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Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 6:00 pm

Litchfield Energy Task Force meeting - Thursday, 18 Jun 2015

 

Meeting was held at the Town Garage at 6:00pm

 

Members present were Dwight Keeney, Dan Fowler, John Post, Jeff Benson

 

We welcomed a new intern for the summer, Evan Shortsleeve, who is studying environmental engineering at Norwich Academy in VT who has offered to help us working with the Clean Energy Community program.  Evan’s email address is eshortsl@stu.norwich.edu which will be added to our distribution list. 

 

The meeting was spent discussing the Clean Energy Community program.  John advised that Leo Paul signed an agreement recently to have the town participate in an Municipal Technical Assistance Program which will establish an Energy Star Portfolio Manager account so as to set a bench mark for later evaluating our commitment to reduce municipal building energy usage 20% by the year 2018. 

 

John advised that one aspect of this program is to establish a Green Team which will coordinate with the consultants in our efforts to reduce energy usage.  John advised that after he made a presentation to the Board of Selectmen, the team was formed consisting of the following representatives of required agencies:

 

            Board of  Selectmen - Jeff Zullo

            Board of Finance - Ed Gadomski

            School Board - Dave Fiorillo

            Facilities Manager - Jack Healy to fill in for vacant position until filled

            Litchfield Energy Task Force - John Post, Lynn Fulkerson, and other members as needed

 

John also advised that an outside consultant has been hired by Eversource to assist towns in completing this challenge.   The company is ICF and has a member assigned to help us reaching the goal.  John recently attended a workshop given by ICF and met the member, Marianne Graham, assigned to assist us. Further, an Eversource intern has been assigned to assist Litchfield achieve it’s objectives.  Stephanie Rogers will enter all data into Portfolio Manager, and will reach out to oil & propane suppliers to secure historical usage data.  Our objective is to a) profile our assigned buildings, b) secure the Eversource meter numbers, and c) identify the oil & propane suppliers back to fiscal year 2010. 

 

The present challenge is to define the bench mark for the town to meet the CEE goal of 20% by 2018.   A list of buildings to be included in the program will be generated by the Green Team, and then LETF members will generate the data which will be entered on spread sheets as defined by Energy Star/Portfolio Manager.  John will send around a sample spread sheet.   Meter numbers for the buildings will need to be found and then Eversource will fill in the annual usage for the baseline year fiscal year 2010 which is 01Jul09 to 30Jun10 for those meters.  For oil & propane, we need to secure the suppliers for each of the buildings in the Litchfield Portfolio.

 

It was decided to meet next Monday, 20Jun2015, to assign tasks for gathering the bench mark data at John’s house at 10am. 

 

The next meeting of the LETF is at the Town Garage on 16July2015 at 6:00pm

 

Meeting was adjourned at 7:45pm

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jeffrey Benson

 

Litchfield Energy Task Force

Meeting Minutes

April 16, 2015

Present: Jeff Benson, Jamie Fischer, Dan Fowler, Lynn Fulkerson, Dwight  Keeney, John Post, Pepe Vega

Minutes of last meeting approved

CT Clean Energy Communities Program status:

            John and Lynn met with Jack today to discuss progress and next steps with the town.

            Photo for the Bright Ideas Grant will be taken on a sunny day at the high school where the doors were installed.  John has written a draft press release and passed I tto Dwight to pursue with Jack Healy for approval

            Jack will talk with Leo Paul today at 11 AM about signing the necessary paperwork to launch the CEC. Jack has the form and will return it with Paul’s signature..

John will create a one page summary of the program for Leo including opportunities and incentives available to the town free of cost.

John will send a set of the PP slides he has created to the LETF.

Composition of the “Green Team” was discussed including Jack’s suggestions.

Table at the NCD Earth Day Plant Sale on the weekend of April 24-26 at the Goshen Fairgrounds

            Volunteers: Jeff?, John, Dwight?, Lynn, Pepe?, Sonja?

            Materials Needed:

Dan’s banner, table and cover, lightbulb display, solar house, handouts, electric bill poster, business postcards.

            Jamie will make a flyer advertising the LED sale on May 2 from 9-noon.

Lynn will contact Karen about location of table and power source.

LED Lightbulb Sale Saturday, May 2 9-noon.

            John will confirm approval by lee Losee

Lynn and Jeff will help with set up at 8:30

Volunteers: Jeff, John (at 10:15), Pepe?, Dan?

Lynn will send Jamie Jason’s from TechniArt  contact info

Farmers’ Market, May 16th

            Volunteers: ?

Litchfield Housing Authority, subsidized housing at Bantam Falls and Wells Run

            Tom McClintock is a member of the Litchfield Housing Authority’s Board  and contacted LETF for assistance with reducing their energy use.  John contacted Mr. McClintock and will make an appointment with the LHA property manager (Jim Simonella) to review their needs and to make recommendations for energy conservation.  

             They are currently replacing a lot of the mechanical equipment with more energy efficient models

Jamie has a prepared presentation that he did for White Memorial and is willing to make the presentation for the residents.   John will make this offer during the appointment with Simoncella and McClintock.

