City of Keene Highlights Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Increase Energy Savings during NH Energy Week

From the City of Keene Planning Department

During NH’s 2018 Energy Week, March 12 – 16th, the City of Keene will present both the results of its 20-year greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction initiative as well as provide an update on the substantial cost avoidance gains resulting from its 5-year Energy Services Contract with Honeywell Energy Solutions.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Initiative

According to Keene’s 2015 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report, the City has achieved a 25% reduction in municipal GHG emissions from 1995 to 2015 as a result of the City’s ongoing energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy optimization projects. This number exceeds the original GHG reduction target of 20% set in 2004 as part of its Climate Action Plan. Keene’s landfill gas to energy system approved by City Council and installed in 1994 pushes this reduction figure even higher.  The system captures landfill gas, which is about 50% methane, and converts it to usable energy.  The methane gas reductions are particularly important due to the fact that methane is 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2), according to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

“Keene was the first municipality in New Hampshire to join the Cities for Climate Protection campaign in 2000,” said Rhett Lamb, the City’s Planning Director and Assistant City Manager.  “Our goal has been to protect Keene’s quality of life and economic vitality and become a more sustainable city.  These same projects have reduced energy costs and strengthened Keene’s economic resilience in the face of a changing climate.”

At the broader community level, nearly 50% of Keene’s GHG emissions are on-road fuel use. Just over ¼ (28%) are from commercial and industrial uses followed very closely by 25% emissions from residential energy use.  A tiny fraction, 3% of Keene’s community GHG emissions are from solid waste generation and transportation.

Notable past projects which have contributed to the reduction in GHG emissions include the City’s Landfill Gas Capture (LFG) system, the City’s recycling program, hydroelectric turbines at the Water Treatment Plant, a geothermal HVAC system at the Public Works Department, the use of biodiesel for the City vehicle fleet and multiple energy efficiency projects.  Current projects include negotiations for a 1.2 megawatt solar array on the City’s municipal complex roof anticipated to reduce 1.8 million pounds of GHG emissions annually.  Additionally, a new 100% post-consumer vegetable oil (biodiesel) generator will begin generating 250 kW to power the City’s recycling center and transfer station this spring.

A summary document of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1995-2015 Report will be made available at the March 15th City Council presentation.  The report will be available for viewing and download at the City’s website. Keene’s Cities for Climate Protection Committee anticipates making their recommendations for a new GHG reduction target and additional renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation initiatives to City Council later this spring.

Energy Services Contract Results

Also at this meeting, Honeywell Energy Solutions will update City Councilors on the cumulative cost avoidance gains from the City’s 5-year Energy Services Contract. It is anticipated that the lighting efficiency improvements, building envelope upgrades, energy management system and heating plant improvements along with the existing solar PV at City Hall will show that 683 tons of CO2 were saved per year with a total cost avoidance of $1,484,063.

Meeting Details
The Thursday, March 15, 2018 Keene City Council meeting will be held at 7 PM in Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of Keene City Hall at 3 Washington Street, Keene NH.

Additional Information
For more information on the City’s Energy and Climate Change Program, please visit the Cities for Climate Protection Committee webpage.

To learn more information about NH Energy Week, including the Monadnock Region Energy Forum scheduled for Monday, 4:30 – 6:30 PM, March 12th at Scores Sports Bar &  Grille, please visit Eventbrite.com.

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