2023-02-21 Building & Energy Committee Minutes

Warwick Buildings and Energy Committee Meeting Minutes

February 21, 2023

Call To Order: 6:04 p.m. Present via zoom: Allison Gage (FRCOG) Dan Dibble, Janice Kurkoski, Chair, Jack Cadwell (joined at 6:12), and Steve Kurkoski. (left meeting at 6:50)

Public Comment: None

Minutes of the previous meeting (02/07/23) were unanimously accepted as written.

Discussion, Updates & Action Items:

Allison Gage of FRCOG shared a draft of the Warwick Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

She said she had help from the UMass Clean Energy Extension and the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. Warwick and Greenfield are the two towns in Franklin County that are participating in this DOER funded study. This will provide the basis for coming up with our Net-Zero Plan.

Town wide electricity use, vehicle fuel use, and building heating fuels were included, using as accurate data as possible. Accurate data is available for Warwick municipal buildings and town owned vehicles using the existing tracking tool used for Green Communities. Residential and commercial energy use data was gleaned from other agencies, such as Mass Save, assessor parcel data, Registry of Motor Vehicles, etc. Excluded from this inventory was energy use related to agriculture, forestry, off-road vehicles, and small equipment powered by fossil fuels such as lawnmowers and chainsaws.

This inventory also accounts for emissions offset by carbon sequestration in the forested acres within Warwick’s boundaries.

Jack and Dan questioned the Nature Conservancy’s map that showed that Warwick’s 20,000 forested areas sequester less carbon per acre than forested land in the eastern metropolitan areas. Allison will double check this, including looking at whether privately owned forested land was included. Of the 20k acres in Warwick, 6k are protected by Chapter 61 and 12k are state forest.

Dan will ask Mary to call Rosa to get a more accurate number of cows in Warwick. Rosa might also have info on other animals, both farm and domestic.

To sum, emissions in Warwick totaled 7,593 Metric Tons CO2 equivalent (MTCO2e) in 2020, more than half from residential vehicle fuels, about a third from residential heating fuels (61% of which is wood), with residential electricity accounting for about 10%. Our forests offset all but 11% or our emissions.

Next step – start working on a Net-Zero plan.

Allison left around 7:00 after deciding we would all meet again March 28, 6:00 pm

Jack measured the office space at the new fire station and is making an Auto Cad document that can easily be shared. Janice will call Joe to see how we can help promote progress on the buildout. Maybe an article at TM. The Finance Committee is meeting regularly in March and has asked Department heads to go over their budget and mention future capital expenses.

Jack asked that the rotten, unsafe, wooden climbing structure in the playground be dismantled. JK will ask David. Jack will talk to Olivier about eating and raising local meats for a future Green Corner.

Meeting adjourned at 7:38 pm