Events
Sign up for the Dynamics of Climate Workshop
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2-Day Professional Development Workshop for
Middle and High School Science Teachers.

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Dates:  June 20-21, 2017
Times:  10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location:  Noblesville East Middle School, 1625 Field Dr. Noblesville, 46060  (map)
Room: 1231
Workshop is limited.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.
  • Work in small groups on activities you can use in your classroom.
  • Bring your laptop to review new lesson plans and discuss with group.
  • Earn Professional Development Points!
  • Limited assistance is available to qualifying teachers to help offset expenses such as travel and daycare expenses.  To qualify, you must be a middle or high school science teacher present for both days of the workshop. Assistance will be assigned in the order in which you register.
Participants will learn activities and lesson plans for -
  • Climate Systems
  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Carbon Cycle
  • The Earth’s Energy Budget
  • Climate Data, Variability and Change
  • Changes in the Climate System
  • Adaptations and Mitigation
  • Wedge Game
  • Action and Impacts
Facilitators:
  • Leslie Webb, Carmel Green Initiative president, trained at Purdue to facilitate this program
  • Brandy Yost, High School Biology Teacher, trained at Purdue to facilitate this program
  • Natalie Webb, Middle School Science Teacher
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) has concluded that global warming is unequivocal and that human activity is likely the main cause. The National Research Council’s Grand Challenges in Environmental Sciences (NRC, 2000a) identified four "grand challenges" that are directly linked to climate and climate change.  Additionally, the National Science Foundation has identified climate prediction and variability as a core study area.  Hence, it is vital that adults/teachers and students learn about climate and climate change.

The workshop will address four general questions: What is a climate system and its components?  What are causes and effects of component change?  What are the impacts of these changes?  What can we do about it?  The workshop will actively engage participants in learning through a combination of large and small group activity and discussion that is driven by climate data and visualizations. Participants will gain an understanding of climate variability, the interactions of natural and human systems, and the role of climate data and modeling in decision-making.

The workshop is designed to prepare middle and high school science teachers to both understand the science of climate and climate change and the methods for effectively teaching about climate and climate change.  The workshop consists of rich data sets and visualization activities that are model learning experiences and that address the major misconceptions students and adults hold about climate, global warming and climate change. The workshop was designed to align with a conceptual framework and are: 1) grounded in the research on students’ and adults’ conceptions of climate and climate change, 2) based on instructional activities and experiences that engage participants in analyzing and interpreting climatic data sets and visualizations and that require the application of scientific concepts, and 3) designed in accordance with the research on effective teacher professional development. The workshop promotes active learning and collaboration.  Participating teachers will qualify to earn Professional Development Points.

Here's how some science teachers are planning to use the information learned at the workshops...

"I plan to incorporate this into my ecology unit. We are also practicing problem based learning, so I am interested to see what is going on at a community level."  8th grade science teacher.

"I need the best and latest data to help students understand that climate change is real."  9th grade biology teacher.

"I would like to use this information to improve the Global Climate Change unit of my Environmental Science course."  11-12th grade AP Environmental Science / Physical Geology teacher

 

Past participants include teachers from Boone, Grant, Hamilton, Johnson, Marion, Miami, and Vanderburgh counties:
  • Carmel High School (8)
  • University High School
  • Guerin Catholic High School
  • Noblesville High School (2)
  • Hamilton Southeastern High School  (2)
  • Fishers High School  (3)
  • Zionsville Community High School
  • Pike High School
  • Brebeuf Jesuit
  • Excel Center
  • Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet H. S.
  • Southwood Jr/Sr High School
  • Mississinewa High School (2)
  • William Henry Harrison HS
    (West Lafayette)
  • Herron High School (2)
  • Greenwood Community HS
  • Lebanon High School
  • Bosse High School
  • Peru Junior High School
  • Bedford-North Lawrence HS
  • William Henry Harrison HS (Evansville)
  • New Tech Institute High School
  • F.J. Reitz High School
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  • Carmel Middle School
  • Creekside Middle School
  • Noblesville West Middle School
  • Noblesville East Middle School (2)
  • Emma Donnan Middle School
  • Franklin Township Middle School East  (3)
  • Franklin Township Middle School West  (2)
  • Edgewood Junior High School (2)
  • Doe Creek Middle School
  • IUPUI (9)
  • Oaklanden Elementary
  • Sense Elementary Charter School
  • Paramount Elementary
  • Butler University

 

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Click here to see photos from our workshops!

CLICK HERE FOR LESSON PLANS

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Many thanks to our Partners, Sponsors and Facilitators!

This workshop is offered by Carmel Green Initiative in partnership with Noblesville East Middle School, the City of Carmel, and Purdue University.

This program was developed at Purdue University by the Departments of Curriculum and Instruction, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, and Agronomy  with a grant from the National Science Foundation, Geoscience Education program.  The project directors are Dan Shepardson(PI), Professor of Geoenvironmental and Science Education, Departments of Curriculum and Instruction and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University and Dev Niyogi (CoPI), Indiana State Climatologist and Associate Professor, Departments of Agronomy and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University.

 

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Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation
The Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation Hamilton_County_Soil_and_Water_Conservation_District District organizes various workshops throughout the year.
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2016 Native Tree SALE!!!
Don't miss this sale!  Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District is offering over 30 varieties of native trees and shrubs for only $25.  Payment and orders are due before Saturday, Sept. 3. Read more.

