Historic Day Nationally & in Sandwich

Mark and Peggy Longley, Wharton Sinkler and Katherine Thorndike. Thanks for organizing this historic Sandwich event.

On Sunday, Aug 7, 2022, the US Senate finally passed historic climate action legislation that will likely become law very soon. It will tackle a problem acknowledged as needing fixing by our government for over 50 years.* It was fitting that at the very same time the bill passed, the Sandwich Electric Vehicle, Tool, & Solar Day was being held at our town hall parking lot, providing demos contributed by local and nearby residents showing the power and economic and other benefits of electric cars, pickup trucks, bicycles, chain saws, mowers, weed wackers, snow blowers and more. We are witnessing a very large step on a longer journey that needs to be taken to save the planet, while producing higher paying jobs and lowering the price of energy for heating, transportation and electricity. New Hampshire has been relatively flatfooted in taking advantage of all the new technology, now is the time to join the journey in earnest. 

Let’s give credit and thanks to Mark and Peggy Longley, Wharton Sinkler and Katherine Thorndike, all pictured above, for organizing this historic event for Sandwich on this historic day.  Thanks so much. 

*This from the New York Times about 50 years ago:

In 1969, President Richard Nixon’s adviser Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a memo describing a startling future. The increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere caused by burning oil, gas and coal, Mr. Moynihan wrote, would dangerously heat the planet, melt the glaciers and cause the seas to rise. “Goodbye New York,” Mr. Moynihan wrote. “Goodbye Washington, for that matter.”

Fifty-three years later, Congress is on the cusp of finally responding to what Mr. Moynihan termed “the carbon dioxide problem.”

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Electric Vehicle, Tool, & Solar Day Sun Aug 7th 1 – 5pm

                                       Sunday, August 7th, 1-5 PM

The Sandwich Town Hall parking lot on Maple Street in Center Sandwich,
   as a kick-off for Sandwichs Old Home Week.
You will be able to see first-hand, a range of electric vehicles and tools and talk with local owners about their experiences.  There will be  a Tesla M3, a Chevy Bolt, a Rivian pickup, a VW ID.4, Chevy Bolt,  a VW ID.4, a Volvo XC40 and Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid,  as well as e-bikes.  We will also have suites of yard/garden tools by EGo and Greenworks owned by local residents and tree-trimming equipment by Peter Hoag.

There will also be two local solar installers to answer questions regarding home installations as well as a program coordinator from Clean Energy NH who will be on hand to answer questions related to electric vehicle programs for supporting clean energy in New Hampshire. Representatives from NH Electric Coop will address utility incentives and rebates and excellent pamphlets on Driving an Electric Vehicle for Consumers from the US Dept of Energy.

Electric vehicles and outdoor tools are rapidly gaining popularity due to advantages including less maintenance with fewer working parts and low operating costs by avoiding high priced fossil fuels and their polluting emissions.  Pairing with residential solar, greatly lowers the cost of driving an EV and increases environmental benefits.

Cold beverages will be available and some exhibits will be under canopied tents for this summer event. A rain date will be Thursday, August 11th, 11:30- 4:00 pm at the Federated Church parking lot on Church St.

This Sandwich Electric Vehicle, Tool and Solar event is co-sponsored by the Sandwich Climate Action Coalition (www.sandwichclimate.com) and the Town of Sandwich Energy Committee.

Hope this event will help us grow ELECTRIC.  See you there!

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Invest Your Savings in Climate-Friendly Mutual Funds

In researching climate/environment-friendly investments, I’ve come across a few websites that you might find helpful, especially if you want to put your money where your values are:

Fossil Free Funds
Are your savings invested in fossil fuels?  You can easily check a mutual fund or
ETF on this website.  You can also search for climate-friendly funds using this
site’s screening function.  Here’s the link: https://fossilfreefunds.org/

Climate-Oriented Funds*
There is a multitude of climate-friendly SRI (socially responsible investing) mutual funds
and ETF’s being offered by investment brokers.  You may wish to consider the following
funds that have high SRI ratings and low expenses.  Ticker Symbols: PRBLX, SUSA,VFTAX/VFTNX, SDGA, & PORTX.

