Since the mid-1990’s Dover has implemented a variety of programs to reduce energy use. A performance contract with the Siemens Company in 1996 brought initial upgrades to improve efficiency in eight City buildings and five schools. Savings realized from these improvements encouraged the City to further invest in energy efficiency technologies, including in the renovations of the McConnell Center and Woodman Park School. Heating, cooling, insulating and lighting efficiency improvements were funded by bonding and grant and rebate programs.
In 2006 the City of Dover committed to the Sierra Club’s “Cool Cities” for Climate Protection Campaign and the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Change Agreement. As a result the Dover Energy Advisory Committee (DEAC) was created to assist in: creating recommendations for energy conservation policy and procedures; to develop energy efficiency and renewable energy projects; to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and to work to insulate the City from fluctuations in future energy costs. In March 2008 DEAC published Dover’s first “Energy Action Plan” which included a detailed report of the City’s energy use, energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions and recommendations.
DEAC has conducted several energy-related educational outreach efforts in the City, advocated for green development of the Cochecho Waterfront Development, worked with City Planning staff to incorporate energy efficiency and sustainability into the land use chapter of the Master Plan, and guided the current performance contract with energy services company Johnson Controls (JCI) which is under implementation.
Facility Improvement Measures were identified as a result of the 2009 detailed energy audit conducted by JCI of municipal buildings. The goals of the JCI contract are to cut energy costs, provide capital upgrades, increase the energy efficiency and the reliability of the City’s mechanical and electrical systems, and to maintain or increase occupant comfort and well-being. The Dover Energy Advisory Committee provided input to the City in the selection of measures to implement, and seven of fifteen improvements have been completed since September 2009. Examples of these efforts include improved weatherization and insulation, increasing lighting efficiency, and water conservation at municipal facilities, including City Hall.
The Department of Planning and Community Development is coordinating City efforts with respect to these energy efficiency improvements and capital upgrades and also spearheading the City of Dover’s recent participation in the 2011 Energy Technical Assistance and Planning program (“ETAP”) through the state Office of Energy & Planning, which will assist the City to oversee that savings and efficiencies under the performance contract with JCI are realized. The City continues to pursue grant opportunities and hopes to solicit funding for several renewable energy projects which were recommended under the JCI energy audit, including a micro-turbine to generate energy from water flow at the wastewater treatment plant and a solar hot water collector to heat the indoor pool.