The O-C

I had a great time in Chapel Hill last night. Pat Carstensen, the Chapter Chair and I both spoke Sierra Club happenings and potential. I really appreciate opportunities to get out and meet our volunteers. Pat shared with the group the latest on the stimulus funding and how it might impact Orange and Chatham County. Here are some notes about the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) which will directly impact Chapel Hill:
  • $3.2 billion to US through Dept. of Energy (DOE)

  • Chapel Hill to receive $554,900 from the EECBG

  • Purpose

  • Decrease total energy consumption

  • Spur economic growth

  • What can Sierra Club Orange-Chatham Group do?

  • Suggest projects to the stimulus manager for Chapel Hill

I shared with the Group some potential projects for Chapel Hill that the Orange-County Group could suggest:

Special Tax Financing Law paired with Municipal Bonds
Allows the municipality to fund upfront costs of neighborhood energy efficiency and renewable energy projects while providing a pay-back mechanism through the property taxes

Low Income Energy Efficiency Projects
A project or program that reduces fiscal strain and promotes comfort in low income homes, while also decreasing the use of energy and emission of greenhouse gases

LED Expansion
Replace all incandescent lighting with light emitting diodes (LEDs) throughout municipality operations.

Of course, Chapel Hill already does so many “green” things that I would be remiss if I did not mention them:

  • Cool City and a City for Climate Protection

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Reduction Plan

  • Sustainability Committee

  • Sustainability Officer of Chapel Hill

  • Climate Action Fund

  • Environmental Purchasing Agreement

  • Energy Efficient Building Standard

  • LED Lighting Pilot Program

  • Green Fleets Policy

  • Free bus fair

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