Join the (Energy) Conversation

From the City of Keene Website

Attend a small group discussion led by a volunteer facilitator to learn about the City’s 100% renewable energy goals and share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas related to Keene’s energy future.  

The Keene City Council recently made a commitment that all electricity consumed in the City will come from renewable energy sources by the year 2030 and that 100% of all energy used for transportation, heating, and cooling will come from renewable energy sources by the year 2050 (Resolution R-2018-36).  This fall and winter, volunteers from the community will facilitate a series of small group discussions called “Community Energy Conversations” to provide individuals with an opportunity to learn more about the renewable energy goals, express concerns and hopes, and share ideas.

Each community energy conversation will be limited to ~10 people in order to ensure everyone in the group will get an opportunity to fully participate in the discussion. The discussions will be facilitated by volunteers, who will take notes and share feedback with City staff. Feedback from Keene citizens and others will be used to inform the vision, goals, and strategies of a community energy plan.

We want to hear from you! Please consider getting involved by registering for one of the meetings listed below.

 Tuesday, January 7th, 11 am – 12:30 pm

Tuesday, January 14, 7:00-8:30 pm

Wednesday, January 22, 6:30-8:00 pm

Friday, January 24th, 11 am – 12:30 pm

To learn more about the energy plan project or to get involved further, please contact Mari Brunner, staff liaison to the Energy and Climate Committee at (603) 352-5440 / mbrunner@ci.keene.nh.us.

A Decade of Plaid Friday Celebrations in the Monadnock Region

Yarden of Eatin'

For the tenth year, independent businesses and community members in the Monadnock Region will celebrate Plaid Friday on the day after Thanksgiving. This year’s event falls on Friday, November 29, 2019.

Individuals will wear plaid on Plaid Friday to show support for the local economy and their commitment to spending more of their dollars at locally owned businesses during the holiday season. Last year, nearly 400 community members pledged to participate in Plaid Friday.

To amplify this year’s event, Savings Bank of Walpole will host a Plaid Friday Week from Friday, November 29 to Tuesday, December 3.  The bank will set up information tables at each of their branches with Plaid Friday swag to inspire more people to participate in this year’s event.  Community members are encouraged to wear plaid throughout this week and stop by the bank’s Marlboro Street branch to take a selfie in front of the bank’s…

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City of Keene Highlights Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Increase Energy Savings during NH Energy Week

From the City of Keene Planning Department

During NH’s 2018 Energy Week, March 12 – 16th, the City of Keene will present both the results of its 20-year greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction initiative as well as provide an update on the substantial cost avoidance gains resulting from its 5-year Energy Services Contract with Honeywell Energy Solutions.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Initiative

According to Keene’s 2015 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report, the City has achieved a 25% reduction in municipal GHG emissions from 1995 to 2015 as a result of the City’s ongoing energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy optimization projects. This number exceeds the original GHG reduction target of 20% set in 2004 as part of its Climate Action Plan. Keene’s landfill gas to energy system approved by City Council and installed in 1994 pushes this reduction figure even higher.  The system captures landfill gas, which is about 50% methane, and converts it to usable energy.  The methane gas reductions are particularly important due to the fact that methane is 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2), according to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

“Keene was the first municipality in New Hampshire to join the Cities for Climate Protection campaign in 2000,” said Rhett Lamb, the City’s Planning Director and Assistant City Manager.  “Our goal has been to protect Keene’s quality of life and economic vitality and become a more sustainable city.  These same projects have reduced energy costs and strengthened Keene’s economic resilience in the face of a changing climate.”

At the broader community level, nearly 50% of Keene’s GHG emissions are on-road fuel use. Just over ¼ (28%) are from commercial and industrial uses followed very closely by 25% emissions from residential energy use.  A tiny fraction, 3% of Keene’s community GHG emissions are from solid waste generation and transportation.

Notable past projects which have contributed to the reduction in GHG emissions include the City’s Landfill Gas Capture (LFG) system, the City’s recycling program, hydroelectric turbines at the Water Treatment Plant, a geothermal HVAC system at the Public Works Department, the use of biodiesel for the City vehicle fleet and multiple energy efficiency projects.  Current projects include negotiations for a 1.2 megawatt solar array on the City’s municipal complex roof anticipated to reduce 1.8 million pounds of GHG emissions annually.  Additionally, a new 100% post-consumer vegetable oil (biodiesel) generator will begin generating 250 kW to power the City’s recycling center and transfer station this spring.

