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VLITE Board of Directors Meeting (Summary Minutes) September 10, 2019

VLITE Board of Directors Meeting (Summary Minutes)

September 10, 2019

(1:00 PM – 4:00 PM) Stowe Electric Offices
435 Moscow Rd, Stowe, VT 05672

Welcome
In attendance: Dick Marron, Richard Rubin, Annie Noonan, Tony Klein, Peter Walke

Others: Paul Craven, Ed Delhagen, Riley Allen, Chris Cole, Maura Carroll, Karen Horn, Patty Richards, Geoff Wilcox, Cara Robechek, Geoff Brown, Darren Springer (phone), Ellen Kahler (phone)

Summary Minutes from May 21, 2019 Board meeting

1st Richard Rubin, 2nd Annie Noonan

All in favor 5 
 Abstain , No

Treasurers report

VSCEU: Savings $132,923, CD $8,632.44, Checking $804,982.82 o $946,537inVSCEU

o $609,500allocatedtogrants
A motion was made to accept the Treasurers report: 
 1st Tony Klein, 2nd Richard Rubin

All in favor 5 
 Abstain , No

• Grant requests:

The September Board meeting will be reviewing proposals for low income efficiency and renewables.

Two prior proposals (Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and the Vermont Public Service Department and Vermont Building and Grounds proposals, which were tabled at the May meeting because further information was required are also on the agenda).

Also on the agenda, which is time sensitive, is the WEC proposal.

Grant requests/ approvals:

o VTPublicServiceDepartment/VermontBuildingandGrounds,Vermont League of Cities and Towns, EVT proposal / $300,000

After a lengthy Board discussion, it was determined that further information was required prior to voting on this proposal.

o VermontOfficeofEconomicOpportunity(OEO)/$125,000 A motion was made to accept the grant proposal

1st Richard Rubin, 2nd Tony Klein All in favor 5
Abstain , No

o VermontEnergyEducationProgram(VEEP)/$50,000

A motion was made to accept the grant proposal

1st Richard Rubin, 2nd Peter Walke All in favor ____5_____ 
 Abstain____, No

Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund / $75,000

A motion was made to accept the grant proposal

1st Peter Walke, 2nd Tony Klein All in favor 5
Abstain , No

Washington Electric Co-op – Grant request was withdrawn by WEC

Agenda Board of Directors Meeting December 17, 2019

VLITE Board of Directors Meeting

December 17, 2019

(1:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

VT State Colleges Offices at 575 Stone Cutters way, Montpelier. 

(Lunch is provided)

  • Welcome 1:00 PM
  • Minutes from September 10, 2019 Board meeting 1:10 PM
  • Treasurers report 1:15 PM
  • Grant presentations: 1:20 PM
    • Vermont Housing & Conservation Board – Grant change of scope
    • BGS grant discussion
  • Ongoing Grant Funding Update
  • Meeting Closure 3:00 PM
  • Board Discussion with DRM Gabrielle Malina and Patti Komline

concerning VLITE future direction. 4:00 PM

Final Board Minutes May 2019

SUMMARY MINUTES FROM May 21, 2019
VLITE BOARD of DIRECTORS MEETING:
Prepared by Paul Craven, ED
Vermont State Colleges
575 Stone Cutters Way, Montpelier

(1:05 PM – 4:00 PM)

In attendance:
Board members: Dick Marron, Richard Rubin, Hal Cohen, Pat Moulton, Tony Klein, Peter Walke (phone)
Others: Paul Craven, Ken Jones, Paul Costello, Jon Kaplan, Jared Duval

Summary meeting minutes:

A motion was made to approve the draft minutes from the February 2019 Board of Directors meeting.

1st Richard Rubin, 2nd Pat Moulton
All in favor: yes 6, 0 no, 0 abstain

Treasurers report – Annie Noonan
Treasurers report

Note – no Treasurers report was provided at this time.

