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12/07/2021 EC Minutes

2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574

Bethlehem Energy Commission

December 7, 2021 at 7:00 pm

In-Person at Bethlehem Library


Attending:  David Van Houten, Mary Lou Krambeer, Bruce Caplain, Chuck Phillips, Dan Crosby


Excused:  Josiah Chamberlain, Melissa Elander (Clean Energy, NH advisor)



Mission: The Bethlehem Energy Commission was established for the study and planning of energy resources for the town. The commission will evaluate existing energy usage in the town and suggest possible improvements in energy efficiency and conservation, as well as potential clean renewable energy solutions in order to reduce expenses and increase self-reliance.


Review minutes from last meeting

Approve 10/28/2021 meeting minutes.  Motion to accept, Chuck; Second David; Unanimously approved.


Town Hall energy audit

We have undergone a 2-piece energy audit:  HVAC and envelope.

  1. HVAC recommendations went to the Select Board to spend $10,000 to fix propane tank.
  2. Select Board has contacted a contractor to come in to look at building maintenance.

To Do:  Bruce will follow-up on funding and locate a certified Elite propane person.  Also, let David know when building maintenance person is coming to Town Hall on Friday.


Comment:  Air to water heat pumps becoming more affordable and efficient.  Air to air heat pumps of course have made huge strides to -10 degrees (function below that but not as efficient).


Profile solar project update

Inverters installed; Installation of panels happening; 40% done.

Celebration and grand opening at Profile proposed for good weather – an April or May ribbon cutting (before the end of the school year).

To Do:  Dan is working with Profile students.


Town solar project

Public input on location of BES solar array discussed at Select Board meeting last night.  Decision is to set the array in the far back of the field next to the baseball field.  The location will be situated so that the pine trees on eastern edge will not be removed or damaged (yay!).


We now have our three sites and the engineering may proceed.  Select Board approved the $10,000 to go forward.  To Do:  David will put this action in motion.



Need to transfer of $60,000 in matching funds from Town of Bethlehem to report to NHCF for the release of the $60,000 challenge  To Do:  Bruce will ask Town treasurer; Mary Lou will inform NHCF of match.

Acknowledgements being sent out to NHCF DAF donors

NHCF press releases must be sent out.  To Do:  Mary Lou

Need to work on a full press release once we get savings $ figures from contractors. To Do:  David/Mary Lou

We need 800 feet of 4” schedule 80 PVC pipes – should we ask for donations from residents and local contractors?  Price is out of site right now.



David and Bruce will attend BES meeting next week 12.14.21

Next opportunity:  conduct an updated energy efficiency project; go to CDFA in March or April



David is discussing with Barrington the possibility of adding solar to the Bethlehem Water Plant; plant is using about $30,000 in electricity annually.


David attended the Grafton County Commissioner November meeting. They have $17m in ARRA funds divided into 3 buckets – 1)broadband; 2)undecided at this time?; 3) undecided at this time?  They are now circulating a list of criteria for future projects.  David suggested setting aside $1m for renewable energy projects or give $50,000 to each of the 49 towns.


Public input: Chris McGrath, Scott Caisse (


Upcoming meeting dates

Tue., January 3 at 7pm at the library




Bethlehem Energy Commission (BEC) is appointed by the Select Board. All meetings are open to the public.


Clerical Assistant Nicole McGrath ensures that BEC meeting notices, agendas, and minutes are posted as necessary.


To find BEC info go to:

-go to government tab

-our committee is listed under: boards and committees’ tab

-our meetings are posted through Nicole on: agendas and minutes tab

Nicole also posts a hard copy of meeting notices in the Town Hall and at the post office.