DOUGLAS COUNTY SMART ENERGY
Smart Energy Community Campaign
Nicole reported four_ people at the Elkton meeting signed up to par ticipate in the baseline profile. The total is now twelve. She also met with about 100 people at Head Start family meetings. Smart Energy had a booth at the Earth Day and Energy Fair and got one sign-up
for the baseline profile.
Jim Stelson discussed his follow-up with Pacific Power customers who had signed up and looked at their energy profiles. One couple has already installed a new furnace and is installing solar. He has been working with Todd Munsey on Douglas Electric sign-ups. Todd said
Jim will be compensated for the assessments which will be uniform with all Douglas Electric assessments.
RARE Volunteer Application, 2017-2018
Randy submitted the pre-application on April 14. He is confident that funds will be in place for the position. Karen Chase said Energy Trust plans to offer $4,700 per volunteer, depending on federal funding coming through. Todd asked Stuart and Melanie to write a summary report of 2016-2017 RARE volunteer accomplishments for the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. He suggested doing the same for other funders. The group strongly supported this recommendation.
Energize Rogue Program
Meanie reported she was asked last week by Rogue Climate to have D.C. Smart Energy become part of their application for a grant to vet trade allies and provide installation of ductless heat pumps at a discount to residents of Douglas County. The Steering Committee recommended not to sign on because the time frame to respond was too short to allow discussion by the full group. Karen said she has been working with Rogue Climate on the project. She said the program which began last year in Jackson County has attracted large audiences. She encouraged D.C. Smart Energy to participate in local workshops (August-October) before the RETC (Residential Energy Tax Credit) expires at the end of the year. At Karen’s suggestion, the group will invite Rogue Climate’s Hannah Sohl to make a presentation on the project at a future meeting.
Sunshot Community Solar Grant
Melanie summarized the project. The grant from the Federal· Department of Energy will provide technical assistance to develop over 100 kilowatts of community solar energy, targeting low and moderate income households. The application was submitted under the umbrella of Sustainable Northwest with co-applicants from Hood River and Lake County. The grant will give $8,000 to Douglas County, plus $10,000 for technical assistance for the three programs. The 18 month grant period begins May 1. Projects identified for potential for solar installations include the new UCAN Head Start facility, another project on the non-profit campus, and the Methodist Church. Other projects may be upcoming, including a NeighborWorks Umpqua property. Karen said we should document our work with the Sunshot project step by step with pictures, articles, website, and social media, because what we’re doing is so unique.
Melanie announced the Lake County Summer Workshop and Field Experience. She will attend and invited others to come-June 6-7.
PUC Rule-making for HB 547
The group couldn’t get comments together on the Public Utility Commission’s preliminary draft by the April 21 deadline. The final draft will be issued May 1 and PUC is recommending comments be submitted as soon as possible. Melanie will email the draft out, and a meeting will be held on May 4 at 1:30 p.m. to discuss it and suggest comments. Group concerns included definition of “low income” and the funding model. Final rules will be issued in July.
Renewable Energy Groups
- Community Soar – Previously discussed.
- Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations – David Reeck reported that group members met with City Manager Lance Cooley to discuss plans for the City of Roseburg to install EV chargers on the downtown parking structure and the Visitors Center. A Tesla owner is donating a Tesla charger to the City. Oakland is also considering installing chargers. Drive Oregon sponsors Ride and Drive events around the state. David is working with the Downtown Association to coordinate an event with Graffiti Weekend activities. David was emailed by a representative from Volkswagen for a phone call in May to discuss the proposal he wrote for Electrify America funding. He hopes to involve Diana Knous of Pacific Power and Lance Colley.
- Energy Backup/Batteries – Other states are taking the lead. Maryland offers incentives as part of its resiliency planning. Karen said Southern Oregon University is holding a conference this fall which will probably include battery back-up. The military already recognizes the necessity. Melanie and Al agreed that a lot depends on evolving technology for the general public to get on board.
Nicole and Melanie said postings have picked up with all the activities going on in the community. Nicole will start posting notice of DC Smart Energy monthly meetings.