In previous blogs, I talked about my Ecobroker Certification and how this has had an effect on my involvement in local community here in Essex, CT
Went to my first Essex Town Planning Commission meeting as an interested citizen and member of the "Essex Committee for Clean Energy". My purpose was to support our committee of 5 to promote both an Energy Policy and a Climate Action Plan for our small town (6,000+ people).
Our committee has been working hard to find out how to get started and to convince our town to move forward on making our town "Green". There are two initiatives:
1. Connecticut Clean Energy Options Program: The CT Clean Energy Fund is behind this Community program that rewards cities and towns who meet certain requirements: Once certain milestones are met, the clean Energy Fund will provide a 4kW Solar system for one of their town or school buildings
2. Cities for Climate Protection: To start, our town has joined ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) with our encouragement and promotion. One program that is part of ICLEI is Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) where cities pledge to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The organization provides guidelines (Called the Five Milestones) for towns to use.
At our town meeting last night, one of our members explained our objectives and the Planning Commission appointed a sub-committee to work with us to move forward with both initiatives!
If you're confused with this energy talk, you're not alone. It is a monumental task to make progress in this area - often the town Planning and Zoning Boards are spending the majority of their time with day to day applications for building re-construction and additions or modifications of existing homes.
Once we get started with the town committee, I'm sure things will move along - especially when the Planning Committee finds out how much energy they can save and how much $$$