Please vote yes on these crucial energy projects!
In early 2020, the Woodstock Select Board and Village Trustees passed the Climate Emergency and Action Resolution, with a goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Woodstock only has eight budget cycles to meet this goal, which means that starting now the town will need to reduce its emissions by 12.5% each year.
Sustainable Woodstock asks that you, the voters, take urgent action to address climate change now. On Tuesday, March 1st, 2022, voters will have the chance to support carbon reductions in Woodstock. By voting yes on Article 23 to finance the cost of making energy improvements to Town facilities, we can reduce the town’s greenhouse gas emissions by close to 12%, keeping the town on track to meet its climate commitments. The longer we wait to address our climate action goals, the more it will cost the citizens of Woodstock to do so over time.
The language of Article 23 reads: “Shall bonds or notes of the Town of Woodstock in an amount not to exceed $660,200, subject to reduction from available state and federal grant-in-aid and loan forgiveness, be issued for the purpose of financing the cost of making greenhouse gas emission mitigation and abatement improvements to Town facilities, the cost thereof attributable to such improvements made to the Town’s wastewater treatment facility shall be paid from sewage charges?”
• Article 23 presents the total cost of the energy-saving projects, but because this will be financed over time, and there would be guaranteed energy savings, the annual cost would be about $55,000/year over ten years.
• About 40% of the project costs are things that need to be done, regardless of the town’s climate commitment, such as replacing old fluorescent lights, weatherstripping garage doors, replacing a leaking roof, and addressing health and safety issues.
• About 60% of the project will reduce or completely eliminate fossil fuel use for heating.
• Some of the work will be paid for out of the General Fund. Sewer plant work will be paid for out of the Sewer Fund.
Energy Efficient Investments, an Energy Services Company that was selected through a competitive bid process, has worked with our Intermunicipal Regional Energy Coordinator, Geoff Martin, to identify opportunities in Woodstock’s buildings for lowering energy use and moving off fossil fuels. These projects would represent a major step towards the town’s climate commitments and would also result in better building performance and increased occupancy comfort and health. Approximately one-third of Woodstock’s emissions come from heating municipal buildings, and this sector should be the focus for near-term emission reductions.
The primary focus of the proposal is installing heat pumps in municipal buildings to substantially offset, and in some cases eliminate, the use of propane for heating. The heat pumps could reduce the town’s propane use by up to 10,000 gallons per year. At the current market price for propane in Vermont of $3.70 per gallon, and rising (U.S. Energy Information Agency), your vote to approve Article 23 could save the Town some $37,000/year.
The proposal also includes adding direct digital controls for managing the HVAC systems throughout Woodstock buildings. The controls will allow the buildings to be managed through a centralized, online platform, and will ensure that the buildings’ systems are running optimally. Finally, the project would include LED lighting upgrades wherever needed, and some weatherization and weather stripping.
Failing to take action this year simply means that the town will need to double its effort the following years and pushes the imminent need for action off to an undefined future time when it will cost Woodstock far more to meet its commitments to mitigate climate change. Now is the time to take action if we are going to meet our town’s goals of reducing carbon emissions and follow through on our obligation to make the world a better place for future generations. This March 1st, please vote yes on these important and timely energy improvements to Town facilities.
Contact Sustainable Woodstock with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org