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Building Sustainability through Community Engagement - Presentation by Michael Greis of Green Needham at the MA Sustainable Communities Conference 4/20/12.

Building Sustainability through Community Engagement - Presentation by Michael Greis of Green Needham at the MA Sustainable Communities Conference 4/20/12.

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    Green needham sustainable communities Green needham sustainable communities Presentation Transcript

    • Building Sustainability Through Community Engagement Local Sustainability Success Stories Sustainable Communities Conference 20 April 2012 Michael Greis Green Needham Collaborative mgreis@comcast.net
    • Background• Green Needham Collaborative – Volunteer group founded in 2006 – Bring together people and organizations to build a much more sustainable community through collaborative efforts on energy and the environment – 501(c)3 Green Needham Foundation for larger projects, fiscal agency• Needham snapshot – Population ~29,000 – AAA-rated – FY 2012 Operating Budget $112 million – Town Manager government – 5-member Board of Selectmen – Town Meeting – Strong sense of community
    • Green Needham Collaborative• Collaborative and inclusive by design – Municipal & school staff involvement from the beginning – Increase mutual understanding and facilitate productive collaboration across the citizen/government boundary – Business outreach and engagement – People in individual and social contexts – Community organizations – clubs, service organizations, houses of worship, colleges• Champion and lead projects• Foster, support, connect and partner with other organizations• We leverage relationships and networks
    • Scope• Themes – Leveraging the power of local – The virtuous circle of community-wide collaboration• Stories – Energy Efficiency - broadest scope and impact – Renewable energy, local food, recycling, transportation – Building toward understanding sustainability as a comprehensive, interconnected view of the communitys future
    • Energy Efficiency: The First Fuel• Energy Efficiency versus Energy Conservation – Energy efficiency – the same energy services for lower cost – Energy conservation – a different level of energy service• The least expensive energy source – From global studies of GHG emission reductions to corporate finance, EE projects consistently show strongest financial case (NPV)• MA national leader in energy efficiency policy – Strong legislative frameworks and implementation – #1 ranking from ACEEE• It works for Massachusetts – Last 20 years - estimated 10% of electricity demand – Current 3-year plan - $3.7 billion NPV benefit• Statewide 3-year plan funds EE investments – Total funding $1.5 billion ($1.2b electric, $322m gas) – Residential Direct Incentives $474m ($313 electric, $161m gas) – Government direct incentives – Electric $11.2m, gas (est.) $1.2m
    • Creating the Local Context• Saving energy = saving money – Municipal energy reductions save taxpayer dollars and promote confidence in municipal government - WYSIATI* – Residents save money and reduce life cycle costs of owning homes – Businesses save money and reduce facility costs• Savings benefit the local economy – Massachusetts has no local energy production – The dollars spent on energy leave the community and the region • Oil used by Needham residents represents a transfer of wealth to OPEC of $14.6 million each year • Statewide, $5,000 per household for energy leaves MA – Money not spent on energy by the municipality, residents and businesses can be spent to benefit the local economy • 10% of the FY 2011 energy budget = 4 teachers + 2 firefighters * What you see is all there is
    • Why is local important? What works in driving demand for energy efficiency?...in retrospect many of these lessons seem obvious: Forgestrong local partnerships. Find out what people care about.Speak their language. Sell something people want. Betrustworthy. - from a 2010 Lawrence Berkeley Labs report on US residential energy efficiency programs
    • Green Needham Projects Residential & Business• 10% Challenge – Needham 1,000 – Easy-to-use online tool to identify ways to save 10% on energy use• Business Outreach – Student summer intern – building connections – Enabled follow-up for new NStar Direct Install partner• Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Seminars – Education on overcoming barriers; partnered with domain experts• NStar Community Energy Challenge – Promoting home energy assessments & follow-up actions – Already overachieved kWh reduction targets but much opportunity remains• Outreach and Education – Meetings, seminars, web site, blog, newsletters, cable TV
    • Energy Efficiency: Focus on buildings• Buildings consume 40% of the energy used in the US – 22% Residential, 18% Commercial• 2/3 of that energy is attributable to the building and its systems – HVAC, lighting and water• Buildings have long lives• Turnover of US building stock is slow (~1%/year) – Importance of work on existing facilities• Projects are well-understood - fundamental building technology and operations – Residential and municipal
