Two Thetford Residents needed for Thetford Energy Committee
(TEC) to serve for three-year appointments. Letter of Interest, including
experiences with energy issues should be submitted to the Selectboard.
4_9_15 Thetford Community Solar Update and Resources
Thetford Solar Forum 3-25-15
TEC GNM Forum Held On March 31 2015
Thetford Net Metering Community Solar Forum Handout
Thetford Community Letter regarding Solar Net Metering Initiative
Thetford Volunteer Assisted Weatherization Program Report
In 2013 the Thetford Energy Committee wanted to develop a program to assist those whose homes were in need of weatherization, but who could not afford it and did not qualify for the free Weatherizaton Assistance Program.
We decided to create a Volunteer Assisted Weatherization Program that would use grant money to pay for materials and a Home Performance with Energy Star contractor to:
- Do test-in and test-out Home Performance Assessments
- Develop a workscope and materials list
- Train (as needed) and oversee a team of skilled volunteers installing the measures
- Submit a final Home Performance HERO report to Efficiency Vermont
We got approval from Efficiency Vermont that work done through this initiative would qualify for financial incentives through the Do-It-Yourself track of the Home Performance with Energy Star program. Incentives from the improvements were redirected into the Thetford VAW Fund for future jobs.
We worked with Central Vermont Community Action Council to establish an income guideline for qualifying to participate in the program and then sought participants in the program through the local churches, food shelf and CVCAC. We had two candidates for this first pilot outreach effort and ultimately chose to work on the home of Lorraine Carbino in Thetford Center, Vermont.
We recruited 11 skilled carpenters and weatherization contractors who contributed 107 hours picking up materials, preparing the site and installing improvements. Improvements installed include:
- Installing foam board on the kneewalls, foundation walls and rim joists
- Installing plexiglass interior storms over basement windows
- Air sealing leaks in the basement, attic and hot air ducts
- Properly venting the clothes dryer
Over this summer, interior storm windows will be built and installed to reduce air leakage and increase R-value in five windows.
The labor and materials costs for this work, paid for by grants from the Vermont Community Foundation and Ben and Jerry’s Foundation, totaled $2,770. Efficiency Vermont will pay $970 in incentives, so the net cost of the job is $1,800. The audit test-out report determined that these efforts reduced air leakage in the house by just over 10% and will reduce energy use by more than 21%, saving Lorraine an estimated $488.50 on her fuel bills annually. So energy savings will pay for the cost of improvements in less than four years and the house will be much more comfortable. In addition, the reduced fuel use will cut CO2 emissions by an estimated 2,800 lbs. per year.
We are in the process of reviewing the results and getting feedback from participants in order to make improvements on this model, with hopes of repeating it going forward, and sharing it with other Energy Committees throughout the state as a model program they can replicate to help weatherize homes of those in need.
The Thetford Energy Committee would like to thank the following, who helped make this such a successful effort:
Lorraine Carbino and her daughter Rachel Luce for allowing us into their home, for feeding the volunteers and for preparing areas of the home for work.
Brent Mellen and Building Energy who provided discounted pricing and did a great job on the audit, figuring job scope, overseeing volunteers and reporting results to Efficiency Vermont.
Singe Arnold, Rick Biddle, Ben Bradley, Steve Bradley, Donn Downey, Rick Hoffman, Mike Kiess, Joel Legunn, Nancy Limbaugh, Brent Mellen, Doug Miller, Kevin O’Hara, Bob Walker, Mike Wells, Ann Wickham for volunteering their time and skills to this project.
Fogg’s Hardware and Building Supply, Bethel Mills and Bargain Building Products who provided discounted pricing on the weatherization materials.
Efficiency Vermont for providing incentives through the Do-It-Yourself track of the Home Performance with Energy Star Program. Central Vermont Community Action Council for helping define our income targets.
The Vermont Community Foundation and Ben and Jerry’s Foundation for their generous support for this project.
Joel Legunn for writing grants and Thetford Treasurer, Jill Graff, for handling deposits and payments.
For more information and to see photos from this project, contact TEC chair, Bob Walker at 802-785-4126 or bwalker@SERG-info.org.
Read about our award-winning home weatherization project in the Valley News: http://www.vnews.com/home/9676716-95/thetford-energy-program-honoredat-fairlee-climate-conference
One of the TEC’s goals is to weatherize a town building, or a building available for public use, each year. Over the years we’ve weatherized the Rice’s Mills Community Center and Thetford Center Community Building.
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:http://www.dcf.state.vt.us/oeo/weatherization.
If you do not meet the low income eligibility criteria, visit www.efficiencyvermont.org and search for Home Performance with Energy Star contractors.
Making Bicycles a Better Way to Travel
Properly inflating tires can improve gas mileage by up to 5%. The following Thetford stores offer free air for tire inflation: Huggett’s Market and Chuck’s Auto Repair in East Thetford and Thetford Auto Service in Thetford Center.
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.
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 www.vitalcommunities.org,
Cedar Circle Farm www.cedarcirclefarm.org,
Crossroad Farm www.crossroadfarm.com,
Willing Hands www.willinghandsinc.org, and the
Thetford Recreation Department to increase awareness of and access to local food 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,email@example.com, schedules online at www.Advancetransit.com.
- Vital Communities provides a comprehensive map showing all Upper Valley bus routes atwww.vitalcommunities.org/Transport/transportmap.htm.
- 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. See website for details. Broker for Vermont RideShare. 802-295-1824 x21, firstname.lastname@example.org,www.uppervalleyrideshare.com and www.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 www.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,www.efficiencyvermont.com.
Vermont Department of Public Service maintains a webpage of information on energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy. http://publicservice.vermont.gov/energy-efficiency/energy-efficiency.html
Sustainable Energy Resource Group – SERG is a nonprofit organization, located in Thetford, that works with towns and individuals to promote energy conservation, efficiency and renewables. SERG forms and consults with town energy committees, sells compact fluorescent bulbs, conducts home energy audits, and serves as an information and referral agency on energy related issues. Contact SERG at 802-785-4126, SERG@valley.netor www.SERG-info.org .
You can also get information on energy efficient appliances and other advice for saving energy in your home from the federal government at www.energystar.gov .
Ben and Mike Cut Foam
Rick and Steve Add Storm Window
Doug Drills Tapits
Donn Seals Rim
Parged Foundation Wall
Rick and Steve Foam Foundation Wall
Rick Tapes Parges Foundation
Cabino Crew at Lunch
2015 TEC Committee Members
Bob Walker, Chair
John Bacon, Selectboard Liaison