01/04/2022 EC Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Energy Commission
January 4 at 7:00 pm
In-Person at Bethlehem Library
Attending: David Van Houten, Mary Lou Krambeer, Bruce Caplain, Dan Crosby, Josiah Chamberlain, Melissa Elander (Clean Energy, NH advisor)
Excused: Chuck Phillips
Public: Barry Zitser and Scott Caisse
Mission: The Bethlehem Energy Commission was established for the study and planning of energy resources for the town. The commission will evaluate existing energy usage in the town and suggest possible improvements in energy efficiency and conservation, as well as potential clean renewable energy solutions in order to reduce expenses and increase self-reliance.
Review minutes from last meeting
Approve 12/7/2021 meeting minutes. Motion to accept, Dan; Second David; Unanimously approved.
TO DO: next meeting we will arrange a Zoom connection.
Town Hall energy audit
We have undergone a 2-piece energy audit: HVAC and envelope.
- HVAC recommendations went to the Select Board to spend $10,000 to fix propane tank. Dave the plumber from Salem NH came to look at the system and suggested we replace the boilers even though they are only 10 years old. Cost would be $30,000.
Profile solar project update
Inverters installed. All set. System was started up on Dec 31, 2021!!!!
Town solar project
Contractors sent us a contract for $466,882. Price has gone up due to addition of trench work (Town can’t do that) and additional 400 feet added to set back of panels behind BES.
Things to check
-type of fence
-working 7:00 – 3:30pm
-installation cost per panel $1100 on ground mount; roof mount was $724
-request a target completion date
-will start as soon as contract signed (January)
-#5. Ask if Barrington can pay for permits
-need to ask about upgrade of panels
-structural engineering costs?
-#7 ask for clarification, combine with “act of god” clause
-#14 we have 90 days to execute contract (let’s move this to Town attorney and Selectboard ASAP)
-exhibits: change system warranty to when panels are activated (not installed)
Contractors sent us a rundown of estimated kWh usage by month/year and over 25 years. They also showed savings over the course of 25 years — $824,180.
David will talk to contractors
David will ask contractors to look at roofs and sign off on structures (we may need a stamp for USDA rural development)
Contract will go to Selectboard
Contract will go to Town Attorney
Mary Lou – press release to Chris Jensen
Jan 18 Melissa, Bruce and Mary Lou to speak with USDA Rural Development regarding grant
Bruce and David: Go back to BES on 1/11/2022 for $25,000 in contingency funds in the event that we encounter cost over runs.
-Melissa and Bruce looking at EV chargers
-Next opportunity: conduct an updated energy efficiency project; go to CDFA in March or April
Dan to talk to water commission about electricity usage; does Village district get ARPA funds
David attended the Grafton County Commissioner November meeting. They have $17m in ARRA funds divided into 3 buckets – 1)broadband; 2)undecided at this time?; 3) undecided at this time? They are now circulating a list of criteria for future projects. David suggested setting aside $1m for renewable energy projects or give $50,000 to each of the 49 towns.
Bruce – reach out for more info on our BEC Web page
Public input: Barry Zeiter – yes, encourage use of Zoom meeting option in the future; BEC show do mor marketing and get more credit as Bethlehem is now a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions; perhaps work with transfer station committee in the future. Thank you for all your efforts.
Upcoming meeting dates
Tue., February 1 at 7pm at the library and on Zoom
Bethlehem Energy Commission (BEC) is appointed by the Select Board. All meetings are open to the public.
Clerical Assistant Nicole McGrath ensures that BEC meeting notices, agendas, and minutes are posted as necessary.
To find BEC info go to: www.bethlehemnh.org
-go to government tab
-our committee is listed under: boards and committees’ tab
-our meetings are posted through Nicole on: agendas and minutes tab
Nicole also posts a hard copy of meeting notices in the Town Hall and at the post office.