Fuel Assistance and weatherization program for NH residents:
Fremont homeowners and renters can apply for fuel assistance, and if they are eligible, also apply for a free of charge audit and weatherization of their residence. Although there are a limited amount of weatherizations done in the state each year due to available funding, this will substantially increase due to stimulus $ awarded to the state. If you are interested in this program which will reduce your energy costs call Community Action in Portsmouth at 603 431 2911.
**Your weekly household trash must fit in the Waste Management 64-gallon green container so that the lid can CLOSE. Fremont residents will be required to pay for replacement of their container if damage is done to the (not closed) lid during the automated collection process.
** The lifting arm on the refuse truck needs five feet (5') on either side of your 64-gallon container to wrap around it to empty. DO NOT place your recycling bin directly beside your green trash container.
** Throw away plastic caps from bottles in your recycling container. When they are not removed, bottles may explode during the recycling process; creating a hazardous work environment. Additionally, place gray cardboard (cereal, cracker, poptart, tissue, etc.) flat inside a paper (not plastic) bag to keep it from flying out of your recycling bin.
** Leaves and grass clippings can be brought to Seacoast Farms Compost located on the dirt side of Shirkin Road (off of Beede Road) Monday - Friday 7am-3pm and Sat. 9-noon by appointment (please call owner Bob Kelly at 396-4108.)
** Remove outgrown toys and clothes from your trash and give away by visiting http://freecycle.org - a non profit, grassroots movement of people who give away items for free to interested individuals in their surrounding communities...."it's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills."
The Energy Committee continues to pursue the goals of reducing energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions, with the initial emphasis being placed on town facilities and activities. As we procede, our parallel goal is to reduce costs to the Town by pursuing alternative funding sources in addition to the reduced costs achieved by using less fuel and electricity. The Committee, with grant funding, has seen to building energy audits at Ellis School and the Fremont Safety Complex. Energy-efficient lighting was installed at the Town Hall and Concession Stand; and solar panels have been installed at the Safety Complex.
Americans are spending more time than ever watching TV, averaging five hours a day! The result is a surge in electricity use by TVs, which can draw more power in a year than some refrigerators. This is especially true for the new flat screen TVs with liquid crystal display and liquid plasma technology. They use significantly more power and in fact are becoming one of the biggest power hogs of the 25 consumer electronic products in every household. Watch an hour less TV every day and watch your electricity bill come down!
Energy Conservation reminders for winter:
** Up to 30% can be saved on fuel costs for our cars if we properly inflate tires, maintain speeds at or below the listed limit, have periodic tune-ups and combine trips whenever possible.
** When purchasing appliances, use "Energy Star" appliances which will result in significant cost savings.
** Always un-plug electronic devices when not in use or charging is complete.
** Approximately 40% of energy usage in buildings, nation-wide, is due to improper insulation, drafts, inefficient heating and cooling systems and windows which need upgrading. Caulking, sealing and weather stripping of foundations, doors and windows will result in significant energy savings.
Various up-dates and suggestions on energy usage and recycling have been offered in the Fremont Newsletter, and we would like to hear from Fremont residents regarding any suggestions or success stories you have regarding energy conservation, greenhouse gas reduction, recycling and related activities. We can be reached by email through the Town Office at FremontTA@comcast.net.
If you wish to monitor your electrical devices for power usage/electrical costs there is an inexpensive meter available (P-4400 "KILL A WATT") which can be obtained at psnh.com. The Energy Committee will loan you a device at no charge, as well. Contact us, or visit the Fremont Public Library which also has some to loan.
The Fremont Energy Committee (FEC) was formed in 2007 as a result of the positive vote at Town Meeting on Article 21, addressing climate change. The human impact on climate change is primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas & its derivatives and coal, the main source of electricity generation). It therefore follows that the main focus of the FEC is to promote the reduction of fossil fuel usage by the municipality and its citizens. As we all know, energy prices are drastically increasing, and due to expanding world demand, will continue to do so. In this light, all of the efforts to reduce energy usage are in fact, efforts to reduce the Town's expenditures (and your taxes), as well as resident's household operating costs. It should be noted that the projected energy
costs for Fremont's municipal activities will exceed $200,000 per year, if we continue in our present mode. Listed below are some of the FEC's ongoing activities in conjunction with the Selectmen, Town Administrator, Ellis School and Planning Board. We would like to see these efforts proceed at a faster pace, and welcome the participation of new volunteers.
ENERGY USAGE :MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS AND ACTIVITIES: An initial audit has been done by the FEC, outlining energy usage in all Town sectors. An audit of electrical consumption and a proposal to retrofit lighting and other devices with energy efficient alternatives will be done by PSNH. Ellis School has installed energy efficient lighting, instituted increased recycling, and is in the process of having a comprehensive energy efficiency evaluation performed.
ORDINANCE FOR INSTALLATION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVICES: An ordinance will be drafted for consideration which will exempt renewable energy devices (wind, solar, geothermal, etc.) from being added to the assessed property value.
GRANTS: Fremont will apply for grants to install renewable energy devices on municipal buildings.
