Meeting minutes, Nov. 18, 2010

Attending: Neil Anders, Charles Bado (Energy Coach with Coop Power), Hal Gillam, Pat Larson, Judy Bennett, Brian Nugent, Tom Rich, Bruce Spencer, Cathy Stanton

Announcements:

  • The Athol Senior Center, now being constructed in the former CVS store downtown, features several “green” construction elements, including solar tubes for lighting and a planned solar hot water system.
  • Coop Power will be installing a solar hot water system in Athol’s Fire Station No. 2.
  • There will be a Transition Town presentation with Tina Clarke at Wendell Free Library on Monday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.
  • Coop Power is busy constructing and fundraising for the Northeast Biodiesel plant
  • Saturday, Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be a family-friendly vendor fair at Athol Town Hall that incorporates a “Go Green” theme.
  • New Salem has submitted its Green Communities application now that it has completed all of its requirements.
  • The Orange town energy committee is working on outreach to residents, since the municipal side of things is now well underway. They are planning a workshop to make “draft-dodgers” to stop drafts under doors, and will hold some film screenings and a book discussion of Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy.
  • Athol’s town committee has been discussing ways to build some electric vehicle charging stations in the town and also the region.
  • Brian did a well-attended presentation at the Barre library on winserts and weatherization. He will also be doing a winsert presentation at the Athol Library on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 5:30 to 6:45.
  • Neil is doing a presentation at Barre library on Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon on assessing your baseline energy use and thinking of ways to reduce that.
  • Coop Power discussion
    We talked about how we might connect with Coop Power around some kind of community projects around weatherization or other projects. One stumbling block to having Coop Power do energy audits and weatherization in the North Quabbin is that it has not been working over the Worcester County line, but Charles will investigate whether this could be more flexible so that Athol and other Worcester County towns in the North Quabbin could be included. Some lobbying by NQE and town energy committees could be helpful here.
    Hal talked about how this could help the current Athol campaign that includes a residential initiative designed to promote and facilitate weatherization in homes, targeting those who heat with electricity first. National Grid has been working closely with the town on this.
    Neil mentioned Joe Biden’s recently-announced Home Energy Scoring program and wondered how this might relate to energy audits and installations.

    Debrief from Oct. 23 winsert workshop
    Feedback from participants was extremely positive. Several people have gone on and made additional winserts for their homes. Steve Kurkoski suggested having more tables if we do this again so that no one has to wait for their turn to do each step.

    Book discussion
    We will aim to meet on Thursday, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. for a potluck and discussion of Tom Wessells’ The Myth of Progress. We will confirm this date soon.

    Other business
    Hal brought up the subject of potential funding and effort to help upgrade and continue weatherizing the Environmental Center, since it is a heavy energy user among the town buildings and burns a lot of oil considering how little it is actually used.

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