By Bob Walker, Sustainable Energy Resource Group.
SERG and the Thetford Energy Committee began in 2004 to evaluate the town’s streetlights. The project was just completed. At the 3/31/12 NH Local Energy Solutions Conference we shared a synopsis of project success. We removed about half (21) of the original 44 town streetlights and replaced the remaining lights with high efficiency LEDs. As a result we reduced overall annual electric usage from 22,841 kwh/yr. to 2,551 kwh/yr. – 89% electrical savings! – cutting streetlight spending from $6,000 to $4,200 per year. CO2 emissions dropped by 15.2 tons/year. We persuaded CVPS to allow for town ownership of streetlights statewide and to provide a more favorable rate for town owned streetlights statewide.
Throughout 2011, SERG, the Thetford Energy Committee and 50 Thetford Home Energy Action Team (HEAT) community volunteers educated homeowners about and promoted home weatherization. Results are below and an expanded version is on our website at: www.SERG-info.org
We will help other towns replicate this successful effort in the next year with help from Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network, the High Meadows Fund and our Upper Valley HEAT partners. Thanks to volunteers and project donors for their support.
HEAT initiative results
18 participants weatherized their homes and received Thetford incentives. For each participant the average annual energy savings is projected to be 26.42% and annual energy cost savings to be $914. And for all participants the average energy cost savings is projected at $15,538.07. Average years to return of investment is 6.62 and the average annual return on investment is 14%.
The area benefited as well. The total cost of jobs (local economic stimulation) was $160,668.79. And the projects saved 41 tons CO2 per year.
New Town Energy Committees
SERG helped create the first VT and NH town energy committees (TECs) in 2002 and now we work with organizations to provide resources to more than 30 TECs in the Upper Valley and more than 90 in each state. Quite a few towns still do not have TECs or active energy projects. So we are expanding efforts to form more TECs. Check the following links to see if your town has an energy committee.
If you want to get one going, please contact us.
If your town has a TEC, please get involved and help your town reduce its energy use today!