2011 Vermont Community Energy and Climate Action Conference

Fairlee, VT
Saturday, December 03, 2011

UVM Extension and the Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network present...
A Vermont Conference on
Community Energy & Climate Action
Saturday, December 03, 2011

Lake Morey Resort
  Fairlee, VT 05045

8:00     Registration opens

            Coffee & refreshments

9:00     Welcome  

9:15     Opening Address: Vermont Department of Public Service Commissioner Elizabeth Miller and Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz

10:00   Concurrent Workshops Session A

A1. The Smart Grid is Coming.  The Smart Grid is arriving soon – but what is it and what does it mean for Vermont communities?  This workshop will give the fundamentals of Smart Grid, how individuals can benefit, and explore how it can be applied as a community tool to stimulate individual behavioral changes that lead to energy savings.

A2. Climate Adaptation and Your Community. Climate change is upon us, and communities are struggling with how to adapt to the changes that it is bringing (and has brought).  Adaptation strategies range from promoting shore protection techniques, planting trees, increasing culvert sizes, and managing forest lands and wildlife.  Learn about expected impacts, how to conduct a needs assessment, and adaptation/mitigation measures.

A3. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) for Vermont.  PACE is a new financing option for Vermont.  This is an introductory workshop to review the PACE program and how it can expand financing opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy in your community.

A4. Going Solar.  Join this workshop to learn of new opportunities and creative models to advance solar in your community, including expanded group net metering, community solar barn raising models, and discounts on group purchasing and installation projects.

A5. Working with Small Businesses to Save Energy.  Get an overview of basic energy saving opportunities for small businesses and programs that communities can implement to help small businesses, including utilizing volunteers to conduct business energy visits.

A6. Promoting Real Transportation Alternatives—Effective Partnerships Making the Difference.  Transportation, the fastest growing greenhouse gas sector, accounts for nearly half of Vermont ’s carbon emissions.  This workshop will highlight how regional partners (e.g., government, energy committees and businesses) are working together to breakdown the barriers to more sustainable transportation.   From planning improved access to alternatives to promoting ridematching services, this session will provide helpful statewide / regional resources and model approaches to  help you succeed  in  your community.

A7. Rooted in Community – Local Food Solutions.  Fostering local food consumption is a powerful energy-saving strategy – and supports local farmers. Came hear an overview of what’s happening in Vermont in local food initiatives and how communities are helping to promote food hub distributions, farm-to-table, farm-to-school programs, and farmers markets (and even virtual farmer’s markets) that help Vermonters save money, energy, and increase local access to healthy foods.

11:15   Break (Lobby)  

11:30   Roundtable Discussions. Participants will have the opportunity to meet by topic of interest and discuss energy issues at the local, state and national level and explore opportunities for regional cooperation.

R1. Managing Biomass for Energy in VTManaging the impacts (i.e., air quality and atmospheric carbon impacts) of biomass use for energy. Why should   community decision-makers and energy committees care? 

R2. Ensuring the Sustainable and Environmentally-Sound Use of Vermont’s Wind Resources .  How can Vermont develop its wind resource in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner?

R3. Getting Your Community Involved in the Smart Grid.   What is the role of communities in helping to promote efficiency using Smart Grid technology? What are the concerns with Smart Grid technology, and how can they be addressed?

R4. Grassroots Efforts and Climate Change: Affecting Climate Policy at the State and National LevelHow can grassroots efforts be more effective in influencing state, federal, and even international policy to address climate change?

R5. Community Energy Programs and Efficiency Vermont. Efficiency Vermont is developing a program to work more closely with communities to promote efficiency.  What are your thoughts on their plans and what new ideas do you have?

 R6. Sustaining and Mobilizing the Volunteer Base in Your Community . How can town energy committees keep local volunteer efforts going effectively?  What are some approaches that have worked successfully?

R7. Making a Real Impact on the Transportation System in Your Community.  Grasping the transportation, energy and climate connection! (vehicle, fuel and how we move around).  How can communities tackle the tough challenge (i.e., vehicles, fuels and how we move around) to slow and reverse the rate of growth in transportation?

R8. Disaster Response, Energy, and Your Community. Floods, ice storms and wind damage may have ever greater impacts on Vermont’s energy infrastructure due to climate change.  How can we best respond to and plan for turning these and other natural disasters into energy opportunities?

R9. Energy Efficiency Building Codes and Your Community . Vermont has recently adopted new residential energy building codes. How can Vermont communities be more involved in getting the word out, and help ensure that builders are following these new codes?

12:30   Lunch (Dining Room)

1:45     Afternoon Keynote Kathryn Blume, is Co-Founder of the Lysistrata Project, the first worldwide theatrical event for peace.  As a climate activist, she has organized events such as a statewide dance party for 350.org’s first international day of action, a day of climate action at the Vermont Statehouse, an evening of candle-lit performances for Earth Hour, a rally in support of Senator Bernie Sanders’ climate-related work, and helped organize an educational series called Transition Toolkit.  She has also lobbied Vermont’s congressional delegation on climate issues. Kathryn has performed her solo show The Boycott, a modern climate change update on the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata, in a 6-week off-Broadway run and was commissioned by the Vermont Arts Council to write a new show for their project The Art of Action about her trip to the 2009 United Nation Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

2:45     Concurrent Workshops Session B
B1. Financing Options for Schools and Municipalities.  Get an overview of financing tools for making energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in municipal and school buildings.  In addition to more traditional approaches, such as bonding or borrowing, the workshop will look at innovative approaches such as municipal leasing. 

B2. Community-Supported Renewable Energy Projects.  Vermont has an abundance of renewable energy resources at its disposal.  Learn about how some Vermont communities are moving ahead with implementing community-supported wind, biomass, hydro, and other renewable energy projects.

B3. State Energy Policy and Your Community.  What does the State of Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan mean for communities and how can Vermont communities help ensure that it’s implemented?  This session will also review recently adopted and proposed regulatory and legislative changes and whatthey mean for Vermont communities (and why it matters).

B4. Local Energy Projects in Vermont: A Smorgasbord of Opportunities.  Taste a broad range of creative actions that Vermont communities are implementing to save energy and foster renewables, as well as some tips on how to start and keep viable an energy committee in your town.  This is a good introductory workshop for new energy committees.

B5. Action-Oriented Energy Planning Tools.  A review of tools available to help your community assess municipal energy consumption and carbon emissions, as well as tools available to assist with the development of town energy plans, policies and programs.

B6. Working with Local Officials and Engaging Your Community.  Getting support from local officials is a crucial step for most local energy projects– whether it is seeking approval to fund efficiency investments in municipal buildings or town resolutions. Learn from other energy committee how they have built rapport with their local officials and how to maintain a positive working relationship.

B7. Stimulating Significant Efficiency Improvements in Your Community.  A review and discussion of creative strategies and programs that are effectively increasing the number of homeowners making energy efficiency improvements.

4:00     Adjourn


Contact Information

  • Need directions?
    Your confirmation email will include a link for directions or you can print them now.


    For registration assistance or program information,
    Contact: Jessie Schmidt
    Phone: 802-223-2389
    Email: jessica.a.schmidt@uvm.edu

    Interested in Carpooling?
    Please consider carpooling to this event and start the day off by saving energy and money! Simply click here and enter where you’re coming from (and consider joining the Go Vermont program to investigate your efficient transportation options for any event or trip in the future!). If you are not already registered with Go Vermont, you will need to in order to use this service.  Register now! Thanks!

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