John will call Simoncella, set up a meeting date, and communicate it to the LETF so anyone who is available and interested to also attend the meeting.

Next Meeting: Thursday, May 21 at 6pm

 

                                                                                                                                                                       

LETF Meeting

March 19, 2015

Present: Dan Fowler, Dwight Keeney, Lynn Fulkerson, Sonja Osborn, John Post

Minutes from last month approved

Old Business:

·       Bright Ideas Grant: The town received the check for $5,000 which will be used to replace doors at the High School. LETF would like to raise awareness about this by having a media event. Dwight will assist with this by contacting the local media and talking with Jack. John has written a press release. Eversource would be invited for the event.

New Business:

·       Public Outreach:

o   LED sales. Lynn has contacted Jason of Techniart and is waiting for a response.  We would possibly do it again  in front of the PO on a Saturday morning in April or May

o   Farmers Market: this Saturday, March 21.WE will use Jamie’s handout on conservation and efficiency. Dan will bring the enlarged electric bill and handout that he created to encourage conversation and questions. Sonja will bring posters and handout for Earth Hour.

o   Website: Sonja has sent energy tips to Dan to put up on the website

o   We discussed the possibilities of public events

o   Community Center: Sonja has had a plaque made to recognize their efforts to save energy

o   St Michaels Church: John will be speaking there this coming Sunday at 11:15 to talk about HES, SBEA etc.

o   NCD’s plant sale: Lynn will find out if we can have an outreach table on Friday afternoon April 24th from 1pm to closing.

 

How the focus our efforts and energize the task force was discussed as follows:

 

·       To Focus on the Clean Energy Communities Program  that the town has pledged to participate in and for which Leo has signed an agreement  with Eversource. This non-binding agreement pledges the town to reduce its energy usage by 20% by 2018. It also pledges the town to develop an Action Plan, benchmark and track energy usage and develop renewable sources of energy for the town.  The outcomes for the town are reduced cost and thus taxes as well as educating the public and good pr. The Task Force could pursue the following:

o   Partner with Jeff Holtzman the new facilities manager.

o   Encourage the town to agree to a free audit possibly from Earthlight Tech. who has already done a survey of the town bldgs.

o   Find out what the low hanging fruit is and encourage retrofitting.

o   First steps are:

§  Get Jack to meet with us. Dwight?

§  Assess if Leo is likely to make a commitment

§  Contact Harwinton to speak with the person who has headed up the CEC program there. Do some fact finding. John

 

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 February 19, 2015

Present: Jamie Fischer, Dan Fowler, Lynn Fulkerson, Sonja Osborn. John Post

Minutes of January meeting approved

Old Business

Received receipts from Dan for website domain and poster. Lynn will contact NCD, our fiscal sponsor, to ask them to write a check to Dan for $116. 62

Bright Ideas Grant: Leo Paul signed document for this grant. Litchfield has met the requirements for this grant  and  will receive a check for $5,000 from Eversource Energy. This money will be invested in new energy efficient doors for the high school. We can reapply for this grant twice annually. John suggested that we get media coverage of this: ie press release and photos

 Cornwall will be hosting a workshop for town energy task forces on March 28 from 1:30-3:30. It would be good for LETF to be represented.

New Business:

Goals for 2015:

There was discussion of models provided by other towns in CT, particularly Kent and Harwinton

Harwinton hired ICF International of Cambridge, MA to research and prepare an action plan for the town.  John provided a document for us to review.

 

Kent developed a Next Step Living program which focuses on programs to educate residents of the town about the HES program.

 

There is an opportunity to apply for the Municipal Bench Marking: Technical Assistance Initiative. The town would agreed to work with Eversource Energy’s bench marking consultants. This could be a first step towards accomplishing the goals of the Clean Energy Municipal Pledge.

 

John proposed that we develop a team approach to accomplish the goals outlined in the document LETF Plan- of -Action

LETF  Teams will begin with the following:

·       Promoting the HES program:  Team: (John and Dan)

·       Assisting  the town in meeting its Green Community Pledge: (Team: John and Jamie)

·       Developing  Public Outreach  ( Team; Sonja, Jamie, Dan and Lynn) for the following:

o   Advocate for municipal energy savings to residents, community leaders and town officials

o   HES

o   SBEA

o   LED bulb opportunities

o   Solar and geothermal

 

LETF Action Plan What are the priorities?

·        Town’s green Community Pledge

·        HES. Get Leo to do HES at his home, Eversource willing to  work on that asap.

·        Jamie and John to meet to develop strategies for the Green Communities Pledge Team

·        Other teams meet as well; ie. HES Team, Public Outreach

·        Meet Leo to lay out plan to develop Energy Plan for the town to the Clean Energy Communities municipal Pledge which he signed for the town of Litchfield in January of 2014 

Sonja shared book How Bad Are Bananas, about carbon footprints

Summer Farmers Market, no liability insurance available for LETF under White Memorial’s policy.

