The cold weather from this winter was greeted warmly by officials at IBM in Essex, which has started using frigid winter air to help produce the chilled water it needs to operate the plant s high-tech manufacturing facilities.The new system, called Free Cooling, integrates cold air into the plant s large climate control system to produce 50% of its winter-cooling needs. By taking advantage of the plentiful wintry air, IBM can shut down some of its large chillers, resulting in a projected savings of $400,000 per year in electric costs. Semiconductor clean rooms require that a precise temperature and humidity be maintained around the clock, so until now we have had to run many chillers even in the winter. Our engineering team worked to improve this process and they developed an innovative solution that reduces our energy footprint and cuts power costs by $2,000 to $3,000 a day, said Tim Baechle, Facilities Operations Manager at IBM.The Free Cooling system was paid for in part out of GMP s Energy Efficiency Fund, which was started in 2007 to maximize for its customers the financial and environmental benefits of energy efficiency. IBM received approximately $1.5 million from the fund to help support the costs of the project.Green Mountain Power President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Powell said, We are pleased to partner with our largest customer to cut costs and help the environment. It is one more way we are pursuing our vision of low cost, low emission, highly reliable power. Demand reduction is a key part of our efforts to operate an efficient, environmentally friendly electric system.David O Brien, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service agreed that this project shows how businesses in Vermont can be creative in finding ways to reduce energy use. We are very pleased to see IBM and Green Mountain Power work together to take advantage of one of Vermont s natural resources cold air to save energy. The Energy Efficiency Fund is a smart investment that benefits all Green Mountain Power customers through lowering energy use and reducing the need for us to make expensive investments in power generation and transmission, said Ms. Powell.GMP plans to invest $8 million in the Fund by end of 2012, generating approximately $23 million in benefits to the company s customers over time. IBM has had a long term commitment to energy efficiency; we have been able to achieve sustained success because of the creativity and technical depth of our on-site engineering team. The GMP Energy Efficiency Fund created a unique opportunity for us to complete a very large project. It helped us fund an innovative idea that led to reduced costs on one of our largest energy using systems, said Janette Bombardier, Manager of Site Operations at the IBM location.The Free Cooling system has the ability to circulate up to 12,000 gallons of cold water each minute and can create the cooling equivalent of 2,500 window air conditioners. The system started running in December of 2008 and will be used from November through April as weather permits.About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com(link is external)) transmits, distributes and sells electricity and utility construction services in the State of Vermont in a service territory with approximately one quarter of Vermont s population. It serves more than 200,000 people and businesses.
As recovery efforts continue to move forward, the VT Irene Flood Relief Fund has reviewed nearly 200 grant applications from many small businesses showing more than $18 million in damages from Tropical Storm Irene. To date, the advisory committee has made first round grant awards to businesses from Wilmington to Waterbury; 54 applicants have received more than $107,000 out of the nearly $250,000 that has been generously pledged by individuals and organizations . Additional pledges continue to come in, but much more effort is required in order to meet the needs of the applicants seeking assistance. Todd Bailey, the Fund’s founder and an Associate at KSE Partners in Montpelier, said, ‘This has been a very difficult process ‘ every application that we have seen shows a need, but some tough decisions have had to be made because of the limited resources.’ The other members of the advisory committee echoed Bailey’s comments ‘ the seven-member committee has had a number of conference calls and has reviewed and evaluated every application. Central Vermont Community Action Council serves as the Fund’s fiscal agent and has received a steady stream of applications. Executive Director Hal Cohen notes, ‘We’ve have done our best to get money disbursed as quickly as we can, but continued financial support will go a long way in helping us to meet the needs of more businesses across Vermont.’ Cohen continued, ‘Some businesses are just now becoming aware of the VT Irene Flood Relief Fund’. · Andrew Brewer, Owner, Onion River Sports · Andrea Cohen, Executive Director, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Founded in August 20011 by Montpelier resident Todd Bailey for the purpose of raising money to support small businesses damaged by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene. After a grant application review process, all funds raised will be directly awarded to Vermont businesses in their efforts to rebuild from damage or losses sustained. Grant applications can be obtained online atwww.vtirenefund.org(link is external) or by calling 802-552-3449. About the Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund (www.vtirenefund.org(link is external)) Fiscal Agent: Central Vermont Community Action Council Founded in 1965, Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC) helps people achieve economic sufficiency with dignity through individual and family development. CVCAC is part of the nationwide network of Community Action Agencies; a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency and a Community Development Corporation. The organization serves over 15,000 low-income Vermonters each year in Washington, Orange and Lamoille counties and offers a number of statewide programs. www.cvcac.org(link is external) · Kate Paine, Executive Director, Women Business Owners Network and Principal, Kate Paine Associates Member of the VT Irene Flood Relief Fund Advisory Committee: ‘This kind of help is unique ‘ it provides a financial shot in the arm for businesses to get their doors opened again,’ said Bailey. ‘The more applications we see, the more we know we’re doing our best to help our small businesses in Vermont right now.’ · Todd Bailey ‘ Associate at KSE Partners (www.ksefocus.com(link is external)) · Shawn Shouldice, Principal, Capital Connections, LLC · Charlie Wilson, Chairman, Vermont Alliance of Independent Country Stores Businesses who have applied but may not have received a grant to date may be reconsidered as more funds become available. The advisory committee will be meeting to make another round of grant awards next week, and will continue reviewing applications as they are received. · Hal Cohen, Executive Director, Central Vermont Community Action Council · Kevin Wiberg, Fund Administrator, Central Vermont Community Action Council
1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Trying to keep up with compliance these days can feel as if you might be running in circles, or if you are like me, paying the price in the form of an abundant loss of hair. New rules and requirements continue to be released, seemingly on a weekly basis. While staying current on these new requirements, credit unions also need to be aware of the annual threshold updates to certain regulations.The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently published a final rule revising dollar amounts for certain regulations falling under Regulation Z (1) that implement the CARD Act safe-harbor penalty fee amounts, (2) for points and fees related to the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (here’s a compliance guide ), and (3) for loan amount, point and fee limits under the ability-to-repay and qualified mortgage provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act.All of these threshold adjustments will be effective Jan. 1, 2017, except the credit card penalty fee amounts. continue reading »
continue reading » One Illinois credit union has opened a branch in a local library as a touchpoint to serve the community and grow its membership.Five years ago, when Mike Lee took over as CEO of Kane County Teachers Credit Union in Elgin, Ill., he had a branch on a dead-end street and another in a historic building that wasn’t readily visible.Still another branch was a block off a major thoroughfare. And with the name “Kane County Teachers Credit Union” over the door, “people thought you had to be a teacher or part of a union to join,” Lee says.He rebranded the $231 million asset institution as KCT Credit Union and partnered with the Gail Borden Public Library—one of its select employee groups—to open a branch in downtown Elgin. KCT CU’s branch in the Gail Borden Public Library saved the CU the cost of building a new branch. “A library is a place where there already are people,” says CEO Mike Lee. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
RED BANK – Red Bank RiverCenter has announced the winners of its two new holiday promotions.During the holiday season the agency expanded its calendar to include a new event, the “We Double Dog Dare You Scavenger Hunt” during which shoppers visited 50-plus participating businesses in search of a hidden character inspired by the classic holiday movie A Christmas Story. Shoppers gathered stamps for every character they found, and once 15 were collected they entered to win Red Bank gift cards that can be used at 150 borough businesses. Three winners were drawn and received Red Bank gift cards. They were the Bemy family from Highlands, the Mullens from Rockaway Beach, N.Y., and the Mazzuccas from Fair Haven.The movie theme continued with the return of the window decorating contest. Businesses were invited to decorate their windows using any holiday movie of their choice. Some of the movies featured were A Christmas Story, White Christmas, Elf, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.The winning window was at Lux Beauty Store, 88 Broad St. with the theme Twas the Night Before Christmas.“I had a lot of fun with it and shared with all of my customers,” owner Linda Martino said. “I’m thrilled with my win.”Martino will receive $500 in advertising dollars to use as she wishes. YESTERcades at 80 Broad St. was a close second with their painted A Christmas Story window, and rounding out third place was Rue Royale Couture at 24 Monmouth St. with The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, of course, with Cindy Lou Who.Shoppers voted online for their favorite windows and Mackenzie Leary of Oceanport was the randomly drawn winner of a $50 Red Bank Gift Card. RiverCenter thanks all who participated.For more information about upcoming Red Bank events, please contact Red Bank RiverCenter at 732-842-4244 or visit www.ACoolLittleTown.com.
FAIR HAVEN – Local residents came out to Fair Haven Fields June 15 to celebrate their town at Fair Haven Day. There was a climbing wall and bounce houses sponsored by various local businesses, giving children many opportunities for having fun. A favorite spot for the kids was a classic truck filled to the brim with bags of popcorn, all donated by Brennan’s Delicatessen. Face painting and colorful bandage wraps were also available. Mayor Ben Lucarelli and state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon were in attendance for the grand opening of a new toddler-friendly play set for the Fair Haven Fields playground, made possible through the fundraising efforts of local resident Cristina Stanley. All present enjoyed live music, great food and fun games with fireworks at the end of the night. Photos by Patrick Olivero