2023-09-22 Building & Energy Committee Minutes

Warwick Buildings and Energy Committee Meeting Minutes

September 22, 2023

Call To Order: 6:07 p.m. Present: Jack Cadwell, Dan Dibble, Mary Humphries, Janice Kurkoski, Chair, and Steve Kurkoski.

Public Comment: None

Discussion, Updates & Action Items: The Committee approved the minutes from 5/31 and our draft minutes from the 7/26 meeting at the Fire Station.

New Fire Station Buildout:

Discussion of on-site visit with John Hicks from Hilltown Plumbing & Heating and a teacher at Franklin Tech. He spent a couple of hours with JK and SK reviewing the office area of the new Fire Station. He’ll get back to us on prices for either Samsung and Fujitsu mini-splits. John Gates will be our service person for the minisplits, and JK plans to ask him which make is the best. Discussion of air-to-water heat pumps. Todd Weed will do the electrical work.

Mike Mankowski arrived near the end of the site visit at the Fire Station, and the issue of the placement of the minisplit in relation to the wheelchair-accessible ramp was discussed. It may have to go on the back gable end of the building, not the Rt. 78 side. John Hicks joined in that discussion, and options were reviewed. JC asked about what type of weather-proofing would be needed. John Hicks will not be volunteering his time; he will be hired as a sole proprietor. JK will talk to DY about this.

JC will add one front window to the floor plan. John Hicks found that floor plan very helpful,

Heat pump incentives are $2500 per ton to existing commercial buildings that are currently heated by fossil fuels . Five tons of heat pumps = $12K worth of rebates. New construction buildings will receive only $800 per ton. Tom Croteau from National Grid wants us to fill out paperwork for a rebate as an existing building. The heat pumps would need to be installed and approved by Christmas for this rebate, but there may be additional incentives from NGrid in 2024.

The Town plumber, Joe, might do the plumbing in the office area, two bathrooms, one shower, kitchen, washing machine and dryer.

SK met with Brian Peters and did an afternoon’s worth of work. Brian left for FL and will be back by the end of October. Brian Gale is away until November 1st. He’s been emailed with questions about his insulation intentions. (See SK email.) SK got Fire Dept-priced insulation quotes from Hamshaw’s. JK also researched insulation incentives from NGrid: $0.08/per added R value/per sq. ft. of existing building for ceilings and $0.12 for walls (but this has to be on the exterior side of walls). Laurie at Ideal Home Improvement will schedule a site visit and quote this entire insulation job. This needs to be done by an approved installer. Hopefully these incentives will continue into 2024.

Electric & Solar: Electric panels to accommodate PV. Joe Larson asked JK about solar progress. JK recommended contacting Northeast Solar from Hatfield for advice on solar panels. Overproduction credits from the Highway Barn could be assigned to another building in town. The fire station would be a good one. You need to use Schedule Z to do this. You can give your overproduction where you want to within your National Grid load zone.

Process for Ongoing Communications:

Brian Gale, Joe Larson and Keith Ross will be ccd on all important issues.

Unitarian Church: There is talk that the church on the hill is to be taken over. Jack will pursue more information on this and should be able to find out more info soon. If the Town takes it over, there will be a lot of money involved and many issues. Dan confirmed that there is ongoing discussion with John and Mary Williamson on this subject. No rush on this matter. JK and JC discussed possible upgrades needed to bring it up to code, such as heating, parking, handicap access… It could be kept as an historical artifact.

Green Corner: Ideas?

Meeting was adjourned at 7:19 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Humphries