Minutes of February 25, 2009

February 25, 2009

Sarah Harpster of Cool Monadnock met with Jeff Brooks, Karen Haynes, Roger and Ann Sweet, and Bob Switzer in the town hall.  Sarah had fed data about electricity and fuel use in 2005 into an EPA software program to assess energy consumption by the four town buildings and by the 12 town vehicles to see how our consumption compares with a state average and with another small town.  Her analysis is tentative and based on a number of assumptions.  

At the meeting, we agreed that the analysis helped us think about next steps.  Sarah announced that Southwest Region Planning Commission, a partner of Cool Monadnock, will be meeting next week to discuss an application for federal Stimulus funds that could be appropriated to the 10 towns (including Sullivan) that have compiled this 2005 baseline of municipal energy use.  The monies would be targeted to the energy audit of one town building in each town.  We agreed that doing an energy audit should be the first step for us.  Having stimulus funds would make that possible, at least for one building.  Sarah suggested emphatically that doing a walkabout of all town buildings to make a list of  opportunities for energy savings that  pop up just from observation would be useful in case towns may be able to make application for grants on their own, particularly from REGGI (the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, whose first auction of carbon permits in December netted about $12 million, some of which will be available for sustainable energy projects in NH).  As the town hall meeting room grew warmer and warmer, we noted one such opportunity!  However, we agreed that an energy audit is the first step.

Sarah would like us to meet with the selectmen to present the aims of the energy-saving program of Cool Monadnock, one of which is to save taxpayers money.  As the heat rose and the wind whistled through the door for handicap access, we could see taxpayer money leaking out of the building.  Sarah will be at the meeting, which should be scheduled shortly after town meeting.  She suggested we ask the selectmen to "consider the appointment of a voluntary energy committee to recommend local steps to save energy and reduce emissions" as approved in the 2007 town meeting (Article 27).

Notes by Ann Sweet 2/26/2009