Energy Committee Minutes, 04.27.2023

Energy Committee Meeting Notes
6:00 pm Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Call to order: 6:05

Energy Committee Members Present: Nancy, Chris, Gary, Anne, Jen

Recognition of Public:  Julian Leon, Energy Educator, Vermont Energy Education Program 

New Business:

  • Education Workshop choices discussion (Based on results of March 11th poll) – Jen has been talking with Julian (and Katie) of VEEP about bringing their educational program on the road to Guilford. Julian is the VEEP educator closest in proximity to Guilford (he’s based in Springfield). The point of Julian’s presence today is to figure out which educational topics he will support us on.

  • VEEP focuses its education efforts on the ‘science’ of energy usage. Home Heat Transfer is one topic describing how heat transfers through various types of insulation, including air sealing demonstrations. These are hands on, science based ‘labs’ that encourage testing/touching of real materials, and comparison to the students’ own housing experiences. While Julian’s workshops are developed for middle and high school students, he can and does adapt them to older audiences, or mixed age audiences. The workshops have materials and teaching capacity for up to 24 people; more than that and additional materials/trainers would need to be involved. Home school students are especially excited by these workshops, and they seem to add a fair amount of dynamism to the workshop atmosphere.

  • Topics that VEEP could help with are: Home Heating/Weatherization, Eco Driving (more of a presentation than a hands-on workshop). Included in the Driving presentation is discussion on multi-modal forms, including E-Bikes, electrical cars, etc. “Cost of Getting to School” is a topic comparing impacts of various modes of getting to and returning from school. VEEP also has a presentation on “Green Energy Careers” (renewables and/or efficiency). 

  • Cost of workshops are typically $200/workshop (1-1/2 hours to 2 hours in length). Our plan is to apply to MERP for funds to support these workshops.  Could include a representative from Efficiency Vermont to complement the presentation with a discussion of financial/technical support from EVT. Could also integrate David Cohen (V_bike) to give a presentation/demonstration on the e-bikes he promotes.
  • MERP Grant update
  • Jen sent an update to Margo Ghia regarding the MERP component supporting community educational events. Margo sent the application to Jen and will work on filling it out 4/28. She will send a draft application to our Committee for review, and then send it to the Selectboard. Needs to be approved by the Selectboard (mid-May is next Selectboard meeting). 

Old Business:

  • E-Bikes Rec Commission may promote e-Bikes at one of their Spring events. Chris is in the midst of formulating policy for managing the E-Bike program, including rental timeframe limits, who “owns” the bikes (Rec Commission, Free Library). Once Chris finishes the draft of the policy and protocol he’ll send it out to the Committee for comment. The E-Bike grant (already received and in hand with the Selectboard) should cover all costs of accessories (helmets, locks, lights, vests).
  • Window Dressers – Nancy would like suggestions for marketing. Specifically ways to reach out to the lower income residents (via churches, BUHS). Maybe send a flyer/announcement home on school newsletter. Possibly Front Porch Forum announcement or two. Already had a Reformer article on local WD efforts; could encourage a second Reformer article later in summer. Also, Guilford Food Pantry and Center Congregational Church (Brattleboro) and Bridget’s Kitchen (Brattleboro) would be good locations to help distribute WD flyers. Possibly WWHT.  Trying for 300 storm window inserts for this 2023 build
  • Energy Committee presented to SelectBoard on March 27thNancy attended and the Selectboard agreed to reimburse Nancy for the E-Bikes. The Selectboard needs to approve the issuance of the reimbursement check, which will hopefully be accomplished at the next Selectboard meeting.

Schedule Next Meeting: Thursday May 25th, 2023

Close of Meeting: Meeting adjourned at 7:01