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January 21, 2009

Cost versus return

Jack Stephenson makes more good points. It's all about cost versus return.

To Gilford voters, Selectmen, and Police Facility Committee (FPC), 1-21-09.

I’ve been searching for information to justify using geothermal energy here in Gilford with the coldest ground in the USA. Can’t find any. The best data I can find says that if the ground water is at 45 deg F then the heat you get is only the heat of electrical energy you put into the pumps, and the ground water in Gilford is 40 deg F or less. It is thus easy to understand that our Selectmen rejected geothermal heat for the Town Hall when shown that just the interest on the investment to install it was double the cost of current oil heat.

How then is it possible that the FPC decided to use geothermal heating, when their big goal was to reduce costs? They have not shown us any data to justify that outrageously high cost. The new library has geothermal heating, and the only information we’ve gotten so far is that it is difficult to regulate. Absolutely nothing about cost versus return.

The Town hall uses hot water heating to radiators, the healthiest heating system, since it avoids blowing pollutants, dust, pollen, mold spores, etc thru the facility. The FPC shows using expensive heat exchangers, blowers, and steel ducting to distribute the heat. Where is the economic justification? Just "business as usual, damn the cost, full speed ahead"?

More amazing is the use of just one well, and return cold water going back side by side with the pipe for ground water (thus chilling it), and then back into same well. Seems like sci-fi magic. For less than 2% of the cost for geothermal installation they could insulate enough so they could heat for 5% of the geothermal operating cost!

Jack

January 14, 2009

Energy Fair/ Exchange Saturday

Members of the Gilford Energy Committee invite all members of the public to attend an Energy Fair this Saturday, January 17 at the Town Hall. Featuring a number of renewable and alternative energy equipment dealers and experts, the event seeks to expose residents to the growing variety of offerings being made available for home use.

Local vendors, along with others from around the state, will set up displays in the lobby and the main meeting room to promote and inform residents in the Lakes Region about environmentally safe energy sources and services currently offered for use in the home or business.

In addition, Saturday’s Energy Fair will present an opportunity for citizens to gather and discuss energy-related topics including conservation and to discover money-saving tips homeowners can use around the house. The Energy Committee also looks forward to discussing its mission and work thus far with all interested parties. The event runs from 11 until 3 p.m. 

July 18, 2008

Does Anybody Else But Me Care? Apparently not...

 

.Gilford Fire Chief

Gilford DPW.Gilford Lunch TruckGilford DPW

Assorted photos of Gilford's fleet-- mostly taken at Dunkin Donuts between 6 and 6:30 am

Am I the only person in the town of Gilford that's worried about the effects of the new reality of fuel costs? I have been jumping up and down about the seeming lack of any controls on the town's fleet of vehicles in most town departments for quite some time now, and yet, other than my fellow energy committee members, my concerns seem to fall on deaf ears.

Has anybody stopped to think about what $5 per gallon heating oil prices will really be like this winter? Has anybody pondered what this is going to mean for the budget in the upcoming year? While private homeowners will be struggling to put oil in their houses and gasoline in their vehicles, what of the town and school districts? Has anyone witnessed one shred of evidence that there is a sense of concern and urgency on the part of local government in anticipation? Nah, me neither.

Remember: Five HUNDRED dollars will buy only one hundred gallons of heating oil...

What IS the town planning on doing? There has not been a single directive that I'm aware of-- other than the police department's purchase of 2 smaller, more efficient cars-- that seeks any changes or belt-tightening in anticipation of the coming crunch. Why is that?

Because they'll just come and take more $$ from us, that's why. THEY DON'T CARE!!!!

Oh sure, they care about some things-- like the DPW worker that had the gall to order me to erase the photo I snapped of the Ford gas-guzzling rack body in the Dunkin Donuts parking lot this morning. THAT, they care about...

I went to the last Selectmen's meeting and asked them to issue an order that log books be maintained on EVERY registered town vehicle in order to get a handle on usage and maybe seek ways to reduce costs.

Why am I the bad guy for wanting this? Why should maintaining proper log books be skin off anyone's ass? Unless of course, it becomes too difficult to cover for all the umpteen useless, PERSONAL trips being made in town vehicles each and every day. Then, I guess  could understand why there would be those who might not want to check.

"Oh but Doug, that's not true! Why there's absolutely NO waste going on here in Gilford!"

OK, fine. Then logging ALL vehicle miles is no problem, right? What are we waiting for?

[By the way, I checked with someone in the DPW and was told that, per the union contract, coffee time is 9 till 9:15. He had no explanation for the 6:15 coffee/donut stop. Hey, don't bitch at me... You live by the union contract, you die by the union contract. You guys wanted that union...]

 

 

April 13, 2008

I really need to get a "travel" camera

It would have been easier than typing out the description.

