In 2004, when Public Service of New Hampshire’s (PSNH) service territory expanded to include former Connecticut Valley Electric Company customers in western New Hampshire, the City of Claremont was economically depressed and geographically challenged. Electric rates had been increasing steadily over the years, and the City of Claremont was seeking ways to reduce energy costs, improve municipal facilities, and draw new businesses and residents to the area.
Through PSNH’s energy-efficiency programs, detailed lighting assessments were completed on 15 of the city’s buildings and a separate review was done on city streetlights. PSNH’s Smart Start program allowed the city to complete all 16 projects with no up-front costs. The lighting improvements included upgrading nearly 1,000 streetlights from mercury vapor to high pressure sodium lights, changing fluorescent, T12 fixtures to high performance T8 systems, upgrading to LED exit signs, and installing occupancy sensors.
By 2006, all cost-effective energy saving measures were installed. This year alone, the city is anticipating a $27,000 reduction in electricity costs, and, when the Smart Start improvements are paid off, the city expects to see a $118,000 reduction in their electricity bills each year—or $1.9 million over the life of the equipment.