1 - Acorn Banner    Acorn Energy Co-op e-News


   Issue No. 32


   Friday, March 8, 2013


     Member Owned, Renewable Energy

    Products and Services

In This Issue
Co-op Annual Meeting Set for March 21
Vermont Home Energy Challenge
Potluck Brings Co-op Members Together
Membership Recruiting Contest!
Co-op Board Candidates Sought
Partner Profile - Cutting Edge Systems
Upcoming Events
Some Helpful Links
Quick Links
Join our list
Join Our Mailing List
Dear ,
This is the 32nd edition of the Acorn Energy Co-op's e-Newsletter, published periodically to keep you apprised of happenings in the Co-op and informed of upcoming events.

See below for news about:
  • AEC's 5th Annual Meeting
  • The Vermont Home Energy Challenge 
  • Member Potluck
  • Membership Recruiting Contest!
  • Board Member Search
  • Partner Profile: Cutting Edge Systems
Finally, we encourage you to visit our website frequently at www.acornenergycoop.com to access the wealth of information about energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other money-saving strategies available there.

Please pass this e-Newsletter along to friends, neighbors and family who may not be aware of the Co-op and its activities and plans.

Thank you for your ongoing support,
The Acorn Energy Co-op Team 

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Co-op Annual Meeting Set for March 21st

Join us for the Fifth Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op Annual meeting to be held between 5 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 in the lower social room at Two Brothers Tavern, 86 Main Street in Middlebury. We'll begin the meeting with a presentation on The NeighborWorks H.E.A.T. Squad and how it relates to the Vermont Home Energy Challenge by Mary Lamson, Communications Director of NeighborWorks of Western Vermont. That will be followed by a presentation on Residential Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems by Jim Crawford from Green Earth Energy of Brandon, Vt.

Following the presentations, the Co-op will hold its annual business meeting, which will feature a report on the Co-op's activities to date, including a financial report by our treasurer, Rich Carpenter, and election of the board by members.
But most of all, the annual meeting will provide an opportunity for you, advisory board members, and Co-op board members to get to know each other better and to share suggestions and ideas about the Co-op as we move into our fifth year of operation. Free hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar will be provided. 


We'll also be offering a $100 gift certificate for a Home Energy Check Up from the Neighborworks Heat Squad as a door prize!


Feel free to bring a friend or other prospective co-op member along with you. If they sign up at the meeting, you may win the membership recruitment contest (see article below). We hope to see all of you at the meeting.

Vermont Home Energy Challenge

Recently, Efficiency Vermont, in partnership with Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN), launched the 2013 Vermont Home Energy Challenge, a year-long effort to increase the number of homes completing comprehensive energy efficiency improvements. Towns who have signed up for the challenge will attempt to weatherize at least 3% of their households by the end of the year. This is one of the ways by which Efficiency Vermont plans to reach its goal of achieving 25% energy savings in 80,000 homes by 2020.

Towns are employing neighbor-to-neighbor approaches through their energy committees to help people understand the sometimes daunting process of weatherization. Many committees have been trained to make home visits to identify whether a home is a good candidate for energy improvements and are going door-to-door to let people know what their options are. 

NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, an organization based in Rutland, offers some terrific services as well, including assistance finding reputable contractors, project management, financing, and for a limited time, $100 energy audits (usually $350 or more). NeighborWorks recently extended its services into Addison County, so now is a great time to take that first step towards your own energy savings and to be part of the Challenge!

Acorn Energy Co-op supports the Home Energy Challenge, since weatherization is the easiest and most cost-effective way to use less energy. And, it is an essential first step before considering adding renewable energy systems to your home so that the systems are sized properly for your reduced energy usage. 

If you have any questions about the Home Energy Challenge, or would like to know if your town is participating, contact Paul Markowitz, Community Energy Program Manager, at pmarkowitz@veic.org or (802)540-7608, or visit the Efficiency Vermont website here.

Potluck Brings Co-op Members Together

The mood was festive and the food was delicious at the Acorn Energy Co-op's member potluck, held at the home of AEC President Peter Carothers on February 20. 


Members, friends, and board members gathered around the cozy living room wood stove, and discussed questions about, and experiences with, renewable energy. Over dinner, the group came together, gave brief introductions, and raised questions about energy audits, pellet stoves, residential and community solar PV, and other issues surrounding renewable energy. It was a great opportunity for members to meet the board and other members, and to take advantage of their wealth of expertise. 


Those in attendance felt it was a worthwhile event, and many who couldn't come expressed interest in another event like it in the future. Acorn Energy Co-op intends to host more events like this where members can share information and get their specific questions answered. Many thanks to all who came, for their interesting questions-and for the delicious food!

Membership Recruiting Contest!

We want more members. And we need your help! Once again we are holding a membership recruitment contest. The rules are simple. You must already be a member. The member who brings in the largest number of new members wins! We will announce the winner of a $25 gift certificate for Two Brothers at our annual meeting, to be held on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at Two Brothers Tavern in Middlebury.


