Introducing the NEW SolarFest Workshop Series

Due to the recent uptick in COVID cases, the December workshop is ONLY being offered online.
The recording of this workshop will be posted here later this week.

Sat. Dec. 4th  HOME EFFICIENCY FOR SAVINGS & COMFORT   10:00 – 11:30 am EST

The basics are no longer basic, as building science includes everything from retrofitting to improve thermal gain & loss, moisture control, indoor air quality, to off-gassing, supply chain carbon footprint, materials recycling and even the gold standard of PHIUS House Alliance. Learn what you can do to affordably make your home more comfortable & healthier: weatherization, reducing drafts, improving air quality, insulation, moisture & vapor barriers, and more.

  • Moderator: Alan Benoit, AIA — Sustainable Design
    Alan is an award-winning, Passive House certified architect in Manchester Center who was recognized with Vermont’s Greenest Building Award in 2020 for their net-positive craftsman home. He has been giving presentations for many years, hosting about 50 free educational talks at SolarFest, the Northshire Bookstore, the Manchester Community Library, and other local venues.
  • Brad Long — Efficiency VT
    Brad is a Community Engagement Manager for Efficiency Vermont, where he’s been employed for the past 5 years. Brad works directly with communities throughout the state and finds audience in home owners, businesses and municipalities. His work is to educate and encourage participation in Efficiency Vermont programs, incentives and services as well as connecting people to partners of Efficiency Vermont when applicable.
  • Melanie Paskevich — HEAT Squad
    Director of Operations, Melanie oversees programs’ day-to-day tasks while also supervising strategic goals. Melanie advocates for homeowners, working closely with HEAT Squad’s intake specialists, energy auditors, outreach and marketing teams. She helps homeowners simplify the comprehensive energy upgrade process by coordinating with local contractors, energy committees, and utilities
  • Rick Shappy — HEAT Squad Energy Audit
    Rick is an energy auditor with years of experience in the energy efficiency industry, both as a solar home adviser and an energy auditor.
  • Stephanie Moffett-Hynds – Northshire Window Dressers
    Stephanie is the Programming Director of Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home in Manchester, and recently helped lead a volunteer group that produced window inserts for homes in the Northshire. She is a Vermont Leadership Institute alumnus, a group positively influencing Vermont’s future in business, public policy, education, community development, and a wide range of volunteer and non-profit sector roles.
  • Steve Berry – 1786 Meeting House
    Dr. Steven E. Berry is minister of the Congregational Church of Rupert, a former Vermont state legislator and a board member of SolarFest. Founder and Executive Director of Global Meetinghouse Enterprises LLC, his focus most recently has been on the saving the 1786 Rupert Meetinghouse, the oldest community building of its kind in the state of Vermont.

The historic 1786 Meeting House and SolarFest are co-hosting the best in renewable energy & sustainability. These free monthly workshops, presenting leading experts offering useful advice on the latest practical, how-to ways to live better, improve comfort and cut costs, all while helping to protect our future. We hope that in January the workshops will be held in person at the 1786 Meeting House in Rupert.
Pre-register for in-person or online attendance
Sat. January 15th                 TRANSITION TO A GREEN JOB               10:00 – 11:30 am EST

Plans are being announced for an inclusive clean energy economy with good-paying jobs in construction, building and grid upgrades, transportation, renewable energy and storage. Hear from experts about the best new opportunities in finding a job or starting a business, whatever your interest: building science, electric vehicles, heat pump installation, photovoltaic solar energy, wind technology — planning, design, installation, service…

Sat. February 5th          SOLAR ENERGY + STORAGE SHOWCASE   10:00 am – 2:00 pm EST

A fun-filled way to get all the latest information on cutting costs and taking control with clean, safe solar photovoltaics and storage systems for your home. Talk to a wide cross-section of exhibitors and don’t miss the round-table discussion at noon where the leading experts will share the latest information on technology, permits, rebates and finance.

Sat. March 5th                         GETTING OFF THE GRID                    10:00 – 11:30 am EST

Before you “cut the cord” you need to know: conservation, building design, HVAC options, plus the latest on solar, wind and storage systems, including design, controls and finance. There are even ways to efficiently become partially independent from the grid, like starting with your refrigerator & freezer.

What’s New

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Heating & Cooling With Heat Pumps – Watch the recording in our Learning Center

Thank you to this panel of experts for their important discussion of the pros & cons of ground- and air-source heat pumps, domestic hot water, and the latest new technologies, especially valuable as heating oil and propane prices continue to skyrocket. Moderator Joanne Coons, Matthew Desmarais — Energy Catalyst, Robert Jensen — Agreenability, and Kevin Moravec — Moravec Geothermal

Presentations from the Virtual SolarFest’21

  • Keynote Address: Bill McKibben
  • Panel: The Dynamic State of Energy Policy
  • Discussion: Missing the Carbon for the Trees:  The Role of Forest Carbon Offsets
  • Panel: Practical Experience from Solar Installers
  • Workshop: Net-Zero Building Options
  • Workshop: Overcoming Barriers to Regenerative Farming
  • Workshop: Healthy Soils, Healthy Food, Healthy People
  • Workshop: Restoring Pollinators in Solar Fields
  • Panel: Building a Permanent Home for SolarFest

“The Story of Plastic”
— 2021 Emmy Award Winner —

Congratulations to Film Director Deia Schlosberg, and to all the other writers:
Kyle Cadotte, Tony Hale, Megan Ponder, Brian Wilson & Stiv Wilson,
for winning the 2021 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing: Documentary

…and thanks to all the other performers, presenters & participants for making SolarFest’21 a success! 

Greenvest Named “Best for the World” B Corp

Specializing in clean impact investment management, socially responsible investment firm Greenvest has been ranking in the top 5% of all B Corps in their size group worldwide for sustainable business practices. Joining Ben & Jerry’s and Cabot Creamery, Greenvest earned this honor because of customer initiatives: in-depth investment social screening, personal financial planning, complete digital forms processing, comprehensive community investing that supports local organizations, and shareholder activism services such as proxy voting guidance.

“We’re honored and thankful to be recognized after just a year as a B Corp,” said Todd Walker, Founder and Senior Advisor. Get more information at

Grounded” — New issue of 350VT zine

How Vermonters are cultivation transformative relationships with the land.
In this issue, you’ll read about a BIPOC community farm, invasive-caterpillar-eating chickens, an Abenaki basket maker’s relationship with the black ash tree, a city that grows food for its seniors, arboreal heat-sickness prevention, and how three artists are imagining racial justice into being, among many other stories.” – Marissa Keller, editor

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Since 1995, SolarFest connects people, the arts, ideas and technology, fostering partnerships and activism to create a vibrant present and a sustainable future.
“If there is any place that can lay claim to having started this revolution 20 years ago, it was Vermont and SolarFest.” — Bill McKibben, co-founder of

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