Monday, December 14, 2009

A Town Hall update on the energy grant

With regard to the energy grant that I began discussing here and here, I offer this excerpt from an email I received today from Town Hall:

In short the Town is being asked to participate in this Connecticut Clean Energy Program, and in order for us to participate they want a letter of support from the Chief Executive Officer, and in order for me to sign this commitment letter I would need the Town Council’s approval.

The Town’s role in this program is to support/coordinate/promote the programs associated with the clean energy fund ,which are a number of energy efficiency initiatives, and to get participation among our residents, businesses, civic organizations etc. The energy efficiency programs offered are varied and if the Cheshire community demonstrates a specified reduction in energy consumption over a fixed period of time, the Town government could qualify for credits, which allowed us to get the solar panels at the Library, and/or incentives such as LED street lights for a parking lot.

With regard to "if the Cheshire community demonstrates a specified reduction in energy consumption over a fixed period of time," this is something the Energy Commission has been partly working on for several years. The basic idea is that if the Town is to have a townwide energy conservation plan, two things must happen:

1) Energy consumption must be benchmarked,* then

2) We begin to reduce our energy consumption.

So in relation to town government, the EC has already acted. However, I understand that this grant would also require a benchmarking for household consumption. So this program is more comprehensive than the actions taken by the EC to-date. And to do this I understand CL&P will be involved.

Here is a sense of the number of households that may be included in the program in both Cheshire and statewide:Anyway, this program appears to be a fairly large undertaking. But considering that much of our energy comes from the middle east, I think the effort is not only worthwhile... it's necessary.

Tim White

* This benchmarking requires that all energy consumption (i.e. electricity, natural gas & heating oil) be documented in a database for a number of years. And to that end, on Friday I sat down with the Town's Public Properties owner and the Energy Chair, Rich Ogurick, and discussed the progress on this initiative. As it turns out, all electricity and NG for the past few years are in the database... and the lion's share of heating oil consumption for the town (a small part going back to fall of 2007) should be entered in the database by December 31. At that point, we'll know our consumption. And I thank George Noewatne for his efforts in this. I know he's spent quite a bit of time on this over the past few years.


mcjk said...


I sit here and think about this. The word "credit" is really bothering me. I am thinking of that wonderful piece of legislation called Cap and Trade and how this initiative fits in.

I think this program is a wolf in sheep's clothing. This is just a guess and I really have nothing to back up my guess.

Are my individual electric, gas and oil consumption being entered into a database (now or in the future)? Am I being baselined individually? If true will my energy usage be taxed if I do not reduce it?

Tim White said...

I understand that CL&P will be baselining electric consumption. Or perhaps it's NU, so Yankee Gas will be included too. But I don't see heating oil gets included.

I'm not sure if you get individually baselined. But that sounds to me as though there'd be privacy issues.

Can't say with absolute certainty... and while I share your concern about big brother... I don't just don't see how government is that organized. Remember, the ARRA folks are same people who told us about increase job numbers in CTs 42nd district.

Anonymous said...

There is a company in CA that leases photo-voltaic cells to people and they pay a monthly amount. This amount is lower then their previous energy bill. This works and it's the type of thing the State and Towns should look into. Some Cities and Towns offer this program also. It's bonded and paid off in 20 years. Everyone wins and we use less energy.I believe it's called Solar City?? Not sure but someone can look into it. Sounds great.