So, if you've been wondering how you can help your Energy Co-op, this is one of the best ways: encourage your friends and neighbors to join today. The many benefits of membership are growing all the time, so talk up the co-op-and let's have some fun!

Co-op Board Candidates Sought

As the Energy Co-op Annual Meeting approaches on March 21, we are seeking candidates (especially female candidates) to become members of the Co-op Board. 


The Board meets once a month and sets policy and provides leadership for many working groups which carry out the various activities of the Co-op. We are particularly interested in individuals with strong marketing and social media experience to help us promote the many renewable energy offerings of the Co-op throughout our three-county coverage area.  


If you are interested in learning more or are able to recommend a strong candidate for our consideration, please contact Peter Carothers, President, at pcarothers@wildblue.net.

Partner Profile - Cutting Edge Systems

Thinking about adding a pellet-fired boiler to your home or business? Cutting Edge Systems of Plainfield, Vt. can help with a wide range of Maine Energy Systems pellet fired boilers that you can choose from. These fully automated, Oko-Fen wood pellet boiler systems offer the environmental benefits and financial savings of biomass energy with the "hands free" convenience of liquid fuels.


Maine Systems Boiler
MESys Autopellet Wood Pellet Boiler

These boilers provide centralized hydronic (hot water) heating that can replace or be used alongside an existing boiler. The savings from heating with wood pellet fuel can cut annual heating bills in half when compared with fuel oil or propane. Indoor and outdoor wood pellet storage options are available in a variety of sizes to match your available space and needs.


In the past two years, Cutting Edge Systems has installed over 24 systems in the Vermont and northern New Hampshire region in a wide range of pellet boiler system sizes. Acorn Energy Co-op members will receive a 5% discount. To find out more about these technologically advanced systems, contact Karl Bissex at (802) 249-8743 for a no obligation site visit.
Upcoming Events

Global Warming Conference:  What Climate Change Means for Vermont

Saturday, March 16, 10 am - 4 pm

Montpelier High School, 5 High School Drive, Montpelier, VT

Join Senator Bernie Sanders and other Vermont and national leaders for workshops and discussions about what climate changes means for Vermont and learn what we can do about it.  Free and open to the public.  RSVP's recommended.  Lunch provided.  Call 1-800-339-9834 or visit www.sanders.senate.gov


Acorn Energy Co-op Annual Meeting

Thursday, March 21, 5 - 7 p.m. 

Lower Social Room, Two Brothers Tavern, 86 Main Street, Middlebury.

Presentation of new initiatives and money-saving offers followed by annual reports and board elections.  Bring a friend to join the co-op!  Free hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.


Northeast Biomass Heating Expo

April 3-5, 2013

City Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

The 5th annual event unites a diverse audience from the biomass fuel supply chain, developer, manufacturer, and government sectors to break barriers and break ground for biomass thermal and combined heat and power systems.  For more information or to register click here.


2013 Vermont Home Energy Challenge

Sign Up Today! Efficiency Vermont, in partnership with the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network, is seeking local organizations to champion the Challenge in their communities and to sign up to participate. Under the Challenge, local organizations will foster public awareness about energy saving opportunities in the home and will set a target of weatherizing 3% of the homes in their community over the course of a year. Towns will then be able to measure their progress toward their goals along with that of other communities in their region and across the state. At the end of the year, towns will be recognized and awarded for the effectiveness of their efforts to encourage participation in their communities. Click here for details. For more information, contact pmarkowitz@veic.org.

Some Helpful Links to More Renewable Energy Information 
 0 - Header from Website
Visit Renewable Energy Vermont's website for summaries on statewide renewable energy initiatives and incentives and professional training opportunities. REV is comprised of renewable energy companies, institutional and academic partners and concerned citizens of Vermont working to ensure the expansion of renewable energy statewide.  Contact REV to locate your local renewable energy professional. REV members are available to speak to schools and civic groups on the many benefits of renewable energy.

42 - Efficiency VermontEfficiency Vermont provides technical assistance and financial incentives to Vermont households and businesses, to help them reduce their energy costs with energy-efficient equipment and lighting and with energy-efficient approaches to construction and renovation.
For years it focused on improving electrical costs. Several years ago it expanded and helped Vermont launch Button Up! Vermont to help homeowners improve the thermal envelope of their buildings for improved heating and cooling. You can go to its website and click on "Ask the Home Team" for common sense answers to your building efficiency questions.
In addition, don't miss the current Efficiency Vermont supported deals in your local hardware store on all types of efficient CFL and LED lighting.
Thank you again for your continued support and enthusiasm.  Our member-owned co-op continues to grow thanks to people like you.  If you have specific questions about the Co-op, please e-mail us at info@acornenergycoop.com or call us at 802-385-1911.

Peter Carothers, President
Acorn Energy Co-op