Conference June 20

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Local Energy Committee Working Group

* Erica Anderson,
Lakes Region Planning Commission

Mike Behrmann, SDES Group, LLC

* Linda Darveau, US EPA, Region 1

* Julia Dundorf, Clean Air-Cool Planet / NH Carbon Challenge

Cheryl King Fischer, New England Grassroots Environmental Fund

* AnnMarie French, NH Local Government Center

Wes Golomb, Lakes Region Community College

*Jim Grady, LighTec, Inc.

* Christa Koehler, Clean Air-Cool Planet

Julie LaBranche, Rockingham Regional Planning Commission

Madeline McElaney, NH Sustainable Energy Association

Camille Pattison, Nashua Regional Planning Commission

Bob Reals, Jr., Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative

* Chris Skoglund, NH Department of Environmental Services

Eric Steltzer, NH Office of Energy and Planning

Susan Thorne, Jordan Institute

Wood Turner, Climate Counts

Angela Vincent, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

Cameron Wake, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space

Bob Walker, Sustainable Energy Resource Group

Christine Walker, Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission


* Member of Local Energy Solutions Conference Planning Committee, including Rolanda Duchesne of United Way of Northern New Hampshire and Jim O’Brien of Granite State Conservation Voters

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Local Energy Solutions 2009

A one-day conference for municipalities, schools, citizens, and local energy committees

June 20, 2009 at the Grappone Center in Concord


Session Descriptions

Track 1:  Partnerships in Local Energy Action

Session #1:  Building Strong Municipal Partnerships in Local Energy Action
Moderator:  Ann Marie French  
With the rapid grassroots formation of Local Energy Committees largely in two years, a municipal budget crisis and rising energy costs, communities are learning how to collaborate on solving their energy issues. In this panel discussion, you will hear from individuals seeking to build these partnerships in local energy solutions from their respective positions in municipal government and committees. Bring your experiences, challenges and solutions to this interactive session.
Potential Speakers:
Joe Byk, Member of Peterborough Select Board and Sustainable Peterborough Committee
Sarah Marchant, Milford Town Planner
Dean Shankle, Epping Town Administrator
Beverly Edwards, Temple Energy Committee Chair

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Session #2 – Community Outreach – Building Collaborations for Individual Action
Moderator: Bob Walker, Sustainable Energy Resource Group
This session brings into focus the need for residential outreach on two distinct fronts:  1) building public support for municipal action on energy reductions 2) generating residential energy reductions.
Building Public Support:  Passing a Green Building Ordinance or a Bond for a LEED-certified public library is virtually impossible without a well-planned public outreach campaign.  Michele Gagne, of UNH Cooperative Extension will frame the keys to building a strong public outreach campaign.
Generating Residential Action:  Although municipal energy reductions are critical, the residential sector accounts for an estimated 40% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions through our automobiles, home/water heating and electricity consumption.  Denise Blaha of the NH Carbon Challenge will give an overview of an “off-the-shelf” program that not only builds on community partnerships between the LEC, schools, municipal staff and the public but gets directly to the heart of what drives energy consumption: the individual.
Speakers:  Michele Gagne, UNH Cooperative Extension and Denise Blaha, NHCC

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Track 2:  Built to Last – Anatomy of a Resilient LEC

Session #1 – Building Strong, Engaged, and Networked Local Energy Committees
Moderator:  Julia Dundorf
Over 90 Local Energy Committees have formed in just 2 years.  This is a phenomenal example of community organizing.  But having the tools to form a LEC with a strong community base is critical.  This session includes a short presentation on practicing adaptive leadership that is followed by a highly interactive session that will work to map out the most effective strategies and tools for building strong, engaged, and networked LEC through:  
> Engaging a strong base of community support and diverse membership
> Utilizing achievable (tangible) projects to build and maintain momentum
> Revitalizing a stalled committee
> Sustaining your members and encouraging attendance
> Networking with municipal staff and local committees
Attendees will be expected to participate by sharing their experiences and stories. A report on the effective strategies and approaches that are identified during this session will be provided to the participants (post conference).
Speaker/Facilitator:  James Gruber, Professor at Antioch University New England

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Session #2 – Maintaining a Productive LEC
Moderator:  Chris Skoglund
You’ve formed your Local Energy Committee and have had a few enthusiastic brainstorming sessions – now you’re having trouble getting traction or results.  These are realities of any civic organization.  This session designed to continue the work of Session #1 will hit this reality head on with tools for:
> Developing an inclusive mission statement
> Running a good meeting (include Right to Know)
> Building strong partnerships with municipal staff/committees
> Setting reasonable goals and managing expectations
> Impact of HB189 on state support for LECs
      Nancy Hirshberg, Chair, Wolfeboro Energy Committee
      Cheryl King Fisher, Executive Director, New England Grassroots Environment Fund

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Track 3:  You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure

