Past Activities

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2016 Activities

During the 2016 year of service to the residents of Center Harbor, the Energy Committee continued to focus efforts on various cost-effective energy-savings opportunities. The Committee completed the following projects:

  • Installed insulation and vent covers for the Center Harbor fire station to save energy. The Committee obtained $1706 in rebates from NHEC as part of this project.
  • Completed a Street Lighting Guideline for use by the Selectmen as guidance for both the installation and removal of street lighting as appropriate.
  • Developed and updated a webpage for the new Town Website.
  • Developed a plan and specifications with the Center Harbor Library Trustees to abandon outdated knob and tube lighting, and install energy efficient and improved lighting quality for the stacks in the Library. The Committee’s recommended solution and bid solicitation process was approved by both the Library Trustees and the Selectmen late in 2016.

For 2017, the Committee will continue the activities started in 2016, including:

  • Purchase and install stack lighting and dome illumination in the Center Harbor Library.
  • Begin evaluation of energy conservation opportunities for the Town Highway Garage.
  • Encourage energy efficient applications for Town projects, including the historic Town House.
  • Collaborate with Meredith and Plymouth Area Regional Energy Initiative (PAREI) Energy Committees as appropriate to identify opportunities to save energy.

The Energy Committee requests a 2017 appropriation of $10,000 ($9,999 greater than 2016) to the existing Energy Conservation & Improvements Expendable Trust Fund to improve the energy efficiency of the Town’s facilities.

2015 Activities

During the 2015 year of service to the residents of Center Harbor, the Energy Committee continued to focus efforts on various cost-effective energy-savings opportunities. The prime focus for this year was on installing updated energy efficient lighting for the Gazebo and beach area, finalizing recommendations for street lighting to the Selectmen, and developing specifications for the Center Harbor fire station to save energy. The Committee started working with the Center Harbor Library Trustees to develop a plan to upgrade the outdated wiring and install energy efficient and improved lighting in the Library.

The Committee analyzed the existing street lighting and billing. The NH Energy Co-op (NHEC) is replacing existing lighting as they fail over time with LED street lights. Although these are lower cost lights to operate, they have a higher first cost, and the NHEC tariffs will reflect a higher monthly unit cost to recover the installations. If no optimization is done, the annual costs will increase by 50% over time. The Committee identified billing errors and made recommendations to the Selectmen to optimize lighting in the Town. The Selectmen evaluated the recommendations and solicited input at a Public hearing in September 2015. Based on input from the Public hearing, the Selectmen have finalized a plan, with an anticipated 2016 lighting cost savings of 6%.

Based on the experience of other New England towns, and input from the Public hearing, the Committee is developing a Guideline for the Selectmen to assist in evaluating criteria for either additions or removals of streetlights going forward. The criteria are based on considerations as related to security, pedestrian safety, traffic safety, convenience, and to support economic development and aesthetics.

For 2016, the Committee will continue the activities started in 2015, including:

  • Award the construction and installation of custom insulated vent covers for the Fire Station exhaust fans to conserve heat during winter operation.
  • Evaluation and award of an insulation project to conserve heat in the Fire Station.
  • Complete a study and make recommendations to the Selectmen and Library Trustees to improve the energy efficiency and quality of lighting in the Library.
  • Complete a Street Lighting Guideline for use by the Selectmen as appropriate.
  • Encourage energy efficient applications for Town projects, including the historic Town Hall.
  • Collaborate with Meredith and other regional Energy Committees as appropriate to identify opportunities to save energy.

The Energy Committee requests a 2016 appropriation of $1 ($9999 less than 2015) to the existing Energy Conservation & Improvements Expendable Trust Fund to improve the energy efficiency of the Town’s facilities. The existing ETF should be adequate to support currently identified projects.

2014 Activities

During the 2014 year of service to the residents of Center Harbor, the Energy Committee continued to focus efforts on various cost-effective energy-savings opportunities. The prime focus for this year was on completing the Street Lighting survey, turning the survey results into recommendations to the Selectmen, and assisting the Town of Meredith with the Regional Energy Fair held October 18th.

