Attending: Reinmar Seidler (facilitating), John Gage, Bonnie Christie, Donna Reardon, Representative Ken Wells, Pat Martin, Joe Kwasnik, Gunnar Baldwin, Dot Currier, Mary Beth Raven, Jon Chaffee, Cindy Heath, Kate Messner, Rick Maynard, Representative Lee Oxenham, Sarah Brock, Representative Bob Backus, Susan Richman (minutes)
1. Agenda: updates from Management team, from Working Groups, and speaker or program – this will be the structure of monthly General Meetings going forward. NOTE: Meetings will be on the SECOND MONDAY of each month. New recurring Zoom link will be sent out. Request that questions, comments from members be handled by chat and email, to keep meetings to 90 minutes. If you have an area of interest, start a work group.
2. Management team: not private, input/attendance is welcome. At-large managers: Reinmar, Rick; managers who head up Working Groups: Cindy (Plastics), Joe (Legislation), Donna (Communications). Jennifer resigned, so will see how we do with 5 members on mgmt. team.
3. Communications WG: may split into 2, external and internal. Currently have 6 members, others welcome to join, and will contact volunteers from June 18 summit. Currently defining internal communications tasks and tools (among others: actions, information, zoom links, conversations, events, archiving/Website, Google Groups, Google Docs, Slack, Slide Deck). Deciding best medium for each task; will have training events.
Website – thanks to Patsy, John G; one-stop-shop to communicate calendar of events, meetings, workshops, legislative actions & timeframes, sample LTEs – all to streamline action, getting other groups to let us know what they’re doing, get their logo onto the website.
Working on logo; will submit to membership when narrowed down to a few choices.
External tasks we foresee: establish relationships with other groups; Education (of the public); press releases; messaging & framing, social media. Bravo to Mary Beth, whose LTE is in the Monitor this week.
Please participate! Let other organizations know of our existence, and whether we can be of help to them, give us suggestions, bring in more folks for more people-power! Next meeting Thursday, November 4, 4 pm, Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84916374163?pwd=TnQ3MXl5UEh6S0RBeFRJRWZvK2lydz09 Meeting ID: 849 1637 4163 Passcode: 331688
4. Plastics WG: Primary task is “10 Towns, 10 Volunteers, 10 Actions” to decrease plastic waste in (10 or more) towns, to build the will for legislative action. Created a 1-pager, creating a tool kit for community leaders, have our initial 10 leaders & towns (Dover, Somersworth, Cornish, Portsmouth, Durham, Pittsfield, Harrisville/Nelson, Bristol, Hopkinton, Littleton). Working with Hayley Jones of Community Action Works on shaping the campaign & prepare for public roll-out in January. Looking into legislation. All are welcome to join meeting Nov 14 6 pm “Communications & Messaging Workshop” with Hayley Jones. Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6275609302?pwd=cDd0eDlqYytxa0xKek5FRVVYclJVUT09
Meeting ID: 627 560 9302 Passcode: garden
5.Legislation WG: Defined goal as “identify, track, & positively influence legislation & regulatory action in Energy, Environment, Climate.” Last year, our legislative efforts were focused on energy, creating LTEs and MyTurns, giving testimony. We especially made a difference on HB 315, creating net metering for municipalities. Many of last year’s bills were “retained,” some good outcomes, Jon and Reinmar created documents commenting on the 10-year energy plan. This fall we have commented on retained bills that were brought back, some were rewritten, some were ITL and some will continue to full legislature. LSRs are out now, but we’ll see their language when they come out as bills in Dec, and we can decide our response. This year hope to follow more than energy. Bonnie will coordinate environmental legislation – currently 29 LSRs related to Env on house side, and 18 in Senate—solid waste, drinking water, lead contamination, PFAS.
Next meeting Tuesday, Dec 7, 7 pm. We need help to cover legislation! Will have a spreadsheet to track. Let us know if you have an issue in your area, or if your legislator is sponsoring a bill we should track.
Contact your legislators, let them know we are here to help them – we’ll make a template for Network members to tell their legislators about us.
6. Comments from Representative Oxenham: Final version of HB 549 had some parts salvaged, including low income support, covering energy efficiency for natural gas, and putting the EERS into statute. Thanks for our letters, and that we offer cogent reasons for our requests—that may have an unexpected strong effect. These bills will be argued again when they go to the floor in January.
7. Sarah Brock, speaking on energy efficiency: Vital Communities covers 69 Upper Valley towns in NH and Vermont, helping communities advance their work in a number of fields. (Funded through private family foundations)
In 2017 began to look at promoting weatherization, had very low baselines, 35 homes (1 per town avg) participating; mostly heating with oil. Barriers were distance, finances, higher % of income spent on energy, weatherization program budgets were low and not marketed, people not aware of them.
So ran “weatherize” campaigns; NH Saves wanted to increase rural participation; initially had 6 projects, increased to 99. CENH worked to bring these programs to the North Country. Then Covid & TEEP stall, can’t market, and wait lists get long. Larger contractors have invested, added auditors, but then they can’t get the jobs. Smaller contractors more nimble, have other jobs on the side to keep them afloat.
Discussion about solar, which is not Sarah’s expertise: see Island Institute report on their EE campaign (access to installers, financing, awareness of program, knowing others who have done it). In NH there is no access for low income to access solar, but in Vermont you can buy into an array. “Energy Advocacy Councils” are not talking about solar – talking about fuel assistance, weatherization. Some community solar in mobile home parks. Talk with installers – they are locally owned, know the barriers, are innovative. Ken suggests putting info together for rural folks, including info from representatives in the EE industry.
Discussion about “REBOUND”: yes, people do notch up their thermostat a bit, when their home is more efficient, but still enjoy net savings.
Not resolved: How dispose of used solar panels? There should be RFPs on low-, mod- income community solar – but utilities asked for delay. Each utility is supposed to have 2/x year. PUC not enforcing.
What makes successful networking & cooperation? Persistent checking in, annual survey, what projects each group is working on; network gatherings, coach individual groups to help prioritize, talk with private sector (contractors have ideas of what would work). Connect with Josh at CENH-- he has info, and may help get in touch with frustrated EC members who want to speak about this.
8. Other: John G had an inspiring climate meeting, & will organize such a meeting monthly.
Call senators NOW about Carbon Fee & Dividend! This is the moment, the Senate will decide by Friday, and that would help at COP26. http://cclusa.org/senate-call
Need ideas for SPEAKERS: Community Power (Henry Herndon)- where is the program now? Rob Werner insights from COP (Dot will speak to him). Roger Stephenson Union of Concerned Scientists has network – what can we do together? (Bob Backus will reach him) Bob Backus has a live show Wed eves, The Progress Report, Channel 23 Manchester, can access through the computer.
Our website: Newhampshirenetwork.org
Plastics slide deck: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1vA9nXKON4S2Pzoi5PDqK-WFc5zTCOOkzecetTSX-j54/edit?usp=sharing
Plastics overview for reference: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1
“New England barn raising, except with solar”: https://www.harei.rog/
http://cclusa.org/senate-call call our 2 Senators and ask them to make sure we will meet Biden’s goal of 50% ghg emissions reductions by 2030. Analysts say Carbon Pricing is required to meet that goal, & Senate Finance Committee is considering adding Carbon Fee & Dividend. They’ll decide this week!
Next General Meeting, SECOND MONDAY, December 13, 5:30 pm
Recurring zoom link, second Monday of each month:
Meeting ID: 864 2497 3889 Passcode: 257608