 

Respectfully submitted, Lynn Fulkerson

 

                                                                                            Litchfield Energy Task Force meeting minutes - 15 January 2015

 

Attending … Dwight Keeney, Dan Fowler, Jamie Fischer, Sonja Osborn, John Post, and Jeff Benson

 

1.  Meeting was called to order by Jeff Benson at 6:30pm. 

 

2.  We welcomed Jamie Fischer into the group.  Jamie is a wildlife biologist who is Research Director at While Memorial Foundation and will be a most welcome addition to our task force. 

 

3.  Jeff asked that all mark their calendars now for the entire year to help avoid conflicts, and

note that our meetings are on the third Thurs of every month at 6pm at Town Garage. 

 

4.  Jeff announced that he is stepping down at Co-chairman of the task force.  The major issue is that there are ongoing health issues for his wife and himself that are demanding his full attention.  He advised that he talked with John Post who said he would be willing to take the co-chairmanship if the group agreed.  A vote was taken and all agreed to have John take the position. 

 

5.  We talked about the Farmer’s Market coming up on 7February and it was brought up that maybe we should have a large electric bill to help people read their bills and better understand what they are paying for.  Dan agreed to have a couple of large poster boards made up with a typical bill enlarged on them which can then be mounted on easels.  Jamie advised that it might be possible for the task force to have liability protection under the umbrella of the White Memorial Foundation.  Jamie will investigate and report back. 

 

6.  ZREC - John and Jeff participated in a Small ZREC webinar but found little to help them prepare for the Small ZREC window which will be opening up soon.  Jeff agreed to call Ray Furse for further help.  John advised that he attended a meeting arranged by Jerry Geci with Ann Marie White, the Library’s Director, and Bob Petricone to discuss the feasibility of installing solar panels and said that they have been given the names and phone numbers of two vendors to get proposals for solar panel installation, Earthlight Technologies and Litchfield Hills Solar.  Jeff advised that he is working with the Borough Warden in Bantam for an installation at the Borough Hall. 

 

7.  Clean Energy Community - a question was raised suggesting that we might have Diana McCarthy-Bercury attend one of our meetings to discuss Energy Awareness programs.  John advised that he is waiting for the town to approve the door project for the $5,000 grant.  He is also waiting for the town to respond to a proposal by Earthlight Technologies to identify energy projects for the town.  John mentioned that he found a table set up in Stop and Shop by Next Step Living who was proposing HESs to folks, and that he expected to be contacted by them to pursue a possible collaboration here in town. 

 

8.  John announced that he would like the next meeting to be a planning meeting for the year 2015.  He asked that we all come with our suggestions for projects and we can then sort them out and decide where it’s best to apply our energies. 

 

9.  Meeting was adjoined at 7:45pm

 

Respectfully submitted by Jeff Benson

 

Meeting minutes for 21Aug 2014 ...

Present were Sonja Osborn, Dan Fowler, John Post, and Jeff Benson 

Meeting was called to order at 6:05pm  

1.  New members ... the subject of new members was discussed and Jeff expressed the need again for new members to increase our ranks of folks with some interest and time for our energy programs.  John reported that Jamie Fischer from White Memorial has shown an interest and John will pursue that connection.  Dan reported that a new woman, Brianna Ball, from Bantam has approached LETF with an interest and Jeff will contact her. 

2.  Conversion of LETF to a 501(c)(3) ... discussion will be put off until October when John has time to discuss the pros and cons with legal resources he has contact with.  Evidently there is an easier track to becoming a non-profit that will reduce the expenses and time for conversion. 

3. LED bulb sale ... it was felt by the group that one person should be pulling the details together and Dan will ask Lynn if she will do that.  Evidently Jason is available for 13Sept, the tentative date for our sale at the Post Office.  We will need people to be available at the table, table(s) will be necessary, Dan will supply the banner and supports for same, the light box will need to be available, power will be needed for the light box, a possible tent in case of inclement weather, posters will need to be made with Jason being contacted for any flyers he might have that could be passed out at the Farmer’s Market.  Litchfield BZ needs to be contacted for publicity, etc.  This all hinges on the Borough approval which John is working on.  Jeff will email Jerry to see if he would be available for 13Sept to help at the table.

4.  Bright Idea Grant ... a project has been identified, replacing 2 doors at the high school and John will follow with contractors, etc. and will file the application with CL&P.  Once the application is approved, we have one year to complete the project. 

 

5.  ZREC program ... we have been requested to be at the next Water Treatment Plant Commission meeting on 11Sept and Jeff has been in contact with Dave Geiger and Dave Wilson who is the chairman of the commission.  Jeff and John will get together on 26Aug to review how this should be handled.  Dan advised that he would be able to borrow a digital projector for presentation of a Power Point that John has prepared.  As for timing, John advised that he will contact Doug Lombardy who is a contractor that has become the town energy supplier for Hamden, CT for information regarding dates for the when windows will be open for submission of applications. 

 

6.  SBEA status ... John advised that we now have a $400 finders fee from the Community Center project which has been sent to the NWCD.  And it was pointed out that this would not have happened without John’s continued interest in SBEA program at the Community Center.  Thanks, John.  John also advised that he has gotten some interest from the Salt Water Grill and Westleigh for the program which he will pursue.  And then there was some discussion about how we could get access to folks connected with the public housing installations in town for their participation in the program.  John will pursue.   

