County Energy Efficiency and End-of-Life HVAC Update Project

Posted on April 27, 2021

From the Executive Summary:

The County is about to embark on an energy efficiency upgrade plan with a the Energy Efficient Investments (EEI) firm that is located in Merrimack, NH. The scope of work plan and costs can be found HERE. The County Delegation approved the implementation of this plan at their March 22, 2021 meeting at a total cost not to exceed $4,741,964.00 financed under a 20 year lease. (The minutes for that meeting can be found HERE).

The company is known for, and has a proven track record of designing and implementing energy improvements to mechanical systems, building controls systems, insulation, and renewable systems. EEI is also an approved energy management contractor with Better Buildings, Pay for Performance, Eversource, Liberty Utilities, and other utilities in New Hampshire. The energy savings in this project will include a guarantee on annual energy savings over the financing period.

EEI has developed a plan which could reduce annual energy expenditures in the district by more than $124,000.00 in energy and a minimum of $12,000.00 in operation savings. It is important note that this is not a pure energy project where return on investment was the driving focus.

EEI met with County Staff and had meetings with the commissioners and staff on these topics. The direction EEI received from the Commissioners was threefold.
1. Focus on long term solutions as all of the buildings likely be used by county for generations to come
2. Focus on reduction of fossil Fuel as primary heating source
3. Incorporate where possible a uniformity in control systems and equipment.

Accomplishing this goal was a challenge, for various reasons, which include that the buildings range for nearly 164 years old to construction in last 12 years. The condition of the mechanical systems at County Hall and the Admin Building across the street are at end of life. When EEI first started working on this project it was assumed that corrections would focus on two items 1) LED lighting and other electrical efficiencies. However, our audit revealed, that the Geo-thermal well field at Cheshire County Corrections is underutilized. Essentially the well is being only used during the cooling season the heat pump loop is not connected to primary heating load or the domestic water load. This is creating a condition where the well field becoming over heated. This heat can be drawn off in the winter by 1. Connecting the VAV heat loop to the well field and the domestic water load. Further efficiencies can be added with a fluid cooling tower.