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KEAC Meeting Minutes - July 21, 2008

1 Welcome & Introductions:
Jonathan Carter (Kittery Town Manager and KEAC lead) called the meeting to order at 7:10. He opened the meeting asking individuals to introduce themselves.  Nonresidents from surrounding towns and speakers were in attendance along with Kittery citizens and KEAC members.  On the sign in sheet were:         Glenn Shwaery, Cameron Wake, Jonathan Carter, Jack Bingham, Charlie Case, Sherry Walworth, Sandra Bisset (New Castle), Maury Hapner, Betsy O’Donoghue (Eliot Selectman), Richard Benoit, Dean Scontras, Bob Coffey, Meredith Sudborough, Karn Marzloff, Chad Burbank, Louise Hershberg, Barney Hoop, Laurel MeElwen (Eliot) [many others attended but were not noted in sign in page]

2 Update:
Charlie Case (KEAC co-chair) noted how July 14 was the first real opportunity to brief Town Council on KEAC activity.  He recognized the direction and support of Council, along with the executive committee’s help to focus since starting up on Mar 3.  He read the goals of KEAC which, in brief, are twofold: to save money and reduce carbon footprint.  He remarked how before the KEAC convened there was impressive progress already made because of efforts in all Town Departments.  The KEAC hopes to fortify the partnership that has begun with Town Departments.  80% of Town energy costs come from three areas: the schools, sewer department and street lights so these areas have gotten a lot of preliminary attention. A metric for energy usage in buildings is dollars per square foot.  There is a long list of initiatives to follow up on [draft list at end of this report].  Jon Carter echoed Charlie’s comments on how well the whole committee and sub committees are working, noted how the Council was pleased with the July 14 presentation and he gave an update of his own on projects as follows:

Wind Turbine: Once the foundation and wiring are done (soon) a Crane will arrive and hook ups will be set with an expected Sept 1 timeline to be up and ready for testing.  Cameron Wake is liaison for the Shapleigh Middle School kiosk which will display turbine performance data.  This is exciting because Shapleigh is a recipient of the turbine energy.  There will be net metering into the grid with applied RECs (Renewable Energy Credits). This project has been funded through capital reserves out of public works.

Relamping at all School Buildings: The School Committee decided to go forward working with Efficiency Maine to get rebates for changing lights in the schools.

Fuel Costs: The Town is stuck with increased fuel bills so currently there are bids to change out burners on furnaces, with possibility of switching to natural gas (as access lines are workable) or propane. [more tonight with Clay Mitchell’s presentation on the Epping Town Hall success and co-gen possibilities for Kittery.]

The Municipal Building: Although the Town Hall (which also houses the police station) is a new building it is not efficient.  There were three phases to turn this status around. Phase 1 is done.  A thermal barrier has been installed between the 1st and 2nd floors. Phases 2 & 3 address production of energy as the current furnace and HVAC (Heat Ventilation & Air Conditioning) system is not efficient.

Charlie spoke again adding that credit needs be given to the 25 or so people who made up COOL Kittery and got the ball rolling about a year ago under the leadership of Sarah Brown (another KEAC co-chair.)

3. Presentations
#1 = Ecopower Hedge by Hunter Brownlie
In this presentation it was explained how a buyer or client negotiates a financial contract to insulate costs from a volatile energy market.  Southern NH college is an example client, with a 15 yr contract.  What is contracted is just a financial agreement, not a purchase of energy or a fixed price on any energy.  However, in this program only renewable energy is involved (wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, etc.). For more info Email  call  1-888-233-0548

#2 = GPM which stands for Green Power Management by Michael Koutelis
In this presentation state of the art LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting was described with samples of actual light bulbs and light strips passed around for attendees to look at.  LED fixtures can reduce energy use 50-80% and are more efficient and longer lasting than CFLs (Compact Flourescent Lights.) Mike noted they are the “low hanging fruit”, which means relatively easy to make these changes in the green world of energy efficiency.  Questions had to do with quality of lighting, heat dissipation, installation, compatablity with existing fixtures, cost as with first and second generation prices, rebates as with Maine Efficiency, dimmer features, possibility for use in street lights, recycling and disposal realities (no mercury), availability (as for a regular citizen), UL (Underwritter Label) approval due in fall, etc.  For more information Email: call 603-679-2071

