The Enfield Clean Energy Committee will hold a bike tour of solar installations in the community on Saturday, October 5 at 1 p.m. The tour will allow homeowners, businesses and educators that are interested in an up-close look at homes with solar energy systems to explore what others are doing.
The tour is open to everyone and will start at Enfield Public Library on Middle Road. The 14-mile bicycle ride will cover four homes with solar electricity, solar hot water, geothermal, composting and other features. It will end at the Weymouth Road Fire Station to see the solar electric system there.
Participants are asked to pre-register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and to arrive at the library a few minutes before 1 p.m. with bike and helmet.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has released a draft Comprehensive Energy Strategy, as required by a 2011 law.
That strategy includes a section on transportation, which was the subject of a hearing on November 14 in New Britain.
According to the DEEP document, the transportation sector accounts for 32% of the state's energy consumption, but produces about 40% of the state's greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, reducing the number of "vehicle miles traveled" (VMTs) would reduce pollution levels, our reliance on petroleum, and save money.
How do we reduce VMTs? That's where we come in: by encouraging more people to take more short trips by bike or by foot instead of by car.
DEEP's energy strategy document does a great job of making the case for bikeable, walkable communities and bike commuting. The document addresses biking and walking in a number of places, including the recommendation to "facilitate transit-oriented development to increase mobility and create more livable communities" (page 177). The next step will be to develop and carry out an ambitious, effective implementation plan.
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