 

 

 



 

Mission Monarch Habitat Creation Workshop  MissionMonarch
Come tour St. Peter's award-winning native habitat landscaping on Monday, Aug 15, 6-8 p.m. Approximately 2.5 acres of land were restored to prairie, pollinator gardens, rain gardens and bioswale using a variety of native wildflowers, grasses, sedges, trees and shrubs.  In addition to providing the awe and beauty of nature, the restored landscaping promotes stewardship of God’s creation, creates a habitat for God’s little creatures (insects, butterflies, birds, and small mammals), significantly reduces its carbon footprint and maintenance costs, requires less mowing and use of chemicals, and promotes better drainage and recharge of the White River watershed.  It’s very impressive and gives you great ideas for replacing your own manicured, fossil fuel intensive lawns. Be inspired and learn how to create a native habitat in your own yard, neighborhood, business or church.  Read more.

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Rain on Main is back!
Painted rain barrels from the art competition will be on display along Main street from Aug. 13-19. In addition to a formal panel of judges, the public is invited to vote for their favorite in a "People's Choice" contest.  The barrels will be featured at the Aug. 20 Carmel Farmers Market where the barrels will be auctioned off to the highest bidders in a silent auction, will be held with all proceeds going to educational signage in Carmel parks. Read more.

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Native Plant Kits
Orders & payment are due by April 23rd

MissionMonarch
Native plants are those that have grown and thrived in this area since before settlers made this area home.  Native plants are beautiful, low maintenance, and provide ideal food for many pollinators! This spring take the guesswork out of your landscaping and go native by purchasing one of the Soil and Water Conservation District’s native plant kits.
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Each native plant kit is contains 50 native plants for $120 and takes the guesswork out of plant selection by providing a set of plants that will be perfect for your yard. There is a kit for any area of your landscape including pollinator garden, rain garden (for wetter areas), prairie garden, and shade garden.  Each kit contains 10 different species of native plants and can fill a space anywhere from 50 to 150 square feet.
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Plant kit orders can be placed online at www.hamiltonswcd.org or by visiting the SWCD office at 1717 Pleasant Street in Noblesville. Orders and payment are due by April 24th.  The plant kits will be available for pick up at the SWCD office on Friday May 13th.

More information on native plants and additional sources for native plant purchases can be found on the Hamilton County SWCD website (http://www.hamiltonswcd.org/where-to-find-native-plants.html).

Questions regarding the plant sale or SWCD resources can be directed to Claire Lane at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 317-773-2181.

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Creating a Sustainable Homestead on your Suburban Lot
Sunday, April 2nd, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. HomesteadingPhotos
Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall C
2003 Pleasant St.
Noblesville
Registration begins at 8:30
$15 per person, includes lunch featuring local ingredients
Register Online
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Producing your own vegetables, eggs, and honey is no longer just for rural homeowners and farmers. It doesn’t take acres of land to provide fresh healthy food for your family. Join the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Purdue Extension Hamilton County for an introduction to homesteading by several local experts.
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Education sessions on backyard beekeeping and chickens, local food sources, and an introduction to home food production as well as the basics of food preservation, will all be covered by local experts. An urban soil health expert will teach how to develop healthy, productive soils for gardens. Additionally, SWCD and Purdue Extension staff will share with attendees the many local resources available to them to start these efforts.
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Sessions:
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Beekeeping 101 - Kate Franzman of Bee Public

Intro to Backyard Chickens - Andrew Brake of Naptown Chickens

Backyard Conservation: How we can help! - Claire Lane of HCSWCD & Diane Turner of Purdue Extention

Eating Local: Where to find local food & overview of home production - Chef  Thom England of Ivy Tech Culinary Program and co-founder of Dig-IN

Urban Soil Health - Kevin Allison of Marion County SWCD

Food Preservation Basics - Joyce Moore of Urban Patch

See Flyer

See News Release

Visit Hamilton County Soil & Water Website
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2015 Native Tree Sale
Orders & Payment are due Sept. 3, 2015
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Free Pond Management Workshop
Wednesday, July 29, and
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
6:30-8:30 p.m.
John Hensel Government Community Room
Carmel
FREE
Pre-registration is appreciated by contacting 
Jake Houchins at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or 317-773-2181.
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There are over 1,000 neighborhood stormwater ponds in Hamilton County and many are plagued by issues such as erosion, algae blooms, Canadian Geese infestations, and high maintenance costs
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There will be speakers for a variety of topics. Refreshments will be served. All of the information for the event, as well as the registration form can be found at http://www.hamiltonswcd.org/workshops--events.html.
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Free Workshop on Pond Shoreline Enhancement
Saturday, June, 13, 2015, 9 a.m.
Ridgefield Subdivision in Fishers
From HW 37 go east on 131st St. and turn right on Promise Road. Make immediate right onto Alamosa Drive
FREE
Pre-registration is appreciated by contacting
Dan McCord at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 317-997-2296 or Claire Lane at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 317-773-2181.