Remember this?  In that post, Doug "raised our consciousness" about the waste of energy (and money) of Gilford vehicles left to idle when the occupants went inside to either the Airport Deli or Dunkin' Donuts:

While I agree with calling on our National Leaders to act against Global Warming,” I believe that there is much that we can do right here at the local level. Several examples of potential carbon reducing measures that could easily be implemented include the study of uses and policies of the town’s inventory of motorized vehicles. From the dump trucks to rack bodies, police cars, the red fire department pickup truck, etc, we as a town should look at ways of reducing the operating times and usages, thus reducing emissions. Simple policies like ordering the fleet of town vehicles that I witness idling at the Dunkin Donuts parking lot every morning at 6:25AM turned off are easily implemented methods of energy consumption reductions.

[snip]

One of the DPW's many vehicles sits with engine running at the local donut shop with no occupants. On this day it was only one, but I have witnessed as many as 5 vehicles at the same donut shop at approximately the same time, all idling, within the past week. 6:15AM june 19th, 2007

[snip]

The deputy fire chief drives approximately 7-9 miles from home to coffee shop to station, thus turning a less than one mile commute into a much longer journey. Let's buy them a coffee pot for the station and supply coffee. I'd bet we'd save $$$ in gas, and cut back on his carbon footprint, too!

At the time, this post did raise a stir (to put it mildly) and resulted in promises from the Administration that the idling practice would stop.

Er, guess what?

Well, at 7:56am yesterday morning, I decided to get a coffee roll before heading off to get ready to do Meet The New Press.  Just ahead of me was the green F350 from the Gilford DPW (license plate G12792).  Out pops the driver - right into Dunkin Donuts.

Leaving the truck to idle.   And the door unlocked. I decided just to sit in my car to observe instead of getting my roll (yes, I was parked right next to it).

Well, 7 minutes pass.  At no time, did the driver turn around to check to see if the truck was still there (hey, we're NOT Boston, but please - those trucks are not a dime a dozen!).  He then comes out and heads into the Airport Deli and this time, disappears from sight.  Which means, he cannot see the truck at all.

Leaving the truck to idle.   And the door unlocked.

Seeing that I was going to be late.  I left.  Hopefully, the truck did not leave until the rightful driver got back into it. 

Still wish I had bought the coffee roll...but if I had, The Most Esteemed Wife would have given me a look...and some words....and....

Decisions do have consequences... 

 

 

September 13, 2007

Gillford has an energy committee!

energy saving
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I have been informed that the Board of Selectmen have decided NOT to listen to Dale Dormody's request that they wait ANOTHER 30 days to form an energy committee for our town. (I can just hear ALGORE now: "The earth burns while 'Nero' Dormody fiddles!") With a motion by Selectman Gus Benevides, they have started the ball rolling.
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This is fantastic news! Our town now joins with others in the Granite State that have taken the initiative to do something real and tangible at the local level to look at energy usage and study ways to reduce pollution. Sure, many wring their hands and look to Washington to do something. That's easy... and, typically, nothing more than a meaningless gesture. Creating local ways to curb  usage of foreign supplied energy is a win-win situation for everybody. We will save money, and cut back on pollution-causing emmissions too.
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Click here to read the proposal that started it all...
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Kudos to the Selectmen!

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September 12, 2007

Today is the day... A wrench in the works.