The Street Lighting review and evaluation was conducted by developing an evaluation form which was used to review each street light and determine whether each light was serving a useful public service, primarily in the interest of public safety. The general guidelines for the evaluation were:

  • Location - is it at an intersection or a crosswalk or in a high traffic area?
  • Need - is it needed for public safety or as a marker?
  • Application - is it servicing the general public or a specific residency or business?
  • Quality - is the brightness and area coverage appropriate?
  • Impact - are there detrimental effects such as glare or light trespass?

Based on the evaluation, the committee has provided the selectmen with a recommendation as to lights to be eliminated, and that the remaining lights should be upgraded to LED fixtures. Exact cost savings will depend on the final list of lights to be decommissioned and the added fixtures costs for LED fixtures – but the town could save several thousands of dollars per year.

Also, the Energy Committee:

  • Assisted with the Town of Meredith’s planning and staging of the Regional Energy Fair held at the Inter-Lakes High School on Saturday, October 18th. This fair was a success with many vendors and interesting talks/discussions and was attended by many in the area.
  • Is working on proposing an upgrade to the lighting for the band stand.
  • And, will continue to investigate options for improving the insulation of the Fire Station.

The Energy Committee requests a 2015 appropriation of $10,000 (same as for 2014) to the existing Energy Conservation & Improvements Expendable Trust Fund to improve the energy efficiency of the Town’s facilities.

2013 Activities

During the 2013 year of service to the residents of Center Harbor, the Energy Committee continued to focus efforts on various cost-effective energy-savings opportunities. In addition to exceeding both minimum and preferred goals for improved energy efficiency of the Municipal Building addition, the committee developed specifications and projected savings for insulating the Fire Station, and initiated a survey of all town outdoor lighting to determine need as well as effectiveness. These and other 2013 accomplishments are reported below:

  • Municipal Building Renovations and Addition:
    • Worked with the Selectmen to optimize energy efficiency while evaluating reduced-cost alternatives.
    • Confirmed success of all actions taken to improve energy efficiency. GDS Associates, Inc. of Manchester, NH conducted and submitted a final site inspection report on October 1, 2013 that concluded: "The final energy savings are a 64% energy reduction on an overall MMBtu basis when compared to code, which includes all end-uses including heating, hot water, air conditioning, lighting, and plug loads."
      The project significantly exceeded the original requirements: "the addition and renovated portion of the Municipal Building be at least 25% more energy efficient than required by the New Hampshire Commercial 2009 International Energy Conservation Code." And, even exceeded the stretch target of at least 50% more energy efficient!
      This is projected to save the Town approximately $8,000 per year in energy costs.
    • Assisted the Town in obtaining $27,800 in incentives from the NHEC Energy Solutions Program (see the NHEC November 2013 newsletter).
  • Fire Station – Issued an RFP for improving the insulation of the Town’s Fire Station, evaluated the one response received, and worked with the Selectmen on obtaining the funds necessary to proceed with this project in 2014 or 2015.
  • Street Lighting – Continued work on developing criteria for evaluating all functional aspects of the Town’s outdoor street lighting in an effort to both improve safety and minimize operating cost (paid by tax dollars).

The Energy Committee requests a 2014 appropriation of $20,000 (flat funding) to the existing Energy Conservation & Improvements Expendable Trust Fund to improve the energy efficiency of those portions of the existing Municipal Building not addressed by the addition and renovations project, to continue other ongoing projects as noted above, and initiate new projects.

2012 Activities

During its fifth year of service to the residents of Center Harbor, the Energy Committee focused considerable efforts on cost-effective energy-savings opportunities in the design and engineering of the Town's Municipal Building addition, as well as renovations to the existing structure. These and other 2012 accomplishments are reported below:

  • Municipal Building Renovations and Addition
    • Worked with the Selectmen and the Building Advisory Committee to require that both the addition and renovated portion of the Municipal Building be at least 25% more energy efficient than required by the New Hampshire Commercial 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. The July final design slightly exceeded this requirement at 26% more energy efficient than code. The value engineering and final building design remain to be re-evaluated.
    • Wrote an RFP to hire a firm to perform an energy audit and provide analysis and recommendations to increase the energy efficiencies to a level of 50% over code. After evaluating the proposals submitted to perform the work specified, the committee recommended that the Selectman hire GDS Associates of Manchester, NH.
    • Reviewed the GDS Energy Analysis and Improvements Report and provided prioritized recommendations to the Selectmen based on cost-effectiveness, rebates available, quick payback, and other factors.
  • Street Lighting
    • Initiated a review of the Town’s street lights to assure that the Town is paying only for appropriate lighting and to investigate the potential of switching to more efficient lighting (such as LED).
    • Submitted a first-draft lighting ordinance proposal to the Building Committee for consideration.
  • Useful Information - Distributed ongoing information via email and website regarding energy-efficiency methods, products, and savings, as well as notices of regional energy fairs and workshops.