 

This free workshop will cover how shoreline vegetation and native plants can help decrease or eliminate these concerns.  An installation demonstration will be given by Hoosier Aquatic Management and Dan McCord, a resident of Ridgefield Subdivision will guide attendees through the process his neighbored undertook to improve their common areas and ponds. He will discuss challenges and management as well as the significant maintenance cost reductions Ridgefield has seen from their investment in their ponds.  Attendees will have the opportunity to view the established plantings at Ridgefield to get a better vision of what is possible in their communities.

Claire Lane of the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District will discuss free assistance that is available to interested individuals and communities as well as financial assistance options to get projects started.

The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District is partnering with the Hamilton County Urban Conservation Association, Hoosier Aquatic Management, and the Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society to host a “Shoreline Enhancement Workshop” at Ridgefield Subdivision in Fishers.

More information is available online at www.hamiltonswcd.org.

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Free Pond Water Quality Testing for your Neighborhood

The SWCD is undertaking a study to better understand the water quality in Hamilton County detention ponds.  A no obligation inspection will be offered including a review of pond management, physical structure, and laboratory water quality testing.  A free report will be provided to the pond owner/manager at no charge. If you or your HOA would like to be considered for this free program, contact the SWCD at 317-773-2181 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

More information is available online at www.hamiltonswcd.org.

 

 

 
Sustainable Living Seminar: Water...Connecting the Drops

Wednesday, May 18, 2016      CityWaterTower
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Carmel Clay Public Library
55 4th Avenue Southeast, Carmel, IN 46032

Waterthe most precious of life’s commodities.  Something we can’t live without and all take for granted.   It is our right to have clean drinking water to sustain us.  We need to cherish and conserve this precious necessity for all life.   Find out where our drinking water comes from and what Carmel and each individual can do to protect it.  See what the impact of climate change is having on our water system.   Learn aboutCityWaterBluePumps the state of our ground water and its impact of economic development.  Learn about how to save water and money with your sprinkler system.  Find out what happens when we have a heavy rain and how it impacts your storm drainage system.  Learn about the state of the water in Indiana from our expert panel and what you can do to help.  CityWaterHoosierWaterGardian

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These topics will be addressed by our expert panel:

Sue Maki, Carmel Utilities Manager of Environmental Initiatives and Education

John Thomas, Carmel Storm Water Administrator

Jill Hoffman, White River Alliance Executive Director.

Claire Lane, Urban conservationist from the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, will talk about free programs offered to help Hamilton County residents improve their property.  Financial assistance is also available for some of their programs.

Free raffle giveaways including a rain barrel (value $99). Thanks to a donation by City of Carmel.

 

AGENDA

State of the Waters

  • Water cycle basics
  • Threats, current conditions, changing future conditions

Carmel’s surface water resources & connections

  • Major streams & how ponds, ditches & infrastructure connect
  • How drainage is managed & regulated
  • What the city does to reduce non point pollution & flooding

Carmel treated water & embedded energy

  • Source of Carmel drinking water & well head protection efforts
  • Carmel water treatment facility
  • Embedded energy on water

Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District

  • Free Programs
  • Financial Assistance

Other things you can do to protect water supplies & quality

  • Clear Choices clean water campaign
  • White River Festival & volunteer opportunities

RESOURCES

Ensuring the Resilience of our future Water and Energy Systems, EPA, 2014

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Rain Gardens with Native Plantings
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CHS Carmel Earth Fair
Saturday, May 23, 2015CHSEarthFairLogo4
Noon - 4 p.m.
Community Garden by Carmel Middle School
300 S Guilford Road Carmel, IN 46032
FREE

 

This family event is organized by the CHS Environmental Action Club. The purpose is to educate the public on how to go green at home while also raising awareness about local, national, and global environmental issues.
  • Booths will include Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Spring Green Garden Club, Earth Charter Indiana, CCS Green Team, Carmel Green Initiative, and Clay Township Regional Waste District, Carmel Green Teens, and the University High School Ecoblazers, as well as giveaways from Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation and Carmel Household Hazardous Waste Disposal.
  • For entertainment, guests will enjoy Jim Poyser, a renowned speaker from Earth Charter Indiana and youth speakers from Poyser’s organization Youth Power Indiana, as well as talents from CHS students. There will be a variety of singers including Mimi Carnes (sophomore), Emily Worrell (freshman), and Joseph Bloom (sophomore). There will also be a juggler (Vince Carter, senior), and an art display. All of our volunteers are students, as well.
  • Kids activities will include carnival-style games with an environmental twist such as: face-painting featuring  recycling symbols, earths, etc.; guess-how-many jelly beans are in the jar (hint: it's the same number as the tons of trash produced every month in Carmel); recycling toss (test your three-point skills by tossing recyclables into a bin "hoop"), and more!
  • There will also be tours of the Plots to Plates community garden and fresh food from local Carmel Farmer's Market vendors.

Congrats to CHS student Andrew Glesing winner of the Earth Fair logo art contest!

 
Sustainable Living Seminar - The Burden

The_Burden_FilmWedndesday, Feb. 17, 2016     
6:30 - 8:45 p.m.
Carmel Clay Public Library
55 4th Avenue Southeast, Carmel, IN 46032
RSVP

Did you know that the U.S, military is currently the world's single largest institutional consumer of energy, and the United States alone uses 20% of the total global oil supply?  The Burden highlights how heavy reliance upon oil and other fossil fuels poses a variety of national security concerns, including:

  • The vulnerability of troops and loss of lives and money resulting from the need to protect and defend fuel convoys in war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq,
  • The strategic and economic costs of keeping oil rich areas of the world open,
  • How climate change will increae the need for the military to respond to natural disasters, and other emerging global security challenges.

