Energy Committee

Point of Contact:

Ryan Haac

thaacr@gmail.com
Office Hours:

Hours By Appointment.

The Energy Committee works with the Town, its residents and businesses to help reduce energy use, save money, and protect the environment.

The Sharon Energy Committee meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 5:15 PM in the Town Offices.

Current Sharon Energy Committee Members are Ryan Haac (Chair), Dee Gish, and Jill Wilcox. The Committee is looking for additional volunteers! Sharon residents: you are welcome and encouraged to join us!

We welcome new participants to join in our work realizing energy conservation programs.  Bring your wisdom, tools and perspectives. Or maybe you just have a good idea. Let’s talk!

We work to

  • seek, write, and implement energy conservation grants,
  • confront local transportation issues (public transportation, ride sharing, electric vehicle awareness and charging infrastructure),
  • improve heating energy efficiency and weatherization
  • increase renewable generation and conservation of energy

Current or Recent Activities

Button Up Vermont – November 9th, 2019 2 PM at Sharon Elementary

Step Up to Button Up Sharon (and bring your kids)

Saturday, November 9, 2019 – 2:00pm; Sharon Elementary School, 75 VT-132, Sharon, VT.  Ready to stop burning money? Weatherizing your home is often one of the best financial investments you can make. This workshop will help get you started.

We’ll answer these questions:

  • What does weatherization look like in your home?
  • What are the benefits of weatherization?
  • What incentives are available to help you get started?
  • What can you DIY and when should you work with a contractor?

Whether you’re new to weatherization or have detailed questions about your next project, energy experts from Efficiency Vermont will provide guidance and answer your questions and talk through the new incentive to cover half of your project costs (up to $4000).

You’ll also be able to set up a free home energy visit to discuss your best opportunities to make your home healthier and more comfortable. Refreshments provided and fun activities for children of all ages happening concurrently!

Enhanced Energy Planning

With Act 174, the state of Vermont is in a period of reflection and proclamation, as we seek to codify our sense of place and document our vision for the future of energy. By engaging in Enhanced Energy Planning, the Town of Sharon administers an appraisal and offers formative goals of our Town’s energy consumption, generation, and appropriate potential.

The Enhanced Energy Planning process is a collaborative effort between the Energy Committee, the Planning Commission, the Selectboard, and Sharon residents. This planning involves an added section for energy related measures in the Town Plan that adheres to Act 174 standards, which, if approved, provide our Town Plan “substantial deference” with regard to renewable energy siting. In other words, Enhanced Energy Planning allows the Town to determine how we will meet the goal. The process has assessed our current relationship with energy and documented the availability and potential of local renewable resources to meet a projected future demand.

Sharon Energy Survey

In late 2017, the Sharon Energy Committee was awarded a New England Grassroots Economic Fund “Grow Grant” to:

– Promote awareness of municipal energy planning

– Produce benchmark heating system type and consumption, and

– Solicit community engagement for Energy Committee priorities

In 2018, the Energy Committee performed the Sharon Energy Survey. The grant enabled outreach resulting in responses from 41% of Sharon households. Results were rolled out through a series of short reports that are available here.

Information and Resources

Electricity and incentives

Transportation
A majority of Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions result from transportation. Reducing the use of single occupancy vehicles will save money, save gas and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Consider electric (or hybrid) vehicles.

  • Make sure your vehicle tires are properly inflated
  • Do not idle your vehicle
  • Take public transportation or carpool with a neighbor at least once a week.
  • Combine your errands and plan your driving route to maximize efficiency and reduce overall driving.

Here are some links to transportation options in our area:

Electric Vehicles:

Energy Efficiency: Save Energy and Save Money!

Conserving energy not only saves you money (in lower electricity and fuel bills), but it also reduces your contribution to global climate change.

Weatherization

An efficient home is Weatherized, in that it effectively protects against weather extremes and provides a healthy environment for habitation.

Heating homes in Vermont accounts for close to 60% of residential energy use. Home weatherization reduces cold winter drafts and summer heat gain, controls moisture, provides adequate fresh-air ventilation for healthy living, and tests appliance combustion for efficiency, carbon monoxide, and adequate exhaust. Weatherization is the practice of considering the home as an operating system.

Weatherized homes in Vermont typically save 25 to 30 percent on heating costs, which could equate to an annual savings of $750 to $1,000. While much more extensive “deep-energy” retrofits can achieve over 75% savings, retrofits cost more and have longer payback periods than home weatherization. Home weatherization is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy use, save on energy spending, and increase home comfort.

See Sustainable Woodstock’s page here for more information: https://var/var/www/vhosts/sharonvt.net/httpdocs/vhosts/sharonvt.net/staging.sharonvt.net.sustainablewoodstock.org/our-programs/energy/improve-energy-efficiency/

Renewable Energy

  • Locally produced, clean, renewable energy lowers carbon emissions and keeps energy decisions local.
  • Examples of renewable energy include solar electric (PV), solar hot water heating, wind turbines, hydropower, and ground source heat pumps. The most common residential renewable energy generation method is solar photovoltaics.
  • Solar energy is ubiquitous: it can fuel the production of electricity, generate heat and light, provide drying services, induce wind and temperature currents, and supply fuel for photosynthesis, among other things. In one way or another, energy from the sun is essential and unavoidable.
  • Clotheslines avoid electricity use altogether
  • Net-metering: a policy that enables electric utility customers to turn their electric meters backwards when they produce more energy than they consume, thus gaining net energy production.
  • A list of solar energy contractors can be found here: https://var/var/www/vhosts/sharonvt.net/httpdocs/vhosts/sharonvt.net/staging.sharonvt.net.revermont.org/our-members/directory/business-category/technology-types/solar/

Recycling and Trash disposal