Local Energy Solutions E-News
Turning Ideas into Action
January 2016

Start Your Year Off Right with Benchmarking!
Join Benchmark NH! Recent events such as COP 21 and the EPA's Clean Power Plan regulations have highlighted the importance of energy efficiency.  The cheapest, cleanest energy is the energy you do not use! ENERGY STAR  Portfolio Manager software will help your community benchmark energy use and prioritize efficiency projects so you can save money and right size your renewable energy projects. Join NH communities like Durham, Hollis, Rye, and more in benchmarking your town's energy use and reducing its carbon footprint.  For more information on using free Energy Star Portfolio Manager energy tracking software contact Linda Darveau, US EPA , (617) 918-1718,  Darveau.linda@epa.gov  or join us on January 20th, 2016 for our LES Webinar on Benchmarking Energy Use!

-The Local Energy Solutions Work Group
Upcoming LES Webinars
January 20, 2016
You can't manage what you don't measur e!  The first step to a community energy efficiency plan is benchmarking  current energy use. Sign up for this webinar for an update on ENERGY STAR's free benchmarking software, Portfolio Manager, now easier to use and more fun than ever! Charlie Forcey of the Durham Energy Committee will demonstrate how to  download data from you energy utility company and load it into Portfolio Manager. Linda Darveau of the US EPA will demonstrate how to make charts and graphs from your Portfolio Manager data to show the progress of your energy efficie ncy projects and compare your town buildings to other New Hampshire communities.

Regional Energy Hub News
The Regional Energy Hub Network Is Growing!   
The Grassroots Fund made their challenge grant match!  Thank you for supporting the Grassroots Fund and initiatives that create more sustainable, equitable communities across New England. One of the programs that this challenge grant will support is the NH Regional Energy Hub Network. 

Read more about the hub network in  Regional Energy Hubs: Fuel for Local Energy Planning and Action and   stay tuned for more information about how this funding will support more LES trainings in conjunction with the growing energy hub network!

Spotlight from NHSEA
The NH State Legislature is taking up the future of net metering this session. NH needs to raise its net metering cap (which is only 50 MW statewide) as soon as possible in order to ensure that solar (and other distributed generation) can continue to grow and be deployed by towns, cities and communities across NH. This is a critical issue to our state and the future of clean energy here.  SB 333 (to read the text of the bill click here would raise the cap by 25 MW and send net metering to the PUC to determine the future of the program.  The Senate hearing was on 1/13/16. You can stay  current on SB 333 developments  here or find your Senator here.
Upcoming Events & Trainings
Community Training in Ecological Design - Workshop Series
University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
January - February 2016
For all concerned citizens, including those who serve on town boards and commissions, who want to build strong and sustainable New Hampshire communities and protect our environment and natural resources, there is an upcoming opportunity you won't want to miss.

In January and February 2016, UNH Cooperative Extension will be hosting a four-part series, Community Training in Ecological Design, which will present community planning solutions that use ecological design to integration biodiversity, secure food production, sustainable water and energy systems, infrastructure, and economy. The results is homes, businesses, and communities that use less energy, create less waste, and recycle more resources.

For more information, contact Mary Tebo at  mary.tebo@unh.edu  or (603) 641-6060

Solar Open House
February 20th from 10am to 11:30am. Snow date February 27th.
Location: Nolte Residence, 64 Bush Hill Road, Pelham, NH
Learn how to put solar power to work for you. Join us for a public open house where you will see a solar electric array and an electric vehicle charging station. You can also take a ride around the block in the homeowner's solar-powered BMW i3. Ask questions about solar energy options, return on investment, financing options and system operations in our Northeast climate. Light refreshments available. No charge. 

Building Operator Course - Spring 2016
Lakes Region Community College is offering its 8-day Building Operator Certification class every other Friday from February 19 through May 20, 2016.  New Hampshire commercial facilities professionals can learn how to reduce building energy costs, earn the BOC certification, and get a 50% tuition award from NH's regulated energy utilities.  See the LRCC Energy Calendar  < www.lrcc.edu/energy/energy-training-schedule>  for registration details, or contact Andy Duncan,  aduncan@ccsnh.edu, tel. 603-366-5329

Save the Date for the 2016 LES Conference!
November 19, 2016
Mark your calendars for NH's annual energy conference for local energy leaders and stay tuned for more details! Let us know what you'd like to see this year by filling out the  2016 LES conference survey.

