Sustainability

About

The City of Keene integrates the principles of environmental integrity, social equity, and economic prosperity into plans, practices, policies, and partnerships. Our goal is to provide innovative solutions to our City’s challenges while engaging, educating, and motivating the Keene community. We define sustainability as “meeting the environmental, social, and economic needs of our community without compromising the ability of future generations to meet these needs.”

Sustainable Energy Goals

In January 2019, the Keene City Council adopted Resolution R-2018-36 (Sustainable Energy Resolution) which set the following goals:

  1. That 100% of electricity consumed in the City will come from renewable energy sources by the year 2030, and
  2. That 100% of thermal energy and energy used for transportation will come from renewable energy sources by the year 2050. 

These aspirational goals apply to the entire community, not just municipal operations. Furthermore, the City Council made a commitment to develop a plan to achieve these goals by December of 2020.  To learn more about this effort, or to get involved, please contact Mari Brunner, staff liaison to the Energy and Climate Committee: (603) 352-5440 or mbrunner at ci.keene.nh.us.  

City Initiatives

Keene has a reputation for being first to take new and creative approaches towards solving community issues.  From decisions in the 1700s regarding placement of the community meetinghouse and planting elm trees in Central Square to addressing contemporary issues like climate change and community sustainability, we continue to be recognized within the region, the state, the nation, and in various places in the world for innovative, practical efforts and solutions.  A partial list of current and ongoing City projects is included below.  

  1. Purchasing and using of ENERGY STAR office and computer equipment and appliances.
  2. Using biodiesel fuel, soy-based hydraulic fluid; recycle antifreeze and cooking oils.
  3. Training and attending meetings online conferences vs. traveling to sites.
  4. Reducing light usage and using more energy-efficient lighting.
  5. Reducing heating and cooling usage and using more energy-efficient systems.
  6. Reducing printing and paper usage; recycling printer toners; purchasing paper with higher recycle content.
  7. Implementing water conservation measures.
  8. Implementing waste reduction and increasing recycling ability.
  9. Purchasing environmentally-preferable products and purchasing services where the vendor has
  10. implemented more sustainable practices.
  11. Geothermal HVAC at Public Works Department
  12. Hydro-electric turbines at the water treatment plant
  13. Energy Services Contract (ESCO) upgrades to City Buildings
    1. Chiller replacement at City Hall
    2. Installation of Solar Photo-voltaic system on City Hall roof
    3. Various building envelope and lighting upgrades for municipal buildings

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