9. money applies only to existing buildings NOT the construction of new buildings (like the new library wing we want 🙁 )
Wednesday, Transportation – I did not follow this as closely because most of the speakers directed their comments toward places much larger than Guildford that already had at least some infrastructure in place. Listening to them, I felt like I was back in Durham talking about places as big as Burlington, Middlebury, etc.
However, they talked about 4 areas:
1. Community Assessment (Transportation Surveys)
2. Zoning (which doesn’t exist in Guilford, but they greatly encouraged towns to zone for land use)
3. Multimodal Transportation Planning, which doesn’t really apply to us either
4. Microtransit, which MIGHT apply to us (the “town van” idea) the presenter gave the example of a service started in Windsor (3600 people in 20 sq mi and has the local hospital)
I asked WHAT from all of this might apply to a town as small and rural as ours (about half the density of Windsor spread over twice the area) and the suggestion was a Transportation Survey for what that is worth.
Hope folks find any of that helpful!