Funding Opportunities
Grassroots Fund Grants Available! 
Grow Grants of up to $3,500 are available for grassroots sustainability initiatives across New England. The Grassroots Fund supports groups that are creating and maintaining healthy, just, and environmentally sustainable communities. Groups working in energy & climate, local food, environmental health, land & water, or new economy that are building community and addressing issues of equity and justice are welcome to apply. Grow grants are geared towards established groups that are seeking to expand and grow their work.  Energy committees and groups are encouraged to apply - the deadline is March 15, 2016 Seed grants of up to  $1,000 are also available on a rolling basis for emerging groups and pilot projects. For energy & climate project ideas click here or search grassroots energy & climate feature stories Click here to apply or contact Ally@grassrootsfund.org for more information. 

Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants in New Hampshire
This program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. The deadline for applications is May 2, 2016. For more information visit USDA Rural Development.

2016 EPA Grant Opportunities
More than $66 million in funding and technical assistance is available for state, local, and tribal governments from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Partners for Places, Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) that can be used to support climate and energy initiatives, including economic development, sustainable communities, green infrastructure, and water efficiency. For full eligibility and application details, please visit the Calendar of EPA Grant Opportunities.

Energy Solutions from Around NH
News from our Communities

The Green Group is planning its 5th Regional Science Fair, intended to energize students in the top region of NH and Northeast VT to do Science Projects.  It's working, and last year at the Science Fair, the students, teachers, and parents voted to include a Robotics Fair along with the Science Fair for April 2016.  Some schools have just received 3-D printers and are doing projects with that, too!  The competition is getting fiercely exciting, and the Green Group thanks the annual sponsors: Tillotson Fund North, Kheops International, Smart Energy of New England, Northern Tire, and one of our original sponsors... NEGEF!

Hillsborough Area
HAREI, as Solar Ambassadors, participated in the Solar Up NH program which ended Dec 31. The combined results of Round One and Two predict a total of 1.35 MW of new renewable energy in the participating communities. NEW Solar Up NH efforts are spreading across the southern sector of NH. HAREI was proud to be a part of this amazing success story. HAREI members also have installed eight PV systems for HAREI members, four of which are ground-mount.
Hollis and Brookline 
Hollis and Brookline NH are preparing for a SolarUP campaign for 2016 with a kickoff date of March 5 th  and a closing date of June 20 th We hope to have details on the  SolarUpNH.com  web site soon.
In September, the City of Keene's Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program (EP3) Committee and the Information Technology (IT) Department sponsored an educational and fun contest designed to 1) reward the City department that conserved the most energy by switching off computers at the end of each workday, and 2) encourage City staff to become more energy conscious.
In total, there was the potential for 6,275 instances of computers to be turned off over the month. This included all computers on the City network (not including those that have to be on overnight due to the nature of the work they perform) multiplied by 30 days. The results were very good. 76% of the time computers were powered down, and just 24% of the time they were left on. The department with the highest percentage of computers powered down at night for the month was Human Services/Youth Services. The Department received a certificate of recognition signed by the Mayor and $100 cash donated anonymously by an EP3 Committee member. And, of course, bragging rights!

The EP3 Committee continues to encourage City staff to power down computers before leaving each day. The Committee also assists the City's Purchasing Division with identifying and purchasing products and services that 1) reduce toxicity, 2) conserve natural resources, materials, water and energy, 3) maximize recyclability and recycled content and reduce waste. For more information, call Yves Gakunde, Chairman of the City of Keene EP3 Committee at (603)357-9800 or email ygakunde@ci.keene.nh.us.

The Milton Town Solar Garden is more than half way through construction. It's the first landfill project approved by NH DES in the history of NH and it is currently the largest solar array and largest community solar garden in NH. 

