Council to Set Up Workshop With Energy Committee

The Derry Town Council will set up a workshop with the Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee (EEAC) to discuss ways the two entities can work together.
EEAC Chairman Maureen Reno, accompanied by vice-chair Mark Flattes, attended the Oct. 1 Council meeting to update the Council on what the EEAC has done and wants to do.

Reno said her own interest in the EEAC began after, as a homeowner, she was “always trying to save on my energy costs.” When Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) put in another rate increase, she decided “to serve my town by becoming a member of the EEAC.”
The EEAC was formed in August 2009 and has members who are experienced in energy conservation issues, she said, including Flattes, who has legal experience; Tom Minnon, practice in sales; and herself. She worked 10 years for the Public Utilities Commission.
They share their skills in a variety of ways, Reno said. They hold public Energy Conservation for the Home workshops twice a year, with one planned for Oct. 26 at the Derry Public Library. They have a cable television show that has been picked up by other towns. They’ve done energy audits and partnered with the town for replacing the light fixtures at Taylor Library, an energy savings of 20 percent, and weatherization of Veterans Hall, a savings of 30 percent. And they partnered with Go Green for a composting workshop and sponsor the Junior Solar Sprint, a solar-car competition for middle-schoolers.
But they are eager to do more, and to work more closely with the town.
Reno listed two of their goals, to advise the town on energy-efficient vehicle purchase and to be involved in building design to make sure the buildings are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.
“We are taxpayers too,” Reno pointed out.
They want to work with the town on a more regular basis, and were working out a plan with Town Administrator John Anderson, who is currently on administrative leave. They hope to continue the process with Acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau, she said.
Councilor Tom Cardon, former chair of the EEAC and a current member, said, “One of our frustrations has been seeing building projects and thinking, ‘We should have had input.’ There’s no protocol, and in the past, we’ve felt like we were stepping on toes.”
“This is a good discussion to have with the Planning Board, and also around budget time,” Town Council Chairman Michael Fairbanks said. “We’ll see about scheduling a workshop”