 

Meeting was adjourned at 7:30pm

Respectfully submitted

Jeff Benson, Co-chairman LETF

 

Litchfield Energy Task Force

Meeting July 17, 2014

Present: Jeff Benson, Dan Fowler, Lynn Fulkerson, Sonja Osborn, John Post

Two New Members are needed. Jeff asked that we all think about members of our community who have the time, passion, technical expertise and interest in serving the community. 

Lynn will talk with Sean Hayden to get ideas

Jeff will talk with Ray Furse about possible new members.

Some of the people suggested are James Fischer and Jeff Greenwood of White Memorial and Andy Graves, an architect who has been actively involved with Transition Litchfield.

Please submit names to Jeff.

Bright Ideas Grant:

Jeff will talk with Leo Paul about projects that the town could submit for the $5,000 grant that has been made available to Litchfield

John Post will talk with Joe Tafore, facilities manager for his ideas.  John has taken the webinair on the Bright Ideas Grant program.

We discussed the possibility of LED lighting in town.

The charging station opportunity is past. There is an EV charging station in front of the Torrington Twn Hall

LED Light Bulb Sale: Lynn reported that Jason of Techni Arts is available to sell LED bulbs on the following dates: August 2,30, Sept 13, 27.

Dan will call the town hall to find out the date of the craft fair on the green

John Post will contact lee Losee, head of the Borough, to see if we can use the space next to the PO.

Sonja has talked with the postmaster.

ZREC program: Jack Healy has informed Jeff that LETF has been asked to attend the next Sewer District Commission meeting on August 14 to talk about ZREC as a possibility for that facility.

Jeff visited the town dump and reported that it is ideal for solar panels. There is some question about whether or not there could be a problem with settling of the landfill. Jeff talked with the Dir. of Public Works in Torrington. They have given up on putting solar on their landfill…too many roadblocks.

Torrington is doing the Solarize CT program according to Rista Malanka who works for the city.

 

 

 

Litchfield Energy Task Force

Meeting, June 19, 2014, 6pm

Present: Jeff Benson, Dan Fowler, Lynn Fulkerson, Dwight Keeney, Sonja Osborn, John Post

LED Light bulb sale:

 The LED bulbs would be sold at 3 for $10 or 15 for $50.

Jack is to find out if we can use the entrance of Center School for the sale.  Sonja will talk with the Town Clerk to find out if we need a permit.  Sonja will talk with the Postmaster about using the area in front of the PO. We may have to get permission from the Litchfield Preservation Trust who owns the building.   Dan showed us the LETF banner that he had made that we can use when we have a bulb sale.  Thanks Dan. 

We would do the sale this summer on a Saturday between 10am and 1pm.

Lynn will be in touch with Jason of Techni Art to find out how he has done this light bulb sale in other towns and ask him about his availability on Saturdays.

ZREC:

ZREC stands for Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credits

Litchfield could qualify for ZREC installations in the small and medium catagorys, altho we will probably start with the small catagory in order to get everyone on board.

Jeff and John  identified  4-5 potential sites including the sewer facility, town transfer station, and Bantam Borough Hall among others.   There are  two possible sites at the town sewer facility, one installation would be a 50 KW installation and would qualify for the "small" program, and the other would be a 165 KW installation and would qualify for the medium program.  The small programs get awards on the basis of a lottery and the mediums on the basis of an auction.   Jeff agreed to talk with Dick Sheldon re the Bantam Borough Hall. 

If selected we would receive a stream of income from the RECs sold to CL&P for 15 years. The income would offset some of the cost of the system.  The other source of money to offset the cost of the system would come from the avoided cost of electricity.

Some of these programs would require that the output be shared with other meters and would require virtual net metering.   Jeff will follow up on the virtual net metering program as the last word  was that the approval of the program was still making it's way thru the approval process. 

The Town would have to float a bond to finance the system.

Jeff and John have talked with the town of Stratford regarding their installation done through ZREC program who seem to be well ahead of most other towns in CT and who have been a good source of information regarding the program.

Jeff and John talked with Dave Geiger and presented an 80KW program thru the ZREC program.  Dave then brought the program to Leo Paul  where it came to a standstill.   This means we missed the window for this year's small ZREC program but we intend to continue working on this for the next year and will try in the meantime to work with the town fathers this year to help them understand the great benefits of this program. 

We do not know when we will have another opportunity to apply.  John and Jeff will continue to prepare for the next funding round.

Dan proposed that we arrange a presentation of the programs both ZREC and Solarize CT (Torrington is participating in Solarize CT and putting a solar array at their landfill).   Jeff will talk with someone at CL&P about doing a presentation. Sonja suggested hosting it at the Firehouse.   We need to continue talking about this approach to find the best way to present the programs.  It's possible that different audiences would be interested. 

Jeff agreed to call Joe Quarteiro, Town Clerk of Torrington, to find out what they are doing there as they may be involved in some programs and would be a good source of information.   Jeff worked with Joe a number of years ago.

