September 2023 Newsletter

September 6, 2023

September 2023 Newsletter

Empowering Sustainable Communities

Call to Action

SEEDS Seeking New Board Members

Are you a member of SEEDS and looking to do more to support and promote sustainable living in your community? Do you believe deeply in our mission to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable living in our communities, and are looking for new ways to contribute to that mission?  Consider becoming a SEEDS Board Member.  For more information, or to express interest in this unique service experience, please contact SEEDS Executive Director Jess Wolk at

Learn more about what we do at SEEDS here.  Learn more about current board members here.


My Story with SEEDS and the Clean and Green Energy Act
by Kyle Williams

My affiliation with SEEDS began in 2019. In that year, I began working at Nature’s Grace in Honesdale for James Stunkard, a member of SEEDS.  He became aware of my strong interest in clean energy shortly into my employment there and recommended that I get involved with SEEDS.  During the summer of 2019, SEEDS organized a solar energy seminar that I attended, where I became acquainted with Jack Barnett of SEEDS, and Blair Buselli, a local solar energy contractor.  From this time on, I started volunteering with Jack Barnett.  We have gone on a handful of solar energy assessments, and it was during this time we got to know each other. He also got a chance to see my interest in clean energy technology.

In 2021, I went to college for the first time.  I enrolled in classes at Johnson College for their electronic engineering technology program.  During the fall of my second year, I began looking for a location for my internship.  This internship is a requirement for my associate’s degree and it had to be affiliated with my degree.  I was called to work with solar technology.  I believe that it is a great starting point for me to get into working with clean energy and electrical technologies.  Whether I am just installing clean energy systems or if I am lucky enough to design them makes no difference to me.  I want to be involved in cleaning this planet up somehow, some way.  Working with Blair Buselli was my first thought.  His company not only works with solar technology, but also directly impacts our local community with his work.  After a short interviewing process, he accepted my request to complete my internship with his company, Buselli Solutions, for the Spring semester of 2023.

Before the beginning of this semester, Jack Barnett of SEEDS reached out to me with fantastic news.  He brought to my attention the possibility of receiving aid for my schooling.  I was excited by the news, but not nearly as excited as I should have been at that time.  I was slow to reach out to the organization that was providing this supposed aid.  Jack was persistent in reminding me about this opportunity, and once I finally reached out to the number Jack gave me, I understood why he was pushing me so much,

Over the phone, I got acquainted with Roger Sillner of the Clean and Green Energy Grant*.  He informed me about the Lackawanna County Workforce Development Board that he was working for and told me that if I am going to work with solar technology, that I can receive significant financial aid.  To be honest, I was stunned to find out that this grant was going to cover any tuition not covered by my state and federal grants, which for me is huge.  Not only did the grant cover that part of my tuition, but it also paid me for the hours I worked for my internship. I then began working for Buselli Solutions full time, and the program is providing half of my wages for the first six months of full time work.  I couldn’t ask for more.  I am so grateful for this opportunity provided by the Clean and Green Energy Grant.  I am just as grateful for Jack Barnett for informing me about this opportunity, Roger Sillner for all his work getting all of this organized between my school and workplace, and Blair Buselli for providing me the opportunity to start my career in clean energy.  Ever since I started working for Blair, I have worked on many solar projects.  I have learned a lot so far, and have even had the chance to participate in the design of an array.  I am excited for the future, and I hope that many others can find the same opportunities that I have.

*Please see the next story for more information on this program.

SEEDS More Information

The Green Clean Serene (GCS) Energy Project

The The Green Clean Serene (GCS) Clean Energy Project encourages job creation within businesses and industries that promote clean energy practices, and pays for training and wages for individuals interested in those jobs. GCS is administered by the Lackawanna County Workforce Development Board. This project represents a unique multi-county partnership among four different Northeastern Pennsylvania Workforce Development Boards that span Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.

The GCS program provides training opportunities for new hires and current employees, paying all of the training costs and one half of the wages!

Companies are eligible to participate in the program if they have a physical presence in the NEPA region and have a primary business focus of at least 51% in any of the following Pennsylvania Clean Energy Sectors: Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy Generation, Alternative Transportation, Clean Grid and Storage, and Clean Fuels.

Call or email Roger Sillner at (570) 963-4671 ext 3030 or if you are interested in paid training and careers in the Clean Energy sector.


From the Desk of Holly Z.

Filling out my college applications this past month, being able to write “SEEDS of NEPA Intern” on my activities list was one of the proudest moments I have had with myself this year as a rising senior. To me, what I do in this organization cannot simply be described in “100 characters or less” but must be expounded upon in every way possible. The unknown fact about this internship is that almost every day, this one activity allows me to do all of my other activities all at once. Reading, writing, researching, photography, social media- these are all of the things that I love to do, and I can do them all in one day with SEEDS. How is that even possible? you may find yourself asking. My answer to that question would be four words: “Free Home Energy Assessments,” where this recurring feeling of knowing that you are a part of something bigger always seems to come back in the best of ways. This feeling of what I call the “SEEDS Sparkle” always returns!