GOVERNORS TASK FORCE ON GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION: Fremont residents have participated in the State of NH planning process for its energy future.
TRASH RECYCLING: The FEC in conjunction with the Selectmen's Office has promoted this effort.
Energy Saving Tips for Summer
We can think about saving energy by buying locally grown food. Farmer's markets and farm stands have opened in many towns in the greater Fremont area. Details for times and locations can be found by visiting www.seacoasteatlocal.org. There are numerous advantages to buying locally - the products are fresh, they last longer, and haven't logged costly miles on the highway. Consumers can also directly meet the people that grow their food. The markets have expanded in recent years to offer many products in addition to fresh
vegetables. It is a great time to support local businesses with transportation costs increasing.
NH rideshare is a free service provided by the state to reduce the number of commuters traveling alone. The NH Dept. of Transportation maintains 25 park and ride lots, with more coming in the future. They also have a ridematch database for commuters to find others to share rides or alternatives such as van pools and buses. Those interested in being added to this database can call NH rideshare at 800-462-8707 (in NH only) or 603-271-4043 or go online at http://www.nh.gov/dot/nhrideshare/index.htm for more information.
MORE ENERGY TIPS
Reprinted from the Ellis School Newsletter: Did you know:
- That you can run a television set for six hours on the amount of electricity that is saved from recycling one aluminum can?
- By recycling just one glass bottle or container you save enough electricity to power a 100 watt bulb for four hours?
- For every ton of paper that is recycled, the following is saved: 7,000 gallons water, 380 gallons of oil, and enough electricity to power an average American home for six months?
What can you do to help?
- Pick up a recycling bin at the Town Hall, or use a laundry basket or trash can to recycle plastic bottles, aluminum cans, glass containers, newspapers, and cardboard. For a full list of items to be recycled, check the town website at www.Fremont.nh.gov on the Trash & Recycling Page; or contact the Selectmen's Office at 603 895 2226 x 301.
- Rinse and reuse plastic and Ziploc bags or use plastic washable (reusable) containers to pack lunches and snacks.
- Put shredded papers in clear plastic trash bags, or simply clearly mark the outside of a bag with shredded paper inside it. This can all be recycled with paper, but should be bagged separately.
- Compost food and yard waste in a compost bin or create a compost pile in your yard. This will save money on trash pick-up by reducing tonnage, saving landfill space, and you can create your own rich soil. Be cautious of compost bins (like your birdfeeders) as bears who are hungry will paw thru them.
The following are a few reminders and suggestions to assist in your energy saving efforts:
- Run your dishwasher with only a full load & use the energy saving setting.
- Turn your water heating setting to 120 degrees. If the device is over 7 years old and does not have internal insulation, wrap an insulating jacket around it.
- As you replace home appliances, select the most energy efficient models. Any additional cost will be recovered many times over due to the lower energy use.
- RECYCLE! There are two components to the Town's solid waste costs: The cost to a hauler to bring the trash to the landfill, and the cost per ton to dump the trash. We pay the hauler to pick up recyclables and trash, but there is no cost to dispose of recyclables whereas the trash disposal fee is approximately $75/ton.
- Although increased recycling does not reduce an individual household's energy usage, it does decrease overall consumption. Recycled materials are utilized in the manufacture of metal goods, plastic fabrications and paper products. Using recycled materials rather than raw materials reduces energy consumption and costs less.
All residents are encouraged to take a few minutes each week and recycle their paper, plastic, aluminum & tin cans. A list of recyclable items and recycling bins can be obtained at the town offices. In addition, composting food and yard wastes is a great way to reduce the solid waste burden, and produce fertilizer material for your garden.
What is your Carbon Footprint?
This month’s green tip from the Fremont Energy Committee is about reducing your carbon footprint. A carbon footprint measures the impact of our everyday activities on the environment in terms of green house gases produced (in units of carbon dioxide). Reducing energy consumption reduces our carbon footprint. There are many websites that provide free calculators to determine your footprint. A few are:
These resources not only help you figure out where your biggest impact may be, but they also have a lot of information to help reduce and offset our impacts. The biggest contributors to our individual carbon footprints are usually home heating/electricity usage and travel. When calculating your footprint you will be asked questions pertaining to these factors in addition to other lifestyle information.
So how can you reduce your carbon emissions and balance your impact? There are many ways – some of which we already know and some that aren’t so obvious. Here are some suggestions: replace light bulbs and appliances to Energy Star-compliant products; carpool (even for short distances); buy local food and products (these are not shipped long distances); buy produce that is in season and organic (oil is used in fertilizer production); recycle; combine business related trips or use modern communication technologies when possible; and unplug TVs and other appliances when not in use. Many of these are not only better for the environment, but are money savers.
In addition to reducing our carbon emissions, we can take action to help offset the carbon that we do produce. Planting trees and supporting clean renewable energy are two ways to do this. Why should we reduce and offset our impact? These are personal considerations, however research does suggest that we need to move toward a more sustainable living practice (using renewable energy sources) and the impact of our existence is already seen in our changing weather patterns. More information about sustainable living in NH is available at http://nhsea.org/.