EV Charging Station:

There are applications available from NU for EV Charging station for funding from $2,000-$5,000.  The town would have to agree not to charge for 3 years.  Jack has suggested installing a credit card system after the three year period.

They could be located behind West St.  We are an underserved area so therefore more likely to get funding.

 Sonja questioned the amount of usage.

Would restaurants and businesses on West St be likely to support the idea.  Charging could take hours. This may bring in more business to West St.

NEXT STEP: Conversation with Jack to investigate the NU program. Would $5,000 cover the cost?

Bright Idea Grant:

Litchfield is eligible for a $5,000 grant. We need to apply.   Jeff is waiting for the application and the ground rules. He has been in touch with Diana McCarthy-Bercury at NU and is awaiting a reply.

UCS Speaker:  Have not heard back

Climate Change March:

There will be a huge gathering of folks in NYC supporting changes to limit climate changes the weekend of Sept 20-21st in NYC.  A bus will be available in Hartford through IREJN for those who wish to go.

Next Meeting: Thursday, July 17 at 6pm.

Respectfully submitted, Lynn Fulkerson

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Litchfield Energy Task Force (LETF) Meeting Minutes

                                                                                                                                                                                15th May 2014

 

 Meeting was held at Public works Office and came to corder at 6:10pm on May 15th.

Present: Jeff Benson,  Dan Fowler, Jerry Geci,  John Post & Sonja Osborn

   First topics:  1. Money… Has Dan been paid? What about Finders' Fees for work being done at Community Center ?

                         2.  An update about the work being done at the LCC was given. It is expected to be finished this very day. 

Jerry is impressed by the energy- saving work under way at the Community Center, which is a relief because Efficient Lighting, who won the contract, went into 'hibernation' during the past month's and it didn't look as if they would follow thorough with the job.   There was further discussion about other SBEA's that might be interested and mention of a couple that  emphatically said that they're not interested.

                        3.  JEFF:  Asked ~   " How can we get people to the meetings ? "  We  have changed the meeting time to 6pm in order to make it more possible for more people to attend.    

                        Jerry suggested that jobs should be sent out to members via email. 

                        4.  LED Light Bulbs Sale :-  A Venue  & Publicity are top priorities.     Jeff will talk to Jack about having the Sale outside Center School….. Opposite the Farmers' Market.  

                        -- The sale would not be a money-maker for LETF because LED bulbs would be sold by a private vendor from Collinsville.   It would however be under our sponsorship, with a large LETF banner

                         announcing this, which Dan has kindly offered to provide. He has also offered tables.

                          -- This is a way of raising our visibility and that our mission is to help Litchfield save energy and money.

                         --  Sonja raised the question of whether Insurance would be needed for us to do this.Would we be on school property?    Jeff said he would talk to Jack about this as well.  And also to Lynn,  about

                        ordering the LED light bulbs

                         --  It would also be a chance to promote Energy Audits, the SBEA program & HES with flyers to hand out.

                                                The date we decided on  is saturday  JUNE 21st     

                     Publicity:-  Jerry will be in touch with WBZG.   Sonja will see to Posters  & would like some help. 

                    5. PROMOTING  THE SBEA PROGRAM :-  Jerry & John have visited a couple of businesses .

                  John spoke to ……. at Blue Seal . They had an audit 2 years ago. He also went to Agway and plans to visit the new owners of Salt Water Grill and Forman School.

                 6. CLEAN ENERGY GRANT  Jeff will speak to Jack about the $5000  from the Bright Idea grant.   What are the parameters of spending this grant ?  Could we split the cost of Energy Audits in order to

                 encourage more people to get them done, now that they cost $100 ?

                 7. CONTACT FROM USC  ? John has not heard from the Union of Concerned Scientists regarding a Speaker.

                 The Meeting Adjourned at 6 :15pm

                Respectfully Submitted' 

                Sonja Osborn

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                                                                                                                                                                    April 17, 2014

Present: Jeff Benson, Dan Fowler, Lynn Fulkerson Jerry Geci, Jack Healy, Brian Malarkey, John Post

Absent: Dean Birdsall,  James Keithan, Sam Olmstead, Sonja Osborn,

Contributions were collected to reimburse Dan for the website expenses

Farmers Market: We have a table this coming Saturday at the indoor Farmers Market. There was a question from Kay Carroll about sharing the space with Community Energy. Lynn explained the exchange with Kay about  the two vendors, Community Energy and Techni Arts, the LED vendor. The last word from  Kay was that  she was canceling Community Energy.

Dan, Jeff, Jack and Jerry will be at the farmers Market table this Saturday with the lightbox.

There was a discussion about how we might offer  LEDs   at low cost through Techni Arts to Litchfield residents. Jack, Lynn and Jerry will form a subcommittee

. Jack will check to with the Methodist Church, and Brian will check with the First Congregational Church to see if we could have Techni Arts sell LED at their fairs.

ZREC program for Litchfield: Jack, John, and Jeff will follow up on this program and inquire about the dates for applying. They had a good exchange with Dave Geiger , board of finance, who seemed very interested in this program for the town.

