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Learn more about global warming and energy issues in NH.
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Energy Efficiency in New Hampshire

The cheapest and least polluting gallon of oil or ton of coal is the gallon or ton you don’t use - so efficiency has a lot going for it in the minds of consumers and businesses.  A 2001 report by the Tellus Institute shows that by implementing more clean energy and energy efficiency policies New Hampshire could  gain 5,000 jobs by 2020.

Good News

As part of the Restructuring Act, the New Hampshire's electric utilities established several state-wide energy efficiency programs to serve residential, commercial and industrial customers. They include programs for new construction, retrofitting existing structures, and rebate programs for selected lighting and appliances. Individual utility-specific programs also exist.  More information can be found by visiting NHSaves.com, a utility-established website.

As part of New Hampshire’s electric restructuring law, programs for low-income customers (insulation, air sealing, lighting upgrades, refrigerator replacements) are funded through a system benefits charge on electric bills. Learn more at  http://www.liheap.ncat.org.

In 2005 EPA awarded an Energy Star designation to a newly renovated state office building for superior energy performance. The renovated office building uses 37 percent less energy and thus saves New Hampshire taxpayers more than $24,000 in annual energy bills.  Moreover, this increased efficiency avoids the release of more than 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide each year – about the same as taking more than 200 cars off the road.

Governor Lynch signed into law HB129 in June 2005 establishing a high performance school incentive and steering up to 1/3 of system benefits charge funds toward school building projects that promote indoor air quality or energy efficiency.

Governor Lynch also signed an Executive Order mandating energy efficiency measures for all state agencies.

Areas of Concern

State energy efficient appliance standards do not exist in New Hampshire.

Stories and Examples

UNH’s  Climate Education Initiative (CEI), coordinated by the Office of Sustainability, is a campus-wide, climate action program designed to help increase energy efficiency and reduce the university’s greenhouse gas emissions. Students can purchase ENERGY STAR products for dorm rooms or apartments at discounted prices.

Manchester is saving nearly $100,000 a year on its energy bills by replacing more than 3,300 traffic lights with energy-efficient light emitting diode (LED) traffic lamps, which use 80 to 90 percent less energy and are certified under EPA’s Energy Star Program. The city is also saving tens of thousands of dollars a year on maintenance costs because the LED traffic lights last three to four times longer.

The Town of Amherst is saving nearly $20,000 a year on its energy bills by installing energy efficient lighting, occupancy sensors and other equipment upgrades at municipal and school buildings. The town is also saving nearly $8,000 a year by replacing their streetlights with LED traffic lamps.

The Somersworth Housing Authority is saving more than $45,000 a year on its energy bills thanks to energy-saving lighting and other energy improvements at its 169 housing units. The energy upgrades, completed last fall, were done through a performance contract with an energy services company which guarantees the town at least $540,000 in energy savings over a 12-year period. The Keene Housing Authority is reaping similar benefits by participating in the project.