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Growing energy nonprofit  has full schedule of events

In its first year as a non-profit, grassroots organization, the Monadnock Energy Resources Initiative has been quietly working to help communities in the region gain more energy security and independence through increasing the use of sustainable resources and improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

Launching a neighbors-helping-neighbors weatherization program and a low-cost barn-raiser style solar hot water program, they moved directly into action.

The group has held a Button Up NH Weatherization Workshop with 70 participants, and has organized five full-day, hands-on weatherization workshops for the region. The workshops, led by BPI certified energy auditor Andy Duncan, taught participants skills they could practice on site and then take home to reduce their own energy usage and fuel bills, while improving the energy efficiency of the buildings they were weatherizing. Two were held at the River Center in Peterborough, then Nature’s Classroom in Hancock, and at homes in Keene and Milford.

Now, MERI is gearing up for the season ahead. All events are free and include refreshments. Below are some of the upcoming events:

On March 6, the Peterborough library will host a Button Up NH Weatherization Workshop from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Ted Stiles will teach do-it-yourself techniques homeowners can use to help their homes keep out the cold in winter and the heat in the summer. Pizza and drinks will be served.

On March 10 at a home in Keene, a hands-on, advanced weatherization workshop will be led by Andy Duncan, BPI Certified Energy Auditor. The event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., is an opportunity to practice advanced weatherization skills with supervision. Come in work clothes and join the crew. Lunch, snacks and drinks will be served.

On March 23, volunteers will return to the Grapevine for a free full-day, hands-on weatherization workshop, focused on plugging up the holes, “air sealing” areas of air infiltration and learning techniques to safely tighten up the building, under the direction of Duncan. Using recommendations from a Feb. 16 energy audit, participants will help the center become more energy efficient while practicing what they can do at homes to lower their energy usage and bills. Come in work clothes and volunteer. Lunch, snacks and drinks will be served.

On April 6, Duncan will lead a free “clinic” on the safe use of weatherization products at Belletete’s hardware store in Jaffrey from 10 a.m. to noon.

Later this spring, Stiles will conduct a professional energy audit for a dorm at the High Mowing School in Wilton. While diagnosing where the building is wasting the most energy through air infiltration and how to most effectively remedy the problems, the audit will also provide an educational experience for students and staff observers.

To participate, contact Bev Edwards at 878-3227 or at nadesha@msn.com.

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