Home Energy Efficiency Improvement/Minutes

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Meeting Dec 10, 2009

Agenda Items and Minutes:

  • Dates for two Senior Center Lunch & Learn sessions
  • Bill Okerman to follow up with Jamie Gutner to schedule two-part session in late January
  • Identify host organizations for seminars and assign team members
  • We discussed ideas for organizations that could host HEEI seminars. The idea is to have an organization promote and host the seminar for their staff or membership. We will also publicize the seminar for the wider community (were appropriate), increasing attendance and providing good publicity and visbility for the host organization
  • We identified target organizations and assigned team members to contact them
  • Target is at least 2 seminars in late January and February
  • Team members will make at least an initial contact before the holidays


  • Seek support from NStar?
  • NStar is receiving more conservation focused funding - they should be willing to support the HEEI effort.
  • Michael Greis will provide Sheila Pransky and Catherine Herer a contact name to start talking with them


  • Michael Greis reported that he has recruited a member, Kevin Bowring, to interview 10% Challenge participants to gather success stories and information. We'll then package these stories (newsletter, web site, cable....) to promote the 10% Challenge, but they will also be helpful in promoting the HEEI seminars.
  • Michael Greis will ask Clayton Schuller to provide Catherine Herer with the contact information for the five energy audits we awarded. Michael will provide Kevin's information so he and Catherine can coordinate and share some of the outreach.


  • Sheila Pransky reported that she has contacted SMOC (the designated agency to receive the federal weatherization funds) and is working with them to determine how funds can be provided to Needham.


  • We discussed possible giveaway items for the seminars. Michael Greis will provide contact information for the Alt-E store (a possible source) to Catherine Herer.


  • Additional team participation
  • Insulation/Weather Sealing contractor
  • We still need to identify an ongoing participant
  • Are there others?


Debrief Meeting - Nov 6, 2009

Fourth Meeting - June 19, 2009

Third Meeting - May 29, 2009

Overview

A third meeting was held at Dedham Savings, 55 Elm Street, Dedham, MA 02026, on 5/29/09 to further discuss the creation of a program that would make it easier for Needham residents to upgrade or replace older, inefficient heating systems, and to otherwise make their dwellings more energy efficient.

Attendees

Meeting Summary

This meeting revolved around the discussion of how to promote the program.

Clayton Schuller presented to the attendees this Presentation which might be used in a seminar to promote the program.

The representatives from Dedham Savings discussed the various financing alternatives that are widely available and also presented a draft of an "energy efficient loan" program that they would be willing to offer to those who might prefer an unsecured loan to finance their home energy efficiency improvements.

Green Needham's role in the program was discussed at length. Of particular concern was how to make sure that Green Needham avoids any appearance of endorsing any particular vendors.

A target date of late July was tentatively set for the first seminar. Key concerns included where to hold the seminar (the Senior Center was discussed as a specific possibility), how to best advertise it, and what to do in the event that it is oversubscribed.

The seminar program would include a presentation of the home audit process, a presentation of the various product offerings, and a presentation of green energy incentives and financing alternatives. The vendors participating in the seminar would focus on presenting generic information and refrain from promoting their own specific products or services.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held at Dedham Savings on Friday, June 19, from 9:00 to 11:00 am. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the details for the seminar.

Second Meeting - April 17, 2009

Overview

A second meeting was held at Dedham Savings, 55 Elm Street, Dedham, MA 02026, on 4/17/09 to further discuss the creation of a program that would make it easier for Needham residents to upgrade or replace older, inefficient heating systems, and to otherwise make their dwellings more energy efficient.

Attendees

Meeting Summary

Jerry Wasserman spoke regarding the town's potential involvement in the program. The town would not be in a position to take on a formal role in the program, however there may be opportunities for the program to work with certain town departments, e.g., the Council on Aging/Senior Center, to promote awareness of the program among town residents.

Michael Greis presented data showing the distribution of single family homes in Needham by age, fuel type, and heating method that he had compiled from various public sources. A discussion was held regarding how to use this and other kinds of easily accessible data to target homeowners most likely to benefit from a program such as this.