The Burden presents the determined voices of advocates for breaking America's addiction to fossil fuels as essential to improving our national security. Featuring high-level active duty and retired military leaders, elected officials and others, the film illustrates a tale of energy innovation.  Some of our country's most vital consumer technologies emerged out of military needs, such as the Internet and GPS, and the military is poised to play the same role again with energy.

However, as the film highlights, the fossil fuel industry's powerful political influence poses major challenges to successfully developing renewable energy alternatives. But the resolute advocates featured in The Burden are determined to break the energy impasse in order to improve American security and prosperity. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is featured in the documentary.

You will hear from veterans Mayor Greg Ballard and Dan Martin about their experience transporting oil in a war zone, and thoughts on what we can do to break our addiction and improve national security.  Martin is a veteran representative of Operation Free, a campaign of the Truman National Security Project. Mayor Jim Brainard will speak to some of the Carmel's green initiatives.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS, SPONSORS & FRIENDS...

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IUPUI Office of Sustainabiltiy

St. Luke's United Methodist Church

Central Indiana OFA

Citizen's Climate Lobby

Ask Renee, Indiana Living Green

St. Thomas Aquinas Creation Care Ministry

Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Oppose HB 1320 Anti-Solar
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2015 Legislative Session
House Bill 1320 - anti-solar bill
Bill Origin: Indiana Energy Association
Authored by: Rep. Eric Koch

HB 1320 would have made rooftop solar cost prohibitive, would have stifled the free market solar economy, killed jobs in this growing industry, monopolized solar, and limited our energy choices.

SPEAKER BOSMA PULLS THE PLUG ON ANTI-SOLAR BILL
2/26/15 - HB 1320 was pulled from the House calendar for 2nd and 3rd reading before the end of the first half of the session.  House Speaker Brian Bosma halted the bill saying it wasn't the right time for the measure. “There were a whole variety of issues that have arisen around it and it just seemed to me to be a little weighty,” Bosma said.  Kerwin Olson, executive director of Citizens Action Coalition, a ratepayer advocacy group against the bill, said the solar coalition will remain watchful for language in the bill that might be inserted into a bill that is moving. Both Bosma and Olson say they think a General Assembly study committee on the topic is unnecessary.  Read this Indy Star, Tim Evans article: Solar bill appears to be in trouble, 2/24/15

BILL CLEARS HOUSE COMMITTEE HEARING
2/19/15 - Despite overwhelming opposition, the anti-solar bill, HB 1320, passed out of the House Utilities committee last Wednesday with a 9-4 vote along party lines.  See votes below.  Click here to listen to the hearing.  Click here to view the archived video of the hearing.

Rep. Koch submitted a 15-page amendment just 2 hours before the Feb. 18th hearing making it difficult for committee members and those testifying to fully digest. However, the core provisions of the bill adversely affecting rooftop solar remain unchanged.

Over 100 citizens turned out to oppose HB 1320.

Speakers in "opposition" to the bill included Brad Morton, owner Morton Solar, Inc; Jesse Kharbanda executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council; Sue Maki, City of Carmel; Kerwin Olson, executive director Citizens Action Coalition; Denise Abdul- Rahman, Indiana NAACP; Rev. Wyatt Watkins, Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light, East-Side Creation Care Network; Pastor Brian Flory, Beacon Heights Church; and Les Zimmerman farmer Vermillion county.  An additional 28 citizens who signed up to testify against the bill were denied a chance to speak by Acting Chair Van Natter.  Public trust in the integrity of our democratic processes and institution are called into question.

Of the 4 speakers who were "neutral," three asked the committee to table the bill for further study.  The other allegedly neutral speaker was Professor Michael Hicks of Ball State University who had just that morning released a study on net metering. The study was commissioned by the Indiana Energy Association(IEA), the lobby group for the investor-owned electric utilities behind this bill.

There was only one supporter of the bill, Mark Maassel, president of the Indiana Energy Association (IEA) testified in support of the bill.  The other supporter, a representative for INDIAC took no position on the rooftop solar/net metering provisions of the bill, and only spoke in favor of new provisions in the amendment which would help manufacturing.

In all, 39 witnesses urged the committee to reject or table the bill for further study of its impact on the solar industry in Indiana.  Only one witness, the Utility monopoly lobby, supported the bill. Given this testimony, it is remarkably ironic that conservative Republicans voted for a bill that favors big government monopoly over individual freedom, free market and jobs.

This article does a great job of explaining why the Utilities are fighting energy efficiency and rooftop solar, and why we need to hold our legislators and regulators accountable. The weak energy efficiency bill, SB 412, passed out of the Senate.

WHAT'S NEXT?
HB 1320 is technically dead for the session.  However language from the bill could be inserted into another bill that is moving. We will remain on the lookout for such an underhanded tactic.  Stay tuned!!!

TAKE ACTION NOW!
1) Please take a minute to thank House Speaker Brian Bosma for tabling the bill and his leadership to protect Indiana's net metering policy.

2) Thank Representatives Hale, Pierce, Pryor and Forestal for their NO vote on HB 1320 at the House Utilities committee hearing.  Their emails are shown below.

