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08/01/2023 EC Minutes

2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574

Bethlehem Energy Commission

Tuesday Aug 1, 2023




Bethlehem Energy Commissioners: Chuck Phillips, Alex Graziano, Bruce Caplain, David Van Houten, Dan Crosby and Mary Lou Krambeer.  Excused: Tiffany Miller, Scott Caisse


Mission The Bethlehem Energy Commission encourages and supports economically and environmentally sensible energy practices in Bethlehem, NH.


Minutes from June meeting -motion to approve David, second by Bruce.  Approved unanimously.

Public input — none

Town solar project – David will contact Robert Blechl and Angel Larcom to write articles.  Working on a live solar link on the town website.

ELECTIVE Pay – any solar turned on this year will give us a 30% refund.  Rules still in process.  Apply in the Fall to IRS.  Funding will come in May.  Idea:  let’s think of reusing dollars saved from our projects and put it into a fund for future energy efficiency projects.

To Do:  Bruce and Melissa to contact Hanover and other towns for setting up and funding an energy fund from the savings of energy efficiency projects.

Village District wastewater: revised wastewater solar contract returned. Village District to meet next week to sign contract.  David will attend meeting. $ have been approved by voters.  NBRC grant for $110,000 is pending, decision coming by August 31.

Village District water:  Next BEC project: solar at water plant.  We need a DES audit.  Has been requested waiting on decision from DES on timing of visit.

Main Street Solar – Bruce, Chuck and Gabe working on this project.  They will apply on Oct 1. REEP grant will cover 50% — PMR, Super Secret, Maia Papaya, and Rosa’s (as each building has a new roof and is ready to go)

Solar tax exemption – the Town has a $25k solar tax exemption, should that be increased? Should we change wording to a 100% tax exemption for solar arrays that are net metered or off-grid. This excludes utility scale producers. Having it used where it is used. Melissa will look into what other towns are doing.  Dan will think deeply.

EV Chargers – Select Board has received two bids on the RFP to investigate the process of installing a municipal EV Charger.  Proposals due: August 15

SB letter to Eversource – Mary Lou will ask Clean Energy NH what they are working on with the PUC.  Perhaps a letter from our Town could help advance current initiatives underway.  (This request was suggested in public input by Barry Ziter at our last meeting.)

Building code – there is a grant to update the building code.  Bruce will talk to Code Enforcement Officer.

Everything else – Community Power person would like to meet with the Town of Bethlehem in October. Bruce will send us dates. David will place this on the September agenda.

Adjourn at 7:03

Next meeting: Tue., Sept. 12 at 6:00 at Bethlehem Library

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