For more than a year, the New Hampshire EnergySmart Schools Program has supported New Hampshire K-12 public and private schools seeking to control energy costs. This program, which is offered to participating schools at no cost, uses a unique benchmarking system designed to help schools understand and reduce energy consumption, improve operations and save money. The program is provided by TRC Energy Services and funded by the state’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Fund (administered by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission), in collaboration with the New Hampshire Department of Education.
“Schools that have participated in energy benchmarking programs in other states have demonstrated an approximate 20 percent decrease in overall energy use,” said Ed Murdough, Administrator of the New Hampshire Department of Education’s Bureau of School Approval and Facility Management. “As a new school year gets underway amidst continued times of economic uncertainty, I encourage all schools across the State to participate in the New Hampshire EnergySmart Schools program and learn how they can save energy and money.”
To date, 65 school buildings in New Hampshire have been benchmarked through a process that includes data collection and analysis, custom reporting with recommendations for making energy and cost saving improvements, and a score to determine if they are eligible for the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Label for Buildings- the national symbol for protection of the environment through energy efficiency. Of
the 65 schools benchmarked, 18 participating schools in New Hampshire have been identified as potentially eligible to receive the ENERGY STAR label.
“TRC’s work has greatly increased our ability to understand and manage our energy needs and costs,” remarked Brian T. Bell, Head of School, Portsmouth Christian Academy, Dover, NH. “I would say that we saw [our energy bills] as a given expense and now we feel empowered to make a difference in that area of our budget.”
The New Hampshire EnergySmart Schools Program uses EPA’s web-based benchmarking system, Portfolio Manager, as a basis and then enhances it with TRC’s internal benchmarking database which provides statistics on how each school compares to others across New Hampshire.
For more information and to start participating today, visit the NH Schools Benchmarking Web site at www.nhschoolbenchmarking.com.