    • Municipal buildings - the fundamentals• Lighting – retrofits and energy efficient bulbs – Lighting control trial – outdoor lighting at High School• Motion/occupancy sensors – Installed in all unoccupied spaces in 3 older schools• Energy control systems – Upgraded older school with EECBG funding – All schools – staggered starts, nightly setbacks, remote controls, slow startups• Variable-speed drive (VSD) motors• Incremental improvements to existing systems – Fuel catalyst reduced oil consumption 10% – Longer-life filters – reduce energy use and staff costs – Preventative maintenance program
    • Municipal buildings (continued)• Equipment upgrades – leverage incentives – Chiller replacement in Public Safety building – rebate for EE model – Energy-star refrigerators for schools with older equipment – Conversion to natural gas• Tightening building envelopes – Major envelope improvements usually tied to renovation/construction – Smaller projects do make a difference
    • Beyond the core projects• You need data – Not just for management, but for communication with the public – MassEnergyInsight- available to all cities & towns at no cost• Dont ignore newer buildings – Olin College Campus buildings completed ~2004/5 – 2010 - Energy Management Program reduced energy consumption 45% over 4 years - $2 million in avoided costs – Projects included daylight harvesting, kitchen ventilation control,, occupancy sensors, VSD motors, building community-wide involvement• Building Commissioning – Then and now – overlap, not turnover – Facilities involvement during design & value engineering – Continuous Commissioning
    • Beyond the core projects (continued)• Behavior change – share the benefit – Under discussion: % of persistent energy savings to a building Principal• Facilities Master Plan – Facilitates prioritization & focus because identifying, scoping, planning and procuring EE projects is time consuming• Facilities maintenance and upgrade plans should be well-communicated and widely-understood – Promotes confidence and smooth approval process – Community can respond to opportunities – saved $1 million on energy- efficient roof replacement with stimulus-funded MSBA program
    • Projects and Collaborations• Needham Community Solar Challenge – Community donations to NE Wind Fund → $21,000 for municipal projects & 2kW Solar PV array for school building• Wind Power Feasibility Study – Raised funds & developed collaborative project with schools; advocacy and support for zoning changes and DEP approval• Solar PV – Feasibility research and advocacy• Green Community – Ongoing
    • Projects and Collaborations (continued)• EPA Eco-explorers grant – Developing an elementary environmental education unit and teaching the teachers – Needham Public Schools (Science Center, curriculum development, teachers), Needham Community Farm, Green Kids Needham• Local Food – Needham Community Farm – Needham Farmers Market• Transportation – Local transportation study – Safe Routes to School / Walking to School – Needham Bikes – Bay Colony Rail Trail• Recycling – Needham is a state leader in recycling – Interfaith Environmental Group – pilot for public spaces
    • Needham Summit on Energy and the Environment• October, 2011 at Olin College – A collaboration of Green Needham, Needham LWV and Olin College – 150 residents, community leaders, officials & staff• What do we want our community to look like in 2020? – If we dont decide, someone else will• Framework - Massachusetts 2020 Clean Energy and Climate Plan – Opening session – Mark Sylvia, DoER Commissioner and Michael Greis, Green Needham, moderated by Anthony Brooks of WBUR – Lower costs, Build new energy economy, Address climate change – Legislation, administration and agencies all pulling in the same direction – “Toolbox” for residents, municipalities and businesses• Community breakouts led by students – Water, Food, Transportation, Energy Sources & Choices, Development: the Built Environment, Energy Efficiency & Conservation and Green Economy: Opportunities & Skills
    • Benefits of Community-wide collaboration• More resources & complementary capabilities – Residents, community organizations, businesses, schools, municipality• Break through communications clutter and societal ADD – Similar messages from multiple sources more effective – Community organizations better positioned for outreach• Creating a virtuous circle – Savings impact of municipal projects can encourage residents to participate – Residential programs and investments drive understanding of and support for municipal efforts• Creating new social norms – Social norms are the most powerful behavioral change agent – Strengthen community identity
    • Challenges of Community-wide collaboration• Working with volunteers and community groups can be a source of tension for a municipality – Every “constituent-based” organization has this challenge – There is a lot of relevant expertise in your community – Leverage those strengths• Managing expectations, not diminishing them – Balancing deliberation and process with the passion for change• Communications – You can never do enough – Too many channels, too much distraction
    • SummaryThere are significant financial and quality-of-life benefits to community-wide investments in energy and the environmentLeveraging all the resources in your community is a powerful force for change, but it requires patience and persistence Presentation slides available at http://bit.ly/gncscc2012