#3 = Cogen (combined generation) by Clay Mitchell
Clay began by describing his experience as Epping NH’s Planner and how the Town was concerned with a hugely inefficient Town Hall.  Since the building was built in the late 1800’s and had serious problems with drafty windows, insulation gaps, inefficient boilers, etc. something had to be done.  Just as NH passed a climate change resolution the Town PB (Planning Board) began getting excited about energy issues, balancing concerns for both cost and carbon footprint.  The PB drafted an ordinance about non-residential buildings to be more energy efficient.  This was the first voter approved ordinance of this type in the country.  The Marathon engine/generator  (co-gen system) purchased is manufactured in Wisconsin and a representative from the company was on hand to describe the success of the product, noting most of his sales are in other countries where stringent requirements for limits on energy use are in place with.   A co-gen system generates all heating, cooling and a portion of a building’s/institution’s electricity.

Clay described a potential design for a co-gen system for the Kittery municipal complex similar to the successful system installed just last year at the Epping Town Hall.  The Kittery system could potentially cut energy cost for Kittery, in this building, by 50%.  The system uses an engine and generator to produce heat and electric power simultaneously with 90% efficiency (our existing boiler is aprox.  6o% efficient and the electric which currently comes into our town building thru CMP lines has a 30% efficiency).  The system would have a high efficiency back up boiler for very cold days.  The generator would be net metered to the grid and in Maine this can be banked (unlike NH.) So that Kittery would be in an excellent position to fully benefit from a co-gen system, (able to earn credit from CMP for electricity generated by the co-gen but not used).  Engine fuel could be propane or natural gas.  The engine/generator runs continuously for 4,000 hours between regular maintenance and 15,000 hours between major maintenance.  Epping was able to reduce the building energy cost by 50% due to switching from a boiler to co-gen, adding insulation, replacing windows, changing from heating oil to propane.  A formal proposal for Kittery will be provided shortly. In Kittery’s system easy inclusion of a solar powered hot water system was addressed (thus meeting needs of the police station).  Jack Bingham was on hand to answer questions for this feature. For more info contact E-mail call 603-608-2521   

4. Other assignments, items, meeting date
Because the three presentations and engaging audience questions required so much time it was decided that follow up efforts and setting the date for the next KEAC whole committee would be negotiated via e-mail.

5. Adjournment (no later than 9 pm)
The meeting adjourned about 9 pm. These informal notes were written by Sherry Walworth, added to by Charlie Case, both who welcome correction, Sarah Brown added/edited the above minutes.

KEAC Follow Up Items

1. Review the co-gen proposal for the Municipal Building – Reducing Energy Use Subcommittee

2.  Install test LEDs for the parking lot lights at the Municipal Building – Reducing Energy Use Subcommittee

3. Meet with Sandra Mowrey to review the solar and wind ordinances we borrowed from other towns. – Policy Changes and Ordinances Subcommittee

4. Contact the energy folks in Scarborough and Wiscasset to understand the processes they put in place to minimize electricity surcharges (it's more than just changing to an Advanced Meter).~ Then work with the schools to set up a process that will work in Kittery – Reducing Energy Use Subcommittee

5.  Meet with the schools in the fall (or earlier) to initiate energy audits – Reducing Energy Use Subcommittee

6.  Find out from the schools if we can be of assistance in the study to switch to propane for heat – Reducing Energy Use Subcommittee

7.  Review the school initiatives from the Education subcommittee with Larry Littlefield - MEEP, Carbon Challenge and Clean Air Zone – Education Subcommittee

8. Work with Steve Tapley to come up with a low cost system to insulate the pump stations and reduce the need for electric heat in the winter – Reducing Energy use Subcommittee

9. Formalize a proposal for small solar or wind on the Harbormaster building – Reducing Energy Use Subcommittee

10. Set up a collection box at the Solid Waste transfer station for Yogurt containers and a process for collecting and mailing them to the recycler – Consumers Subcommittee

11. Set up the Idle-not campaign – Education Subcommittee

12. Get a second opinion about the feasibility of solar heating at the Fire Stations – Reducing Energy Use Subcommittee

13. Address immediate resource needs of homeowners to minimize their energy costs – Consumers Subcommittee