Monday, July 21, 2008
Energy On the Agenda Tonight
If you've got a body, you can have a role as an audience member for about 15 minutes at the next Select Board meeting on July 21 at 7:55-8:10 pm (in the Police Dept. Community Room).
Longmeadow was one of the first communities in our region to have a task force in place to examine ways to save our town money by conserving energy and reduce our overall need for energy.
This group (the Renewable Energy Task Force, or RETF) served at the direction of the Town Manager. It was scheduled to give a status report highlighting some possible projects & cost savings our town could choose. Their 3-page executive summary is below.
At the next Select Board meeting, this group will request that the Select Board create a standing Commission so that their hard work can continue.
The reason WHY the RETF needs to be formed as a standing committee is because the Town Manager has found it necessary to disband the energy task force.
-Longmeadow still does not have renewable energy systems in place.
-We still can save money.
-The Commonwealth's new Green Communities Act is a source of funds for communities that are proactive in this area.
-Even the Select Board themselves "directed the Town to develop a local action plan for sustainability in conformance with ICLEI’s Cites for Climate Protection Campaign and this responsibility was added to the RETF."
Please join me in sitting in on the audience (if you wish you can speak at the public comment time at the start of the meeting, 7pm). All you need to do is show up, so that the Renewable Energy Task Force can point to your support as additional justification for continuing their efforts.
If you are unable to come to the meeting, please email your support to firstname.lastname@example.org &/or contact a Select Board member directly:
Paul P. Santaniello (2009) Chair Person
Robert Barkett, (2011) Vice-Chair Person
William G. Scibelli (2010) Clerk
Kathleen E. Grady (2009) Member
Brian M. Ashe (2010) Member
Thanks for your consideration of this effort. With the rising prices for oil and gas, our town would be incredibly short-sighted to disband the renewable energy task force.
TO: Robin Crosbie, Town Manager
The Town of Longmeadow Select Board
FROM: Renewable Energy Task Force (RETF)
RE: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY STATUS REPORT
DATE: July 21, 2008
Convening History and Purpose:
Charge: In May of 2007, Robin Crosbie, Town Manager, convened a task force to study and recommend options for renewable energy use for the town that would help the town reduce its reliance of non-renewable energy sources such as oil and gas and improve economic efficiencies for the town.
In November of 2007, the Select Board directed the Town to develop a local action plan for sustainability in conformance with ICLEI’s Cites for Climate Protection Campaign and this responsibility was added to the RETF.
REVIEW OF CURRENT WORK:
RETF focused its initial work on energy conservation and the study of existing renewable energy sources, with energy conversation opportunities given top priority. RETF determined that the most practical renewable energy source for Longmeadow is the solar panel/photovoltaic source. Because there is extremely limited wind source in the Pioneer Valley, the use of wind power is not appropriate. During this past year, RETF has begun work on four distinct projects that will have the immediate result of conserving energy and demonstrating the use of solar power for energy needs. Listed on the next page is an overview of these four projects; including anticipated costs and savings and, where appropriate, rebate information.
RETF RATIONAL FOR PROJECT RECOMMENDATIONS:
The field of energy conservation and renewable energy is one that is in current flux. By that it is meant that as of today there are new technologies available to help with conservation and implementation of non-fossil fuel energy sources. The field is one where both policy and research are creating changes in real time. The challenge for any municipality is to find the current best practices and make reasoned decisions for its residents and businesses, all the while recognizing that these cannot be static decisions; they must be re-evaluated at different points in time to make sure that changes capture best practices as the field evolves.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TOWN MANAGER AND SELECT BOARD:
1) The four projects listed on the next page are recommended by the RETF for the town’s benefit. Taken as a whole, they begin to help the town realize significant reductions in energy use and save dollars and improve efficiencies.
Note: The work on the local action plan for sustainability is just beginning.
2) The RETF has been working for approximately one year now. In a relatively short period of time it is clear that it has begun finding ways for Longmeadow to save significant dollars through energy conservation. At this point, to continue its work, to help build more public awareness and gain community support, and to be ready to benefit from the new Green Communities Act (S.2768) in which municipalities will be able to receive financial assistance for energy conservation for its work, the RETF is requesting that the Select Board formally the acknowledge the importance of this work and create and an Energy Commission that will be opened to the public for greater participation and allow the current RETF members to continue their work on behalf of Longmeadow.
TRAFFIC LIGHT LED CONVERSION
Install LED bulbs in all traffic lights in town .
INSULATION OF HIGH SCHOOL NATATORIUM
Insulation of exposed walls of high school swimming pool.
TOWN STREET LIGHTS: PURCHASE
The town currently rents the street lights from WMECO. George Woodbury has been hired as a consultant to create a complete inventory and map all existing street lights, with the goal of determining their condition and appraisal for purchase so that Longmeadow reduces its monthly utility costs and assumes responsibility for maintenance.
SOLAR POWER DEMONSTRATION PROJECT
Installation of 10 kilowatt solar/photovoltaic (PC) array on Glenbrook Middle School Roof: This project shall serve (3) purposes:
(1): Develop experience with solar renewable energy;
(2): Demonstrate to both students and residents the manner in which this type of energy source works to help further knowledge of science and technology. Project includes a web-based monitoring system for continual data accessibility.
(3): provide electric power to supplement the needs of the middle school.