Asset Managers
If you would like an investment manager to build a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds
based on your individual criteria, there are many commendable asset management services that specialize in ESG (Environmental/Social/Governance) investing.  Here’s one to consider:
Betterment* is an investment portfolio management service that provides socially
conscious investment opportunities. Based on your primary area of interest, you select
from one of the following three core portfolios:  1.) Climate Impact Portfolio 2.) Social Impact Portfolio or 3.) Broad Impact Portfolio.  The Climate Impact Portfolio seeks to integrate three distinct approaches to climate-conscious investing through:

  • Divestment (i.e. excluding companies holding fossil fuel reserves)
  • Low carbon exposure (i.e. overweighting carbon footprint leaders within each industry)
  • Impact (i.e. financing environmentally beneficial activities directly)

This SRI (Social Responsibility Investing) firm has 550,000 customers and $22 billion under management. For more information, check out this link (and watch the video on this page):
https://www.betterment.com/resources/exercising-power-as-investor-impact-climate-change?hsCtaTracking=869244f8-5dff-49e2-b765-146e1ab63995%7Cebb0d7e2-72e3-4876-95c3-0999f1688d67

Please note there are many other climate-focused portfolio management firms.

Municipal Solar Power Purchase Agreements

Barrington Power LLC offers subscriptions to their mid-sized solar projects throughout
the state.  The minimum investment is $25k.  Investors receive a 110% investment income  tax credit.  Contact MCL for more information.

And should you like to chit-chat about investing strategies for retirement, please don’t hesitate to contact Mark Longley anytime at (603)284-6294.

* DISCLAIMER:  SCAC does not attest to positive outcomes for any investment recommendations Made here.  Invest at your own risk.

 

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SCAC Welcomes New Members

Welcome aboard.  Please contact Mark should you have any questions or suggestions to improve our website.  Thanks!   marklongley@sbcglobal.net  (603)707-2046

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NHSaves Revived, Gets Funded by Legislature

NHSaves was on the edge of extinction when the NH Public Utility Commission majority, appointed by Gov. Chris Sununu, decided to start defunding the program. NH State Consumer Advocate Don Kreis said the PUC “administered a sledgehammer to more than two decades of energy efficiency programs as delivered under the NHSaves banner.”

Now NHSaves has been revived by the state legislature’s recently signed HB549. NH Save says the bill “restores funding and the framework for the NHSaves energy efficiency programs.”

However, Kreis in a Tweet said,  “Yes, enactment of HB549 was a victory. But not a total victory — not by any means,” the funding is less than what was originally requested and denied by the PUC back in November 2021.

NHSaves provides rebates on energy efficient appliances, provides free home energy audits and financial incentives of up to $6,000 to make homes, businesses and government more energy efficient and thus reduce energy usage and costs. To learn what is available visit NHSaves.

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The Fight to Curtail Rooftop Solar

California, the leader in renewable energy policy, is in the midst of a political, corporate power struggle that might well determine the fate of the state’s rooftop solar, distributive energy future. Since California is a renewable trend setter, this is a battle worth watching.

The New York Times reports:

The dispute is about who will get to build the green energy economy — utilities or smaller companies that install solar panels and batteries at homes — and reap billions of dollars in profits from those investments.

The big utility companies want to upgrade the power line transmission lines and build enormous wind and solar farms. The solar roof people want the people to control a greater piece of the power production and battery storage, home by home.

The Times adds:

The proposal would raise monthly costs on people who already had solar panels in the 15th year after their system was connected to the grid. New solar users would pay higher fees right away.