SBEA. The question was raised by John Post about recommitting to bringing this program to the local businesses. He reviewed the four benefits of the program:             

               small businesses save money on their energy costs

               LETF could receive finders fees

               the town would receive more credits for the Bright Ideas Program

               there would be  a reduction in CO2 emissions

Do we want to get back in the game? Some may feel reluctant to “sell” the program.

Two businesses that have done the audit through LETF efforts: Fabbri’s Dental office and the Litchfield Community Center which received a grant to do the retrofits.

Earth Day Events:  Two  events in town.

1.      Tuesday, April 22 ,3:30-6:30 sponsored by Sportsmen  of Litchfield

2.      Saturday, May 3 9am-noon sponsored by the Recycling Committee

Photo of LETF members with award presented to town by the CT Clean Energy Communities Program taken by Jeff Benson

Meeting was adjourned at 7pm.

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LETF meeting 06Mar14 - Called to order @ 6:05pm, closed @ 7:25pm

                LETF meeting in attendance- Jeff B, Sam O, Sonja O, Dan F, John P, Brian M                 

 

1.    Dan is managing a virtual bank for tracking funds of website fees, it was previously agreed to donate $15 each to offset those costs, also agreed to donate to the Possum Queen foundation on behalf of Roberta Healy, Jeff is collecting funds.  Jeff suggested having the secretary duties on a rotating basis for 6 mos. at a time, and Lynn has agreed to do the first 6 mos.  There were no disagreements to these changes. 

 

2.   Sonja Jeff brought up the subject of NW Conservation District handling our funds, they expressed concern over holding and distributing funds for LETF. This should not be an issue as they are a 501.3.C 501 (c) 3 non-profit. Sam gave the example of Litchfield Soccer Club handling funds for the Northwest Rovers (premier girls soccer team) as long as it’s debit and credits are equal.  This was a result of Jeff’s recent phone calls with Sean Hayden with objective of getting a closer working relationship between our groups.

 

3.   Group discussed status of LETF becoming a 501.3.C, 501 (c) 3 , Brian reminded all that the group considered and tabled it about 2 years ago due to cost, formal organization, legal filing, to name a few

 

4.   Jeff and John invested a great deal of time and effort investigating the ZREC program for the town of Litchfield. They met with and presented to Dave Geiger (town BOF) who then agreed to review with Leo Paul Jr. only to be denied by the 1st selectman. Dave sent a follow up email to Jeff with clear instructions as to how and when to present the information after June 1. Sam raised the question of financial viability for the project; scope projects 3% increase in utility cost over the next 20 years utilizing a unrealistic kWh charge of $.18 per kWh. Jeff and John agreed to collect current CL&P invoices from WPCA (Ted D) to run new savings projections.

 

 5.  Sonja raised the subject of South Africa building new Coal-fired electricity plants (what are they thinking?). Somehow, this evolved into a discussion about burning of local methane sources (trash mountain, WPCA, etc.) as it is 34x more likely source of greenhouse emissions when untreated and would be a reliable source CHEAP source of electricity. Volunteer to explore this option for Litchfield?

6.  Clean Energy Communities- Leo Paul Jr signed the commitment to join, only 409 homes out of 3490 in Litchfield have participated in the HES program, although it’s only 11.7% of total residences in town, we are better than most towns. This resulted in a $5K grant to help further promote the program among other energy related topics. Jeff raised the subject of a sub-committee to spearhead the efforts and use funds to lower the HES audit fee of $99.00. Question for Jack - how do we access the funds once the town has rec’d them?

7.  Jeff raised the of issue of getting more volunteers to help with ground pounding, door to door, street fighting, etc.

 

8.  Jeff also raised the issue of our visibility which he would like to increase thru items in Litchfield.bz, Litchfield County Times, etc.   Sonja volunteered to do posters and help with our marketing. 

 

9.  The C-PACE program was discussed and most felt that the opportunities in Litchfield were limited. 

 

10.  Farmers Market- next date is March 22, we will continue to cover the market (Dan and ?). Also discussed distributing LED bulbs at cost, Brian will coordinate with Dan to provide.

11.  EV charging station, discussed the option and decided not promote/ pursue through LETF due to installation Costs, in spite of incentive,  Operating/ Maintenance Costs, obliged to offer $1 per hour charging for 3 years,  Recognizable lack of traffic to utilize the service

12.  Earth hour is on March 29, asking all to co-promote; (Dean can you address all schools?), discussed possibility of LCC event based on previous success

13. Next meeting is April 17 @ 6pm, Litchfield Public Works ... (note new ongoing meeting start time as a result of consensus vote).

 

11.   Next meeting is March 20 April 17 @ 6pm, Litchfield Public Works

 

Respectfully,

 

Brian Malarkey

 

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                                                                                Meeting was held at Litchfield Public Works office on 12/19/13 and started at 5:05 pm.

Present: Lynn Fulkerson, Sonya Osborn, Dan Fowler, Jack Healy, John Post, Jerry Geci, Jeff Benson, Dean Birdsall

Absent: Brian Malarkey, Dwight Keeney, Sam Olmstead, Jesse Philippi, James Keithan

Leadership: Jerry Geci stepped down from co-chair position following three years of distinguished service. Jeff Benson was nominated and approved to serve as the new LETF co-chair with Jack Healy. The group agreed that they would like to meet socially for dinner at the Village Restaurant in January. (Lynn agreed to arrange date and time.)

