Chiller System Latest Cost-saving Move in Place
By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Friday, May 25, 2012
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online]
HAMPTON -- A new boiler and heating system installed at the Lane Memorial Library has already paid dividends as far as energy savings, showing an overall 69 percent reduction in the cost of natural gas.
Dick Desrosiers, chairman of the town's energy committee, said they hope to save even more now that the new chiller system was installed at the library last week.
"I think we will cut the electric bill by at least 40 or 50 percent," Desrosiers said.
Voters in March supported a selectmen-sponsored warrant article to obtain a $79,964 zero percent interest loan from Unitil Corp. to replace the chiller system and to install new lighting at the library.
The new lighting system should be installed by August.
Desrosiers said the projected energy savings will pay the loan back, and library officials should still see on top of that a $1,140 savings in their monthly utility budget.
The library, he said, has already received a $9,000 rebate from Unitil for installing a more energy-efficient boiler system.
He expects to see a $1,500 to $1,700 rebate for the new chiller and a $5,000 rebate for new lighting.
The Energy Committee started looking at energy savings in 2010 when it conducted an energy survey on the library and other municipal buildings.
"The most significant energy need was the library," Desrosiers said. "It basically indicated we could have tremendous opportunity if we could replace the boilers, air conditioning chiller and the lightning system in the library."
Tim Noonis, of Unitil, said the utility is able to offer the loan thanks to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program covering 10 states from Maine to Maryland.
Under RGGI, which was first launched in 2005, electricity generators that send carbon dioxide into the air, need to buy permits, which are mostly sold at regular quarterly auctions and can then be traded.
Proceeds from the auctions are used for energy-efficiency initiatives, and the program's goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants 10 percent by 2018.
"The (goal of RGGI) is the more businesses take advantage of these programs, in theory, the less electricity they will consume," Noonis said. "In theory, power plants will operate less frequently, therefore reducing greenhouse gases."
Noonis said Hampton is the first town in the state to take advantage of the loan program.