The Energy Committee is requesting that the 2013 Town Meeting appropriate $20,000 (flat funding) for the existing Energy Conservation & Improvements Expendable Trust Fund. In 2013, the committee plans to improve the energy efficiency of those portions of the existing Municipal Building not addressed by the addition and renovations project.

2011 Activities

Now in its fourth full year of service to the town, the Center Harbor Energy Committee is pleased to report the following accomplishments in 2011:

  • Completed all Energy Committee actions necessary to replace the Fire Station’s aging garage doors with architecturally compatible units that significantly improve energy efficiency and file the application for a NHEC rebate.
  • Initiated and discussed various projects to improve energy efficiency of the Municipal Building and improve lighting quality and efficiency in the Cary Mead Room. These projects are currently on hold pending the outcome of proposed renovations and additions to the Municipal Building.
    The Energy Committee will assist the Selectmen and Building Advisory Committee to assure that the renovations and additions are prudently energy efficient.
  • Provided an Energy Chapter for the Town’s Master Plan that was accomplished with the assistance of Eric Senecal of the Lakes Region Planning Commission and Planning Board.
  • Completed an Energy Considerations handout available at the Town Offices that provides various informative considerations and resources for those considering new construction projects or renovations.
  • Concluded that a Fuel Cooperative specifically for Town residents did not make sense.
  • Distributed information regarding various energy fairs/workshops to those on the Energy Committee’s email list and on this website.

The Energy Committee has requested that Town Meeting approve $20,000 (flat funding) for the Trust Fund in 2012.

2010 Activities

Now in its third full year of service to the town, the Center Harbor Energy Committee is pleased to report the completion of several energy-saving improvements for the town as well as the initiation of new activities focused on additional and ongoing energy savings (as outlined in the Jordan Institute Report, see 2009 Activities). Last year, the Town approved creation of a $20,000 trust fund for energy conservation activities. That funding, plus the time and expertise contributed by many, made these projects possible. This year your Energy Committee requests that the town fund a like amount.

Accomplishments in 2010 include:

  • Upgraded lighting in the Town Municipal Building and Garage - An upgrade to modern and more energy efficient lighting addressed both efficiency issues and greatly improved lighting. Jeff Haines has reported that, “At five times the amount of light we used to have in the Town Garage, the upgrade has greatly improved our work environment and created safer conditions.” Almost half the total project cost of $11,000 was paid by the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative’s Small Business Energy Efficiency Program. The remaining amount was contributed by the energy trust fund. Payback at current market rates (estimated at $2,100 annual savings) is three years.
  • Specify energy-efficient replacement boiler for the Municipal Building - Advised Selectmen on replacement of a leaking boiler with a more energy efficient unit. The increased cost was insignificant, and the total installed cost was covered from the Town maintenance fund.
  • Specify replacement garage doors for the Town Fire Station - Worked with the Selectman and Fire Chief on replacing the aging garage doors with new and more energy-efficient doors that retain the desirable character of the building design. The Energy Committee agreed to contribute approximately $3,250 of the total $6,500 cost of two of the four doors and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative will fund the other $3,250. (The Town will completely cover the cost of replacing the other two doors.) This project is scheduled for completion early in 2011.
  • Applied for grants from the NH Office of Energy and Planning - Based on the Jordan Institute report findings, the committee prepared grant proposals for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants, but did not receive funding.
  • Advised on window sealing and insulation for Library - Met with Library Trustees to discuss energy efficiency measures for sealing air leaks in the Library’s windows without altering the character of the building’s architecture.
  • Researched establishing a Fuel Coop for Town residents - Conducted preliminary inquiries to determine conditions of membership and potential savings on fuel oil and propane. Conducted a survey of interest among residents subscribed to the Energy Committee’s e-mail list.
  • Distributed information regarding various energy fairs/workshops.
  • Worked with LRPC and Planning Board on an Energy Chapter for the Town Master Plan.
  • Maintained this website to distributed energy-related information to Town residents.

