Sustainable Energy Commission Meets

1. července 2013 v 5:08 |  solar power systems
Chair Kathy Quinn reported there are 116 homes in Newtown that have taken advantage of the Home Energy Savings program, in which homeowners can learn how to save energy and money.

The commission is also looking forward to the ribbon cutting on Thursday, July 11, to celebrate the new street lamp on the Newtown Middle School roof.

The system will generate enough electricity to power 21 homes annually, thereby effectively reducing Newtown's carbon footprint.

In other business, the commission voted to submit an application for Phase Three of the Solarize Connecticut program through the state before the deadline of July 12.

This is a pilot program designed to encourage the adoption of residential solar photovoltaic systems, using a tiered pricing structure that provides increased savings to those who use PV systems.

"We would need to set up a committee… to make a final selection [of an installer]." Ms. Quinn said, based on her experience, the average savings is $7,000 on a basic installation because of bulk purchase.

The more people who participate in the program, including homeowners, the more savings are available to everyone. Ms. Quinn asked commissioners to ask local churches and organizations to help disseminate the information.

The commission will have several opportunities to promote this and other projects at upcoming summer fairs and events.

Ms. Quinn said the Legislative Council heard her presentation on the Energy Service Company project, which will identify potential savings by making energy upgrades in town buildings. Savings would pay for any capital improvements, such as new systems and windows.

The town and district will work with a financing institution, an oversight engineer, and a company to do the audit and installation.

According to Ms. Quinn, the council's reaction was positive and encouraging and she plans to make the same presentation to the Board of Education soon.

She mentioned the support of First Selectman Pat Llodra, noting how Ms. Llodra has heard the presentation three times while sitting as an ex officio member of the council and finance board, in addition to hearing it as a member of the Board of Selectman.

The chair also shared copies of the Municipal Energy Management Plan, asking the other members to generate implementation ideas.

"When we get the other stuff squared away, we'll put one of these together."

She added the commission is already working on some of these tasks mentioned in the plan, but needs to meet all requirements to maintain its status as a Clean Energy Community and eligible for benefits. She said Newtown would also want to measure results.

Before adjourning, Dan Holmes said he must step back from his participation with commission, although he would still like to help on an ad hoc basis.

"I will miss working with you. It seems to me the town is embracing things in the right manner." He encouraged the members to keep pushing the message.

Ms. Quinn credited him with many accomplishments, including the creation of the commission, and said she would keep him in the loop. "You're a source of information. Thank you for your, literally, years of service."

She noted that there are currently two open positions on the Sustainable Energy Commission and anyone interested in participating can contact the first selectman's office for more information.

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