This past month the “SEEDS Sparkle” came back to me several times, but once specifically in the weirdest of ways. I was on a Home Energy Assessment when I found myself taking photos (to look back upon) in a basement made of rocks, trying to figure out where a leak was coming from. Yes, this is definitely an unusual thing to talk about in a newsletter of all places, but it was what we were able to do after which truly allowed for me to expose all of my talents and abilities. After finishing up the exterior and interior assessments of the home, it was now my job to write a report of the things that could be the causes of issues in the home, like the leak, and provide more information about how to make the home more energy efficient. I would then research and read about possible explanations of these issues and consult with the team’s notes to see if my hypotheses were accepted. After writing the report and having some photos leftover from the day, I knew that a social media post would be the best way to wrap the day up, while giving other homeowners a sneak peek of an assessment that they could have in their home by the next week! Reading, writing, researching, photography, social media–all of these activities wrapped up into one great activity of the Home Energy Assessment is what truly made me feel the “SEEDS Sparkle” this month. How on earth is all of this excitement supposed to fit into 100 characters or less on my college application?!

From the Energy Circle


Debunking Anti-Solar Arguments

As the push towards renewable energy and the development of large scale solar production increases so does the spreading of information and misinformation. PV Magazine delves into the group called “Citizens for Responsible Solar” and debunks their arguments against solar power. Read more here.

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced $90 Million to support resilient and efficient building energy codes

As reported in last month’s issue of Renewable Energy Magazine, “Homes built to current building codes are 40% more energy efficient than homes built 15 years ago. America’s 130 million commercial and residential buildings are responsible for 35% of the nation’s total carbon emissions. Energy codes establish minimum standards for energy efficiency in new and renovated buildings and help ensure they are healthier, safer, and more resilient. The new building energy codes are estimated to save Americans $138 billion on their utility bills and reduce 900 million metric tons of CO2 emissions — an amount roughly equivalent to the combined annual emissions of 108 million homes.”

Most areas of Pennsylvania are currently using building codes from 2019. The next update to the Pennsylvania building codes is scheduled for February 2024 which will only get the state to the 2021 criteria. What can you do? Contact your State Representatives and let them know how important it is to raise the bar when upgrading our building standards.

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Updates

Wayne County Pennsylvania qualifies as an “energy community.” The federal solar tax credit is now worth 40% instead of 30% until the next update and that is determined by the project in-service date.  This bonus applies to commercial installations only. See IRA Pocket Guides for details and specific qualifications.

IMPORTANT: Possible IRA Benefits for you: Use this link to calculate possible benefits relating to upgrading appliances, weatherization, electric vehicles, etc.: should be available to you in late 2023 (depending upon your income level). Don’t go out and spend a lot of money on new stuff until you find out more about these opportunities to save money! Check with the Pennsylvania Department of Energy for updates on rebate programs.

Environmental News

New Study Reports Road Palliatives Made from Brine Waste Water Exceed Environmental and Health Standards

PA Environmental Digest reported on a recent study from Penn State that analyzed the toxicity and chemical composition of brine water from depleted conventional oil and gas wells, which is commonly used for dust suppression and winter road treatment. Their findings, published in the Journal Environmental Pollution on July 11, 2023, revealed that this brine water exceeded environmental and health standards for 11 major chemical contaminants, including radioactive radium. The study also assessed various dust suppressants and winter road treatments, highlighting concerns about the environmental and health risks associated with their use.

The authors of the study emphasized that organizations responsible for setting standards for these substances often do not require the analysis of radium, potentially leading to unaddressed environmental and health risks. Additionally, the study highlighted the negative effects of chloride-based road treatments on aquatic species due to rising freshwater chloride concentrations.  The research findings underscore the dangers associated with the use of conventional oil and gas brine water on roads, despite existing regulations, and the researchers call for stricter regulations and safer alternatives to mitigate these environmental and health risks.

Read the full article here.  For background information on brine water and conventional well waste products, see this article from Inside Climate News.


Montana Youths Win Huge Environmental Victory in Court

On August 14th, sixteen youth who sued the state of Montana claiming the government’s continued embrace of fossil fuel projects violated their constitutional rights to a “clean and healthful” environment won their case in Montana’s First Judicial District Court. The court found that young people have a constitutional right to a healthy environment and that the state must consider potential climate damage when approving projects. The ruling acknowledged that the state’s failure to consider climate change when approving fossil fuel projects was unconstitutional. Get the full scoop here from Montana Public Radio News.


Do you have any #SEEDSGoodNews stories to share with the SEEDS community? Send them to us at or tag us on social media!  They can be local stories from your community, or stories from around the world–anything to celebrate and spread the word about the progress of energy efficiency, renewable energy or sustainable living wherever you hear about it!

Coming Up

2023 Book Share and Family Fun Fair

The 12th Annual Book Share is scheduled for September 16th and 17th. We are partnering with the Wayne County Public Library’s Annual Fun Fair at the Wayne County Fairgrounds. Check it out at

Volunteers Needed!

This year’s Book Share and Family Fun Fair (previously called the Annual Book Swap) is looking for volunteers in a variety of capacities, days and time, ranging from organization, set up, day of support, break-down and more.

Last year 40,000 books were saved from landfills through new ownership and recycling.

Volunteers are needed! Sign up at

If you are not a member of SEEDS, please consider joining us today!
You can use this link to share our membership page with others: 
You will continue to receive our newsletters, invitations to our educational forums and other events. Members are eligible for free solar evaluations, have voting rights at our annual meeting, and help shape our programs and initiatives.  For more information visit our website at