Archive for the ‘Solar and Sustainability Events’ Category

Solar Home Tour Gives Glimpse of History-Technology Blend

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

josh-baston-home-tour

A 116-year-old house may seem like an odd fit for cutting-edge energy innovations, but a Munjoy Hill couple found a way to blend history and energy efficiency.

In February 2011 the couple purchased the home, which is equipped with solar panels on the roof — the only external indication of anything different about the residence.

Baston, who works with Revision Energy, a renewable energy contracting company in Portland, said the two-unit townhouse brought challenges and opportunities. In February 2011 the couple purchased the home, which is equipped with solar panels on the roof — the only external indication of anything different about the residence. Baston, who works with Revision Energy, a renewable energy contracting company in Portland, said the two-unit townhouse brought challenges and opportunities.

The second unit was “gutted” when they bought it, “so it was a good opportunity to do a lot of insulation and install a whole new heating system.” The couple invested in a solar hot water system for both units, and a small solar electrical system. A new high-efficiency gas boiler runs on natural gas, and they use wood heat in the main unit, where they live. The other unit is a rental.

For full article, click here: http://www.portlanddailysun.me/index.php/newsx/local-news/11352-solar-home-tour-gives-glimpse-of-history-technology-meld


Advocates push bill to restore solar rebates for Maine

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

solar-billSolar energy advocates, state lawmakers and companies that install solar-energy systems said Tuesday that Maine should catch up with the rest of New England. The group, including Natural Resources Council of Maine, touted a bill that restores a $2,000 rebate for those who install solar-energy systems.

For homeowners the news on solar is good, too, said Fortunat Mueller who noted that the cost of solar installations over the past five years have dropped by 70 percent, triggering record growth in solar energy in the U.S. in 2013 with 4,300 megawatts installed. ”That’s enough to power about 850,000 homes,” Mueller said. He said the industry employed 143,000 full-time employees in 2013, a 13 percent increase from 2012.

“This incredible market-transforming growth is happening because solar energy doesn’t pick winners or losers,” Mueller said. “It’s available to anyone who wants to make an investment to control their long-term energy costs.” Homeowners who took advantage of the state’s rebate program before it was eliminated said the rebate made it possible for them to finance their solar systems.

Representative Melvin Newendyke said the rebates, which are paid for by a surcharge on electricity bills in Maine, cost the average ratepayer 5 cents a month or about 60 cents a year.

“I think the rebates make sense,” Newendyke said. “Normally, I’m opposed to subsidizing, but in this particular case the subsidy is very minor — that 5 cents a month can turn into about $11 million of economic activity within the state — that’s a huge return.”

For the full article, click here: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2014/02/18/advocates-push-bill-restore-solar-rebates-maine/1493891


ReVision Energy Dips and Dashes for NRCM

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Polar Bear Dip and Dash 2013ReVision Energy staffers Phil Coupe (Co-founder), John Capron (PV Division Manager), Will Kessler (Solar Design), Ben Rubins (Warehouse Assistant), and Brian Byrne (Electrician/PV installer) were the intrepid souls who ran and/or jumped in the Atlantic Ocean to support the Natural Resources Council of Maine on December 31, 2013!

The mad Polar Bear Dip and Dash is intended to put a focus on the real polar bears, and the threat they face due to climate change, while wrapped up in an attention-grabbing event that culminates with over a hundred people jumping into the frigid ocean.

While the weather was cold this year, spirits were warm, and ReVision Energy was pleased to lend our support to NRCM’s excellent work in the field of clean energy. For 2014, NRCM has made solar one of their top legislative priorities, and we look forward to the work they can do promoting clean energy in the Northeast.


Bill McKibben Brings the “Math” to Portland

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Bill McKibben Do the Math Tour Portland Maine

Bill McKibben during “Do the Math” tour in Portland, Maine November 2012. His landmark Rolling Stone article had 10x more hits than the cover story on pop idol Justin Bieber

Huge thanks to climate activist and writer Bill McKibben, his organization 350, 350 Maine, Environment Maine, and other partners, speakers, and musicians who came together for a packed presentation in Portland’s State Theater on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.

McKibben’s “Do the Math” tour is all about building a new environmental movement – a movement which McKibben calls “the last best chance to do something about this gathering [environmental] crisis.”

But, what is the math and why should we care? From 350.org:

To grasp the seriousness of the climate crisis, you just need to do a little math. Fossil fuel corporations have 5 times more oil and coal and gas in known reserves than climate scientists think is safe to burn. We have to keep 80% of their fossil fuels underground to keep the earth in livable shape.