Meeting Schedule: It was agreed that meetings will be held 5:00 every 3rd Thursday of each month at the Public Works office.

Meeting format and Task Force goals:

·        Review group LETF mission and goals (All, Jeff will send a message)

·        Identify most promising areas for concerted effort and plan strategically (All, Jeff will send a message)

·        Form sub-committees with specific monthly tasks (All)

·        Website needs updating. Major changes to be suggested following review of mission and goals. (Dan needs content from all members)

·        Lynn, “We need to market LETF to the community so people know who we are and what we can do.”

HES Program: Cost has increased from $50 to $99, still good value. (Dean needs to contact Competitive Resources regarding status of LHS rebate program.)

SBEA Program:

·        Litchfield Hills Nursery has been very highly satisfied with benefits of the program.

·        Jerry is still pursuing participation from both Murphy’s Pharmacy and Murphy Reality.

·        John reported Litchfield Community Center will pursue the recommendations from the program with a $13000 grant that they received for that purpose.

·        If businesses have had an audit more than three years ago it is likely worth doing it again do to tech advances.

·        Tout success stories on website

Initiatives:

·        John has made key contacts regarding a Union of Concerned Scientists speaker for NW CT multi-sponsored (by likeminded groups) event. Proposed theme: What a citizen can do to mitigate climate change. (John to confirm speaker availability)

·        Solar panels for LCC, Sewer Plant, Public Works building. (Dean to solicit proposals from several vendors for LCC and share findings with Jack)

·        Winter (indoor) Farmers Market (Sonya to will confirm and book dates)

·        Capitalize on impending electric rate increase as an incentive to move toward improved energy efficiency (Jeff to ponder opportunities)

·        New town initiatives include new boilers for the sewer plant and new windows for the high school. (Jack to identify areas that LETF can help)

Meeting adjourned approximately 6:10 pm

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LETF MTG

April 18, 2013

In attendance: Jeff Benson, Dan Fowler, Jerry Geci, Brian Malarky, John Post, Sam Olmstead (left 5:30), and Lynn Fulkerson (arrived 5:20).

Jeff wanted us to know that he had spoken with Dwight Keeney at OWL, and Dwight expects to become more active with LETF sometime during the summer. We welcome the news.

Sam reported that his wife told him that LETF has been awarded $100 from the Junior Women's Club. The amount has been deposited in our account with NWCD. Jerry asked Dan to figure his expenses over the years and submit a bill to us for reimbursement.

We listened to Sam and Brian discuss a new CT funding mechanism call C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy). Since it is long-term funding for larger industrial and commercial complexes, it is more good news for energy efficiency, but not applicable to our present initiative.

John shared and will link all of us to the GOOGLE DOC he has set up. All of us will be able to share and edit info on this spread sheet.

John emphasized that when approaching a business about SBEA, talk to the boss, the person paying the electric bill.

John has confirmed with Earthlight Technologies, Efficient Lighting, Energy Solutions, New England Energy and Paquette Electric Co., Inc. that they rec'd the letter sent by Jack and Jerry and agreed to send a finder's fee in the form of a donation to NWCD for deposit in LETF Fund.

John was present at LCC when audit was initiated. Important point: many technological advancements in the last five years; if a business had an audit even as recent as 5 years ago, it's still may be worth having another. (Note: for instance, even LEDs are now dimmable.)

Brian clarified that any business on a commercial meter has a KW Charge in addition to the KWH expense. When looking at a CL&P bill, check for this KW charge which is based on peak demand from that business. This may be another selling point.

John suggested we follow up on all of our successful transactions to monitor the savings in energy. Also, this follow-up would serve as a way to monitor our finders' fee donations.

The group discussed whether to comply with a request for an invoice for the finders' fee. Dan reiterated that we view this as a donation. Under Jack's and Jerry's signature a thank you for a donation could and should be sent. That should suffice.

Lynn reminded us that NWCD was holding its annual plant sale at Goshen Fair Grounds this weekend.

Litchfield's clean-up for Earth Day will be held on Saturday, May 4th.

Lynn said she would like to see us keep track of which auditors actually follow up with the work approved for each project. She suggested we monitor and report on contractors that don't do their job. Consensus was we should keep track.

Respectfully submitted,

Jerry Geci

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February 21, 2013

 

                                                                                             

LITCHFIELD  ENERGY  TASK  FORCE

 

Attendees:  Jeff Benson, Dan Fowler, Jerry Geci, Jack Healy, John Post, Sonja Osborn, Dean Birdsall, Brian Malarkey.

John Post brought us up to date with the list of contractors.  He still hadn’t heard from the same six who hadn’t responded earlier.  The group decided there was no need to include them on our list of vetted contractor LETF could present to business owners.  John said that his latest list of SBEA contractors is complete and clear; all others can be discarded.  He asks that we check the list of Key Insights from Auditors/ Contractors.  (Check your e-mail in box for both of these.

