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Camden considers energy, greenhouse gas reduction efforts

During the program, Dyer's group takes a look at the energy consumption reductions the town has made and converts the figures to derive a carbon reduction equivalent, which may qualify the town for reduction credits in future regional or national programs.

CAMDEN (Dec 22): A vote by the Camden Select Board Monday night is setting wheels in motion for the town to receive a free energy audit courtesy of a pair of state agencies. The vote will make Camden the first Maine town to take on the Governor's Carbon Challenge.

The cities of Portland, Saco and Hallowell are currently participating in the challenge, but according to program director Roy Dyer of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Camden would be the first town.

"I was happy to get the call from the town and we're excited to work with them," said Dyer. "Camden, what a great Maine town to do this."
What this is, Dyer said, is an opportunity for Camden to learn how to take some basic energy saving steps -- changing light bulbs, turning off computers at night and reducing truck idling -- all of which can have a big impact on the town's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

During the program, Dyer's group takes a look at the energy consumption reductions the town has made and converts the figures to derive a carbon reduction equivalent, which may qualify the town for reduction credits in future regional or national programs.

Camden Town Manager Roberta Smith has had... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
CAMDEN (Dec 22): A vote by the Camden Select Board Monday night is setting wheels in motion for the town to receive a free energy audit courtesy of a pair of state agencies. The vote will make Camden the first Maine town to take on the Governor's Carbon Challenge.

The cities of Portland, Saco and Hallowell are currently participating in the challenge, but according to program director Roy Dyer of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Camden would be the first town.

"I was happy to get the call from the town and we're excited to work with them," said Dyer. "Camden, what a great Maine town to do this."
What this is, Dyer said, is an opportunity for Camden to learn how to take some basic energy saving steps -- changing light bulbs, turning off computers at night and reducing truck idling -- all of which can have a big impact on the town's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

During the program, Dyer's group takes a look at the energy consumption reductions the town has made and converts the figures to derive a carbon reduction equivalent, which may qualify the town for reduction credits in future regional or national programs.

Camden Town Manager Roberta Smith has had energy on her mind lately and while she was in the process of exploring options for a low- or no-cost energy audit for the town, she stumbled upon the 2003 state program that could not only provide the audit for free, but also put the town on the road to reducing its share of carbon emissions into the environment.

Continuing along the energy pipeline, Smith also told the Camden Select Board Monday night that the group from the University of Massachusetts that is working with the high school on a wind energy project is also interested in working with the town on exploring the potential development of wind energy on Ragged Mountain.

All this talk about energy prompted the select board to unanimously approve formation of a committee to digest any future energy audit reports and explore and understand alternative power options. The committee was also charged with helping the town wade through any future energy contracts that the town might consider entering into.

As for the energy audit, Smith said that numerous phone calls to procure a study led her to the Maine State Energy Program, a division of the Maine Public Utilities Commission. When she learned that the energy audits are focused more on small businesses, program officials told her about the Governor's Carbon Challenge through the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

"Energy program director Mike Mayhew originally thought we were too big for them, but since he and I originally talked, they now think they can do all our facilities together in conjunction with the group at the Carbon Challenge," Smith said.

Dyer confirmed Wednesday that both groups would partner to perform the actual energy audit for Camden.

"It's a win-win-win situation," Dyer said. "Everyone has enormous benefits on the environmental and economic side and there's no cost to the town for any of this stuff."

In 2001, the New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers signed an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, and to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. The goal is an overall 75 to 80 percent decrease from 2003 levels.

In 2003, Maine became the first state to enact these goals into statute as Maine's Climate Change law, 38 M.R.S.A., subsection 575, which directs the DEP to develop agreements with businesses and nonprofit organizations to accomplish these goals.

Sixteen businesses and nonprofits, including Lyman Morse Boatbuilding Company in Thomaston and Baldwin Ladder in Brooks, are currently participating in the Governor's Carbon Challenge, along with three Maine cities.

The Maine State Energy Program provides information on energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as technical assistance and referrals. The program provides clients with information on other applicable energy savings resources, including programs available through Efficiency Maine.

Smith said that if the town decides to proceed with the State Energy Program and the Governor's Carbon Challenge, the two programs will team up and share the work of conducting an energy audit and providing baseline recommendations to reduce carbon emissions and conserve energy.

As for the wind energy project, Smith said there was an inquiry early in 2005 about the potential of developing wind power on Ragged Mountain.

She has since learned that the University of Massachusetts has funding to provide technical support to groups seeking information. Competitive Energy Services of Portland has also made contact with the town, expressing an interest in exploring alternative wind energy.

"We've been told it takes a year's worth of wind monitoring before we can pursue any kind of proposal," Smith said. "Competitive Energy is interested in becoming an owner/developer of the project either in conjunction with the town or in conjunction with U-Mass."

Smith said that while U-Mass has the ability to assist with monitoring and analysis, it does not do site work or operate facilities.

Select board member Chip Laite made a motion to create an energy committee. He and select board member Sid Lindsley agreed to sit on the committee as liaisons and become educated in the various pieces of the puzzle.

Following more detailed discussion, the select board agreed to define the committee's role to include the following:

# Review energy audit information and assist the select board and the town in interpreting the data.

# Put contracts for energy usage into layman's terms.

# Look at alternative energy resource options and proposals.
The select board also asked Smith to pursue both the energy audit and wind monitoring.

Once town officials know whether there is enough wind to sustain and produce energy, they will be in a better position to decide if they want the project and what it would or could look like.

Source: http://rockland.villagesoup...

DEC 22 2005
https://www.windaction.org/posts/792-camden-considers-energy-greenhouse-gas-reduction-efforts
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