Fri, 10/23/2020 - 10:15am

Leo Club Scarecrow Contest
To the Editor:

The Block Island Leo Club members are overwhelmed by the response to their Scarecrow Contest.

To answer some of the questions posed:

· The contest is from now until Nov. 21. No pressure. Put yours together whenever you’re ready.

· There is no cost to participate, just email the Leos at blockislandleoclub@gmail. com to say you want to be involved. When you email please indicate where your house/business is located and let them know if you will need a bale of hay.

· Please try to place your scarecrow in a location visible from a passing car; the Leo’s would like this to be a safe, easy outing for seniors and parents with small children.

· The hay will arrive by ferry on Thursday (we don’t know which ferry) and all those who requested it will be contacted by email or text. If they need to order hay again they will.

· Yes! The Leos are accepting gift cards from local businesses to use as prizes. (Mail to P.O. Box 1557, attention Leo Club or email and they will pick up.) You can join in anytime up to November 21. There’s no need to commit right now.

· Once you have your scarecrow done, send the Leos a photo at blockislandleoclub@gmail.com so they can share it online.

The Block Island Leo Club is affiliated with the Block Island Lions Club. Members are 13 to 18 years old. The Club has about 23 members and is accepting new members (send an email of interest to the above email or contact membership director Stephanie Rich).

The Club was established in February 2014 and is the only Leo Club in Rhode Island.

Molly O’Neill
Leo Lions Club Advisor


Do you need a heat pump
To the Editor:

I have received quite a few inquiries about heat pumps and their cost effectiveness. Apparently BIPCo and the Block Island Solar Initiative have formed an alliance to promote heat pumps. This has allowed BISI to store equipment at our power company at no charge for however long they wish. (It was supposed to be just while they installed the 90kW BIPCo system.) Heat pumps have improved significantly in their efficiency in recent years, but are they a good investment? And, why would BIPCo be promoting technologies that will increase our peak demand rather than reduce it? It may increase winter sales, but at what cost to our summer peak?

The Department of Energy has estimated that for an “average” house in the Northeast, heat pumps will consume between 6,000 and 6,500 kWh. That’s approximately a $3,000 annual bill to you in the next few years depending on your thermostat set points. A far better use of your money is to find the air infiltration locations in your house and seal them, and install additional insulation where your house is not to current standards. Also, your current heating system should be evaluated for efficiency improvements including burner upgrade, system insulation and better controls. This would return far greater savings and actually save more energy. There is no point in investing in any new energy system if it is delivering its energy to an inefficient building. It will cost you far more than you probably were told.

(The Housing Board received no cost/ benefit analysis for the Cherry Hill Lane project.)

It is too bad that funds were not set aside by BISI for this. There are many homes and businesses here that could benefit. It appears many shut down in the winter because of a reduced customer base, and because the structures become too expensive to keep heated. BIPCo’s energy savings program for this type of energy conservation opportunity (ECO) is far too small to have an island-wide impact. Or, as one Fire Department member noted, BISI could have donated money for a new fire building if they really wanted to do something for all of us.

This actually would save energy as the current building is difficult to heat and could be built to site legally-bid solar.

Christopher Warfel, PE, NABCEP,
President, Entech Engineering, In