School Energy Use
The City of Nashua measures the energy used to both heat and power our schools. We do this to learn where we’ve been successful at lowing our energy consumption and where we should focus our efforts in the future. We found that in 2017 we reduced our use by over 11MMBTUs from 2010 consumption values, saving more than $335,000 that year. That’s the equivalent of all the energy used by Mt. Pleasant, Main Dunstable, Dr. Crisp, and New Searles schools combined annually. What makes this reduction in energy use most impressive is that the 2017 winter was a month longer than our 2010 winter, in other words, we had a longer heating season.
Energy from different sources is measured in different ways – electricity is measured in kWh, natural gas in therms, oil in gallons. We can convert these different measures into a common measure- million British Thermal Units (MMBTU) -to better understand and compare total energy use.
When we want to compare how different sized buildings use energy we find out how much energy is used to run one square foot of space in each building. This is done by dividing the total amount of energy used in a year by the total size of the building (total square feet). The result of this calculation is the building’s “energy intensity”. The lower the number, the less energy used to operate the building, the larger, the more energy used.
This bar chart shows the total energy (MMBTU) our school buildings used by fuel type (natural gas for heating and electricity). In 2016 we used 9% less natural gas and 7% less electricity than we did in 2010. Five of our schools had interior and exterior lighting upgrades as well as other efficiency upgrades which helped made these reductions possible. We are looking to put upgrades in other schools soon.
This bars in this chart show the energy intensity of each school building in 2010, 2016 and 2017 and the orange dots show the year the school building was last renovated. You can see that the majority of the buildings that lowered their energy consumption, also had renovations within the past 17 years. Those that increased their energy consumption have been operating on equipment that is over 20 years old. School building renovation projects since 2012 have resulted in an average 35% reduction in energy post renovation thanks to improved energy efficiency.
How you can help reduce electricity use in our schools.
Ensure that all lights are turned off when the rooms are not in use.
This is easy! And if you notice an empty room with its lights on then turn them off.
Shut down computers and monitors every night.
We all forget to do this from time to time so be sure to remind your colleagues to do the same.
Use the power save mode on all copiers when not in use.
Most copiers will default to power save mode if the device hasn’t been used in a while.
Nashua will be working with community stakeholders throughout 2018 to develop a comprehensive resilience initiative with the main purpose being to identify acute shocks and chronic stressors impacting our City, now and in the future. We encourage everyone in our community to take part.Full Article
For over a decade, Lyle Reed Brook, a tributary to the Nashua River had been listed as a water body with impaired water quality by the State of New Hampshire. After being tested again in 2016, Lyle Reed Brook is now delisted and found to be fully supporting of aquatic life for both dissolved oxygen and pH.Full Article
- InsideClimate News
- NH Public Radio
- NY Times