Local Energy Awareness And Action Is Growing

Latest workshop attracted nearly 80 attendees

Larry Chase, Andover Energy Group

It’s beginning to look like a trend.

12: In June 2011, a Beacon article invited the public to a meeting designed to gauge local interest in alternative energy sources and energy conservation. The meeting drew a dozen people.

30: In January 2012, a Button Up home-weatherization workshop drew 30.

35: A month later, a second Button Up workshop drew 35.

50: In November 2012, an Energy Awareness Day drew more than 50.

80: On January 12, a two-hour solar energy workshop for homeowners presented by the ReVision Energy Company drew nearly 80. Twenty-six attendees signed up for the company’s offer of free solar evaluations of their homes.

All of these events have been sponsored by the Andover Energy Group which grew out of that initial 2011 meeting. The numbers have the group members asking themselves and others what next steps could be taken to respond to what appears to be an increasing interest in energy efficiency and alternative energy sources. Among the possibilities:

  • Workshops on sources of funding (loans, rebates, incentives) for alternative-energy installations
  • Tutorials on geothermal and wind-power installations
  • Additional weatherization workshops for do-it-yourselfers
  • Efforts to reduce municipal energy consumption
  • Seminars on the local impacts of climate change

Do Beacon readers have additional thoughts or ideas? Please send them to LBChase@nullaol.com.

From The Solar Workshop

A few facts and figures of interest to homeowners as presented by ReVision Energy at the January 12 workshop:

  • New England gets 33% more sunshine per year than Germany, the world leader in renewable energy adoption.
  • There are two kinds of solar applications: solar thermal (e.g., hot water) and solar electric (aka photovoltaic).
  • A “tracking” solar electric installation (the panels move as the sun moves) can deliver 40% more electrical energy than a stationary installation.
  • At this time, residential customers may see up to 50% to 60% of their investment paid for by state, federal, and utility-company rebates.
  • ReVision Energy has completed more than 3,000 solar energy systems in northern New England including installations at Proctor Academy, Colby-Sawyer College, and at least one Andover residence.

Beacon readers interested in having a digital file containing the 31 PowerPoint images used in the January 12 presentation should e-mail LBChase@nullaol.com.