07/05/2022 EC Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Energy Commission
Tuesday, July 5, 2022 Meeting at 6:30
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.
Attending: Scott Caisse, Mary Lou Krambeer, David Van Houten, Bruce Caplain, plus Melissa Elander and Gabe Chilius of Clean Energy New Hampshire.
Excused: Chuck Phillips, Dan Crosby
June meeting minutes: motion to approve by David, Scott second. Minutes approved.
Public input –Melissa: electric vehicle Ride and Drive event will happen in September or early October. BEC agreed to coordinate a local Ride and Drive. Melissa will send more information on specifics. Gabe Chilius will be reaching out to businesses throughout the North Country to lower energy use through incentive programs offered by NH and utilities and nonprofits. CDFA still has a lot of money to fund energy audits at businesses (up to 75%) in advance of October, 2022. Gabe will be promoting involvement in this program.
Municipal Solar project – Library solar is installed. Municipal garage solar is installed. Bethlehem Elementary School solar ground array installation should be worked on in July, completed by August.
Bethlehem Village District – Waste water treatment plant energy efficiency funds are now available. Melissa and David put in a $421,000 DES infrastructure pre-application grant to install solar at the treatment plant and upgrade blower motors that feed the aeration pipes. If received, the grant will cover 50%-75% of the project. If the pre-application is approved, we have 1.5 years to submit the full application.
Grafton County ARPA dollars. Interim Administrator/Business Manager wrote to say our suggestion to send County ARPA dollars to towns for energy efficiency projects is still pending.
TO DO: Mary Lou will reach out to funders and keep the Commisioners apprised of our activity.
Electric Vehicle Topics:
EV Car Chargers – Doug from Library interested, Reklis interested, Super Secret Ice Cream interested. Gabe said there are more $ for municipal funding – library offers more parking space; Town Hall is more convenient to downtown activities.
EV School bus program – Melissa has further researched the project which will offer up to $375,000 (to high priority towns) or $275,000 (for low priority communities) per bus. Grants must come from school district. Buses to replace must be 2010 or older. August 20th deadline. The current thinking is one grant will be allotted per state. Program is now open.
TO DO: Dan get more information about project and then reach out to Jessica Wilcox at DES.
Town Hall Energy Audit – David meeting with Turn Cycle contractors tomorrow. We have not heard from Shakes to Shingles. It’s been a struggle to get people to come to give us quotes.
SAU 35 – we have a new Superintendent. David suggested we introduce the new Superintendent to our work and mention the upcoming celebration of the installation. TO DO: MLK
Point of interest: electricity prices at the time of our initial proposed system were 6.5 cents, in September electricity costs will rise to 22 cents per kWh. This will lead to the savings on our Municipal Solar project to be much bigger than expected.
Community Outreach: with the cost of energy going up, we may want to do some “button up” or community energy efficiency sessions. NH Saves’ mini-program offers LEDs, electronic thermostats and pipe insulation. TO DO: Gabe will reach out to Eversource to get more specifics. TO DO: Then we will publish program opportunities in the Town newsletter. Newspaper articles…
Energy Commission members: We can have 4-9 members. We currently have 5.
Next BEC meeting: Tue., Aug 2 at 5:30 at the library. Dan will run the meeting. We’ll discuss our celebration.
Adjourned: at 7:13pm.
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. Nicole posts a hard copy of meeting notices in the Town Hall and at the post office.
To find BEC info go to: www.bethlehemnh.org
-go to government tab
-our committee is listed under the: boards and committees tab
-our meetings are posted through Nicole on: agendas and minutes tab