3) Very important - It's still not too late to let your state representative know how you feel about this bill.  HB 1320 would squash Indiana's growing free market solar industry, monopolize rooftop solar, and restrict our energy choices. Let them know why this is important to you and be sure to include your name and address.  Click here for additional information about the bill.  Click here to find your state representative.


House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications
February 18, 2015 Committee Hearing

Dist/Party Name Statehouse email Vote
65-R Koch , Eric 317-232-9674 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
38-R VanNatter , Heath 317-232-9647 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
91-R Behning , Robert 317-232-9643 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
5-R DeVon , Dale 317-232-9678 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
93-R Frizzell , David 317-232-9981 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
67-R Frye , Randall 317-234-9380 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
42-R Morrison , Alan 317-234-2993 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
4-R Soliday , Edmond 317-232-9603 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
90-R Speedy , Mike 317-232-9833 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Yes
87-D Hale , Christina 317-232-9987 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it No
100-D Forestal , Dan 317-232-9987 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it No
61-D Pierce , Matt 317-232-9794 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it No
94-D Pryor , Cherrish 317-232-9794 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it No

 

KEY FACTS ABOUT HB 1320

HB 1320 would squash Indiana's free market solar industry, monopolize rooftop solar, and restrict our energy choices.

  • HB 1320 is designed to kill the free market solar industry by making rooftop solar ownership cost prohibitive.
  • The Utilities want to kill free market competition and grab the solar market for its own electric monopoly.
  • 44 states have Net Metering polices to ensure solar owners are compensated fairly for the power and benefits they provide to the grid. This bill would kill net metering and set Indiana back compared to the rest of the country.
  • This bill would drive a growing number of solar businesses out of Indiana, kill jobs, and result in higher solar prices for Hoosiers.
  • This bill kills energy choice, energy freedom and energy independence for in Indiana.
  • Electric utilities are seeking to pay below market rates for rooftop solar power, add additional charges, and change the interconnection rules, but they have not shown any evidence to justify this.  It's not fair to pass legislation that is so disruptive to a growing free market industry with no evidence that it's needed or justified.
  • The IURC needs to conduct an independent and impartial study of the costs and benefits of rooftop solar to determine its true value. The study should also quantify the real fixed costs for generation, transmission and distribution.  According to an Arizona study, the true market value meets or exceeds the retail rate from benefits that come from avoiding "expensive and polluting conventional power and power plants; reduced investments in transmission and distribution infrastructure; reduced electricity lost during transportation over power lines ... and savings on the cost of meeting renewable energy requirements."

 


 

 
Protect the Free Market Solar Industry in Indiana

You have the right to harness the sunshine on your property! Solar_-_installing_a_solar_array

Generating your own solar power is an important part of building a more sustainable community for a variety of reasons including energy freedom, energy choice, and energy independence.   Homeowners, businesses, schools, congregations, and governments have a right to harvest free, clean energy from the sunshine on their property.  Rooftop solar prices are more affordable every day making ownership more viable, and giving Hoosiers a free market choice for their electricity. However, an important part of the economics of rooftop solar is Net Metering.  This is a policy that helps to ensure solar owners are compensated fairly for the power and benefits they provide to the grid.

In 2011, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), under the Daniels' administration, updated and expanded the Net Metering rule to include all customer classes and systems up to 1 megawatt.  This expansion to the rule moved Indiana from a "D" to a "B" rating for Best Practices in Net Metering Policies.  Indiana's Net Metering policy is working well.  In fact, the rooftop solar at the Cool Creek Nature Center is a perfect example of a rooftop solar project that is financially viable because of the current Net Metering policy.  Indiana should conitnue to explore best practices in net metering to aim for an "A" rating.

In 2015, the utility lobby introduced HB 1320 that would have killed net metering. Click here to read more about HB 1320.

 

How does Net Metering work? Solar_meter_running_backward_at_Cool_Creek_Nature_Center2

When solar panels are producing more electricity than is needed at the time, the excess electricity is delivered to the local distribution grid and the electric meter runs backwards.  The solar customer pays the net difference between the electricity that was used and the electricity that was delivered back to the local grid. With the current Net Metering policy, solar owners are effectively credited at retail rates and compensated fairly for the power and benefits they provide to the grid. The excess solar electricity delivered to the local distribution grid is then used by the neighbor.  The electric utitlity then sells this excess solar electricity to the neighbor at the full retail price.

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Rooftop Solar Provides More Benefits than Costs

Many studies have looked at the costs and benefits of solar power and  found more benefits than costs to the grid, and that solar owners, by investing in their own solar panels, are actually paying more than their fair share to support the grid.  These studies found that their solar panels are benefitting the grid by producing power at the most expensive time of day, during periods of peak demand, and delivering it to their neighbors.  Also, because solar power is generated and consumed locally, solar owners reduce the load on transmission and distribution lines, which reduces the cost of the grid.  In addition, their solar panels offset the extra amount of electricity that the Utility would have had to produce at a remote, centralized power plant due to electricity losses during transmission over power lines.