Election of Board Officers:

Nomination of Dick Marron/ President, Richard Rubin/ Vice President, Annie Noonan/ Treasurer, Hal Cohen/ Secretary

A motion was made to approve Dick Marron as President
All in favor: yes 5, 0 no, abstain 1 Dick Marron

A motion was made to approve Richard Rubin, Vice President
All in favor: yes 5, 0 no, abstain 1 Richard Rubin

A motion was made to approve Annie Noonan, Treasurer
All in favor: yes 5, 0 no, abstain 1 Annie Noonan

A motion was made to approve Hal Cohen, Secretary
All in favor: yes 5, 0 no, abstain 1 Hal Cohen

Presentation by Patty Richards, WEC regarding funding initiative with Northern Borders

Legislative update/ discussion

Grants:

Grant presentations:
Vermont Council Rural Development ($300,000 requested)– Paul Costello & Jon Kaplan presented
Energy Action Network ($100,000 requested) – Jared Duval presented

Other Grant requests:

Vermont Sustainable Jobs fund ($75,000) – tabled for discussion/ September meeting
VT Public Service Department/ VT Buildings and Grounds ($750,000) – tabled for discussion/ September meeting
Northern Forest ($100,000) – not approved for funding
Housing Vermont ($15,000) – not approved for funding

Board action:

Vermont Council Rural Development (VCRD)

A motion was made to approve $80,000 per year for 2 years

1st Richard Rubin, 2nd Pat Moulton
All in favor: yes 6, 0 no, 0 abstain

Energy Action Network (EAN)

A motion was made to approve $100,000

1st Richard Rubin, 2nd Hal Cohen
All in favor: yes 6, 0 no, 0 abstain

Meeting Closure 4:00 PM

Helping Communities Build Climate-Positive Economies

In Middlebury, residents of one neighborhood went door to door to promote free visits by home energy experts. In Randolph, volunteers have banded together to strengthen the downtown business district. In Swanton, Efficiency Vermont is working closely with the town to deliver services directly to homes and businesses — and in Marshfield and Plainfield, locals are promoting walking, biking, and other options for energy-efficient transportation.

These initiatives are among the first outcomes of the Climate Economy Model Communities Program. Coordinated by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD), the program launched in early 2017 after securing a substantial, three-year funding commitment from VLITE. The project has global goals with a local focus: help make it possible for selected Vermont communities to strengthen their economies in ways that also reduce energy use and carbon emissions.

“Vermont can take the lead in modeling economic solutions to climate change,” VCRD declares on its website. “The Vermont Climate Economy Initiative is designed to make the state a destination for entrepreneurs who want to be at the center of the climate change movement.” The VLITE funding was critical to the program’s startup: it provided stable long-term support, and helped the Council on Rural Development secure financial commitments from several foundations.  Continue reading Helping Communities Build Climate-Positive Economies

Asbestos in the Attic: VLITE Helps to Safeguard Low-Income Homes

Since its creation over 40 years ago, the state’s Low-Income Weatherization Program has helped some 60,000 Vermont families keep their homes warm at lower heating cost. But several years ago, the work hit a roadblock.

About one in ten homes owned by families that qualifed for the Weatherization Program had a layer of vermiculite insulation that was installed years ago in the attic, kneewalls and sometimes the exterior walls. Vermiculite itself, a mineral extracted by mining, is not dangerous — but a high percentage of this material found in homes around the U.S. is contaminated with asbestos, a known cause of cancer.

When this came to light in 2011, “we issued a statewide policy that required a home containing vermiculite to be deferred ,” said Geoff Wilcox, who coordinates the Weatherization Program at the Vermont Office of Economic Opportunity. The state simply didn’t have the funds — nor were its funds allowed to be used to pay for vermiculite removal, which could add $10,000 or more to the weatherization cost for each home.

“A lot of people were calling our office, saying ‘If I can’t get weatherization I’m going to have to sell my house! I won’t be able to afford to live here,’” Wilcox said. “Vermiculite actually provides less insulation value per inch than most other insulation types, and was installed only two to three inches deep— so these tended to be really drafty homes, very poorly insulated, and typically used a lot of fuel. Clients would call and say, ‘What am I going to do?’ They were really upset their home couldn’t be served by our program.’”

Then in 2013, a nonprofit called VLITE stepped in.