Session #1 – Prioritizing Action – Energy/Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory & Assessment
Moderator:  Christa Koehler
Any weight loss plan requires benchmarking your starting weight, inventorying your input and output, making a plan and tracking your progress.  Reducing your municipality’s energy consumption and greenhouse gases is just such a process.  By understanding how energy is used and the opportunities to reduce that consumption with actual energy data, LEC’s will be better able to prioritize projects and more readily access funding opportunities, such as upcoming Energy Efficiency Community Block Grants. This session will cover the importance of conducting an inventory and the various tools available for inventorying and assessing your community’s energy consumption, costs and GHGs.  Some consideration will be given to how to prioritize the output of the inventory process.  Tools covered:
> EPA’s Portfolio Manager - Linda Darveau,  Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1
> The Small Town Carbon Calculator (STOCC) - Corey Johnson, University of NH Intern with Carbon Solutions New England 
> ICLEI Tools - Angela Vincent, ICLEI -   Local Governments for Sustainability

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Session #2 – Reporting on Inventory Results and Prioritizing the First Building Audit
Moderator:  Mike Behrmann
Now that you’ve measured your energy/GHG emissions and cost and assessed the findings, your LEC is ready to draft a report to the selectmen, planning board and community at large.  Such a report will build credibility for the LEC and move your work forward by not only demonstrating clear, analytical assessment of your community’s consumption but will help make recommendations for moving forward on strategic energy projects.  This session will highlight
> Creating a persuasive Inventory Report
> Delivering an effective presentation on the Report
> Prioritizing the most critical building for a decision or investment grade energy audit
> Understanding a Decision (Preliminary) Grade Audit vs. an Investment Grade Audit
> Hiring an auditor
> Integrating the forgotten step: project evaluation.
Christa Koehler, Clean Air Cool Planet
Wes Golomb, Professor, Energy Services and Technology, Lakes Region Community College

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Track 4:  Getting to Implementation

Session #1 – “Off the Shelf” Energy Projects Build the Case for Long-term Planning
Moderator:  Susan Thorne, The Jordan Institute
Once your community has conducted an energy inventory and at least one building audit, you LEC or municipality will have the data necessary to make some informed decisions on the most critical and cost effective projects to undertake. This session will analyze the 3 key sectors that communities should address in reducing consumption and tax payer burden.  Priority AND easily implemented projects will be covered for each sector.
1. Buildings – Air Sealing, insulation, lighting upgrades and heating – Jordan Institute (invited)
2. Fleet – Anti-idling Policies, Route Analysis, Prioritizing fleet efficiency purchasing – Steve Russell
3. Street Lighting – Eliminating lights, reducing lights, utilizing sensors - TBD

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Session #2 – Forward-thinking Energy Planning –
Moderator:  Eric Steltzer, NH Office of Energy and Planning
Significant progress on energy conservation and greenhouse gas reductions must include a concerted evaluation of existing master plans and zoning ordinances.  This session will give an overview of the existing barriers to energy action in master plans and ordinances, demonstrate concrete examples of smart energy planning, and discuss the process for updating municipal planning/zoning.  Speakers will address such opportunities and challenges in municipal and regional planning.  Emphasis is on the need for strong collaboration between the LEC, planning board, municipal government, the Regional Planning Commission and the public. 
Note: AICP credits are being requested through the sponsorship of the New Hampshire Planner’s Association.
      Steve Whitman, Jeffrey H. Taylor and Associates
      Julie LaBranche, Rockingham Planning Commission

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Track 5:  Innovative Technologies:  Opportunity or Distraction?

Session #1 – Understanding the Realities of Renewable/Efficient Energy Technology
Moderator: Irene Garvey, Board Member Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative
Renewable energy is alluring and ultimately a critical element of creating a clean energy future; free of fossil fuels.  Local Energy Committees and municipalities can and will play a key role in making this transformation happen more effectively and rapidly.  But there are numerous pitfalls in rushing straight to renewable technology.  This session will day-light the opportunities and distractions of such technologies without adequate forethought and lead to a lively discussions of such technology options. 
Laura Richardson, Co-founder NH Sustainable Energy Association & Program Director, Stay Warm NH
      Peter Riviere, Coos Economic Development Corporation

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Session #2 – Planning for Renewable/Efficient Energy Technology Implementation
Moderator: Jim O’Brien, Granite State Conservation Voters Alliance
Once you’ve conducted your energy efficiency upgrades and are in the market for energy efficient or renewable technologies how do you weed through the promises and proposals of technology providers?  How can your LEC build the capacity to help analyze your specific situation and best options for maximizing energy conservation, rates of return and greenhouse gas reductions?  This interactive session will help all those involved in energy planning to discuss these issues.  Some discussion topics will include:
> Opportunities for community energy projects
> Understanding applications for Co-Gen
> Is biomass sustainable and when should we choose this. 
Clay Mitchell, SDES Group, LLC/MG Planning, LLC
Charlie Niebling, New England Wood Pellets

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Afternoon Plenary Session: 
Audit to Implementation:  How do we fund it?

Moderator:  Dick Ober, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
This all-attendee session will highlight the funding options for towns and cities, their pros and cons and give you tools to find the money to save local tax payer dollars.  With recent developments on the federal, regional and state level, the time for energy work has never been more critical or promising.  Emphasis will be on clarifying terminology, determining the best funding fit and understanding how to apply.
> The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), incentive programs – Jack Ruderman, Director of Sustainable Energy, Public Utilities Commission
> Stimulus Funding under the Energy Efficiency Community Block Grants and State Energy Fund – Eric Steltzer, Office of Energy and Planning
> Utility Efficiency Programs – TBD
> Municipal funding options - Dick Henry, Executive Director, The Jordan Institute

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