Energy and Global Climate Change in New England
Select Board /Town Administrator government
Joined CEC 2007
Make a Commitment
Manchester is the largest city in New Hampshire with over 100,000 residents. Town officials are constantly trying to find ways to save the town and taxpayers money. Since committing to the EPA Region 1 New England Community Energy Challenge in 2007, Manchester has reduced their energy bills by $800,000.
Assess Performance, Set Goals
The city used the ENERGY STAR portfolio manager tool to benchmark energy use at 42 municipal buildings, including 22 schools. Focusing on schools in particular makes good energy and economic sense, as making schools energy efficient can save school districts 30% or more on energy bills annually. These measures also make the learning environments more comfortable and productive, and the lowered energy use will reduce greenhouse gases. Throughout this process, Manchester received technical assistance from EPA New England and energy audits and energy service contracting for their buildings from Aramark Technical Services.
Create Action Plan
The city's Chief Facilities Manager, Kevin O'Maley, took the information from the Aramark energy audits and looked at low-and no-cost measures Manchester could implement in their buildings. A two-part plan was created to achieve greater energy efficiency. Short term goals included behavior modification, lighting upgrades and HVAC changes that could be implemented immediately with quick paybacks, and long term goals included deep energy retrofits for the schools and municipal buildings.
Implement Action Plan
In addition to finding low-and no-cost ways to improve energy efficiency, the city has received federal and state grants, a zero-interest federal loan, as well as utility rebates, for energy projects. Efforts to reduce energy within the school included:
- Adding roof-mounted heat recovery systems with carbon dioxide fan controls
- Developing an energy management system
- Retro-commissioning mechanical equipment
- Adding T-5 fluorescent lighting with motion/occupancy sensors in classrooms, cafeteria, gymnasium, and hallway spaces
- Implementing a school district wide energy policy that mandates maximum heating of 68°F
- Replacing old 600 horsepower boilers with more efficient condensing boilers
Overall, Manchester reduced their total energy usage at their school buildings by 15%. During fiscal year 2011, Manchester reduced costs in the school district by $291,000 in actual dollars compared to the previous fiscal year. They also expect to save another $300,000 in fiscal year 2012.
The Manchester schools have documented their greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions since 2007 using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool, and have a combined total reduction of 1453 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to taking 285 cars off of the road for an entire year. Manchester has identified additional electricity savings of 2,410,596 kWh and additional natural gas savings of 138,242 therms for the next fiscal year.
In the spring of 2011, the US EPA announced that the Highland-Goffe's Falls Elementary School in Manchester had earned the ENERGY STAR label certification. This certification of excellence identifies the school as one that scored in the top 25% of schools nationwide.
"The City of Manchester and the Manchester School District have always had a focus on energy consumption reductions and corresponding savings. There have been numerous people and numerous projects that have contributed to these superior results. The success of our programs is attributable to the work ethic of our teachers, students and administrators. It is very rewarding to accumulate and measure all this data to demonstrate to everyone that their efforts clearly have a significant impact on our limited resources. They also have made a serious contribution to minimizing our carbon footprint, and to the greening of our City." Kevin O'Maley said.
Continue to Assess Performance and Set New Goals
The Manchester facility department will continue to monitor their buildings using Portfolio Manager and two other monitoring and verification software programs from Peregrine Energy to help evaluate their progress.
Manchester School District's goal is to have all schools ENERGY STAR certified by the end of 2012.