Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Energy & sustainability forum

I've had a lot of residents asking me about energy costs lately. Basically, they want to know their options. And while it may not seem like something I can do much about... I was brainstorming today.

One resident asked me to organize a meeting with Yankee Gas. The goal of the meeting would be to determine the possibility of extending gas lines as an alternative to heating fuel. And as I was thinking over how to approach that... a lightbulb lit up!

I'm thinking of trying to organize a forum in which we invite experts to explain different alternative energies, such as compressed natural gas (CNG), wood stoves, photovoltaics, solar water heaters, geothermal and even alternative electric providers (such as competitively priced electric generators or clean electric producers).

Additionally, I was thinking of expanding it a bit past an energy forum and making it more of a sustainability forum. After all... why is food so expensive? Partly because of the cost of energy (such as the fuel) to truck food into CT from other parts of the country.

So in following up on that, I spoke with Elizabeth Esty at last night's meeting. And she gave me the names of a few of the Friends of Boulder Knoll... so we'll see how that goes... though I do think the focus of a forum of this nature would really need to stay fairly tight in answering one question:

"What options are available to save money on energy in Cheshire?"

What are your thoughts on doing something like this? Good idea? Bad idea? Any other issues that could help? Energy efficiency comes to mind.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Did you hear about the group from another town (I don't recall which one since I read about it in the NH Register last week)that got around 100 residents together and negotiated an oil price for this past year? They had 3 companies submit bids and they took the best one. I think on average the residents saved $0.30 per gallon on heating oil.
I wonder if we can get groups in Cheshire to do that??

tim white said...

It's a group from Prospect.

Anonymous said...

If you call CL&P (the phone # is on your bill,) they offer a free home energy audit and subsequent recommendations on how to conserve energy from their audit.

Mike Rocci

P.S. I'm looking into solar pv and hot water systems and geothermal heat pumps currently. I'm also waiting for larger federal grants for these projects to be adopted. I do agree with Tim on getting a forum together and the idea of a buyers club has worked for me in the past.

Anonymous said...

great idea Tim! you could also invite vendors to the fall festival?