Friday, March 6, 2009
Support for the alternative energy bylaw
To the Editor:
A hearing on the proposed wind-conversion systems (wind turbines) and solar-generation bylaw, drafted by the Alternative Accessory Clean Energy Generation Committee (AACEG), has been continued to Monday, March 9.
In thinking about the pros and cons of an alternative energy generation bylaw for the town, it is important to consider the fact that the state is pressing forward with plans to promote and permit residential and commercial alternative energy generation. Without a town bylaw, state “by right” provisions will apply. Having no bylaw leaves Carlisle vulnerable to judgments rendered by the state in the event of a lawsuit by residents pursuing alternative energy generation options for their homes. A town bylaw provides the opportunity to craft guidelines specifically tailored for our community and set the standards for residential alternative energy generation installations.
After reading the draft bylaw, I am impressed by the level of attention paid to the issues of the permitting process, safety, noise and aesthetics. I believe that the proposed bylaw will help preserve the “character” of our town and responsibly move us toward a future of greater energy independence and clean energy generation. I encourage members of the community to read the bylaw and submit any lingering questions or comments to the AACEG directly or to the Planning Board during the hearing on March 9.
Kill-A-Watts at the GPL
To the Editor:
About a year and a half ago the Gleason Public Library (GPL) acquired four Kill-A-Watts for use by library patrons. These devices are used to monitor electrical appliances and to determine the total energy consumed over some period, e.g. a day. By multiplying that figure by 365 one can project the reading to an annual consumption. As long as the appliance is used normally during the measurement period, one can have confidence in the projection. Last week I borrowed a Kill-A-Watt and was somewhat surprised at what I found.
We have both a refrigerator/freezer combination and a separate freezer. The refrigerator is a frost-free unit that is in heavy use. It had a rated consumption of 598 kWh/year when purchased in 1998. I measured its electricity consumption to be 617 kWh/year. This is good agreement when you consider that the efficiency of a refrigerator or freezer declines with age. However, when I measured the energy consumption of our (much older) manual defrost freezer I got a real shock. It turned out to be 1060 kWh/year - about 12.5% of our total electric bill.
After some research, my wife and I bought a comparable replacement - a 14.1 cu. ft. Frigidaire manual defrost. Although it was rated at 443 kWh/year, I was skeptical and needed an actual measurement under identical conditions to be satisfied. In fact, after waiting a day for the freezer to stabilize, I measured a mere 391 kWh/year.
To put this in perspective, the energy savings of 669 kWh/year translates to $137/yr at our February 2009 electric rate of $0.205/kWh. Since we paid $420 for the new freezer (including sales tax and free delivery) it will pay for itself in three years. Not a bad investment these days!
I urge anyone who is curious about his or her electric bill to borrow a Kill-A-Watt and see where the juice is going. Like us, you might find big savings you have been overlooking.
Why is the Salvation Army Kettle still at Ferns?
To the Editor:
Why is the Salvation Army kettle still at Ferns? The Salvation Army takes donations all year round. In Carlisle, we have the ability to earmark our donations for our own town residents. Because of the Salvation Army’s generous support, The Carlisle Council on Aging (COA) has been able to help several families through the Good Neighbor Energy Fund and another family with some help towards their high prescription bills. In the last year, The Salvation Army has given out 27 times what we have collected. I realize that times are tough and that every group is asking for your help and support, but if you can put something in the kettle, it will be used to help someone in town, and be very much appreciated.
I would like to thank Larry Bearfield and Robin Emerson of Ferns for letting the kettle take up their prime real estate. Thanks also goes to Ray Taylor, treasurer of the Friends of the Carlisle COA, for handling the deposits. Again, all contributions made to our “Town Kettle” remain in town and will allow us to support residents with fuel, food, and other essentials when the need arises. Residents (of all ages) who have needs are encouraged to call the COA at 1-978-369-7673. Complete confidentiality is assured. Your generous support is very much appreciated!
Thanks to the Fire Department
To the Editor:
In the past, I have read letters expressing “thanks” to Carlisle’s Firefighters and EMTs for their fine care and service. On a recent visit back to Carlisle, I had the chance to experience this for myself. An unfortunate fall left one of my knees in excruciating pain. A call to 911 was placed and instantly, along with the police, came the ambulance with EMTs John Bakewell, George Middleton, Frank Sargent and J.J. Supple. Although my case was far from life-threatening, they treated me with the greatest of care, respect and professionalism. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to those guys. Thank you! The Town of Carlisle is indeed blessed to have such competent professionals who are so devoted and caring.
© 2009 The