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LighTec offers free energy audit for Tilton

September 09, 2009
TILTON — A free energy audit will explore the town's lighting and heating deficiencies and potential improvements for long-term cost savings.

James Grady, an engineer with LighTec, Inc., appeared before the Tilton selectman at their meeting on Aug. 27 to discuss energy savings for the town.

Selectman Norm Boudreau had recently met Grady through an energy seminar in Concord and invited him to make a presentation to the board.

"I thought it was a good idea to do an energy audit to see about reducing our energy use," Boudreau told fellow selectmen.

Grady explained that lighting is the first step in cost savings for towns. While all systems in municipal facilities could be reviewed for efficiency, items with faster returns, like lighting, are typically the best way to begin.

"We start with things that have one- and two-year paybacks," Grady said, "and then go from there."

Towns can examine the findings of an audit, then determine what they can afford to do and what they might like to consider down the road to save on expenses like heating and cooling of municipal buildings.

Chairman Katherine Dawson asked exactly what Grady was proposing to do for the town. Grady said he was merely proposing a walk-through audit of the buildings.

"It wouldn't cost you a dime," he told her.

If the town chose to implement any of the energy reduction measures, LighTec would then analyze the bills for those measures to see how successful the changes were.

Tilton currently does not have an energy committee, something Boudreau felt would benefit the town in the long run. Grady suggested they seek out residents involved in energy-related services to make up a portion of such a committee, benefiting from their professional perspectives on how to reduce costs in the town.

Boudreau said Public Service of New Hampshire had been called in to do an energy audit, but he was not satisfied with the results. The auditor was onsite for only about 10 minutes, he said, and told them there was nowhere they could benefit through PSNH.

"I think we should take another step," he told the other selectmen, "and see what LighTec can do, then bring it to Town Meeting."

LighTec is currently working with the Town of Wolfeboro, analyzing their energy consumption. There, as in most cases of municipal buildings and even private residences, Grady said, lighting is a key focus for initial savings.

Selectmen agreed to arrange for the free audit with Grady's company. They will ask for a study of the Town Hall, police station and other town-owned buildings and see what recommendations are made.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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