Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Study Session

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Wednesday, October 8, 2003 at 12:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street

Mayor DeBoer called the meeting to order at 12:03 p.m.

City Council: Councilors Laws, Amarotico and Hearn were present.
Councilor Jackson arrived at 1 p.m.
Councilors Morrison and Hartzell were absent.
Staff: Conservation- Robbin Pearce and Cathy Cartmill, Electric & Telecommunications- Dick Wanderscheid and Scott Johnson, and City Administrator- Gino Grimaldi.

I. The State of Solar in Oregon - Christopher Dymond, Oregon Office of Energy.

Dymond explained that Earth's climate is shifting, and showed examples of the effect this is having on Earth. A scale was shown that indicated the ice core and measurement of Co2 over the years. It shows that the level of CO2 is increasing rapidly. He noted that Americans drive enough miles to reach Pluto.

Dymond spoke regarding the Hubbert Curve, which indicates the oil production over time. Additional graphs were also shown to indicate uses of: oil and oil production areas, NW gas and history production, natural gas prices, electricity demand, and solar resource levels.

Dymond showed pictures of different types of solar systems and types of solar panels on homes. He stated that the United States far exceeds other countries with the use of solar systems. Dymond also stated that solar will provide the power where it's needed the most. A graph was presented that indicated annual megawatts of PV installed world wide and cost for PV modules. A comparison of projected U.S. PV energy to total U.S. oil output indicated that if growth manufacturing of PV continues, energy production of PV increases and oil decreases. Its efficiency and costs will only go down.

Dymond explained that resistance is due to the affordability of the systems, public awareness, and endorsement.

II. Update of new City Conservation initiatives.

Electric & Telecommunications Director Dick Wanderscheid explained our net metering systems. He stated that incentives would be increased for our programs because of what is happening around the state and the city. Wandersheid stated they have nine net metering systems currently in the community, and increased interest has occurred because of increased financial incentives.

a. Earth Advantage Program - Staff presentation

Cathy Cartmill explained Earth Advantage is a sustainable building program that promotes energy efficiency and environmental sensitivity in quality new residential construction. This program was developed by PGE in the 1990's, was geared up in 2001, and sold to the City of Ashland and EWEB. There are currently over 920 homes and 75 builders certified as Earth Advantage. Cartmill explained Ashland's program requires no fee to participate, only an agreement. There is a $1,000 incentive for the builder, and the City tests the houses for free. The advantages for the designers and builders include: providing a non-bias certification of the house, develop a reputation for providing quality and green building, incentive from the City, and satisfied customers. The homeowner benefits include having a home that is: more comfortable, cost less to live in, healthier, more durable, better for the environment, less resource consuming, and allows the homeowner to become eligible for tax credits and rebates.

It was explained the Earth Advantage program is replacing Super Good Cents, and is proposed that it also replace the Density Bonus Program. Earth Advantage homes incorporate 4 key categories of sustainability, which are: energy efficiency, healthier indoor air, resource efficiency, and environmental responsibility. In each of these categories there is also implementation of required core measures and selected optional measures, and achievement of the target point total. The required energy efficiency measures are:

• homes must be 15% more energy efficient than the building code
• have more efficient windows
• be tested for air leakage in the home and ducts
• have more efficient water heater and appliances
• have more efficient lighting

Optional Measures include:
• high efficiency heating systems
• extended eaves
• advanced framed walls
• higher insulation levels
• low water use fixtures

The healthier indoor air required measures include: the use of lower toxicity interior surface coatings, built tight and ventilated right, and covered duct vents during construction. The optional measures include: the use of sealed combustion gas FP, formaldehyde-free casework, CO detector installation, no heating ducts, the installation of timers on exhaust fans, and use of low moisture lumber. It was explained some of the resource efficiency options are: limiting the house size/turf, recycling at the job site, the use of concrete with flyash, use of recycled paint, and use of long lasting materials.

The environmental responsibility is focused on: soil and water conservation, the protection of native vegetation, natural feature protection, pollution control, and on and off-site effects. Some environmental responsibility options include: an erosion control plan, utilities in common trenches, the use of FSC certified wood, the protection of trees and topsoil, and onsite storage for rainwater.

The Earth Advantage Process:
The builder will:
• submit a set of plans for Earth Advantage
• submit an Earth Advantage Points Worksheet
• submit a list of all subcontractors

The City will:
• run energy calculations of plans
• calculate point for the 4 areas
• send specifications to subcontractors
• inspect and test the homes

As part of the design support, the Conservation staff will model the energy performance, and calculate points for: energy, healthy indoor air, environmental responsibility and resource efficiency. The project support includes: incentive agreements, subcontractor specifications, and inspection checklists.

Once completed, the certification will identify the address, the builder, the measures implemented in each of the categories, and the performance test results. As well as provide a sticker to be placed on the electric panel and lawn signs.

Meeting was adjourned at 1:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder

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