The Brookings Institute analyzed several studies conducted by various groups and concluded the following

"So what does the accumulating national literature on costs and benefits of net metering say?  Increasingly it concludes— whether conducted by PUCs, national labs, or academics — that the economic benefits of net metering actually outweigh the costs and impose no significant cost increase for non-solar customers.  Far from a net cost, net metering is in most cases a net benefit—for the utility and for non-solar rate-payers…..In short, while the conclusions vary, a significant body of cost-benefit research conducted by PUCs, consultants, and research organizations provides substantial evidence that net metering is more often than not a net benefit to the grid and all ratepayers."

Here are other analysis of multiple studies: 

 

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The Potential for Solar in Indiana is Huge

Indiana has more solar resources than Germany, which has over 36,000 megawatts of installed solar PV, ahead of China and the United States, and set a record in meeting 74% of its single-day electricity demand last year.  Yet, Indiana has less than 0.3% of installed solar capacity compared to Germany.  Clearly, there's a huge potential for growth in the solar sector.

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The free market solar economy is growing in Indiana Solar_is_Growing_IURC

The number of solar installations in Indiana has grown in recent years.  According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Indiana's solar output increased 7-fold from less than 500 kilowatts in 2010 to more than 3,500 in 2012. As of June 2014, according to the Indiana Office of Energy Development, Indiana has 93 MW (93,000 kilowatts) of solar PV installed.   In the U.S., there are now more than half a million solar rooftops on homes and businesses, according to GreenTechMedia.   The factors driving the rapid growth in solar include a drop in the cost of solar equipment, technology improvements as well as favorable federal, state and utility policies according to Purdue's 2014 Indiana Renewable Energy Study.

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. Solar_is_more_affordable

This growth has fostered economic development and jobs.  According to GreenTechMedia, more than $15 billion was invested in American solar projects in 2014, and the average cost of home solar project has dropped 60% since 2008.   Hoosier jobs in the solar industry grew 178 percent in 2013, according to the Solar Foundation. In 2014, solar jobs in the US increased by 30,000; 20 times faster than the national average, according to The Alliance for Solar Choice.  As pricing continues to drop, Indiana is on the verge of a booming solar economy.

Why China is Dominating the Solar Industry, Scientific American, December 2016

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Legislation intended to block the free market solar industry netmeteringmap2014

The growth in distributed generation is competition for the Utilities.

As introduced during the 2015 Legislative Session, House Bill 1320 was designed to squelch the free market solar industry by making rooftop solar prohibitively expensive for Hoosiers. The Utilities want to kill free market competition and grab the solar market for its own electric monopoly. There are Net Metering polices in 44 states.  This bill would have killed net metering and set Indiana back compared to the rest of the country.  It would have put a growing number of solar installers out of business, killing jobs, and resulting in higher solar prices for Hoosiers.  It would have killed energy choice, energy freedom and energy independence for Hoosiers.

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Legislators should protect the free market solar industry in Indiana and vote NO on bills aimed at killing the solar industry.

Through legislation, electric utilities are seeking to Buttons_Take_Action_orange

  • pay less for  rooftop solar power, less than the value of distributed generation
  • add fixed charges
  • change the interconnection rules

But the Utilities have not shown any evidence to justify this.  It's not fair to pass legislation that is so disruptive to a growing free market industry with no evidence that it's needed or justified. The IURC needs to conduct an independent and impartial study of the costs and benefits of rooftop solar to determine its true value. The study should also quantify the real fixed costs for generation, transmission and distribution.  According to an Arizona study, the true market value meets or exceeds the retail rate from benefits that come from avoiding "expensive and polluting conventional power and power plants; reduced investments in transmission and distribution infrastructure; reduced electricity lost during transportation over power lines ... and savings on the cost of meeting renewable energy requirements."

 

Here are some quotes from Tea Party conservative Debbie Dooley:

“If you are protecting monopolies, you are violating free market principles. In Indiana, elected officials who are trying to take away incentives for solar apparently don’t mind giving incentives to big corporations. They just don’t want individuals to have them.”

“Choice is free market and a lot of Republicans support the free market except when it comes to government-created utility monopolies that make a guaranteed profit off of building new power plants.”

“For years, conservatives have been brainwashed into believing solar is bad. In the states where I am active, we don’t hesitate to call out those politicians and now a different message is being delivered. I look forward to coming to Indiana and delivering this message.”

“At some point, we are going to have to look at the structure of the monopoly utilities.”

Check out this audio  -  GreenTechMedia Interview with Debbie Dooley Green Tea Coalition 13 min

Related News





Additional Resources
Economic Trade-Offs Of Owning vs. Leasing Solar, 1/29/15

Report shows Solar is Cheaper than the Grid in 42 of the 50 largest US Cities.

The Benefits and Costs of Solar Distributed Generation for Arizona Public Service

8 Solar Trends to Follow in 2015

Arizona's New Fee Puts a Dent in Rooftop Solar Economics.

APS, solar industry at odds on value of power from rooftop units.

Distributed Solar Energy Provides $34 Million in Benefits to Arizona Ratepayers.

Can S.C.'s groundbreaking net metering policy spread in the Southeast?

Tea Partyers in Florida help Launch Ballot Initiative for Third-Party-Owned Solar.

Florida Ballot Drive seeks to boost Solar Energy in Sunshine State.

 
Green Gift Shop Vendor Information

GreenGiftShop4

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Thanks for your interest in the Green Gift Shop. Our goal is to offer green holiday shopping options to make gift-giving a little greener and more gentle on the Earth!

