Title: Peterborough’s Renewable Energy Project: Making Strides Towards a Sustainable Future
In a remarkable display of community commitment, Peterborough, a town in New Hampshire, has been making significant progress in its transition to renewable energy. With a resounding majority vote at the 2021 Town Meeting, the town pledged to achieve complete reliance on renewable energy for electricity by 2030 and for transportation and heating/cooling by 2050. Now, the Peterborough Renewable Energy Project (PREP) is proud to report on the accomplishments achieved thus far and the ongoing efforts to achieve their ambitious goals.
PREP, formerly known as Peterborough Renewable Energy Planning, has been working tirelessly to implement the plan developed in 2021 and 2022. However, the progress made thus far is not solely attributed to the PREP team. Rather, it is the collective effort of organizations and individuals throughout the town, actively making choices to improve energy efficiency and transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources. This inclusive approach has been vital in driving the town’s renewable energy initiatives.
To celebrate the achievements and inspire residents to embrace renewable technology, PREP has partnered with the Monadnock Sustainability Hub to organize the inaugural Monadnock Clean Energy Fair. This event will take place on Saturday, September 30, at the Peterborough Community Center. Residents and business owners will have the opportunity to engage with contractors specializing in energy audits, weatherization, heat pump installations, solar arrays, and electric vehicles (EVs). Workshops will also be held to educate attendees about heat pumps and the financial incentives available to support the adoption of energy-efficient technologies. Additionally, children can enjoy activities such as driving small electric vehicles and indulging in Frisky Cow Gelato.
With the 2030 deadline for transitioning to renewable electricity fast approaching, the Peterborough Community Power Committee (PCPC) has played a crucial role in implementing the voter-approved Peterborough community power plan. The PCPC has introduced several plan options for residents and small businesses, offering rates lower than Eversource’s default rate plan while increasing reliance on renewable energy. Currently, over 3,000 customers have enrolled in the plan. The PCPC aims to sustain these affordable prices while gradually increasing the proportion of renewable energy in the town’s electricity generation. Moreover, the committee is exploring ways to utilize the reserve fund, generated from electricity rate savings, to invest in local renewable electricity sources.
In tandem with these community-wide efforts, Peterborough homeowners have been reducing their monthly electricity bills by installing solar arrays. By harnessing the abundant energy from the sun, residents are not only saving money but also contributing to the town’s renewable electrical energy supply. Electricity serves as the cornerstone of Peterborough’s renewable energy plan, with the overarching strategy being to “electrify everything.” This approach entails utilizing the renewable electricity generated to power various appliances and systems that currently rely on fossil fuels. A prime example is the adoption of highly efficient cold-climate electric heat pumps for heating and cooling purposes, helping residents combat the increasingly hot summers. Homeowners with aging fossil-fuel boilers or furnaces are encouraged to consider replacing them with heat pumps.
To support the electrification of heating sources, the town has partnered with BlocPower, a climate-technology company, for a pilot project. This collaboration aims to assist building owners in weatherizing their properties, installing heat pumps, and implementing other energy-saving measures. Interested residents can find more information at blocpower.io/electri.
Peterborough’s commitment to renewable energy is an inspiration to communities worldwide. Through collaborative efforts, residents, businesses, and organizations are actively working towards a cleaner, more sustainable future. As the town continues to make strides in its renewable energy journey, the possibilities for a greener tomorrow are becoming increasingly tangible.
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