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

Green Energy Options Seventh In State To Earn B Corp Certification

Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News

GEO1-b1ce9c89Co-owners Valerie Piedmont and Pablo Fleischmann have announced that their business, Green Energy Options, recently earned B Corp certification, making it the seventh Certified B Corporation in New Hampshire. Using business as a force for good, Certified B Corps create higher quality jobs, improve the quality of life in their communities, address challenging environmental problems, and inspire others to measure what matters most. Over 200,000 businesses globally use the B Impact Assessment to assess, compare, and improve their impact.

Green Energy Options is an outgrowth of a vision of building a life in harmony with nature that Piedmont and Fleischmann share. They opened their business a decade ago after more than two decades of living off the electrical power grid on their eight-acre homestead in Gilsum. The business initially focused on providing solar energy system design, installation and technical support and selling energy-efficient appliances. Green Energy Options has since developed expertise that led it to expand its business to include alternative home heating products – the best available brands of wood, pellet, and gas stoves; fireplaces, and inserts.

Piedmont, director of human resources, said, “Our five employees work as a team to give customers the knowledge they need to make fully informed energy decisions. We’re passionate about the impact that our business has on improving air quality in our region and increasing the amount of renewable energy produced and consumed. We’re a small business encouraged that, with the support of the wider B Corp community, we can be part of the big change in how energy needs are met more responsibly.”

1555416_10151873746682546_1941514848_nFleischmann added, “It’s not so much about the certification itself; it’s about continually measuring ourselves against its high standards, and those of other Certified B Corporations, so that we continue to develop a better business.”

Green Energy Options draws its customers from Keene and Peterborough, Brattleboro, VT, and the surrounding towns and counties. It recently moved from its 79 Emerald Street location to 37 Roxbury Street, where it occupies a larger space in a renovated building in a revitalized area of Keene. For more details, visit or call 603-358-3444.

Monadnock Food Co-op Goes 100% Renewable for 2018

co-op-staff-celebrating-solar-panels-768x776In addition to the Community Supported Solar array on their roof, a recent LED lighting retrofit, and use of “Polar Power” to pump cold outside air into their coolers, Monadnock Food Co-op also signed a contract with Constellation New Energy to source additional electricity from renewable sources for the 2018 calendar year, and beyond.

“We recognize that Climate Change is a serious threat to our suppliers, both worldwide and at home. From the floods and landslides that plagued organic banana farmers in Peru this spring, to the wildfires affecting California vineyards, and the drought that hit our state’s dairy farmers especially hard last year, the increasingly volatile climate that affects our global community is something our cooperative strives to avoid,” said Michael Faber, General Manager of Monadnock Food Co-op. “I am so proud that despite almost doubling our staff and sales since opening five years ago, we have been able to reduce our overall energy consumption over the past two years. We are also excited to be able to support the generation of wind energy to cover the electricity that is necessary to power our store.”

The Co-op’s agreement with Constellation New Energy allows the Co-op to buy Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from wind power for 100% of their estimated electricity usage beyond that produced by the rooftop solar array. For every unit of renewable electricity generated through wind energy technology, an equivalent amount of RECs is produced. The purchase of RECs supports renewable wind electricity generation and reduces conventional electricity generation in the region.

“As renewable energy becomes increasingly more price-competitive, we hope many other businesses in our community will join our co-op in investing in initiatives like the Community Supported Solar Project with Monadnock Sustainability Network, and in sourcing renewable power to meet their needs,” said Emerald Levick, Marketing Manager for Monadnock Food Co-op. “Working for the safety, security, and resilience of our community in the face of Climate Change will take every one of us, contributing in every way we can.”

More about sustainability efforts at Monadnock Food Co-op.

Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund

Yarden of Eatin'

2018 Grant Cycle Request for Proposal Applications are due February 1, 2018.

You can find the Request for Proposals HERE, then you can apply by filling out the word doc application here and or the PDF version here.

Funds can be used for a range of needs including the purchase of equipment or infrastructure, packaging and labeling design needs, and technical assistance. Eligible applicants include farms in Cheshire County and abutting NH towns who would like to develop or expand their production for wholesale markets, including the Monadnock Food Co-op and Monadnock Menus.

Learn more about the Co-op’s Farm Fund.

View original post

The Crowd Expands: Alstead, Jaffrey and Peterborough Join The Local Crowd Monadnock

In 2017, The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock — a locally based crowdfunding platform — supported campaigns based in Keene, Chesterfield, Hinsdale, Swanzey and Winchester.  In the New Year, we’re excited to announce that we’re expanding into Alstead, Jaffrey and Peterborough, too!  What does that mean to you?  It means that if you have a great idea — one that strengthens your local economy and community — and live in one of these eight towns, you can apply to launch a crowdfunding campaign with TLC Monadnock.

If you’ve heard of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, you might understand how crowdfunding works.  However, TLC Monadnock is different from other crowdfunding platforms.  It’s designed specifically for rural communities.  Also, you’re not alone when you launch a campaign with TLC Monadnock — we provide education, support and hyper-local tools to connect local businesses, organizations and community groups with the capital they need to thrive.

These differences recently earned us a Crowdfundie Award presented at the Global Crowdfunding Conference in Las Vegas. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the crowdfunding industry.  People are beginning to notice what our community is doing to inspire more local investing!