We encourage you to read this vendor information2015_The_Green_Gift_Shopl_-_Collage_for_website__narrow BEFORE filling out the application.

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What are the Green Gift Shop hours, location and dates?

The 4th annual Green Gift Shop will be held Wednesday, November 15, 2017 from 1:30 - 7:00 p.m. at the Carmel Clay Public Library.   Vendor set-up maybe begin at 12:30 p.m.
Click here to see mapquest.

Click here to visit Green Gift Shop webpage.

What products/services are permitted for sale?

Products/Services must be environmentally-friendly in some way.  The purpose of the Green Gift Shop is to provide families with a green alternative to holiday shopping and gift-giving.  Your products/services must be local, organic, natural, recycled, reused, repurposed or environmentally-friendly in some way to qualify for the Green Gift Shop. We are open to consider other ways in which a product or service is eco-friendly - just let us know in your application.

Alcoholic beverages are NOT permitted at the Carmel library.

Are there other facts I should know?

  • Vendors will be able to display and sell their products to the public and keep their profits.
  • Vendors must have an education component to help attendees learn how your products or services are eco-friendly.
  • One 5’ display table with 2 chairs will be provided.
  • Vendor name will be listed on the Carmel Green Initiative event web page.
  • Wifi is available.
  • Electricity is available to limited tables.  If you need access to electricity, please let us know.  Bring an extension cord.
  • Vendors must agree to be at the Green Gift Shop the entire time.
  • Vendors may unload at the main entrance by the circle.  Click here to see unloading directions & map.
  • There is no cost to participate but all vendors are required to become members of Carmel Green Initiative for this year.  See how to become a member below.

What are the details in regards to new vendors?

  • Vendors from 2016, whom we invite back and become, Carmel Green Initiative members by October 1, 2017  will be allowed to choose their spaces. See how to become a member below.
  • Carmel Green Initiative reserves the right to place or move Vendors at tables if necessary.
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  • Carmel Green Initiative will analyze what we need at the Green Gift Shop in the way of products & services … what we have too much of, what we don’t have enough of, etc.  Vendors will be selected based on the entire range of products/services they wish to sell. Our goal is to offer a variety of green gift options for visitors and make it profitable for our vendors.

How can I become a member?

  • While there is no fee to participate in the Green Gift Shop, vendors are required to join Carmel Green Initiative annually to support our programs.
  • There are several membership levels, however you can become a member for as little as $25.
  • Click here to become a member.

Application

  • If you would like to be considered, please fill out the application, providing as much information as possible. Please remember that filling out the form does not mean that you have been selected.
  • If you filled out a vendor application before and your products are the same, you do not need to fill one out again.  Just renew your Carmel Green Initiative membership for 2017 and let us know you want to participate!
  • Click here to apply.

 

Thanks again for your interest in the Green Gift Shop!

If interested, please contact Madelyn at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 317-815-9941.

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Vote NO on SB 412
Senate Bill 412 Demand-side Management, weak energy efficiency bill  SB_412__MEEA_analysis_of_EE_in_Indiana_with_notes
Bill Origin: Governor Pence 
Authored by: Sen. Jim Merritt
Co-sponsor: Rep Koch
2015 Legislative Session
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A robust and cost effective energy-efficiency program that saves Hoosiers money will help build more sustainable and prosperous communities in Indiana.  However, SB 412 allows Utilities to set their own weak goals, and also guarantees they will make a profit by allowing them to charge customers for energy they no longer use.  Hoosiers would be better off without SB 412.
  • Sadly,  SB 340 (2014 Legislative session) dismantled the state's most effective energy efficiency program. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy 2014 scorecard, Indiana dropped from 27th to 40th as a result of SB340 which allowed industrials to opt out and ended the Energizing Indiana program for homes, businesses, schools and congregations, commercials and industrials.
  • Because of a void in state leadership that’s willing to set a statewide energy savings goal, Utilities have returned to setting their own weaker targets and programs. As shown in the graph, the energy savings for 2015 are 47% less than the savings for 2014. Click here to see graph.
  • Reducing energy waste and increasing energy savings should be a high priority for Indiana as it saves our energy resources and saves money which is good for the local economy and reduces environmental impact. Gov. Pence promised to introduce his own EE program in 2015, but we are concerned because SB 412 appears to let the Utilities call the shots.
  • SB 412 explicitly prohibits the IURC from setting EE goals and allows Utilities to set their own energy efficiency targets and administer their own EE programs. Utilities are required to submit energy efficiency plans every 3 years that include EE goals, programs to meet those goals, budgets and costs, and independent evaluation, measurement and verification.
  • SB 412 also prohibits third party administration of EE programs as was the case with Energizing Indiana.
  • These provisions mean that instead of having the program efficiencies and transparency of a single statewide program, there will be 5 separate energy efficiency programs, one for each investor-owned electric utility.  This will result in administrative inefficiencies, and unnecessary and redundant overhead. These inefficiencies will increase overall costs for Hoosiers, and make transparency more difficult.  It is short-sighted for the legislature to pass a bill prohibiting the IURC from setting statewide EE goals because it may be necessary and desirable to do so again in the future.  Limiting the IURC's authority in this way can be done through an executive order, and does not require the general assembly.
  • Further, SB 412 allows Utilities to recover all associated "program costs" through a rate adjustment mechanism.  Costs include direct and indirect costs of energy efficiency programs, costs associated with the evaluation, measurement, and verification of program results, "lost revenues" and financial incentives.
  • Of particular concern, SB 412 allows Utilities to recover "Lost Revenues” which are the fixed costs the utility is unable to recover as a result of implementing energy efficiency programs. This provision means customers will be charged for energy they don't use…without any time limits on how long. States that have allowed collection of lost revenues have set a three year limit to protect ratepayers.  We believe in supporting the grid, but we think there are more cost-effective and fairer ways to accomplish that.  And, to benefit the local economy, customers should receive the full economic benefit of their energy conservation efforts.
  • These provisions – “program costs”, “lost revenues” and incentives will result in very expensive energy efficiency programs that will not be cost effective. The Utilities have eagerly supported this energy efficiency bill, not just because it allows them to set their own weak goals, but because it guarantees they will make a profit on energy they no longer sell.  Hoosiers would be better off without SB 412.

