Sunday, May 15, 2011

Community Energy Guidebook Released for Vermonters

     Earlier this month the Vermont Natural Resources Council released its long awaited Energy Planning Guidebook to help Vermont communities become more sustainable and energy independent.  Whether you live here or elsewhere but care about how your community evolves and fights climate change on a grass-roots level check out this manual and video to learn more.
     Whether involving weatherization, installing more insulation, air-sealing, replacing aging heating and cooling infrastructure in your public buildings, schools, churches and housing this information is a helpful starting point.  Many Vermont towns and cities have Energy Committees working independently of each other yet collaborating together to make a difference state-wide.  There's a statewide organization unifying all of the individual energy committees and large and small stakeholders called VECAN (VT Energy Climate Action Network.  It's an exciting group who has held numerous statewide conferences.
     This document is full of best practices culled for years of experience you and others in your community can learn from and extend forward! The guidebook covers why to do it in the first place, how to generally go about it, engaging the public in energy planning, organizing the plan, assessing community needs and opportunities among other areas.  It also shares the latest information about Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Development focusing on existing programs, planning for energy efficiency and adding renewable energy along with barriers impeding progress.
     Let me know what you think of the guidebook and if it is helpful to you and your community?

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