Connecting & Activating Vermont Communities

Winter Workshop Series 2023

Join VECAN every other Wednesday for a virtual workshop on timely clean energy, climate action and community-focused topics. These workshops will provide opportunities to dig into policies and creative initiatives, and engage with fellow community energy leaders!

Learn more about our upcoming Winter 2023 workshops, register to join us below, and stay tuned for more workshops to be announced in the coming weeks.

January 18th – Complete Streets: Connecting Communities Through Multi-Modal Transportation Options

In Vermont, where 93% of residents rely on a vehicle to get where they need to go, and transportation is our largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, Complete Streets presents an opportunity to build a transportation future that is clean and widely accessible. Complete Streets is a policy that integrates the needs of users of all ages and abilities into street designs – pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users are all considered when constructing a new road or re-paving an existing one. Watch the recording of this webinar to learn more about how to support the planning, design, and implementation of Complete Streets in your community and support Vermont in building a cleaner, more equitable, and accessible transportation future for everyone! 

February 1st – Community-Led Resilience Hubs

Join us on Wednesday, February 1st at noon to learn about Community-Led Resilience Hubs in Vermont. Rural and energy-burdened areas often experience a “resilience divide” due to characteristics like low population density and a population that is inadequately included, valued, or compensated. Additionally, infrastructure and community support systems are often dispersed, under-resourced, and therefore not readily accessible or utilized to their full potential. Through regionally-specific co-creation and community-led design, we can support and enhance pre-existing community capacity (leadership/people power and infrastructure), making Vermont communities in that region more equitable, thriving, and climate-resilient. Join us to learn more about rural community resilience hubs, hear about case studies in Vermont, and identify ways your community can initiate a conversation.

February 15th – Inter-Community Idea Share: Cross-Pollinating Community Energy Progress, Challenges, and Successes

Are you hoping to launch an energy or climate action project or campaign in your town but don’t know where to start? Do you have a success story that you think other communities can learn from? Is your energy committee facing roadblocks that you need advice for overcoming? What better way to formulate ideas and strategies for your community than to cross-pollinate with energy committees and grassroots environmental change-makers across the state! Real change takes place from the ground up, and we want to hear from YOU and your community about strategies, projects, tips, challenges, and reflections surrounding your local efforts. Energy committees and environmental change-makers across Vermont have overlapping projects, challenges, and goals; this workshop aims to provide a space for you to share your experiences and learn from one another’s efforts, open up space to breed inter-community collaboration and identify potential shared priorities and projects – and ways to collaboratively advance them.

March 1st – Keeping Vermonters Warm… and Cool: The Potential of Thermal Energy Networks

Geothermal or other kinds of thermal energy networks are one of the cleanest, most efficient, safest, and healthiest ways to heat and cool buildings. They are a known, demonstrated solution that we can bring to our town centers and neighborhoods. Beginning with the basics and benefits of networked geothermal systems, this workshop opens up the possibilities for harnessing and exchanging thermal energy. We’ll hear from two companies with innovative, proven technologies who will explain how they maximize heating and cooling. Celsius Energy uses angled drilling to install a geothermal system within just two parking spaces. SHARC Energy captures heating from the stream of warm water we send down the drain every day. The possibilities are exciting and prompt the question: What can work here in Vermont?

This workshop is the first in a series of lunchtime webinars organized by the Vermont Community Geothermal Alliance, aimed at introducing the opportunities and benefits of adding geothermal and other kinds of thermal energy networks to our clean energy solutions. The following webinars include “Putting Thermal Networks to Work: Achieving climate goals and policy solutions” hosted by Energy Action Network on March 20th, and “The Benefits and Business of Thermal Energy Networks” hosted by Renewable Energy Vermont on April 4th. Learn more about the webinar series here!