Utility Partnership Energizes New School Project

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By definition, Plan NH members are collaborators. Recently, three of our members—NHSaves, Unitil and Eversource—teamed up on an exciting, energy-efficient project that also benefits the larger community: the new Oyster River Middle School in Durham, New Hampshire.


NHSaves is a collaboration of New Hampshire electric and natural gas utilities offering tools and tips to help Granite State residents and businesses save money, energy and the environment. Electric utilities Unitil and Eversource are partners in NH Saves’ programs.


The Oyster River Middle School, which serves students in grades 5-8 from the towns of Durham, Lee and Madbury, is under construction behind the existing middle school. Working together with Unitil and Eversource, through the NH Saves partnership, the new school employs energy-saving measures that will make it the most energy-efficient public school building in the state. The project’s goal is zero net energy (ZNE), meaning the building will have very low energy use (net-zero buildings emit virtually no carbon into the environment) and be able to cover 100% of its energy needs through clean, renewable energy. Slated to open in spring 2022, the new Oyster River Middle School is projected to save approximately 420,771 kWh of electricity and 460 therms of natural gas annually, corresponding to a reduction of 300 tons of CO2 emissions per year. The school’s remaining energy needs will be covered by the installation of a 638 kW array of solar panels.


Unitil and Eversource worked together with Oyster River School District’s director of facilities to identify and implement electric and gas energy conservation methods. Lavallee Brensinger Architects, a long time member and support of Plan NH, are the project architects.


Read more about the project here.