Minutes of May 24, 2009

The meeting began at 7:20 p.m. in the town hall.  Present were Jeff Brooks, Jim Forrest, Karen Haynes, Christa Patterson, Ann Sweet, Roger Sweet, and Bob Switzer.  Sarah Harpster from Cool Monadnock was also present.

Ideas stimulated by the Cool Monadnock meeting, “From Data to Action,” held May 20 in Keene.

Outreach and education
Christa and JJ had participated in this group.

  • A table in the library for a display of energy books and pamphlets.  The display needs to be updated regularly.  Christa offered to manage the display.  She will talk with the librarian, Denise McFarland.  Bob will investigate the Keene Public Library display, which his wife had set up.
  • Newsletter.  In addition to reporting on energy committee doings, there should be a “hint” for money-saving/carbon-reducing behaviors in households.  For example, replacing regular light bulbs with energy saver bulbs available from NH Saves.
  • Town website.  Bob will post information on an energy page that has just been set up on the town website.
    Vehicle fleet energy use reduction.  Jeff had been a member of this group.
    • Cut town truck idling.  Saves fuel.  Cuts emissions.  For cold weather and diesel fuel sluggishness, there are smart batteries and/or energy packs.
    • Reduce fire house heating by providing block heaters to keep diesel engines ready to start.
      LED lights for trucks.

Alternative energy sources for buildings.  Bob and Roger attended this group.

  • Analyze before doing anything.
  • Conservation should be the first step.
  • Replace hot water heating in town buildings with instant hot water systems
  • Learn about small hydropower projects in the area.  Invite Bob King to come to a meeting to talk about a wide array of energy sources, although his specialty is hydropower.

Buildings, audits, and structural efficiency

  • A comprehensive, rather than a partial audit (e.g., heating without examining insulation), is of paramount importance.  Guidelines for audits should be published soon, along with names of certified auditors.  An audit should include a blower door and infrared imaging for showing up leakages in the envelope.
  • Apply for funding for audits, as soon as guidelines for Stimulus money are published, probably mid June.
  • Develop a comprehensive energy master plan based on audit recommendations.
  • Establish a capital reserve fund at town meeting for energy projects.

Finish 2008 municipal energy use data collection
Having two years of data will be one of the criteria for funding applications. Sarah advised that knowing what we want to do and how much it will cost must be part of the application, which may require matching funds.  It’s important to apply for funding before energy costs go up.

After discussing the conference described below, the meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m. 

The next meeting of the committee will be June 24 at 7:15 in the town hall.

Notes by Ann Sweet