There was a discussion about the various methods by which the program could be promoted. Clayton Schuller presented a draft of a presentation that could be used to explain the program. Possibilities discussed include local seminars (at, e.g., the Senior Center and PTCs), the Needham Channel (e.g., Jerry Wasserman's show), and collaboration/coordination with, e.g., the various local town organizations whose interests relate, at least in part, to housing, the Energy Bucks program, the Massachusetts Municipal Association's weatherization assistance program, MassSAVE. Concern was expressed about making outbound phone calls due to the Do Not Call registry.

Jerry Lavoie discussed various financing alternatives - including home equity loans, home improvement loans, reverse mortgages (for homeowners 62 and older), and unsecured loans (credit cards and personal loans) - and the pros and cons of each. Dedham Savings is open to setting up a special lending program to focus on this issue.

It was suggested that efforts should be made to include real estate agents and appraisal companies in the program.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held at Dedham Savings on Friday, May 29, from 9:00 to 11:00 am.


Preparation for April 17 Meeting

  • Process for initial audit and assessment of need - Clayton
  • Selected options for High-efficiency boiler/furnace replacement - Rick/Barry
  • Identify Weatherization participant to join group - Bill/All
  • Identify lawyer to provide guidance on liability, related issues - Bill
  • Follow-up with other participants - Council on Aging, State... - Michael
  • Get assessor's data for initial analysis - Michael


Initial Meeting - March 12, 2009

Overview

An initial meeting was held at Dedham Savings, 55 Elm Street, Dedham, MA 02026, on 3/12/09 to discuss the creation of a program that would make it easier for Needham residents to upgrade or replace older, inefficient heating systems, and to otherwise make their dwellings more energy efficient.

Attendees

Meeting Summary

The meeting was organized by the Green Needham Collaborative and included representatives of organizations with expertise in affordable housing, financing, home energy efficiency, home heating and air conditioning installation and service, and municipal government. The purpose of the meeting was to identify and discuss all of the various factors that are involved in upgrading the energy efficiency of a residential dwelling, and the various options available to a homeowner relative to addressing each of those factors. The factors discussed included:

  • The options available to assess the energy efficiency of a home and determine what can be done to improve it
  • Determining the costs associated with improving a home’s energy efficiency and the estimated cost savings expected to result from implementing the improvements
  • Financing the costs of improving a home’s energy efficiency
  • Identifying homeowners with the greatest potential to benefit from the program, e.g., owners of older homes, senior homeowners, low and moderate income homeowners
  • Possible roles of town government in supporting such a program
  • Liability issues
  • Public outreach

All of the participants expressed an interest in moving forward, with the goal being to develop an open program that would help Needham homeowners to move seamlessly through the process of upgrading the energy efficiency of their homes. An open program means that, once the program is defined and established, other suppliers can participate as long as they meet agreed upon criteria.

It was agreed that the program should be a Green Needham Collaborative program. It is believed that having a community-based program will enhance its appeal to both Needham homeowners and suppliers.

Action Items

The next meeting will be held at Dedham Savings on Friday, April 17, from 9:00 to 11:00 am. The purpose of the meeting will be to develop a structure for the program and a timeline for implementation.

Preparation for initial meeting

Bill Okerman and Les Lefaver volunteered to pull together and coordinate the initial meeting of interested parties

  • Rick Nortz has confirmed that he will participate
  • Rick should identify other suppliers who could participate
  • Rick and/or Bill/Less can invite them
  • Gerry Lavoie of Dedham Savings has confirmed that the bank is willing to host the meeting
  • Clayton Schuller has to determine how he and NextStep Living will participate and who else he can engage for the session
  • Bill/Less should coordinate with Rick, Gerry, Clayton and Michael (as needed) to define the agenda
  • Michael has offered to invite others who could participate:
  • Josh Hassol, the CEO of Cambridge Energy Alliance (although we can't duplicate what Cambridge is doing, their example can inspire what we do)
  • Someone from DOER (Mass Division of Energy Resources) - Michael has met with Phil Giudice and some of his staff and they are very interested in promoting local action on energy efficiency)
  • Others...