Originally named the Vermont Low-Income Trust for Electricity, VLITE works to help low-income Vermonters reduce energy costs and increase energy efficiency.

The nonprofit has made a series of grants, totaling approximately $500,000, to OEO for vermiculite removal. The money has helped the program solve this problem in nearly 100 homes owned by low-income families.

Weatherization services are free to Vermont families whose income level qualifies them for the program. A typical weatherization saves a homeowner on average 25 percent, or about $600, in annual energy costs. The weatherization work is provided by four community action agencies and an additional nonprofit, with guidance and funding from OEO, which receives state and federal weatherization funds.

The VLITE funds have been instrumental, Wilcox said, in helping the Weatherization Program identify new ways to address vermiculite in homes. In some cases, rather than removing the material, asbestos abatement crews encapsulate it — they create an air seal beneath it, then insulate on top of it, guided by weatherization crews with special training.  This is less expensive and can allow the funds to go further and help more people.

Two years ago, with the VLITE funding in hand, OEO was able to secure additional money — about $4,100 per home — from the Zonolite Trust. That’s a fund set up with settlement money from the original U.S. producer of vermiculite insulation, which was branded as Zonolite.

“This is a great example of a program using our funding to leverage additional support — and to help make it possible for a lot of Vermonters stay in their homes,” said Paul Craven, executive director of VLITE.

Contact: Geoff Wilcox

802-279-7964

[email protected]

Grant Making Criteria 2019

Vermont Low Income Trust for Electricity (VLITE).

The mission of VLITE is to help meet the needs of low-income Vermonters by reducing energy costs and increasing energy efficiency. Since we began issuing grants in 2013, VLITE’s strategy has also been to support projects that can be transformational — that can serve as models and open new pathways for renewable technologies, efficiency measures, and education and outreach programs. Vermont is transitioning to a largely renewable-energy economy, with all the economic, environmental and health benefits that improve all Vermonters lives.

Through its Comprehensive Energy Plan, the state has set an ambitious goal — that by 2050, 90% of all Vermont’s energy needs, in transportation, buildings and electric power, will be met by renewable sources, with our overall energy consumption reduced by more than one third.

VLITE has also issued over $6 million in grants supporting projects that, in part, are reduced energy costs and improved the long-term energy efficiency of low income Vermonters homes; helped to promote electric vehicles and install more charging stations; and helped utilities to protect power supplies and better deploy the energy that’s being generated by the growing number of solar and biomass resources around the state.

At our December 2018 meeting, the VLITE Board updated its strategic plan. The Board determined that it needed to further increase its commitment to low income Vermonters. In prior years, VLITE as an annual average, issued 55% to 60% of its grants to improving energy efficiency for low income Vermonters. In FY 2019 the percentage will be increased to 75%. The remaining 25% will still continue to support Comprehensive Energy Plan projects that can be transformational — that can serve as models and open new pathways for renewable technologies, efficiency measures, education and job development. These percentages can be revised at the discretion of the VLITE Board.

Change in Grant Proposal process Review: (criteria enclosed)

VLITE is revising its grant process in FY 2019.

The VLITE’s grant submittal process will occur twice yearly. VLITE will conduct grant reviews two times each year.  We anticipate this will make the grant process much simpler and yield a better product.  It will also allow greater competition amongst the grant requestors.

May VLITE Board Meeting – (5/21/19) Comprehensive Energy Plan grants – grants which support projects that can be transformational — that can serve as models and open new pathways for renewable technologies, efficiency measures, support energy job training, and new energy sector business programs.

May 6, 2019 VLITE is accepting grant proposals for grants, which support projects that can be transformational

September Meeting – (9/10/19)

September will be low income efficiency and renewables

 

Download (PDF, 39KB)

SUMMARY MINUTES FROM December 11, 2018 VLITE BOARD of DIRECTORS MEETING

(Final) SUMMARY MINUTES FROM December 11, 2018 VLITE BOARD of DIRECTORS MEETING:

Prepared by Paul Craven, ED

VLITE Board of Directors Meeting

December 11, 2018

Stowe Electric Department (Stowe, VT)

(1:05 PM – 4:00 PM)

In attendance:

Board members: Dick Marron, Richard Rubin, Annie Noonan, Hal Cohen,

Others: Paul Craven, Ken Jones, Ed Delhagen, Geoff Wilcox

 

Summary meeting minutes:

 

A motion was made to approve the draft minutes from the September 5, 2018 Board of Directors meeting.

