There are many resources available for local governments working to address energy issues. This page provides links to an array of organizations, tools and funding options available to help municipalities and schools in their efforts to reduce energy use.
EPA Releases Document on Energy Efficiency in Local Government Operations
EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy Program has released a final version of Energy Efficiency in Local Government Operations: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs (PDF) (72 pp, 5.3 MB). This guide describes how local governments can lead by example and achieve multiple benefits by improving the energy efficiency of their new, existing, and renovated facilities and their day-to-day operations. It is designed to be used by facility managers, energy and environment staff, other local government agencies, and mayors and city councils.
Field Guide to New Hampshire's Municipal Buildings and Energy Audit Guidelines
The new Field Guide to New Hampshire's Municipal Buildings and Energy Audit Guidelines is designed to help cities and towns manage their building energy use. The two part digital publication outlines common concerns based on building type and how to request the appropriate level of audit services.
Free Services/Technical Assistance
Energy Technical Assistance and Planning Program
The Energy Technical Assistance and Planning Program for New Hampshire Communities (ETAP) is funded through the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, which is administered through the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning. ETAP is a two-year program providing energy efficiency technical assistance at no charge to municipalities and counties in New Hampshire. Visit the ETAP website for details, or contact Eric Halter at 603.225.3060, ext. 14.
New Hampshire EnergySmart Schools Project
The NH EnergySmart Schools Project provides no-cost energy benchmarking services for up to 250 New Hampshire K-12 schools. TRC's Building Energy Performance System (BEPS) will track school energy and building data and perform comparative statewide analysis of key energy use and cost parameters. The Benchmarking Report will aid in directing school districts to existing or new funding programs for energy efficient technologies and will assist in documenting the impact of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and initiatives. For more information, visit the EnergySmart Schools website or call 877.282.9378 or 603.502.6640.
LGC 'Power Down' Energy Conservation Campaign
New Hampshire Local Government Center has been working to track building energy use since fall 2008 using the EPA's Portfolio Manager software. (EPA Portfolio Manager information is provided below.) LGC launched the "Power Down" campaign in spring 2009, to remind staff and visitors to conserve energy while in the building. Municipalities and schools are encouraged to use these signs as part of local energy conservation efforts.
NH Community Development Finance Authority
The Municipal Energy Reduction Fund is a revolving loan fund administered by the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA). This is a low-interest loan program to help municipalities save money by improving the energy efficiency of municipal buildings, street lighting, water and sewer treatment facilities, and where appropriate, electrical distribution systems. The program is available to finance improvements to the overall energy efficiency performance of a municipality’s buildings, thereby lowering the overall energy costs and the associated carbon emissions. For more information about the program, visit the CDFA website or call 603.226.2170.
NH Energy and Climate Collaborative
The New Hampshire Energy and Climate Collaborative (NHECC) was established in 2009 to track and facilitate the implementation of the recommendations of the 2009 NH Climate Action Plan. The Collaborative brings together leaders from government, business, not-for-profits and academia to focus collective attention on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The NH Climate Action Plan details a plan for New Hampshire’s energy, environmental and economic development future. New Hampshire Local Government Center participates as a member of the NHECC. Municipalities and schools are encouraged to share their energy projects and success stories through the Collaborative website to be part of a growing database of energy projects from across the state.
NH Office of Economic Stimulus
Information pertaining to funding available through the federal economic stimulus package relating to energy and the environment is available at the state's Recovery website; select "Energy/Environment" from the menu at the top of the page.
NH Office of Energy and Planning
The New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning website offers an array of resources and links to energy programs and funding opportunities, including information about the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program available through the economic stimulus package.
NH Department of Environmental Services
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services website features links to the recently published New Hampshire Climate Action Plan, which contains recommendations for energy conservation and emission reductions. The site also provides links to various energy funding opportunities, including grants available through the EPA.
U.S. Department of Energy
The U.S. Department of Energy website offers many resources to assist local governments. The site offers a guide to solar energy, Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments, which is based on successful projects from cities around the country. Visit the Department of Energy website for links to this and other resources.
EPA Community Energy Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Community Energy Challenge is an opportunity for municipalities across New England to identify simple and cost-effective measures that increase energy efficiency and renewable energy use while reducing air pollution and saving money. More than 30 New Hampshire cities and towns are currently making use of this resource. EPA also offers funding opportunities for energy projects.
EPA Portfolio Manager
Available at the EPA Energy Star website, Portfolio Manager is an interactive energy management tool that allows you to track and assess energy and water consumption across your entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment. Portfolio Manager software can help you identify under-performing buildings, verify efficiency improvements and receive EPA recognition for superior energy performance. Visit the Energy Star for Local Government page for information specific to local government.
The Carbon Coalition website features an array of resources to assist with local energy projects. The site features the Community Toolkit, the New Hampshire Handbook on Energy Efficiency and Climate Change. The free Local Energy Committee e-Newsletter is also available for subscription from this website.
Cool Monadnock is a three-year joint initiative between Clean Air-Cool Planet and Antioch New England Institute to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the Monadnock Region through local decisions and actions.
Granite State Clean Cities Coalition
The Granite State Clean Cities Coalition helps municipalities with efforts to "green" municipal fleets and other transportation related initiatives, providing information on fuels, vehicles and emissions reduction. Visit the Granite State Clean Cities website for more details.
Local Energy Solutions Conference
The fourth annual Local Energy Solutions conference was held on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook (Just north of Concord off I-93). This event featured an array of sessions focused on funding and technical assistance resources for municipalities and schools to achieve energy efficiency goals. Many presentations and other resources provided at the event are available online at the Local Energy Solutions conference website.
New England Grassroots Environment Fund
The New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF) is designed to foster grassroots environmental initiatives in New England. NEGEF has provided small grants to support local energy projects in several New Hampshire municipalities, including Wolfeboro, Plymouth, Gilford, Walpole and Durham.
NH Community Energy Project
The New Hampshire Community Energy Project website is a resource for local energy committees to share information. The website is devoted to the sharing of mission statements, project examples, financing options and energy plans.
Residential Greenhouse Gas Reductions
A collaboration of the University of New Hampshire and Clean Air-Cool Planet, the New England Carbon Challenge can provide state residents with the information, tools and support necessary for households to reduce their residential carbon dioxide emissions by 10,000 pounds per year. Several New Hampshire municipalities, including Concord, Portsmouth and Keene, are currently engaged in community-wide efforts to reduce emissions.
Programs for Schools
Granite State Energy Efficiency for School Buildings/Jordan Institute
Granite State Energy Efficiency (GSE2) is an energy assessment program that analyzes the energy use of school facilities. The resulting information helps school boards and administrators define, plan for and implement facility upgrade projects that reduce use of fossil fuels, cut greenhouse gas emissions and save valuable dollars. In addition to GSE2 for schools, the Jordan Institute offers project development and management services that include assessment of a range of financial options and expert guidance on “green” strategies for new and existing buildings in New Hampshire.