Other states, like Nevada and Hawaii, cut solar incentives but reversed course after public outcry and when regulators reassessed their policies.

The last paragraph demonstrates that people activism can make a difference.

The power struggle now includes big utilities and the union members that work for them. They won’t want their business model changed. Also advocates for low income families say solar favors people with money and causes higher electricity bills.

The roof top solar folks say distributive power makes the entire electrical system more  efficient and resilient and protects individual homes, via storage batteries, to keep the power on when large utilities like PG&E have to institute blackouts.

“Solar power” photo by davidagalvan is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

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EV Pickup Trucks: Amazing, Powerful

Lawrence Ulrich of the New York Times gives a raving, Rivian review for the company’s new electric pickup. First paragraph reads:

The redoubtable Rivian R1T, the first crusher in a coming wave of electric pickup trucks, can soar unscathed over gnarly boulders, hitch an 11,000-pound load and scorch 60 m.p.h. in about 3.5 seconds. The truck brings everything and the kitchen sink, with outdoorsy options such as a rooftop tent and a track-mounted Camp Kitchen, which lets owners whip up a trail-side omelet and wash up afterward. And after its hot-starting initial public offering, Rivian is already valued at nearly $100 billion, more than such behemoths as Ford Motor and General Motors.

As we reported earlier, the EV revolution is here. This truck can do so much more than pickups on the road now. For example, it has an electric motor for each wheel taking all wheel drive to a new level and can automatically lower or increase the tire air pressure depending on terrain. The price is still high, but with competition on its way from Tesla, Ford and GM the prices will drop. Plus President Biden’s Infrastructure and the pending Build Back Better bills will help build out the infrastructure needed to power this revolution.

 

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Rural Solar, Pros and Cons Discussion

The Sandwich Climate Action Coalition (SCAC) in October 2021 held two rural solar community discussions lead by Sandwich, N.H. residents. The first was with residents who live off the grid with solar. It’s not for everyone, learn the pros and cons in the first video of their Zoom discussion. Experts give their opinions too. Watch Part II: Solar on the Grid, the second video below, which unless you can’t get on the grid will be the best choice for most rural residents.

Solar Off the Grid Discussion: 

Solar on the Grid Discussion:

 

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Australian Billionaire, Mine Owner Might Save the Planet

The New York Times, in a wonderful story, asks: Can a Carbon-Emitting Iron Ore Tycoon Save the Planet? Then adds: Andrew Forrest made a mining fortune. Now he wants to lead a climate change revolution — and beat the fossil fuel giants along the way.

Andrew Forrest

Andrew Forrest, Fortescue Chairman

The story demonstrates how people with the resources and knowledge can help change the climate and save the world. Forrest gets his miners behind his vision by saying, “It’s like being there at the beginning of the industrial revolution. Someday you’ll look back and say, ‘I was there.’”

We should all be saying and thinking those same words as we spread the climate change message. Plus follow his mother’s advice, “Enjoy your life, but make sure you’re as useful as you can possibly be.”

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Hanover Debuts NH’s Largest Municipal Solar Array

Solar panels under a partly cloudy sky

The New Hampshire Bulletin reports:

Hanover debuted a new solar array on Thursday that will produce enough energy to power almost all of the municipality’s electrical needs.

The array, which is on 8 acres, is made up of 4,560 solar panels that will generate 2 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year. That makes it the largest municipal solar farm in the state, according to ReVision Energy, the solar company that installed it.

The Eagle Times added:

This solar array is one step Hanover is taking to meet its goal of switching to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

“In battling the impacts of climate change, communities need to be in a leadership role” said Hanover Town Manager Julia Griffin. “One very important component of that is solarizing the heck out of every possible rooftop, and to pursue at the Town level large ground-mounted solar arrays.”

The town of Sandwich, N.H. also has a goal of 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and its newly formed Energy Committee will be researching projects similar to Hanover’s as well  community power options like the one in Keene.

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