1st Richard Rubin, 2nd Annie Noonan

All in favor: yes 4, 0 no, 0 abstain

 

Treasurers report – Annie Noonan

A motion was made to approve the Treasurers report.

1st Dick Marron, 2nd Hal Cohen

All in favor: yes 4, 0 no, 0 abstain

Change to VLITE Bylaws

A motion was made to revise the Bylaws – change from Board Members serving three consecutive terms to four terms.

1st Dick Marron, 2nd Hal Cohen

All in favor: yes 4, 0 no, 0 abstain

Discussion of Strategic Plan (see attached)

The strategic plan as developed by Allen Rogers was accepted by the Board. A new grant review criteria would be developed by the ED for discussion at the February meeting. The Board also concurred with the recommendation to revise the grant review process. Two Board meetings each year would be dedicated to review grants, which specifically served low income Vermonters and addressed Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan.

VLITE ongoing grant funding update:

Grant status report

Grant distribution

Upcoming grants

Grant requests:

SEVCA – SEVCA’s Community Solar for Community Action project ($50,000)

SEVCA’s Community Solar for Community Action project involves construction of a 110-kW solar array at its Westminster location, which will deliver energy assistance through virtual net metering credits to approximately 50 low-income households per year.

A motion was made to approve the SEVCA request.

1st Richard Rubin, 2nd Annie Noonan

All in favor: yes 4, 0 no, 0 abstain

Meeting dates in FY 2019: February 12, May 21, September 10 & December 17.

Meeting Closure 4:00 PM

VLITE MEMO

7.22.18

Considering the future direction of VLITE

The past – VLITE has successfully distributed $5.8 million to non-profit organizations that support low income households and move the state towards its goals in the Comprehensive Energy Plan. In the past, VLITE has both responded to and solicited proposals for the use of funds and the Board has decided the proper allocation of our annual dividend payments from VELCO. In addition to the positive results of the individual initiatives, VLITE has established a solid network of energy experts across the state.

The present – The Board is asking for an improved process to produce improved outcomes for the use of VLITE funds.

Based on the observation that VLITE now receives funding requests greater than the funds available through our VELCO distribution. VLITE should be considering other options for the future. Listed below are some my thoughts:

The future – There are many paths forward and I will suggest two.

Reduce the amount of the VLITE’s yearly grant distribution to Vermont non-profits. For the interim continue with grant support categories and percentages for: Low Income Efficiency ($3,110,000/ 55%); Economic/ New Technology ($1,097,000/ 19%); Transportation ($904,134/ 16%; Education/ Outreach ($563,000/ 10%). This would afford the Board Members with the opportunity to continue to support initiatives that they feel worthwhile and further the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan.

Work with leaders in the energy field to develop one or more comprehensive proposals that will be longer term and larger in scope. The development process will take 6 months at which point the Board will decide to allocate a larger portion of future revenues which will leave a smaller amount of money to respond to the requests reflecting the types of proposals VLITE has funded in the past.

More on Option Two

There are several activities in the Clean Energy arena in Vermont. Each of these has concluded its work and is teeing up recommendations to address Vermont’s energy future.

This is a unique opportunity for VLITE. These groups have spent months developing recommendations and now it’s time for implementation. One of the primary challenges for these recommendations will be a source of funding. VLITE can dedicate that funding to take this work to the next stage and provide that implementation. If the Board choses our funding could be used as “seed money” to advance new programs.

We would build off the planning work done to date by the Commissions listed below. We would also continue to work with leaders and businesses in the Vermont clean energy arena, who have assembled these recommendations to further refine and develop two/three possible programs for possible implementation.

