Energy Committee

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The Thetford Energy Committee meets the second Tuesday of each month, 5:30pm -7pm. Meetings are currently being held virtually. Please check agendas for Zoom information.

Ribbon Cutting for Thetford-Strafford Community Solar, September 2018
Ribbon Cutting for Thetford-Strafford Community Solar, September 2018
Mission:

The Thetford Energy Committee (TEC) works with the Town, its residents and businesses to help reduce energy use, save money and protect the environment.

Members: Chris Hebb, Michael Kiess (Chair), Erica Ko, Joel Legunn, Alice Stewart,  Tom Ward, Chuck Cole, Peter Thoenen

We hope you find the information and links on this page helpful. If you have questions or suggestions for us, or would like any other energy-related information, please contact us at by email at energy@thetfordvt.gov or michaelkiessvt@gmail.com or phone at 802.299.5864. We can assist in connecting you with various programs or help you find answers to your energy-related questions.

Current Projects

E-Bike Lending Program

In partnership with Local Motion, the Energy Committee will have 3 e-bikes for check-out between July 19 and August 8. You can borrow a bike for a 2-day stint, or sign up for one of our demo days to do a 60-minute trial.

Registration opens at 4 pm on Wednesday, July 15th. You can sign up here. If you have any difficulties with the registration process, please contact the Energy Committee at energy@thetfordvt.gov

The e-bikes are being hosted by volunteers. Here is a schedule of where each bike will be and when. You will receive more specific info when you register:

About the bikes:
Specialized Hard Rock with Conversion Kit

This bike is a regular bicycle with an electric assist added to it in the form of an e-bike conversion kit. The standard bicycle is equipped with a motor and a battery to provide the e-assist. The motor has a built in torque sensor and responds to pedal pressure not cadence.
The bike is sized for a small-medium rider.

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon

The RadWagon by Rad Power Bikes is a cargo e-bike that can carry you and your kids, groceries, and other valuable cargo around town and some mild backroads. You have the option to borrow one or two Yepp kid seats that are rated for kids up to 48lbs each. The 5 pedal-assist levels and throttle help take the buckets of sweat away from your bike commute and the cargo carrying ability makes this a true car replacement! Minimum rider height: About 5’2”.

Specialized Turbo Como

This e-bike feels like a rocket ship (if you want it to). Its over-sized road tires absorb bumps and cracks in the road. The e-assist propellers you over hills and across flats. The Turbo Como is great for commuting any distance, from 2 miles to 20 miles. With a range of up to about 60 miles, the Como will take you far! Minimum rider height: 5’6”.

2019-2020 WINDOW DRESSERS:

The Thetford and Strafford Energy Committees teamed up to participate in the Maine nonprofit, Window Dressers, program this year. We completed and distributed 249 reusable, insulating window inserts in 6 days of workshops involving 12 teams of enthusiastic volunteers. Many thanks to all who supported the effort!

Weatherization

Heating bills in many older homes can be cut by 30% to 50% by getting an energy audit and effectively weatherizing your home. Households meeting income eligibility guidelines may qualify for free energy audits and retrofits, through the Vermont Weatherization Program. More information about Vermont’s Weatherization Program is available at: the State or Vermont weatherization site.
If you do not meet the low income eligibility criteria, visit Efficiency Vermont and search for Home Performance with Energy Star contractors.[/ap_column]
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Making Bicycles a Better Way to Travel

Bike rack on the back porch of Latham Library with a red bike in it and woodpile and signs behind

Thanks to the state of Vermont, Thetford now has bike racks at the Latham and Peabody libraries, Town Hall, and the town green. And thanks to Wells River Savings Bank and the Baptist Church in East Thetford, bike commuters can park their cars and bike to work, without having to ride up Thetford Hill at the end of the day.

The TEC thanks our community partners for making bicycles a more feasible transportation option in Thetford.

Tire Inflation

Properly inflating tires can improve gas mileage by up to 5%.

Vehicle Idling

Reduced idling saves fuel and thus money, reduces pollutants (particularly those that cause respiratory problems like asthma), saves wear and tear on the engine, and reduces your contribution to climate-changing greenhouse gases. One easy way to reduce your vehicle idling is to eliminate unnecessary warmup. Consult your vehicle manual for the manufacturer’s instructions on warmup — vehicles with direct injection engines (produced beginning in the mid-1980s) do not need to be warmed up and excessive warmup can damage the engine, wastes fuel, and increases emissions. Vehicle Idling Q&A pdf (73kb)

Other common situations that lead to unnecessary vehicle idling include dropping off and picking up children at school; stopping at the post office, stores, and recycling; pulling over to talk on cell phones; waiting to pass through roadwork sites or for a freight train to pass; and waiting at drive-thru windows. The EPA recommends parking your car and going into restaurants, banks, and the like instead of idling in drive-up lanes. In most situations, you will save gas by turning the engine off and restarting it again rather than idling the engine.

Local Foods Initiative

Eating locally produced foods not only supports neighboring farmers, it can reduce the energy impact of the food you eat. The Thetford Energy Committee is working with various groups, including
Vital Communities
Cedar Circle Farm
Crossroad Farm
Willing Hands  and the

Thetford Recreation Department to increase awareness of and access to local food options.

Transportation Options

Take advantage of ride sharing and public transportation options available in the Upper Valley:

  • There is a commuter parking lot for carpooling and public transit on Rt. 113 just east of the I-91 Thetford exit.
  • Stagecoach bus service picks up riders there for trips into the Hanover, Lebanon, White River area, Monday through Friday at 6:55AM and 10AM and drops off back at the Thetford Park and Ride at 1:30PM and 5PM. Riders with medical issues, disabilities or over 60 years of age can call for special individual pickups. For fares, complete schedules or to schedule pickups, contact Stagecoach at 802-728-3773, hbenoir@stagecoach-rides.org or www.stagecoach-rides.org.
  • Advance Transit provides free bus service between the core Upper Valley towns: 802-295-1824,info@advancetransit.com, schedules online at advancetransit.com.
  • Upper Valley Rideshare provides free carpool matching services for commuters in VT and NH, with FREE Emergency Ride Home benefit for all registered carpoolers. ERH also available to regular transit riders, bicyclists and walkers who work in the Upper Valley BEST Workplaces for Commuters District. Broker for Vermont RideShare. 802-295-1824 x21, info@uppervalleyrideshare.com, and vermontrideshare.org.

State and Local Energy Resources

The State has launched the Vermont Fuel and Food Partnership to help Vermonters address increasing home heating, gasoline, and food costs. The initiative includes links to weatherization, heating assistance, and more at helpforvt.org.

Energy Reference Section in Latham Library: To learn more about reducing your energy consumption and the effects of energy’s overuse, you can borrow books and DVDs from the Energy Reference Section at Latham Library on Thetford Hill. Also on loan is a Watt meter – just plug in your home appliances to measure how much energy they use. A PDF copy of the Watt meter instructions is available online. Killawatt instructions 07307.pdf(29kb). For Library Hours call 802-785-4361.

Efficiency Vermont helps Vermonters reduce energy use in their homes, farms and businesses through a variety of services. These services include technical assistance, education and financial incentives for the purchase of energy-efficient products; EnergySmart home energy analysis CD’s and on-line, a list of certified Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractors and weatherization contractors and more, 888-921-5990,  efficiencyvermont.com.

Vermont Department of Public Service maintains a webpage of information on energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy.

You can also get information on energy efficient appliances and other advice for saving energy in your home from the federal government at energystar.gov

Annual Reports