John has created a form which we will fill out with each business.  It includes description of the business, address, hours and days of operation, own/rent/lease (a reminder to check the length of the lease for it ought to be long enough for the pay-back period to kick in), owner’s choice of contractor, and signatures.

John suggested and we all agreed that SBEA brochures should be used along with our own flyer for the face-to-face presentation.  We agreed that an initial phone call should be made to set up an appointment.  During that first meeting after the owner has selected a contractor, the LETFer should offer the option of initiating the call to the contractor or leaving it to the owner to do that.  If the owner says he’ll do it, ask if you may call him in a few days to see that things had gone well with setting an appointment.  You could offer to be present when the auditor arrives if you are able to do that.

That conversation led to the issue of the finder’s fee.  After a discussion which included consideration of various options, the group agreed unanimously that (1) we should accept NWCD offer to act as our fiscal agent and (2) we should send a letter to all of the contractors informing them of our initiative to contact Litchfield businesses and that any finder’s fees resulting from our initiative should be sent to NWCD (procedure soon to be established).  Jerry will compose the letter to be sent to the 11 contractors.

As for our kick-off:  Upon suggestion from Brian we will start on March 19th at the LABA meeting.  Brian will introduce the business people to LETF and then to John Post (who graciously accepted being volunteered by the group).  According to Brain, John will have five minutes to inform and convince these owners to sign on for a visit from one of us or at least to leave a business card showing that they’d like us to contact them.

We will have publicity for this outreach through various media.  Jerry will write the propaganda. 

Jack reported that the New Town Hall committee is getting ready to present its proposal after its months of study and research.  Jack repeated the gratitude and respect that the committee had for LETF presentation that Brian, James, and Jeff had worked on.  The committee asked if LETF would like to be a part of the final presentation.  Jack and others reiterated LETF’s neutral position on this project: LETF provided its latest information on how the building should be made energy efficient.  Our conclusion was that Brian would talk with John Martin to see just what LETF could add to a presentation by the New Town Hall committee to the townspeople.  Brian understands that we on LETF do not want the hint of LETF being for or against this project.

Sonja asked about our participation this year in Earth Hour and the Farmer’s Market on March 16th.  We decided that we would have a table on the 16th that had as its theme:  Kill the Vampires!  That is we’d focus on the appliances and electronics that nightly suck the watts for no good reason.  Also, rather than any formal program that requires the use of fossil fuel to gather somewhere, we are going to promote homeowners (and maybe the town govt. officials) to participate in Earth Hour on March 23rd.

Fresh from a contractors’ meeting that day Brian reported on the newly named state program, ENERGIZE CONNECTICUT.  (See energizect.com)  Brian said there was record setting participation in 2012.  The plan for 2013 is that $82 million will be available to continue the reduction of energy use through making small and large businesses more efficient.  He also stated that in 2013 Municipalities are now eligible to borrow $250,000 at rates as low as 2.9% to 4.9%.  Hospitals are eligible too.

Jerry will keep a running list of the businesses that LETFers intend approaching.  Keep him informed.

Finally, all are to think about and maybe design a logo for LETF.

Meeting adjourned 6:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jerry Geci, Sonja Osborn, John Post

 

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Summary of last meeting held January 31, 2013: 

Although I put out an agenda prior to the mtg.(see e-mail 1/30/13), I decided to switch the order of events to allow John Post the time he needed to report his findings after his many calls,contacts, collecting, and collating.  John reported that from the list of 19 state approved contractors he  decided to contact the 17 located in CT.  In the end John had conversations with 10.  

John posed the same five questions to each. The results of his findings are summed up in his e-mail dated 1/31/13 on SBEA Auditors and Contractors to which he referred during his talk.  John found that most said they check lighting, a/c, compressors, electric heating, and most things electrical.  Windows aren't part of the pkg. - esp. w/ CL&P.  W/ insulation there must be a compelling need or it gets no attention.  A few did outsourcing of work, but still CL&P oversees the work - often making spot audits. Most offered a finder's fee.  Remember that the owner must have latest electric bill(s) on hand, and it may be that owners need to share CL&P acct. # ahead of time. All prices for work are fixed by CL&P. 

 

Our discussion then focused on the finder's fee - should we accept or not? if accepted how do we handle the $$$$$$? shall we become a 501(c)3?  will NWCD help by holding funds in a separate account? do we even want to deal with money as the volunteer organization we are? How do we pay Dan for our website?  In the end we decided that we needed every member's input before making a decision.  But I would contact Jean Cronauer at NWCD to see if NWCD could act as a finacial agent for us.

 

John made reference to the documents in the other 1/31/13 e-mail he sent which included non-disclosure agreement, neem-brochure print, and stdindependentContractor.  We had llittle time left before our 7 o'clock departure to look these over.

 

Homework:  Using the West Hartford Green Business Initiative flyer as a template, modify or adapt it in anyway to make a flyer for our use when we meet with Litchfield business owners.  Also, look at John Post's 2nd Draft of our approach to businesses and revise as you see fit.  Finally, think about the way we should go with regards to funds.  Do this before meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21st.  (Next e-mail re: this mtg.)

Jerry