I recommend VLITE solicit the continued support of a small working group (5/6) energy leaders to assist VLITE in advancing potential programs for implementation. This would occur within the next few months. These concepts would be presented to the Board for their input. And, a decision would be made by the Board to further refine one or two of these concepts for implementation. This phase will be concluded within the next six months.

 

The following is a list of those activities.

Climate Action Commission – On July 31, the Climate Action Commission will present a set of recommendations to Governor Scott for his consideration. Many of these recommendations will require funding and VLITE could provide support to move one or more of the activities forward.

Clean Energy Finance Collaborative – The Public Service Department established a panel of experts from the public and private sector to investigate funding options for the support of renewable energy generation and increased efficiency activities. The Collaborative has just completed its draft report and is refining it for final release.

Climate Economy Action Team – An outcome from the VT Council on Rural Development Climate Economy Summit was the creation of the Climate Economy Action Team. This group is working on statewide issues as well as working with individual communities to spark the activity that will provide improvement in the delivery of energy services while also taking advantage of economic opportunities.

In each case, VLITE has worked with leaders of these initiatives and can provide funding for the innovative strategies under development as well as make linkages to individuals and organizations that represent the network of experts on our Board and from organizations that we have funded.

The identification, refinement and ultimate choice of comprehensive approaches is a function of the Board. To provide a flavor of the opportunities, the following are extracted from the three projects listed above.

Establish an Innovation Fund for supporting Clean Energy Business activities
Accelerate the pace of weatherization for low income homes
Provide incentives for low income households to own electric vehicles and develop a revenue stream for their ownership by participating in ride share services
Establish a Revolving Loan Fund to support energy efficiency investments for public sector buildings (Municipal, Universities, Schools and Hospitals – MUSH)
Support a keystone project for Climate Economy Communities that fits with a comprehensive set of strategies to move their towns to a sustainable energy future.

If this option is considered, the Executive Director, with the assistance of the 5/6 energy leader’s would lead the Board through a series (2 or 3) of meetings that winnows the list of possible programs topics – providing an increasing level of detail as the list gets shorter and the projects more focused.

SUMMARY MINUTES FROM September 5, 2018 VLITE BOARD of DIRECTORS MEETING

SUMMARY MINUTES FROM September 5, 2018 VLITE BOARD of DIRECTORS MEETING:

Prepared by Paul Craven, ED

VLITE Board of Directors Meeting

September 5, 2018

Stowe Electric Department (Stowe, VT)

(1:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

In attendance:

Board members: Dick Marron, Richard Rubin, Pat Moulton, Annie Noonan, Hal Cohen (phone),

Summary meeting minutes:

 

A motion was made to approve the draft minutes from the May 23, 2018 Board of Directors meeting.

1st Annie Noonan, 2nd Pat Moulton

All in favor: yes 4, 0 no, 0 abstain

 

Treasurers report – Annie Noonan

A motion was made to approve the Treasurers report.

1st Pat Moulton, 2nd Richard Rubin

All in favor: yes 4, 0 no, 0 abstain

VLITE ongoing grant funding update:

Grant status report

Grant process recommended changes

Upcoming grants

Grant requests:

VT Public Service Department/ OEO ( Wood stoves) (VLITE $100,000/ VT PSD $500,000)
Neighborworks (Business expansion services for low income Vermonters)$250,000 requested/ $125,000 ED Recommendation

ED Recommendation / work with Climate Action Commission & Clean Energy Finance Collaborative – provide recommendations for December Board meeting (see enclosed)

A motion was made to approve the VT Public Service Department/ OEO ( Wood stoves) (VLITE $100,000/ VT PSD $500,000)

1st Pat Moulton, 2nd Dick Marron

All in favor: yes 4, 0 no, 0 abstain

A motion was made to approve the Neighborworks (Business expansion of energy efficient services for low income Vermonters)$250,000 requested/ $125,000 ED Recommendation

1st Annie Noonan, 2nd Pat Moulton

All in favor: yes 4, 0 no, 0 abstain

Strategic Plan discussion 1:45 PM

Meeting Closure 4:15 PM

VLITE MEMO

7.22.18

Considering the future direction of VLITE

The past – VLITE has successfully distributed $5.8 million to non-profit organizations that support low income households and move the state towards its goals in the Comprehensive Energy Plan. In the past, VLITE has both responded to and solicited proposals for the use of funds and the Board has decided the proper allocation of our annual dividend payments from VELCO. In addition to the positive results of the individual initiatives, VLITE has established a solid network of energy experts across the state.

