In 2008, New Castle was one of 165 municipalities - of the 183 municipalities in the state - that passed the New Hampshire Climate Change Resolution that calls on the federal government to prioritize climate change policy and enables the formation of a local energy committee for the town of New Castle, which will address energy efficiency and conservation, emission reductions, and other energy related issues. The generation and use of energy and emissions from energy use - whether for our homes, businesses, transportation or recreation - has a very significant impact on our
environment, and the health and welfare of the community. In support of energy conservation, NH State law encourages energy efficient patterns of development through zoning that does not unreasonably limit development of alternative and renewable sources of energy.
The New Castle Energy Committee (NCEC) has worked diligently to identify the town’s energy uses and potential cost savings. The NCEC formed into sub-task teams and one of these the building weatherization team, identified energy improvements for the municipal buildings. In addition, NCEC obtained a grant from the Rockingham Planning Commission and Clean Air-Cool Planet to facilitate our energy planning. Our tasks have included development of an energy inventory for municipal buildings and an Energy Chapter for the Town Master Plan.
The first task for the NCEC was to develop a Building Weatherization Team for which David MCardle volunteered as the team lead. He and his team developed for all of the municipal buildings an energy assessment (excluding the school) with a pay back schedule for various improvement items. The Fact sheet on the weatherization program as well as the recommendations were delivered to the Town Selectmen on September 15, 2008. After this presentation we evaluated the Maude Tefethen Elementary School and had an energy audit conducted by Paul Button of Energy Audit Unlmited. The recommendations from the energy audit were submitted to the SAU50, and are in the process of implementing the recommendations, ie install programmable thermostats throughout school and schedule a contractor to improve the insulation in attic.
The Energy Chapter to the New Castle Town Master Plan was developed and reviewed with the Selectmen and the Planning Board on May 30th. The Planning board endorsed the Energy Chapter and is currently awaiting the next activity which is to conduct a public hearing in the fall of 09, to proceed to adopt the Energy Chapter to the Town Master Plan.