Annual Report from the Orange Town Energy Committee

Ad Hoc Town Energy Committee for Orange

The Orange Town Energy Committee was formed in December 2007 and first met in February 2008. Mission: The Ad Hoc Energy Committee for the Town of Orange is organized to encourage conservation, recycling, efficient energy practices, and the use of renewable energy where possible in public buildings, homes and businesses of Orange.
Members: Steve Adam, Robert Haigh, Sharon Hatstat, Paul Kaplan, Pat Larson, Dianne Salcedo, and Sandra Warren.

Annual Report (Oct. 2008-Nov. 2009) with Highlights of the Year
The work of the Orange Town Energy Committee during the past year centered around three areas. These included education, energy audits on town buildings and work with Siemens and out-reach. The committee usually met monthly and had informal discussions about projects and work people could do. Below are some of the highlights of this work.
Education –
• A proposal to purchase energy related books for the Orange Elementary School libraries was submitted to the Clean Energy Choice Program (MTC Renewable Energy Trust) for $460. (Other money from grant program was used to purchase a solar trash compactor for Mattawa Beach.)
• Two Energy kits were put together for the Orange Libraries and put into circulation in May 2009. Each kit contains books and a Kill-A-Watt meter (meters bought by Library Friends) with instructions. Also the bibliography of books available at the Orange Libraries related to energy, global warming and the environment by grade level was up-dated by Dianne Salcedo.
• Energy committee members helped with various activities in the elementary schools during the 2009 school year. These included: 1) setting up boxes to collect ink cartridges for school fundraising efforts. Through this effort over 60 ink cartridges were turned in to Butterfield to add to their on-going effort. 2) At Fisher Hill Paul Kaplan worked with a school energy committee to develop school programs for Environment Month during April and other school-wide projects. The whole school signed up for the “Green Team” project sponsored by the MA DEP. 3) At Dexter Park Deb Taylor and Pat Larson taught an after-school workshop with ten 3-4th graders for 10 weeks (“Energy Wise Kids Club”).
Energy audits on town buildings and work with Siemens –
• Members of the Energy Committee attended selectboard and school committee meetings in December and January to support going forward with an investment audit of all town buildings by Siemens.
• Investment grade audits of 15 town buildings were completed by Siemens in June. Energy committee members met with Roland Butzke from Siemens before the Town Meeting to help them understand the workings of a performance contract and the warrants concerned with this on the town warrant. Articles on the town meeting warrant asked the town to allow for the town to negotiate a loan of up to $2 million dollars for beginning work with Siemens. The payments on the loan will be paid from energy savings the town receives from work done as part of a performance contract with Siemens with a possible savings to the town of $100,000 a year.
• This performance contract is part of a collaborative effort that involves the FRCOG and other towns. Each town has to decide on whether to negotiate a performance contract with Siemens. At this point Orange is negotiating with the USDA regarding a loan agreement (payments to be made from energy savings money) so a contract can be signed with Siemens.
• Along with learning about a performance contract and what it involves, members of the town energy committee are currently involved with meetings regarding technical assistance from FRCOG staff on developing an Action Plan for Green Communities designation for Orange and have also attended SDAT meetings related to a sustainable plan for Orange.
Outreach –
• Members had an information table at the October 2008 Celebrate the Harvest event and at Family Fun Day in May 2009. Information about home energy audits was distributed to people.
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