Vassalboro Energy Planning Committee March 22, 2010
Board: Mike Vashon, John Reuthe, Clough Toppan, Holly Weidner, David Jenney, Tom Fullam
Prospective Board members: Rick Denico, Barry Bernier
Convener: Lauchlin Titus, selectman
Mary Sabin, town manager, Gene Fields, Public Works,

Lauchlin opened the meeting with each attendee introducing themselves and each shared their experience with energy conservation and other town affiliations. As selectman, he had applied for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block grant that awarded the town $10,000 to develop innovative energy plans. Any money that is not used up in this process may be put toward matching funds for a grant or expenses in implementing the plan.

Although the grant allows a lot of flexibility, it does require that a committee be formed (done!), they write a Community Energy Plan, provide information on energy conservation to public for homes and businesses, and develop projects to implement this plan. We must also take at least one step in implementing a plan and submit a report.

A list was made of all town-owned buildings or public lighting including those that the town contributes to the upkeep or expenses but doesn’t own.

Vassalboro Community School
2 Fire Stations
Town Public Works garage
Town office
Transfer Station
Food Pantry
Historical Society (owned by the KWD?)
Library (?Owned by its own nonprofit board )
Grange (?owned by local grange)
Street/ town building lights

The first and most significant user of energy, VCS, has already undergone an audit in 2007 by Siemen as per Barry, and most of the recommendations were done in 2008. The payback will be within 12 yr. and electricity consumption is expected to be reduced by 38-48%. Siemen is still under contract for the next 5 years to monitor this.

The next 3 buildings had an electrical audit in 2007. Some changes were made to lighting, but Gene reports that there is still a lot of heating consumption in the Public works garage. Some discussion ensued as to some options.

Town office has a propane furnace. No audit has been conducted recently.

Transfer Station has electric baseboard heat in the office. The biggest expense is the compacter and some decision will need to be made re: if the expense of compacting is worth it.

Food Pantry: has electricity expense for 1 refrigerator, 3 coolers to store produce and 2 freezers ; plus an air conditioner in the summer.

Historical Society: owned by the water district but town pays expenses for heat and electricity

Street Lights: approx $17,000/year, could be upgraded to LED with less light pollution and a 3 year payback.

Educating the public was discussed: some ideas were to put suggestions and links to information in an insert into the tax bill in August. Another was to start asking for voluntary submission of emails and send updates or info by email for mass mailings. Another was to have a space on the town website for the Energy Planning committee to put in links and info.


  1. Gather information for each building on energy consumption for past 24 months as well as other statistics like sq. ft, windows, lights. (Barry will email a suggested list of data to be gathered ) It wasn’t clear who would do the data collecting but it appeared that Mary Sabin would see that someone filled it out for each building ( possibly : Mike Vashon for the fire stations, Mary for the town office and outdoor lights, Gene for the public works and transfer station, Cindy Ferland for the food pantry. Barry will submit the stats from the VCS audit, Kent London for the Historical Society and David or Rick for the Library)
  2. Get energy auditor for free or utilize expertise present in board to start with town office. Consider using the thermal Imaging camera from fire dept to detect heat loss
  3. A request to add Rick Denico and Barry Bernier to board is already in front of selectman .
  4. Next meeting is April 5 at 7pm at town office.

Submitted by Holly Weidner