The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network collaborates to accelerate the adoption of econmically viable, socially equitable, and environmentally responsible best practices in American Southeastern communities. We do this by sharing information and problem solving together. SSDN is a project of the Chalice Oak Foundation.
   The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network:
   February Update

SSDN 2015 Annual Meeting
Survey and Registration

The 2015 SSDN Annual Meeting is set for June 22 – 24 in Charleston, SC, and is being planned by SSDN members Braden Kay (Orlando, FL), Carolee Williams (Charleston, SC), Jon Ippel (Orlando, FL), and Kerby Smithson (Asheville, NC). Each year, members and staff strive to design a meeting that is helpful in content and effective in structure.

Thanks to the 23 of you who have taken the survey so far. If you haven’t yet done so, please take this short survey to inform the Annual Meeting Planning Committee of your thoughts for this year's meeting. It builds off feedback forms from the 2014 meeting in Orlando, and fills in some information gaps so we can have the best meeting possible.

March All Network Call:
Local Food Systems


There will be an All Network Call for SSDN to discuss Local Food Systems on March 18th at 4:00 pm EST.
The Local Food Systems Work Group is hosting a call to learn more about land use policy and local food systems. Speakers Edwin Marty from Austin, Texas and Peter Nierengarten from Fayetteville, Arkansas will discuss advice for communities just getting started,  the biggest road blocks they faced, and major lessons learned with a focus of supporting SSDN members early in their efforts or just getting started. Register for this event here.


Funding Opportunities


The USDN Innovation Fund Regional Network RFP – Proposals due April 30, 2015

$50,000 is available for dissemination and adoption of innovation fund products. Examples include Urban Agriculture, Equity, LED Street Lights, Community Social Engagement, and more
This RFP is ONLY available to the 8 USDN Regional Networks, so the possibility for an award to a quality proposal is high.  Please see the RFP for more information
An SSDN call is scheduled for March 3rd at 12:00 pm EST. This call is to learn about the opportunity and brainstorm ideas for an SSDN application. Register for that call here.  Also note the March 5th Q & A call for all Regional Networks.
Peer Exchange RFP - Proposals due April 1, 2015

The USDN Peer Exchange Grant Selection Committee will support a number of 1-to-1 or small group peer exchanges that will be chosen through this RFP process.
Peer exchange grants are designed to have a quick turn around, small funding amounts, narrow scopes, not involving a third party/consultant, and don’t have to be innovative.  

Community Engagement Tagging Matrix

The Community Engagement Work Group would like to streamline sharing resources so we don’t always have to recreate the wheel. Do you have materials you’ve used to engage your community that others could learn from or reuse? Items like brochures, web graphics, communications plans, engagement strategies? If you do, please take a few minutes to upload these materials to The Community Engagement Work Group came up with this tagging matrix to make it easier to post and search for these materials. Please use this guide when uploading materials for this effort.

See What SSDN Members Are Posting
Please continue to share with us what you're learning or needing to know on We look forward to sharing your posts  in the newsletter next month.

Can't log on to USDN?  Reply to this email or send Susanna a note and we'll fix that. Posters, be sure to tag the Southeast so we can all see.  A tutorial for the site is here.


Case Study:
Interior and Exterior LED's
Fayetteville, AR
Exterior LEDs
In February 2015, an LED Street Light replacement project was completed in the City of Fayetteville's Entertainment District.  The project replaced 70 high-pressure sodium 170 watt fixtures with new 60 watt light emitting diode (LED) fixtures. These fixtures provide more light output at a reduced energy cost.

The local utility AEPSouthwestern Electric Power Company provided an incentive to the City in the amount of $4,967.83 for the replacement of the existing fixtures.  Total project cost was $13,728 ($8,760 after the utility incentive). The estimated electricity savings associated with the new lighting will be $3,725 per year with a 3.5 to 4.0 year project payback.

Interior LEDs
In January of 2015, the City of Fayetteville replaced the lights in their Recycling and Trash Center. The project facility consisted of 2 large bays with a total of 33 lights. The previously existing 400 watt metal halide lights were replaced with 107 watt LED lights and 12 of the 33 lighting fixtures have daylight harvesting sensors allowing for extra efficiency and savings.

AEPSouthwestern Electric Power Company provided an incentive to the City in the amount of $6,892.97 to replace the existing fixtures. The total project cost was $8,158.63 (including the $6,892.97 incentive). The estimated electricity savings associated with the new lighting will be $4,560 per year with a 1.8 year project payback. 

Ease of Replication: Creating the New Normal  
It’s easy to read a success like this and think: “but my utility would never rebate”, “my city won’t go for a performance contract”, or “I have no initial capital to start a municipal energy fund”.
However, some key takeaways can apply anywhere, regardless of individual circumstance:

Collect data. Take the time to do some research on the USDN site and the internet to see what cities most like you in size and political climate have had in terms of lighting retrofit success. Take the energy costs savings of your closest retrofitting neighbor to your manager and show how replicating can save money and time.
Borrow. Many SSDN members have been down this path. Borrow Performance Contracting RFPs, contract templates, and utility agreements. Show them to your administration, legal council, and utilities. Explain that retrofitting to save energy and costs is a standard best practice.
Start small. Pilot liberally to reduce risk. Starting in one building - or on one city street - can reduce the fear of enormous investment. Showing the lack of maintenance and reduced costs can help you build up to a district.
Give back. Someone in your network will follow in your shoes. Make it easy for them to step in all the solid places you’ve stepped, and avoid the potholes.
Go after low hanging fruit. Go after buildings with high utility bills and long operating hours to get the fastest payback for the project.


Southeast Sustainability Directors Network
P.O. Box 27534
Knoxville, TN 37927

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