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PORTSMOUTH WINS CARBON CHALLENGE

Jan. 4, 2010 

PORTSMOUTH – Although Portsmouth was officially proclaimed the winner of its NH Carbon Challenge with Keene on Monday, city residents still can take the quick online survey to learn how to save up to $800 annually and reduce their carbon footprint.

According to the numbers, Portsmouth handily beat Keene in the friendly competition that began on Earth Day 2009, April 22, and ended last Friday. However, the survey at www.nhcarbonchallenge.org can still be taken by anyone from any community to learn how to save money and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

When the numbers were tabulated Monday, they showed 275 Portsmouth residents took the 10-minute survey -- compared to 189 Keene residents -- and pledged to reduce 1.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide carbon emissions, saving Portsmouth citizens $165,545 in energy costs. The campaign is part of the City’s commitment to sustainability and being one of the first ecomunicipalities on the East Coast.

“Even though the contest is officially over, it’s not too late for people to learn new ways to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their energy costs by taking the survey,” said Peter Britz, the City of Portsmouth’s sustainability coordinator. “It’s exciting to see both Portsmouth and Keene residents taking the pledge to make meaningful reductions in their carbon emissions.”
 
The most common energy-saving change agreed to by Portsmouth residents was to put electronic devices (computers, TVs) on a UL-approved power strip and turn the power strip off when not in use, with half of the Portsmouth residents who took the survey making that commitment.

Other top changes pledged included stop junk mail; change incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescents, also known as CFLs; turn the thermostat down in winter; dry loads of laundry on a clothesline instead of a dryer; and adhere to speed limits, avoid quick starts and stops, and maintain adequate tire pressure.

These pledged actions were followed by commitments to air-dry dishes when using the dishwasher; drive fewer miles per week (through carpooling, telecommuting, putting kids on the school bus, combining errands, etc.); put an insulating blanket around the hot water heater and insulate hot water pipes; and weatherize homes by sealing around windows and doors.

Portsmouth residents committed to replacing 1,480 incandescent light bulbs with CFLS, reducing their driving by 5,539 miles per week, and line-drying 270 loads of laundry weekly.

            Eight names will be selected in a random drawing this week to receive the following prizes donated by local businesses: $40 gift certificate to the Portsmouth Brewery; $25 “market money” certificate that can be redeemed at any Seacoast Growers Association farmers market; a pair of Music Hall concert tickets; two one-year memberships to the Green Alliance, and three BaileyWorks recycled vinyl totes.

 

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