The present – The Board is asking for an improved process to produce improved outcomes for the use of VLITE funds.

Based on the observation that VLITE now receives funding requests greater than the funds available through our VELCO distribution. VLITE should be considering other options for the future. Listed below are some my thoughts:

The future – There are many paths forward and I will suggest two.

Reduce the amount of the VLITE’s yearly grant distribution to Vermont non-profits. For the interim continue with grant support categories and percentages for: Low Income Efficiency ($3,110,000/ 55%); Economic/ New Technology ($1,097,000/ 19%); Transportation ($904,134/ 16%; Education/ Outreach ($563,000/ 10%). This would afford the Board Members with the opportunity to continue to support initiatives that they feel worthwhile and further the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan.

Work with leaders in the energy field to develop one or more comprehensive proposals that will be longer term and larger in scope. The development process will take 6 months at which point the Board will decide to allocate a larger portion of future revenues which will leave a smaller amount of money to respond to the requests reflecting the types of proposals VLITE has funded in the past.

More on Option Two

There are several activities in the Clean Energy arena in Vermont. Each of these has concluded its work and is teeing up recommendations to address Vermont’s energy future.

This is a unique opportunity for VLITE. These groups have spent months developing recommendations and now it’s time for implementation. One of the primary challenges for these recommendations will be a source of funding. VLITE can dedicate that funding to take this work to the next stage and provide that implementation. If the Board choses our funding could be used as “seed money” to advance new programs.

We would build off the planning work done to date by the Commissions listed below. We would also continue to work with leaders and businesses in the Vermont clean energy arena, who have assembled these recommendations to further refine and develop two/three possible programs for possible implementation.

I recommend VLITE solicit the continued support of a small working group (5/6) energy leaders to assist VLITE in advancing potential programs for implementation. This would occur within the next few months. These concepts would be presented to the Board for their input. And, a decision would be made by the Board to further refine one or two of these concepts for implementation. This phase will be concluded within the next six months.

 

The following is a list of those activities.

Climate Action Commission – On July 31, the Climate Action Commission will present a set of recommendations to Governor Scott for his consideration. Many of these recommendations will require funding and VLITE could provide support to move one or more of the activities forward.

Clean Energy Finance Collaborative – The Public Service Department established a panel of experts from the public and private sector to investigate funding options for the support of renewable energy generation and increased efficiency activities. The Collaborative has just completed its draft report and is refining it for final release.

Climate Economy Action Team – An outcome from the VT Council on Rural Development Climate Economy Summit was the creation of the Climate Economy Action Team. This group is working on statewide issues as well as working with individual communities to spark the activity that will provide improvement in the delivery of energy services while also taking advantage of economic opportunities.

In each case, VLITE has worked with leaders of these initiatives and can provide funding for the innovative strategies under development as well as make linkages to individuals and organizations that represent the network of experts on our Board and from organizations that we have funded.

The identification, refinement and ultimate choice of comprehensive approaches is a function of the Board. To provide a flavor of the opportunities, the following are extracted from the three projects listed above.

Establish an Innovation Fund for supporting Clean Energy Business activities
Accelerate the pace of weatherization for low income homes
Provide incentives for low income households to own electric vehicles and develop a revenue stream for their ownership by participating in ride share services
Establish a Revolving Loan Fund to support energy efficiency investments for public sector buildings (Municipal, Universities, Schools and Hospitals – MUSH)
Support a keystone project for Climate Economy Communities that fits with a comprehensive set of strategies to move their towns to a sustainable energy future.

If this option is considered, the Executive Director, with the assistance of the 5/6 energy leader’s would lead the Board through a series (2 or 3) of meetings that winnows the list of possible programs topics – providing an increasing level of detail as the list gets shorter and the projects more focused.