Here are the three numbers you shouldn’t forget:

2 degrees — Almost every government in the world has agreed that any warming above a 2°C (3.6°F) rise would be unsafe. We have already raised the temperature .8°C, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the climate dice are loaded for both devastating floods and drought.

565 gigatons — Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees. Computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 levels now, the temperature would still rise another 0.8 degrees above the 0.8 we’ve already warmed, which means that we’re already 3/4s of the way to the 2 degree target.

2,795 gigatons — The Carbon Tracker Initiative, a team of London financial analysts, estimates that proven coal, oil, and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries (think Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies, equals about 2,795 gigatons of CO2, or five times the amount we can release to maintain 2 degrees of warming.

To make sure this chilling set of numbers is icily clear, McKibben used a series of powerful graphics as well as site gags, such as this analogy of a drunk on their way to oblivion.

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What’s missing from this audio recording is a visual of a bunch of volunteers continuing to pile the “Last Chance Saloon” full of beer bottles while McKibben explains that if we burn all of the oil and gas in already known reserves, our chance to prevent catastrophic climate change on this planet is shot:
Do the Math C02 carbon emissions sight gag

The Time is Now

In light of this terrifying climate crisis, McKibben speaks hopefully of making change happen now by a series of actions:

  • Encourage universities, houses of worship, and local and state municipalities to divest in fossil fuel companies, similar to actions taken against the South African apartheid government in the early 90s. Unity College has lead this effort by being the first college to divest in fossil fuels, and President Stephen Mulkey took stage to explain Unity’s decision to divest (and we should note Unity is concurrently investing heavily in solar energy).
  • Turn activist attention from state and federal leaders and instead to the fossil fuel companies themselves.  Prepare for marches, civil disobedience, and other direct action to implicate the fossil fuel industry’s role in delaying meaningful action to avoid global warming.
  • Redirect investment towards renewable energy, for example “investing in clean energy, efficiency and other sustainable technologies can be even more profitable than fossil fuels” (http://gofossilfree.org/faq/). We can also suggest a local option for producing clean, renewable solar electricity!

A certain amount of doomsday forecasting hangs on the scientific models of global warming – McKibben himself mentioned several times that he’s not convinced his movement will succeed, or if, even if successful, if the brunt of environmental calamity will be avoided – but facing such high stakes McKibben finds a lot to be excited about from the power of grassroots organizing.  He highlighted successes delaying the Keystone Pipeline, the global reach of 350.org (over 100 countries having participated in recent days of action), and several success stories of countries like Germany and even China adopting renewable technologies (with a lot of attention paid to solar hot water and solar electricity).

Does the math scare us?  Yep.  It should scare all of us.  But we’re also encouraged by the changing level of discourse – with major oil executives admitting that climate change in real – and the growing loudness and tenacity of voices for change.  ReVision Energy will be here doing everything we can to support the transition of Northern New England to a renewable energy economy, one solar panel at a time.


ReVision Named Finalist for NH BSR Cornerstone Award

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Phil Coupe Accepts NHBSR Cornerstone Award

ReVision Energy co-founder Phil Coupe with Michelle Veasey, Ex. Dir. NHBSR, and NHDRED Commissioner George Bald

NH Businesses for Social Responsibility (NH BSR) held their annual Spring Conference, Walking the Talk: The Profitability of Values, in Mid May at the Sheraton Harborside in Portsmouth.

ReVision Energy was among three finalists for NH BSR’s Cornerstone Award, an award “presented to an individual, a business, or organization that exemplifies the concepts of corporate social responsibility within their organization and promotes the concepts of corporate social responsibility to the greater business community within the State of New Hampshire.”

Also a finalist was Amanda Grappone-Osmer of Grappone Automotive Group; the winner of the award was Sequoya Technologies Group.  Sequoya’s President, Tom Strickland, commented that their innovative Sequoya Seeds program, in which clients choose local non-profits to receive in-kind support from Sequoya not only provided a way that they can help the community, but has also helped to grow their business.

Outside of the awards, NH BSR’s event featured small group discussions on sustainability, break out sessions, and a keynote speech by Andrew Winston, the co-author of the best-seller Green to Gold and the author of Green Recovery.

Congratulations to Sequoya Technologies Group again on their achievements, and here’s to another great year doing sustainable business in New Hampshire!


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