News & Resources:

 

BILL STATUS:
Cleared Senate Utilities Comm 7-3, passed the Senate 42 - 8 , and passed out of the House Utilities Committee  along party lines, 10-3, and passed the House 72 to 26.  See committee votes below.

WHAT'S NEXT?
SB 412 now goes to the governor's desk. Once it reaches his desk, he has 7 days to sign it. Click here to see the Governor’s bill watch list which will tell you what has reached his desk and the date that he has to take action by.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

1) Very important - Tell Gov. Pence to stop protecting the monopolies and VETO SB 412.  The Governor's energy bill guarantees that Utilities will make a profit from electricity they do not sell because of the energy efficiency program.  It allows Utilities to charge you for energy you are not using.

Call Gov. Pence today at 317-232-4567

Or you can e-mail him here:

2) Thank Senators Breaux, Broden and Randolph and Representatives Hale, Pierce and Pryor for their NO vote on SB 412 at the Senate & House Utilities committee hearings. Their emails are shown below.  Click here to find your state representative.


HOUSE UTILITIES, ENERGY & TELECOMMUNICATIONS
March 18, 2015 Committee Hearing

Passed along party lines 10-3

Dist/Party

Name

Statehouse

email

VOTE

65-R

Koch , Eric

317-232-9674

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Yes

38-R

VanNatter , Heath

317-232-9647

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Yes

91-R

Behning , Robert

317-232-9643

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Yes

5-R

DeVon , Dale

317-232-9678

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Yes

93-R

Frizzell , David

317-232-9981

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Yes

67-R

Frye , Randall

317-234-9380

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Yes

42-R

Morrison , Alan

317-234-2993

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Yes

4-R

Soliday , Edmond

317-232-9603

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Yes

90-R

Speedy , Mike

317-232-9833

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Yes

87-D

Hale , Christina

317-232-9987

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

No

100-D

Forestal , Dan

317-232-9987

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Yes

61-D

Pierce , Matt

317-232-9794

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

No

94-D

Pryor , Cherrish

317-232-9794

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

No

 

SENATE UTILITIES COMMITTEE
January 22, 2015 Committee Hearing
Roll Call
Dist/Party
Name
Statehouse
email
Vote
31-R
Jim Merritt
317-232-9533
Yes
21-R
Jim Buck
317-232-9466
Yes
29-R
Mike Delph
317-232-9541
Yes
18-R
Randel Head
317-232-9488
Yes
47-R
Erin Houchin
317-232-9814
Yes
42-R
Jean Leising
317-234-9054
Yes
49-R
James Tomes
317-232-9414
Yes
34-D
Jean Breaux
317-232-9534
No
10-D
John Broden
317-232-9423
No
2-D
Lonnie Randolph
317-232-9532
No

 

 


BRIEF BACKGROUND OF 2014 SESSION

In 2014, Gov. Pence became the first governor in the country to repeal a successful state-wide energy efficiency program (SB340), and promised to introduce his own EE program in 2015.

SB 340 was authored by Sen. Jim Merritt who claimed that the Energizing Indiana program was not very effective and cost too much. But the truth is Energizing Indiana has been more successful than any prior utility-run programs and costs less than the national average.

In August 2014, a new report conducted by the Energy Center of Wisconsin found that the Energizing Indiana program was saving money and would have continued to generate net benefits for several years. "Core and Core Plus programs are expected to produce overall positive net benefits to Indiana through 2019," according to the report. "These programs returned as much as $3.00 in benefits for each dollar spent from 2012 through 2013. The Core program for commercial and industrial customers provided the most benefits—as much as $5.49 for each dollar spent."

In October 2014, the IURC issued its recommendations for an energy efficiency plan to Governor Pence.

What is really happening here is that Energizing Indiana has been so successful that the utilities wanted to kill it because they're losing money. And it appears Sen. Merritt who carried the bill has a conflict of interest.  "Merritt, who is chairman of the Senate Utility Committee, also is vice president for corporate affairs with the Indiana Rail Road Co. Most of the railroad’s business comes from hauling coal, and its largest clients include utility and coal mining companies." Read more.

Click here to read more about the 2014 session for SB 340 , authored by Sen. Jim Merritt.

 
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