Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Forum on Innovative New Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Financing Options is Feb. 27

The PACE program discussed below is a great option for homeowners, that allows you to invest in certain renewable energy and efficiency projects but pay them off over time. If you sell the house, the remaining payments are the responsibility of the new homeowner, and typically the deals are designed so your monthly energy savings is equal to or greater than the loan payments. The catch: It requires each local municipality to enact legislation creating the program. Here is info on an upcoming conference that includes information about the project and others:


A Briefing on New Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Initiatives
and Funding Strategies for Municipalities

Sat., Feb. 27, 9 AM - 1 PM
SUNY/New Paltz Lecture Center 102
(SNOW DATE: Sat., March 13)

This is a forum about new financing strategies for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, which will build momentum and create markets for green jobs.

· PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs, just authorized by NY State, enable property owners to upgrade buildings using low-cost loans without out-of-pocket upfront costs then repay the investment on their tax bill with dollars saved from reduced energy consumption. Renewable energy and efficiency upgrades can be designed to yield positive cash flow benefits from day one.
· Power Purchase Agreements allowing owners of large buildings to contract for solar installations and pay for installation costs out of energy cost-savings.
· NYSERDA's programs for local governments, businesses, and schools; including Green Job/Green NY.
· The Ten Percent Challenge, a framework to hasten the implementation of energy efficiency and renewables and draw attention to the Hudson Valley as a clean energy corridor.
· Vendor show with sustainable energy-related exhibits and other green businesses, which will showcase products and services with a sustainable lifestyle theme.

Featured Speakers include:

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill
Representative of the 101st Assembly District and
Chair of the Assembly Standing Committee on Energy.

Karen E. Villeneuve
Director of NYSERDA’s Residential Efficiency and Affordability Program

Jackson Morris
Senior Policy Advisor, Pace Energy and Climate Center (PECC), representing PECC and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in advancing clean energy policies in the State Capitol.

David Gabrielson, Councilman,
Town of Bedford's case study of a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) initiative

Patrice Courtney Strong
Outreach and educational services provider for New York State Energy Research & Development Authority
and coordinator of Mid-Hudson Energy $mart Communities.

Michael O'Hara
Director of Operations, Sustainable Hudson Valley, organizing the Ten Percent Challenge.

Sponsors and Collaborators: Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., Hudson River Estuary Training Program, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Hudson Valley Regional Council, Hudson Valley Smart Growth Alliance, League of Women Voters of Mid-Hudson Region, Mid-Hudson Energy $mart Communities/NYSERDA , SUNY New Paltz Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO), and Sustainable Hudson Valley.

Endorsing Organizations (Partial List): Ashokan Center, Building Performance Contractors Association/NY State, Dutchess County Association of Supervisors and Mayors, Historic Hudson River Towns, Hudson Valley Climate Change Network, Independent Dutchess Energy Alliance (IDEA), The Nature Conservancy, New Paltz GreenWorks, Pace Energy and Climate Center, S3 Consulting, Ulster County Association of Town Supervisors and Mayors, US Green Building Council-NY Upstate Chapter.

Registration: Please go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/K97DXYP to register. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to facilitate morning check in. Event is free, however tax-deductable donations are welcome; checks should be made payable to League of Women Voters Education Fund.

Parking: Please use Lot 2 for Lecture Center, located on the western edge of the campus off of Fairview Ave. From intersection of Rt. 299/32 and Rt. 208, turn south on Rt. 208, then turn left (east) onto Hasbrouck Ave., turn right onto Tricor Ave., turn left onto Mohonk Ave. and finally right onto Fairview Ave. Alternately, park at Sojourner Truth Library lot. See: www.newpaltz.edu/map for campus map

Monday, February 1, 2010

Volunteers Needed for Herring Survey

The DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program is seeking volunteers to help with a survey of river herring abundance in the Hudson's tributaries. The herring monitoring program runs from April 1 - May 31, at the time when herring would be expected to be spawning. Herring spend their lives in the ocean, but spawn in the tributaries of inland rivers like the Hudson. Up and down the Atlantic coast, herring numbers have been in steep decline, and other states have restricted or banned fishing for herring in order to encourage a recovery. Anecdotal evidence suggests the same decline is happening on the Hudson; however, until this survey began last year, scientists had little recent hard data to measure the abundance of herring in the Hudson (with the exception of American shad, the biggest of the herring, and for hundreds of years the most important food fish caught in the river; commercial fishing for shad is banned, starting in 2010 in an effort to correct historic population declines.) River herring numbers (blueback and alweife herring) may be in decline because they are caught in large numbers as bait for striped bass anglers. Black Creek once had a huge spawning run of herring, but anecdotal evidence suggests it has waned or even disappeared. Black Creek is the only monitoring site in Ulster County.

Volunteers are asked to look for signs of herring, at least twice a week for 15 minutes. Training will be provided and no experience is necessary.

For more information, email r3hermon@gw.dec.state.ny.us or call 845-256-3182.

The Hudson River Estuary Program is also currently taking public comment on its latest Action Agenda, the document that guides the public-private effort to restore and protect the Hudson River watershed. You can learn a lot just by reading the plan, but it's also good to comment if you want to support or criticize any aspects of the plan.