The first Monadnock Clean Energy Fair drew more than 250 people to the Peterborough Community Center on Saturday and helped shape the next steps for local renewable energy projects, according to a news release from the Peterborough Renewable Energy Project.
The Peterborough Renewable Energy Project (PREP) and the Monadnock Sustainability Hub joined forces on the event to inform area residents about saving money with renewable energy. The fair featured 20 energy-related businesses, nonprofits and community groups, as well as two workshops, electric vehicle demonstrations, free food and face painting for kids.
The Peterborough Renewable Energy Project is a team of community members dedicated to the goals of a warrant article that voters passed in 2021 to transition the town to 100 percent renewable sources of electricity by 2030, and all other energy needs by 2050.
The Monadnock Sustainability Hub works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach 100 percent clean energy as well, according to the news release.
Saturday’s event was part of a first step in informing peopleabout how to switch to renewable energy, according to Peterborough energy project member Jean Foster. The other part, which is already live, was creating a website to share information.
“Our website is one resource, but we’re also doing things like this fair, where people can come and talk to experts and businesses that do solar installations, plumbing and heating,” Foster said.
The fair’s first run was successful, she added, and she hopes it will continue to grow in coming years to feature more exhibitors and draw more residents. Foster said the next step for the Peterborough Renewable Energy Project is to continue educating residents through a monthly column in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript that shares how others have switched their energy sources, as well as
working alongside BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based company that does consulting and helps people do energy audits. Foster said the idea is to have the company audit Peterborough facilities.
Foster said the feedback from attendees of Saturday’s event was positive, with many happy to find a source of information about renewable energy.
“We’re used to the infrastructure we’ve been living with all of our lives, and to suddenly think about doing something completely different and not knowing what works ... that’s the sort of questions that people were coming there to get answered,” Foster said.