The Center Harbor Energy Committee has committed approximately $9,400 from the Energy Trust Fund in 2010 and has requested that Town Meeting approve $20,000 (flat funding) for the Trust Fund in 2011.

2009 Activities

In its second full year of service to the town, the Center Harbor Energy Committee has completed a Comprehensive Level II Energy Analysis of three town-owned buildings and is now seeking town approval to initiate implementation of the recommended energy-efficiency measures in 2010.

In early 2009, the Jordan Institute conducted a no-cost energy audit of town buildings that identified how several could benefit from energy-efficiency measures. The committee then arranged for the Jordan Institute to perform a Comprehensive Level II Energy Analysis of the Municipal Building, Town Garage, and Town Library. Their report was delivered in late 2009 and confirmed that the Municipal Building and Town Garage have fairly poor energy efficiency when compared to similar structures.

The report further identified several no-cost to low-cost energy-saving initiatives, as well as twelve efficiency measures with varying costs and payback periods. The Energy Analysis findings and recommendations are currently being studied by the committee and others so as to provide guidance to the selectmen and the town. It is expected that the completion of these initiatives will likely span several years depending on Town funding and as grants can be obtained to help fund specific projects.

Other accomplishments in 2009:

  • Developed and distributed an informative handout at Town Meeting and also posted the energy-saving tips on this website.
  • Supported the Dark Sky Initiative that Governor Lynch signed on July 15, 2009.
  • Obtained an inventory of town streetlights to consider alternatives for potential energy savings and determined there were no practical solutions considering the relatively few lights involved.
  • Provided input on energy efficiency to the Building Committee regarding design of the new Police Station.
  • Drafted a handout to be included with building permits that provides energy-efficiency recommendations for new construction and renovations.
  • Maintained this website.

2008 Activities

In its first full year of operations, the Center Harbor Energy Committee intensified its focus on:

  • Exploring energy-saving measures that could be immediately effective
  • Developing a longer-term strategy for the Town
  • Working with other energy committees, non-profit organizations, and the State to share information and take advantages of economies of scale inherent in joint operations.

In the short term, our goal has been to build public awareness of savings opportunities and look for ‘quick fix’ opportunities for residential and town buildings. These efforts have included:

  • Mounting The Great Light Bulb Giveaway and Cake raffle on November 4th, 2008, with our thanks to NH Electric Co-op, Heath’s Supermarket, Cakes by the Lake, and Christopher P. Williams, Architects.
  • Bringing the Jordan Institute and NHEC specialists to audit all Town buildings for possible ‘easy’ savings opportunities and identifying longer term inefficiencies. Immediate benefits have included installing a new, well-insulated door on the north side of the Firehouse and turning off the main boiler in the summer.
  • Getting our website (www.realitychec.com) up and running to provide timely energy savings tips and information on local energy fairs, workshops, etc.
  • Publishing public service announcements to promote, for example, the light bulb giveaway program.

The Committee is also working with other town organizations, like the Planning Board, to identify projects that, in time, could well save the Town money – as well as improve quality of life. For example:

And, finally, the Committee, working with the Lakes Region Planning Commission, helped initiate the Lakes Region Energy Alliance, which has now met three times. This Alliance will be looking for larger scale savings opportunities and is already sponsoring seminars and workshops.

2007 Activities

On September 12, 2007, Bart Coudert (CHEC) met with Mr. Bill Smith, a representative from the NH Electric Coop, in an effort to determine ways to save energy in the town office. The most obvious conclusion was that the lighting needed to be upgraded. Currently in the town office and in the fire station, either old style incandescent bulbs on dimmer switches or T-12 florescent bulbs are being used. These energy hogs should be replaced with the more efficient and longer lasting HPT8's, a new type of florescent which is a ballast and bulb unit. The cupola lighting and lighting in the entryway are also in question. Mr. Smith suggested that we start with the most used rooms and replace those bulbs first.

In the fire station, Mr. Smith noted that the oil-fired heating system (oil) was rated at 81% efficient. A more modern system is 95% efficient. The Pepsi machine on the exterior of the fire station was estimated to use up to 400 kWh per month ($60). The committee suggests that future upgrading to the town office or fire station should be done with energy conservation in mind.