Sep 2, 2015

Energy Conservation Committee Minutes Sep 2, 2015


Attendees: Mary Boulanger, Peter Cooper, Ron Bolt and Dann; plus prospective new member Bill Gendreau and North County Council representative Michele Moren-Grey

Administrative Matters: The minutes of the 12 August 2015 meeting were approved. The highlights of the August meeting were also memorialized in the 19 August issue of the Courier. It was agreed to place Bill LaTulip in “inactive” status once Bill Gendreau is officially appointed to the ECC. Active members will remain at seven.

Strategic Energy Action Plan

Ron reported on the idea of conducting a town-wide Street Light Efficiency Improvement Study. The idea was raised with the Joint Loss Management Committee last month and the chairman, Karen Noyes, was going to seek direction from the new Town Manager. The basic idea is to try to reduce the number and increase the quality of lights without negatively impacting safety and security. Littleton Water & Light Business Manager, Tom Considine, has mentioned that three new LED street lights have been installed or are planned based on requests from former Town Manager Fred Moody, with two at the request of the Police Department. Police Chief Smith has indicated that it is important for the constituents to “perceive” that there is enough light. Somewhat relatedly, Tom is planning to raise the topic of LED street light conversion rebates with the LW&L Commissioners. Michele offered to research possible funding sources for professional assistance with the study. Ron concluded this discussion by mentioning that he had referred Lightec Inc. to Ben Gaetsjen-Oleson, Lancaster Grant Administrator, to consideration when the town contracts for their LED street light overhaul funded by a $250K donation from Northern Pass/Eversource.

Peter provided an update on the potential repurposing of the retired Littleton landfill as a solar PV energy generator. NH Solar Garden has provided an initial 20-year lease proposal that would annually net the town $20K in rent and $7K in a PILOT arrangement. There would be no upfront costs to the town and Solar Garden would be totally responsible for construction, operation, and maintenance of the array. A separate power purchase agreement will have to negotiated between Solar Garden and LW&L. This topic will be on the agenda for the 8 September Commissioners meeting. Tom Considine suggested putting the project out to bid to ensure we are getting the best competitive offers. Town Manager Andrew Dorsett suggested using some of the lease revenue to establish a reserve fund for energy efficiency projects. Such a fund would be very beneficial, but would have to be approved at Town Meeting.

In a related matter, Ron presented a draft email to be sent to our local legislators regarding raising the cap on net metering. The cap of 2% of total load mandated to the major utilities by the state has been voluntarily adopted by LW&L. If strictly adhered to the local cap would be 320K which is not high enough to allow a 2 MW array on the landfill. After some discussion, a motion (Bolt/Cooper) to send the email, after editing, to the four local legislators passed by a 3-1 vote.

Lighting Task Force

Peter reported that he had talked with Ron Lucci, Lightec, earlier this day and was informed that the materials were ordered and would arrive in about three weeks. Installation should occur about the first week in October. The electrical sub-contractor has not been selected as yet. Steve Elliott has told us that since this is a “turnkey” project, its really up to Lightec to select the sub. We need to expedite the conclusion of this project as the funding could be in jeopardy as we approach the end of the year. Fire Chief Joe Mercieri will try to get the small but necessary re-wiring work completed at the fire station before the installations are scheduled.

Ron Lucci visited the Opera House and Parks & Recreation last month for the purpose of firming up Lightec’s proposal for SB 123 eligible lighting upgrades for 2016. With that information in hand, the Lighting Task Force (Peter, Dann, Ron, and Bill G.) will meet and start working on the warrant article. Ron Lucci recommended using LED screw-ins for the Community Center, which may not be eligible for the rebates anyway.

EMP Task Force

All department heads have been interviewed and Ron has compiled a long list of observations and recommendations. The list will be shared with the department heads and Town Manager before being presented to the Board of Selectmen on 14 September. Ron will work on a “Top 5” priorities for 2015 and 2016. Ron submitted an article on the EMP project for inclusion in the Local Energy Solutions newsletter.

North Country Council/ECC Areas of Mutual Interest

  • Michele would like a copy of the police department’s gas-saving/anti-idling policy
  • Michele agree that it is difficult for small towns to create and maintain energy committees
  • Michele was interested to hear about our work on Portfolio Manager. A few years ago, NCC helped Littleton get started on benchmarking energy consumption
  • Michele will check but was not familiar with other towns doing street light improvement studies
  • Michele will do some research on energy audit grants

Other Business

  • The Littleton Food Coop has submitted an application, along with an letter of endorsement from the selectmen, for a rebate on the planned installation of an electric vehicle charging station.
  • The contingency budget for the new highway garage cannot absorb the full cost on an all-LED lighting arrangement. Peter will talk with the Town Manager to encourage LEDs at least in the high bay areas. BTU meters should be purchased and installed at both the new garage and fire station before winter.
  • Dann is coordinating with George McNamara for the purchase of wood pellets.
  • There was some confusion as to whether or not the heat distribution problems at the fire station were going to be addressed in 2015 or 2016. This will need to be clarified by the new Town Manager.
  • Energy audits are needed at the fire station and Senior Center. Michele said she would research possible grants.
  • Dann asked that the committee look for opportunities to employ passive lighting, such as skylights and solar tubes (sun light channeling tubes).

Next meeting: Wednesday, 14 October 2015, 9 AM, at the Community Center

Ron Bolt, Secretary