2009 Vermont Community Energy and Climate Action Conference

Fairlee, VT

UVM Extension and the Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network present...
A Vermont Conference on
Community Energy & Climate Action
Saturday, December 05, 2009

Lake Morey Resort
  Fairlee, VT 05045
8:00     Registration opens  (Lobby)            
           Coffee & refreshments
            Exhibits open

9:00     Welcome  

9:15     Opening Address: Patrick Parenteau, Professor of Law and Senior Counsel, Environmental & Natural R
esources Law Clinic, Vermont Law School
           Fiddling While the Planet Burns: Greenhouse Gases, Grassroots Action and the Fate of the Planet.There is a huge disconnect between the science and the politics of climate change While the warnings from the scientific community grow increasingly dire with each passing day, the response from Washington has been politics as usual--partisan gridlock and geo-political stalemate. Instead of the game-changing policies that are needed to rapidly transform our carbon-dependent economy, what we are seeing is incrementalism and special interest deal-making.It's time for people to rise up and demand immediate reductions in greenhouse gases before it's too late to avoid a true (not Hollywood) disaster.

10:00   Concurrent Workshops Session A

A1. Community Wind: Has Its Time Come for Vermont? "Community wind" projects include the public in project planning and bring the bulk of the financial benefits to the community. This workshop will explore community wind efforts in other parts of the country and provide an overview of some key steps your community can take to pursue community wind.

A2. Transportation and Energy Link: Tools and Approaches to Promoting Alternative Transportation in Your Community. This session will provide a brief overview of the relationship between transportation behaviors, energy use, and emissions in Vermont, including helpful information on resources and a variety of programs that save energy and reverse the growth of transportation emissions. From ridesharing to a range of innovative local projects, you'll go home with helpful tools to encourage positive change in your community.

A3. Local Energy Projects in Vermont: A Smorgasbord of Opportunities. Town energy committees across Vermont are undertaking exciting and innovative projects to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in their communities. Learn what they are doing and gain new ideas, strategies and campaigns. This is a great "starter" workshop for new energy committees and for those hoping to start an energy committee.

A4. Locating the Money and Resources Needed to Move Forward. Community energy projects are happening across Vermont. Learn about grant opportunities and what it takes to write a concise and effective grant proposal that addresses funders' requirements as well as other creative financing sources for local energy projects. 

A5. Community-Based Energy Efficiency Teams. Vermont town energy committees are training community volunteers to install weatherization materials and energy saving products in residences and municipal/school buildings. Lean how to organize a similar event in your community to save energy and money by having volunteers install anything from CFLs to simple door weatherstripping to significant air sealing and insulation.

A6. Building Resilient Energy Committees and Cultivating Partners. Starting and strengthening a motivated, focused community energy committee is essential to success on the ground. Hear tips from some effective town energy committees about what it takes to maintain a healthy committee, attract and maintain volunteers, and build coalitions.

11:15   Break (Lobby)  

11:30   Regional Roundtable discussions. Participants will have the opportunity to meet by region and share their experiences addressing energy issues at the local level and explore opportunities for regional cooperation

12:45    Lunch (Dining Room)

:45     Afternoon Keynote: Senator Bernard Sanders (invited).  As the only a member of the Senate majority to sit on both the Environment and Public Works and the Energy and Natural Resources Committees, Senator Sanders is uniquely positioned to fight for progressive energy polices and increased environmental protection. In fact, the first bill Senator Sanders introduced as a member of the U.S. Senate shines the spotlight on an issue that bridges both our energy and environmental policies: global warming. 

In addition to setting bold greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, Senator Sanders’ Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act would make the United States a leader in energy efficiency and conservation technology, and promote clean, sustainable sources of energy.  The act calls for an 80% reduction - compared to 1990 levels -  in global warming pollutants by 2050 and offers the most progressive and comprehensive solution to reduce greenhouse gasses across the nation.

2:45     Concurrent Workshops Session B
B1.  Communities Go Solar! Heating water with the power of the sun is one of the most energy and cost-efficient strategies. New and innovative funding sources are making large solar electric systems affordable. Learn about the challenges and opportunities of organizing effective solar hot water campaigns and solar electric installations from three successful Vermont community solar projects.

B2. Local Energy Planning: A Powerful Climate Action Tool. Harness 21st century energy opportunities by strengthening your town master plan and helping to ready your community for a clean, green energy future. Learn how local planning can foster alternative energy development at the local level. Also, learn about a new, powerful and innovative web-based renewable energy mapping tool -- Vermont's "Renewable Energy Atlas".

B3. Bio-Energy: Behind Every Good Community Project is Good Resource Planning. Vermont stakeholders, regions and towns are advancing resource planning, weighing in on the issues, and experiencing successful bio-energy projects. Balancing multiple objectives of food and fuel production and resource management can be challenging. Vermont's experts will highlight project experiences in local planning and project development and steps you might take in your community.

B4. Improving Efficiency in Municipal and School Facilities and Operations. Tackling municipal energy use is a great first project for energy committees because it results in tangible savings for the town. Learn a step-by-step approach to improving municipal/school energy efficiency, and hear from Vermont communities which have taken concrete steps to improve efficiency in their buildings and street lighting.

B5. Beyond Local: State, National and International Efforts to Address Climate Change. State, national and international policies play a powerful role in either strengthening or weakening the ability of communities to make needed investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy development, and alternative transportation. Hear about state policies that support local energy--innovative efforts, the key elements of the national climate action bill currently under consideration by the U.S. Congress and efforts to develop an international treaty on climate change-- and what it all means for your local efforts.

B6. Amplifying Your Message and Leveraging New Media and Social Marketing Tools. Feeling challenged about getting the word out in your community? Wondering how to get more people involved? Learn about different messaging and media opportunities, and generate greater impact for your community group efforts by learning how to utilize Face Book™, Twitter™, blogs and community radio.

4:00     Complete evaluations & 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: Mary Peabody
    Phone: 802-223-2389, Email: mary.peabody@uvm.edu

    Carpooling? We are registered at www.rideshare.us.  Our event code is VTEnergy09. You can check to see if anyone is offering a ride or sign up to be a driver to the event.

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