A summary document of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1995-2015 Report will be made available at the March 15th City Council presentation.  The report will be available for viewing and download at the City’s website. Keene’s Cities for Climate Protection Committee anticipates making their recommendations for a new GHG reduction target and additional renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation initiatives to City Council later this spring.

Energy Services Contract Results

Also at this meeting, Honeywell Energy Solutions will update City Councilors on the cumulative cost avoidance gains from the City’s 5-year Energy Services Contract. It is anticipated that the lighting efficiency improvements, building envelope upgrades, energy management system and heating plant improvements along with the existing solar PV at City Hall will show that 683 tons of CO2 were saved per year with a total cost avoidance of $1,484,063.

Meeting Details
The Thursday, March 15, 2018 Keene City Council meeting will be held at 7 PM in Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of Keene City Hall at 3 Washington Street, Keene NH.

Additional Information
For more information on the City’s Energy and Climate Change Program, please visit the Cities for Climate Protection Committee webpage.

To learn more information about NH Energy Week, including the Monadnock Region Energy Forum scheduled for Monday, 4:30 – 6:30 PM, March 12th at Scores Sports Bar &  Grille, please visit Eventbrite.com.

Button Up Workshop

Button Up New Hampshire, the popular home energy savings workshop series, is coming to Keene, NH. The City of Keene’s Cities for Climate Protection Committee, the Monadnock Progressive Alliance’s Climate Action Team, the Monadnock Sustainability Network and Southwest Community Services are hosting this free workshop for residents.  The workshop will take place on Saturday October 7th at the Stone Arch Village Senior Housing Community Room at 835 Court Street in Keene, NH. Doors open at 9:30am with the presentation from 10:00am-11:30am. The workshops are being sponsored by NHSaves and coordinated by the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative (PAREI). To check out the workshop flyer, click here.

Keene-ButtonUp-2017 flyer

RootSkills Conference: Coming to NH in November

The RootSkills Conference is an annual conference hosted by the New England Grassroots Environment Fund. The RootSkills Conference brings together 300+ students, community organizers, nonprofits, and sustainable businesses who are working to address social justice challenges and improve community health, community resilience, and the environment in New England. Now more than ever, it is critical that organizers work together to build a shared vision for a more just and sustainable region!

Learn more about this year’s RootSkills Conference

November 30 , 2017 – December 2, 2017

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From Hurricane to Climate Change Film Showing: SWRPC Winter Commission Meeting

The Southwest Region Planning Commission Winter Commission Meeting is scheduled for February 28, 2017. The meeting will feature the film From Hurricane to Climate Change and a panel discussion. For more information, please view SWRPC’s event flyer.

From Hurricane to Climate Change

Staff from Franklin Pierce University’s Monadnock Institute of Nature, Place  and Culture will  present a showing of their recently released film entitled From Hurricane to Climate Change.

The film is a collaborative effort between the University Institute, area residents, officials, business owners and nonprofit organizations, as well as regional and national subject experts and documents how the greater Monadnock region is addressing the challenges of an increasingly unstable climate.

The film opens with rare  footage of the Hurricane of 1938 impacting New England and communities such as Peterborough, and traces the increase in extreme precipitation events like the Alstead flood of 2005.  A focus of the film is the City of Keene, which has  experienced  repeated flooding events and has been judged  a “shining example of climate preparedness and adaptation.”

There will be a panel discussion following the film as well as a question and answer period.

Weathering Change Webinar: Incorporating Climate Solutions into Day to Day Adaptation

Upcoming Webinar – Thursday, February 9, 2017 – 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM EST
Incorporating Climate Solutions into Day to Day Adaptation

Participants in this webinar will learn how to approach development, financing and implementation of climate adaptation strategies across all municipal planning activities.

This webinar will cover:

  • How to incorporate adaptation thinking into day-to-day municipal processes
  • How to incorporate climate preparedness strategies into a comprehensive Master Plan
  • How to develop measurable benchmarks for assessing progress towards stated climate adaptation and mitigation objectives

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