Monadnock Region
Monadnock Food Co-op gets Community Supported Solar Power

The Monadnock Sustainability Network (MSN) announces the Monadnock Food Co-op (Co-op) will be the host of the first locally owned community supported solar project in the Monadnock region. The 43.5 kW photovoltaic project will cover the available roof area of the Co-op.  Photovoltaic (PV) systems use solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity.  The two year initiative was a collaboration between Antioch University New England (AUNE), a dedicated steering committee of local citizens and the Co-op. Cypress Community Solar LLC was formed to own the project and sell clean, locally harvested electricity to the Co-op. The company will be owned by a group of local investors, who expect to sell the PV system to the Co-op within ten years. The company and the Co-op have entered into a Power Purchase Agreement under which the Co-op will purchase all of the electricity produced by the project.  The predicted annual power output of 48,000 kWh/year is based on the actual production of the Brattleboro Food Co-op's PV system. Both co-ops relied on the Keene based design & installation firm Solar Source. 

Plainfield & Cornish
The Plainfield and Cornish Energy Committees want to know if there is enough community interest in  conducting another Solarize project in 2016 to provide more residential electricity generation in our towns. 

Solarize Cornish-Plainfield, Round 2 would be for those who were not able to participate in the first project.  We have a good model to follow, but will do things differently to try to include more people.  Prices of PV systems continue to drop and technology continues to improve.  We will work with multiple  vendors  to get the best possible pricing for installed system.  We also want to include DIY systems this time - hardware packages can be very cost effective, and there are several DIYers in town who can provide support and guidance.

If you are interested in participating in Round 2 of Solarize Cornish-Plainfield, please complete this  questionnaire or email  Steve Ladd,   Evan Oxenham, or  Mary Boyle for more information.  Or if you know someone else that may be interested, please pass this on.

Other News
Biomass Company Poised for $1M Expansion
Peterborough: $150K grant could help Froling Energy more than double its production of precision dry wood chips

Froling Energy wants to expand and automate its facilities at 590 Hancock Road in order to meet the growing demand for dry wood chips, and is counting on a $150,00 grant from the N.H. Public Utilities Commission to help cover the cost of the $1 million upgrade.

The chips can be burned in dual biomass boilers - meaning they burn wood chips as well as pellets - available for commercial-size systems, but Froling Energy is the only company around selling the new fuel.
New Resources
Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool 
From the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
This new updated version of the Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool lets you score any community's energy efficiency efforts using the metrics from ACEEE's 2015  City Scorecard. The brief user guide shows you how to use the application to evaluate community-wide initiatives, government operations, and buildings, utility, and transportation policies. You can also compare your community's efforts against those of similarly-sized localities and learn about innovative energy practices successful in other places. By cataloging strengths and identifying areas for improvement, the Self-Scoring Tool can help you create an efficiency roadmap for any community looking to reduce energy waste.

Local Energy Efficiency Policy Calculator 
From the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy 
The Local Energy Efficiency Policy Calculator (LEEP-C) version 2.0 Beta is intended for use by local policymakers and stakeholders interested in advancing the adoption of energy efficiency in their communities. The tool is capable of analyzing the impacts of 23 different policy types from 4 energy-using sectors: public buildings, commercial buildings, residential buildings, and transportation. It provides a first-cut, initial analysis of the impacts of policy choices on energy savings, cost savings, pollution reduction, and other outcomes over a time period set by the user. The tool also allows users to weight different policy options based on community priorities to gauge which policies best fit with community goals.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit
From the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit
The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit provides scientific tools, information, and expertise to help people manage their climate-related risks and opportunities, and improve their resilience to extreme events. The site is designed to serve interested citizens, communities, businesses, resource managers, planners, and policy leaders at all levels of government.

About the Local Energy Solutions Work Group (LES Work Group)
Our mission is to provide collaborative guidance and technical support to Local Energy Committees & Commissions (LEC's), municipalities, schools, and other political subdivisions* seeking to reduce energy use, minimize energy costs, and/or reduce fossil-fuel consumption.  Consider joining our efforts: contact Leigh Cameron for more information on the LES Work Group's efforts and opportunities for participation
About Our E-Newsletter: The monthly Local Energy Solutions E-newsletter of the NH LES Work Group is compiled and distributed by the New England Grassroots Environment Fund on behalf of the NH Local Energy Solutions Work Group.  Learn more about the Grassroots Fund.
              P.O Box 611
              Newmarket, NH  03857