2017 Recap

Since we launched in March, four crowdfunding campaigns have collectively raised $34,946 from over 200 individuals.  Our most recent campaign, the Bicycle Mayor of Keene, met its $1,300 goal just five days after publicly launching.  Tiffany Mannion, the inaugural Bicycle Mayor of Keene will focus on three areas during her two year term: education, connection and creation.  TLC Monadnock funded her first goal, to create an online hub that connects our community of riders to each other.  Connect with her at

Two TLC Monadnock campaigns focused on sustainable agriculture: Archway Farm’s Farm to Table on Wheels project and Stonewall Farm’s Barn Raising project.  Archway Farm bought a Sausage Cart and traveled to various community events this summer, introducing their pasture-raised pork and other local products to new people throughout our region.  Stonewall Farm plans to invest their funds in a new barn for their small animals and offer more space for the farm’s education programs.

Our third campaign, the Monadnock Placemaker project, focused on independent retail and the power of online tools to inspire more of us to spend our dollars at locally owned businesses.  Funds from this campaign will go into launching a local rewards program this winter.  Learn more about all four projects.

Three new campaigns are now in the development stage: Safe Streets project from the Hinsdale Beautification Committee, Moving Outdoors project from the Montessori Schoolhouse of Cheshire County and Chesterfield Community Supported Solar project from the Monadnock Sustainability Network.

Once these new crowdfunding campaigns launch, you can join with your friends and neighbors to support the campaigns that inspire you — by giving any amount of money you feel able and moved to give (from $1 on up!).  Some campaigns provide rewards for your support — a thank you gift for funding their project.  Sign up for our e-newsletter to stay updated.  Just send us an email and we’ll add you to our contact list.

In Search of New Campaigns for 2018

So, now we turn to you and ask: Do you have a great idea that could use a lift? Will your project support community goals, while keeping to a budget of $10,000 or less? Are you, or is your business or organization, based in Alstead, Chesterfield, Hinsdale, Jaffrey, Keene, Peterborough, Swanzey or Winchester?  If yes, then please consider funding your project through The Local Crowd Monadnock.  We are accepting crowdfunding proposals until January 12, 2018.

Learn more about our current request for proposals.

Here’s an added incentive to submit a proposal now: TLC Monadnock will select one proposal to receive a free video, donated by 710 Main Films, to support their crowdfunding campaign.  Crowdfunding campaigns with pitch videos receive four times more funds than campaigns without a video.

TLC Monadnock is hosted by Monadnock Buy Local and supported by a leadership team that includes the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Region Planning Commission, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, Monadnock Buy Local, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation.  We’re looking for other economic development groups beyond Keene to join our leadership team.  Contact us today for more details at or 603-499-7950.

As our TLC Monadnock crowd expands, we hope you will join us.  We are collectively funding the things we want to see more of in our little corner of the world.

Winter Farmers’ Markets: Monadnock Region

Yarden of Eatin'

Farmers’ Market of Keene: Monadnock Waldorf School, 98 S. Lincoln St. Every Saturday, November through December; 2nd and 4th Saturday, January through March; Every Saturday in April, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. SNAP/EBT accepted.,

Peterborough Farmers’ Market: Peterborough Community Center, 25 Elm St., Weds. Oct.-Dec 20, 3– 5 p.m. Vegetables, flowers/plants, dairy, maple, baked goods, meat, crafts. 396-9136,,

Winchester Farmers’ Market on Main: Town Hall, 1 Richmond Rd., Sat., Nov. – May, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Vegetables, maple, baked goods, meat, jams/jellies, eggs, Vegan foods, fudge, hand made soap, crafts. Live music, holiday card and cookie decorating, visits with Santa and more. SNAP/EBT accepted. 239-6361,,

View New Hampshire Winter Farmers’ Markets (2017/2018 Season)

From the NH Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food

**Please contact market to verify products available**


View original post

You’re Invited! MAST Annual Meeting January 11th

You’re invited!  The Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation Annual Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 11th from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at the HCS Conference Room located at 312 Marlboro Street in Keene, NH.  This event is an opportunity to:

  • Celebrate recent accomplishments in the region,
  • Learn about the MAST’s focus for the upcoming year, and
  • Connect with organizations and individuals working to implement sustainable transportation solutions in the Monadnock Region.

The program will begin with networking and light refreshments.  To register, click here.


This year, the event will feature two guest speakers:

  • Phil Goff is a Senior Planning Associate with Alta Planning + Design.  He brings 18 years of urban design and pedestrian and bicycle facility planning experience to his work. Since 2009, he has managed Alta’s Cambridge office and has overseen planning and design projects throughout the Northeast. These projects include managing pedestrian and bicycle master planning projects in communities large and small, greenway corridor studies,  complete streets plans, streetscape design projects, and bike share system master plans.  His sincere passion for making cities and towns more lively, walkable, bike-friendly, and sustainable places represents a common theme in his work.
  • Tiffany Mannion is the Bicycle Mayor of Keene, New Hampshire and the first Bicycle Mayor in the United States. She is a LAB Certified Cycling Instructor and a passionate two-wheeled commuter and explorer. In the world of cycling and social media, she is perhaps better known as bellecycle. She has ridden over 5600 miles since 2016 in eight different countries. Her two-year term as Bicycle Mayor will focus on three community-wide goals established with the support of MAST: Education, Connection, and Creation.  She has been featured in Rails to Trails Magazine and was an Ibex Advocate in the spring of 2017.  Follow Tiffany online at

You will also learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities and ways to get involved.  Stay tuned for more details!


The MAST annual meeting is free to attend, however registration is required.  To register, click here.