Energy savings, savvy on agenda for Saturday's fair at Grange
An energy day fair on Saturday at the Grange in West Tisbury from 9 am to 3 pm offers both energy savings and energy savvy. The event's sponsors, the Vineyard Energy Project and Cape Light Compact, describe the day as "a walk through the Vineyard's 10-year energy action plan," published in August 2005.
Information about alternative energy sources, transportation and energy policy, and the latest strategies for making the Island energy efficient will be highlighted.
During an energy forum from 10 am to 11:30 am, Stephen Kanipe, a building inspector from Aspen, Colorado, will talk about his city's efficient building and renewable energy mitigation programs (REMP). In addition to requiring new construction projects to be more energy efficient, Aspen's programs require houses over 5,000 square feet or buildings that use the greatest amounts of energy to either install renewable energy systems or pay into a fund. The $2 million-plus collected has been applied towards publicly beneficial energy projects.
Mr. Kanipe directed the development of the Aspen/Pitkin Energy Conservation Code, the first energy code program in the country to regulate energy use outside of the building envelope, such as in pools and spas. He also collaborated on Aspen's efficient building program, which encourages the use of recycled materials, advanced HVAC systems, and solar design.
In addition to outlining the benefits and challenges of Aspen's programs, Mr. Kanipe will discuss how they might be applied to the Vineyard, where larger buildings account for 54 percent of the Island's energy use. REMP funds might be used towards solar hot water systems on affordable housing, for example.
More than just a topic of conversation, solar energy will prove crucial for the model solar car race at high noon. Hoping for a bright, sunny day to power their creations, Island sixth graders plan to put their cars to the test on the basketball court at the West Tisbury town hall.
Rules for the model cars' construction required using a minimum of one aluminum can and specific parts from a kit including four one-inch wheels, one solar panel, and a motor.
The day-long energy fair also offers Vineyarders who are Cape Light Compact residential customers an opportunity to get rid of their old air-conditioners and dehumidifiers (up to two each) at no cost and receive a $30 mail-in rebate for use with the purchase of Energy Star qualified models. To sweeten the deal, Crane Appliance will be offering an additional $25 instant rebate for purchases made at the fair.
To encourage the replacement of incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, energy fair-goers will receive a rebate on up to 15 bulbs. The "Vineyard Lighting Challenge," a move to replace 15 incandescent bulbs in every Vineyard building, would reduce the Island's electrical demand by 7 percent.
Exhibits inside Grange Hall will include information about the Vineyard Energy Plan and projects by third and fifth grade students about wind, solar and energy efficiency. In addition, vendors from Vineyard businesses involved in energy will have tables set up.