The CEC’s first project as a new town committee in 2010 was to do an energy upgrade of Town Hall. The success inspired the CEC to make it a priority to go around to each of the town buildings. The town has made progress, but work still remains!
In 2010, Building Energy performed an energy audit analyzing fuel and electricity use, air leakage, insulation depth, boiler efficiency, and lighting and appliances. The CEC applied for and won $26K of funding through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program. By the end of the year, Northeast Construction had installed a drywall air barrier, insulated knee-walls, upgraded light fixtures, and installed two new energy recovery ventilators. Analyses after the work showed that there was a 38% reduction in air leakage and an estimated 24% energy savings in annual heat, which is equal to +/- 500 gallons of oil and five tons of carbon dioxide!
When the senior center was working on a new addition in 2017, the CEC stepped in to help and ensure that adequate insulation and air sealing was completed. This necessitated some extra time for the contractor to make sure that gaps and corners were filled.
Fire & Rescue
The CEC commissioned an audit for the Fire & Rescue building in 2019 that identified a list of potential energy efficiency measures. When F & R is ready to implement building improvement, this report can help guide that future work.
Future Town Structures
Whatever the town decides to build — a salt shed? community center? — the CEC will be there to make sure the buildings meet the highest efficiency standards.
The library has become the CEC’s most important partner in energy, climate, and sustainability education. The CEC has held countless events at the library, including on electric vehicles, cold climate heat pumps, energy planning, the energy dashboard, and climate change presentations and discussions.
When the library started to consider a substantial addition, the CEC was consulted to ensure that energy efficiency would be included right from the design stage. The addition, completed in 2020, is a model of green building.
In 2020 the CEC launched a special collection at the library called the Conservation Corner that is dedicated to environmental stewardship and regeneration. A print and digital collection highlights global climate issues, and the library has diagnostic tools for lending, such as an infrared camera, firewood moisture meter, and Kill-A-Watt.
While Charlotte Central School is owned by the school district rather than the town, Charlotters care a lot about their public school! The town recently voted in favor of a $4.5 million bond measure to improve the school building, which will include a great deal of energy efficiency improvements, including façade renovations, window replacement, roof repairs, and mechanical ventilation upgrades.
These thermal images show heat escaping from the windows, which is not too difficult to fix if you understand the problem! Photos courtesy Dore & Whittier Architects.