wrench in the works
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Thanks to the fact that the Selectmen's meetings are still being held during the normal workday hours, I cannot attend today's meeting to watch Dale Dormody continue with his mission of diluting and otherwise mussing up the concept of an energy committee for our town.
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He tells people to ask the Selectmen to "slow down. Take their time" as they go about the formation of such a committee. Isn't this why nothing ever gets done in government? Instead of acting, we study and ponder everything to death. Beyond that, a trip to one of his websites shows him promoting such things as being part of an energy committee like having children build solar-powered models, claiming when approaching the energy problem in town, we should have "fun." I'm all for fun, but really, shouldn't having kids' playtime be part of the school, or, heh, the library/community center's purview?
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He also talks of recycling initiatives as being part of the energy committee's tasks. Excuse me? That's solid waste, not energy-related.
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See what he's doing here? By getting the committee charging off on a multitude of meaningless-pap type of nonsense, it will be less apt to look at anything of any value-- like governmental energy usage and policy. Thus, he will have accomplished his mission: protecting the town and school against any outside oversight--  especially the new library.
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Here, once again, is my case:
  • Dale Dormody, apparent defender of all things government in Gilford, and spouse of the library director, signs a petition calling for the vitual elimination of the municipal budget committee.
  • Dale wins the recount after finishing tied with newcomer Terry Stewart.
  • Doug Lambert submits proposal to selectmen asking for the creation of an energy committee as a result of the passage of Warrant Article #30 at the March Annual Town Meeting. It is mostly based upon the recommendations provided by the Carbon Coalition- the very group behind the movement that wrote the wording for the global warming initiative.
  • Dale Dormody, sensing some looming energy-related improvements and policy suggestions for the town and schools, apparently decides this won't do, and sets out on a course to derail the committee, submitting suggestions about such a committee that runs counter to what nearly every other forward thinking town and city in NH are doing. He hands in a letter to the Alice Boucher- "led" Board of Selectmen, calling for its dilution and, wanting it to, instead of looking inward at the government's facilities and energy-usage practices, somehow dictate to private citizens what THEY should do to save energy, thus sparing his beloved government from any real change.
  • The Selectmen, wanting, as always, to avoid any and all controversy and real decision-making, decided to punt. As a result of Dale's handywork, the Selecmen's support of the idea of an energy committee became obviously lukewarm at best. Thanks Dale!
  • Due to, in my opinion, the lack of direction and open support on the part of the Selecmen, interest in serving on the committee appeared to evaporate.
  • It looked like the concept of an energy committee for Gilford- one dedicated to conserving energy and protecting the environment, was DOA.
  • The papers again called for volunteers, and surely several phone calls were made, and suddenly, more people stepped forward. Things were starting to look better for the formation of the group.
  • And then... guess what? Yep-- enter Dale Dormody. Just like he was against the Budcom before he decided he wanted to be on it, now he wants to be on the energy committee too.
  • Hopefully the Selectmen have considered all this. Oh, and go to this post and read Mr. Dormody's comments regarding a friendly meeting to plan what "we" are going to do. You'd think with all the brouhaha lately about closed door meetings, he might wish to keep everything out in the open. But, that's not how the "good ole' boys" do things around here...

    I continue to oppose the appointment of Dormody to this committee. That's not what Gilford needs now. We need committed people willing to do the hard work required to make Gilford as clean and energy efficient as can be!

    August 30, 2007

    Review time...

    chalkboard
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    Let's review.

    Dale Dormody also has expressed interest in a seat on the committee.

    Of course he has. Why wouldn't he? It's starting to like like that, without his efforts, the committee might actually achieve something that benefits everybody- the taxpayers, those who worship the environment, and those of us who respect the will of the voters. We couldn't have that now, could we? Why, that might bring change to his beloved local government and its culture-- maybe even bring a look at the new "free" library project-- you know the one being built for the town department his wife heads up...

    It's funny how a guy like me gets a bum rap of being "against" everything, and the causer of dissention and partisanship, while someone like Dale Dormody is right there actually gumming up the works. Just look at the history of it all...


    August 29, 2007

    Energy Committee - On?

    UPDATE: I see in the Citizen this morning that a name is now being added (I think):

    Dale Dormody also has expressed interest in a seat on the committee.

    I thought it a bit weird that Dale would take the time and put up the argument of taking the Energy Committee philosophy 180 from Doug's, and then not sign up for it.  Perhaps more interesting times are ahead!

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    I had a post ready a few days ago that was entitled "Somebody turned off the Energy....zzzzz" as an article in the Citizen a while ago was reporting:

    Little interest in Gilford energy committee

    Though the proposed formation of an energy study committee made headlines, the town has reported that when it came time to fill the seats on the committee there was a lack of interest.

    Town Administrator Evans Juris informed the Board of Selectmen that only two applications for appointment to the committee have been received, with only one other inquiry aside from those. Only Doug Lambert and Patrick McKenna have been the only two who have submitted applications seeking energy committee appointments.

    This news did not elicit a sympathetic response from the chair.

    "Then there won't be a committee," said board Chair Alice Boucher, after being asked what would be done if no more applications came in. "If it is important then I think people would apply."

    As you may have remembered, Article 30 was being pushed by Everett McLaughlin and was passed by a wide margin (Yes 1183  N0 630). 

    Seems like Gilford residents, having appeased their inner conservatism (ha-ha!) went back to the SUVs.

    Juris suggested to the board that the concerned members of the community who spoke from various perspectives on the issue might have created a false impression of great interest in the community.

    Or seeing it become a divisive committee after Dale Dormody decided that Doug's take on the whole philosophy was all wrong, just decided to yawn?


    Well, it seems that the switch was turned on - there is interest in the Energy Committee after all.  The Laconia Daily Sun is reporting that Chan Eddy, Howard Epstein, and Gino Crecco want to join with Doug and Pat McKenna (who was on Meet The New Press here) in seeing what can be done in town.  That's five now - that should be enough for the Selectmen to approve a new committee, right?

    Good for them!  (Slyly) Besides, I'd love seeing a couple of white windmills up on the ridge generating free power for the town....

    Umm, by the way, did I miss seeing a name trying to get on the list?