2023-05-31 Building & Energy Committee Minutes

Warwick Buildings and Energy Committee Meeting Minutes

May 31, 2023

Call To Order: 6:00 p.m. Present via zoom: Jack Cadwell, Dan Dibble, Janice Kurkoski, Chair, Mary Humphries, Steve Kurkoski, and Allison Gage (FRCOG)

Discussion, Updates & Action Items:

REVIEW OF THE WARWICK MUNICIPAL NET ZERO OPERATIONS PLAN

Allison made JK’s edits, leaving only a couple to do. Committee questions? Dan asked what SSPs are. Jack asked how many PV systems are in town. Allison asked what the Renewal Energy Fund is and whether or not it’s still used in town. JK explained that it’s defunct, but that at some point DY had said there’s a revolving loan fund which will provide for more PV in town. AG continued to go through the document with more questions.

What are the next steps before the plan is implemented? JK says we need more people to shepherd the various projects; for example, getting more information regarding heat pumps, charging stations, and battery storage/backup for the Fire Station and the Emergency Control Center.

If we qualify, we’d be eligible for $10k for community outreach. JC suggested getting more Mass Save upgrades into people’s homes. We could write an MVP grant for solar at the new Fire Station and then battery storage through GC.

Brainstorming Ideas:

  • EV charging stations
  • ASHP – community outreach; invite installers to come
  • Public ride and drive event to promote EVs in town
  • JK suggested having a public presentation by a forester who might speak about carbon sequestration and storage. JC reinforced how important it is to be careful about forestry on private property.
  • Add two items to the Action Plan: Fresh Air Systems to the Town Hall and putting energy-efficient aluminum storms at the Library.

SK commented on and thanked Janice and Allison on the great write-up. He made the comment that the “most green” map is a bit hard to read and understand. He asked why Warwick is in the not-so-green category. Allison will add an explanation regarding that to the report. She said she will clean up the document and send it back to us. Allison also asked for other comments on the draft of another document she is writing about Northfield’s and Warwick’s past GC funded projects at PVRS. SK and JK offered stories and comments including a discussion of the Clerk of the Works.

Comments:

  • (Allison?) said “I don’t know if the scoping task makes sense.
  • FRCOG can request funding to do a community project for low-income families. Allison added that she’s frustrated because rebates and incentives are generally not very accessible to those communities. Discussion of IRA incentives. How can we bring attention to them? SK talked about how when just one person gets a good deal, the word spreads quickly. This needs to be a multiple-town effort for DOER (e.g., Northfield, Warwick, Orange, and Greenfield.)

Meeting adjourned at 7:02 p.m.

Next meeting date: TBD

Respectfully submitted by Mary Humphries