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Looking for Green, N.H. Muncipalities Start with Energy Efficiency through EPA Challenge

Release Date: 04/21/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – April 21, 2008) – What does it mean to be green? This Earth Day, one answer can be found in the more than 100 communities that have committed to curb energy use, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and save money through EPA New England’s Community Energy Challenge.

Participating communities – including 32 New Hampshire cities and towns - have pledged to assess energy use, improve energy efficiency by 10 percent or more, save money, and work to expand renewable energy choices. Nearly 3.5 million people, representing 25 percent of New England’s total population, live in the cities and towns that have signed on to the challenge.

“There is a growing energy revolution in New England,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “The 10 percent reduction is only the beginning. In our cities and towns, we see innovation – cutting edge energy technologies, and more than that, the power of collaboration.”

Communities across New England are working with EPA, regional utilities, non-profits, and businesses through a variety of programs to find and promote cost effective energy efficiency measures. Through the Community Energy Challenge, cities and towns can take advantage of free EPA ENERGY STAR tools and resources to assess, or benchmark, building energy use in schools, municipal buildings and/or wastewater facilities. Participants also have access to a network of organizations, professionals and funding opportunities that can help them improve energy efficiency and take advantage of renewable energy resources in their community.

"The Jordan Institute believes that the Challenge - and related ENERGY STAR tools used by participants - is of significant value to New Hampshire communities,” said Dick Henry, executive director of the Concord-based Jordan Institute. “At a time when energy costs are spiraling upward at unprecedented rates we think that this program can help school districts and municipalities improve energy efficiency in all of their buildings. We appreciate working with EPA and feel that this and other closely linked initiatives can really make a difference."

The New England Community Energy Challenge is a regional program of the ENERGY STAR Challenge, a nationwide campaign to improve energy efficiency in commercial and industrial buildings across the United States by 10 percent or more. Cities and towns that join the New England Community Energy Challenge sign on to be an ENERGY STAR partner, and pledge to support energy efficiency measures. Nationally, Americans, with the help of all the ENERGY STAR programs, saved $16 billion in energy costs, and prevented 40 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 alone, equivalent to the annual emissions from 27 million vehicles.

“The high degree of New Hampshire interest in EPA’s Community Energy Challenge has its roots in town meetings in 2007, when citizens in 185 towns brought the issue of global warming up for debate and discussion.” said Roger Stephenson, executive vice president for programs at Clean Air Cool Planet. “As a result, there are now more than 90 Local Energy Committees in New Hampshire helping their towns reduce energy use, reduce emissions and save money.

The 110 municipalities, school and water districts in the Challenge represent the diversity of New England’s cities and towns - large and small - ranging from Wales, NH (population ~380) to Boston, MA (population ~590,000). Participants in EPA’s New England Community Energy Challenge include:

Connecticut: Burlington, Canton, Colchester, Cromwell, Danbury, East Haven, East Lyme, Fairfield, Hamden, Harwinton, Norfolk, Norwalk, Portland, Ridgefield, Stamford, West Hartford

Massachusetts: Acushnet, Arlington, Billerica, Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Charles River Pollution District, Cohasset, Dartmouth, Dedham, Easton, Groton, Hanson, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lancaster, Lowell, Malden, Mansfield, Medfield, Medford, Melrose, Methuen, Milton, Needham, Newton, New Bedford, Newburyport, Northampton, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Sharon, Somerville, Southeastern Regional School District, Springfield, Tisbury, Wales, Waltham, Warwick, Westwood, Woburn

Maine: Berwick, Denmark, Falmouth, Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District, Kingfield, Kittery, Madison, Mechanic Falls, Stockton Springs

New Hampshire: Acworth, Alstead, Alton, Antrim, Barrington, Bedford, Brookline, Chester, Colebrook, Dover, Enfield, Fitzwilliam, Gilmanton, Hampton, Hancock, Hanover, Hillsborough, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lincoln, Manchester, Marlborough, Nashua, New Boston, Peterborough, Raymond, Rochester, Rollinsford, Sanbornton, Shelburne, Somersworth, Tuftonboro

Rhode Island: East Greenwich, North Providence, South Kingston, Warwick

Vermont: Brattleboro, Burlington, Essex Junction, Hinesburg, Putney, Richmond, S. Burlington

For more information:

- EPA’s New England
Community Energy Challenge (epa.gov/region1/eco/energy/energy-challenge.html)
- The
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool (energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=evaluate_performance.bus_portfoliomanager)