My town had tried to start an Energy Committee. It worked for a little while then fell apart. Later, SERG contacted people and got interest going and we have had a Town endorsed commission for 5 years. The difference was the support and encouragement from SERG. Support was printed materials and physical presence to pose and to answer questions.
SERG is big part of the backbone of the transition away from fossil fuel dependence and over consumption is this community. The cumulative impact of SERG's work convening community dialogues and bringing together the field of energy conservation work, has raised awareness, build coalitions and dramatically furthered this crucial cause in this area.
SERG is responsible for the formation of most of the town energy commissions and committees in NH and VT and offers a great amount of guidence and support in the activities of these groups once they are formed. Bob Walker, Director of SERG, in particular is a sunningly active and valuable resource, participaing and supporting most of the enegery programs and initiatives in both states, and leading many of the most valuable. The Hartford Energy Commission would be lost without the support of Bob and SERG.
SERG provides essential services to the Upper Valley in leading the transition to a renewable energy-based economy!
SERG has done important pioneering work in our region, nudging and helping surrounding towns (such as ours) to form Energy Commissions. In turn, SERG led the way in taking an energy-efficient approach to streetlighting - we learned importantly from their experience and, in our much larger town, turned off 40% of our streetlights and converted the remainder to LEDs, reducing our electricity use for this purpose by about 80%. We look to SERG to get inspiration for what's possible....
Vermont is a small and very active 'Green' State. For its size, it is amazing that a rural and relatively impoverished State with challenging weather at best, tourism as our major income, could become a leader in this cutting edge arena of energy conservation and general 'greening' of the planet. It is no accident that VT is like this and it has been building decades before 'green' became so politically-correct. The reason for that, in my opinion, is because of the efforts of small, grass-roots organizations lead by visionaries who are also so skilled in the practicalities of taking on long, yet emergency, challenges in a practical, efficient way that they create organizations like SUSTAINABLE ENERGY RESOURCES GROUP. SERG, on a daily basis, makes a practical difference in each person's ability to cut their carbon footprint in our towns and villages beause of it's innovative programs, its decades-long, hands-on experience and commitment in building a movement that will stay productive and in a practical way, get people to gently understand the severe and frightening challenges facing us and then offering, even orchestrating and finding public funding sources to help real individuals make practical changes, weatherizing old homes for little or no out-pocket money bc SERG was instrumental in finding large grant sources, making huge cuts in energy-use and public expense thereon w/our outdated streetlight programs. In our largish-small town, in particular, it has grass-root-garnered support for energy initiatives w/measurable results - generated/coordinated/public funding for weatherization projects on town buildings and countless home-weatherization and energy efficient projects. Day to day in real people's lives, often impoverished persons' lives, SERG has been making a quantifiable difference -- organizing whole brigades of people to canvass our rural area to see who needed help, what kind, and how to make it affordable. This not only helped the people receiving the information, it increased all-out community involvement and commitment by foraging for so many door-to-door teams of volunteers. From nuts to dessert, the whole magilla, and now we have a very large (by VT standards) town populace that is not only far better educated and voluntarily making daily better choices regarding the planet and it's finite sources but are actual physical beneficiaries of a warmer home, a safer to place to live, streetlights that use 1/10th (if that) the power (and money) --a whole town coalesced around energy conversation and conservation in a practical, pass-it-on-to-the-next-generation way that will serve the planet and public good far longer than most of the people on the Board ever envisioned. And it's in my town, and it's changing people, people who otherwise wouldn't have learned or acted AND that's the biggest difference I see w/this organization --it helps in a far-reacing practical way but it also builds community and changes people. Without that level of participation in energy-conservation, that personal commitment, no programs in the world are going to work for long enough to make a difference. -- Plus, SERG has taken it State-wide in building coalitions w/other larger, more 'recognized/sexy' environmental organizations to help them bring the 'theory' into direct practice in the lives of all VT citizenry --but I am privileged to have watched it grow across decades w/the dedication and support of many people but primarily through the hands-on, day-to-day, minute-to-minute, in the trenches efforts of its Exec Dir, Robert Walker, a simple-living, dedicated, quiet example of someone who not only walks his talk but takes it to the far reaches of the State and too often on a shoestring budget. It is a premier, altho under-recognized, charity that I am proud to write an endorsement for. C. Creek Kelsey, Esq. (Juris doctor, cum laud University of San Diego Law School; Masters in Studies of Environmental Law, magna cum laud from Vermont Law School's #1 world ranked environmental program.)