For Immediate Release
Date: December 12, 2023


Jim Martin
(603) 271-3710

Congratulations to the NHDES and NHSaves® Utility Partners’ Wastewater Treatment Facility Energy Efficiency Award Winners

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and NHSaves announce the winners of the NHDES/NHSaves Wastewater Treatment Facility Energy Efficiency Awards, recognizing the hard work of several energy efficiency champions – Lisbon, Claremont, Peterborough and Bethelehem – that are leading the effort to reduce energy use.

Since 2016, NHDES, in partnership with NHSaves Utility Partners, has been making a concerted effort to help New Hampshire wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) operators and owners improve the energy efficiency of their facilities. WWTFs typically use more energy than any other municipal facility, so there can be significant economic benefits to reducing their energy use. Using available data, NHDES has identified several energy efficiency champions to honor with these awards. 

Lagoon facilities and all other secondary/advanced facilities were recognized separately due to their significant process differences. The energy efficiency awards were broken down into two categories: Most Improved and Overall Most Efficient.

Most Improved WWTFs:

Most Improved Energy Savings for a Lagoon Facility: Lisbon

Lisbon operates a 0.32 million gallon per day (MGD) lagoon facility. Since their comprehensive energy audit (CEA) was conducted in 2016, their operator has reduced their energy use by 42% at no cost to the community. Lisbon made this improvement primarily by optimizing their blower operation. And, based on their continued energy use reductions over the past 8 years, they are still focused on making changes that continue to optimize their energy consumption.

Most Improved Energy Savings for an Activated Sludge Facility: Peterborough

The Peterborough WWTF is a 0.62 MGD sequential batch reactor (SBR) facility. The staff at the Peterborough WWTF have long shown a commitment to continuous improvement by making changes at their WWTF over time, selecting and implementing projects that improve both the operation of the facility as well as its efficiency. The measures from the CEA that were implemented were all low to no cost measures resulting in near instant payback in savings with a 34% reduction in energy use. In addition, one of the key elements that helped Peterborough achieve energy savings was the willingness of staff to explore alternative approaches to develop the most cost-effective energy measure that would result in reducing their energy consumption.

Overall, Most Energy Efficient WWTFs:

Overall Most Efficient Lagoon Facility: Bethlehem

The Bethlehem WWTF is a 0.34 MGD lagoon facility. Since the CEA was completed, the operations staff in Bethlehem has completed the replacement of leaky aeration piping resulting in a 30% reduction in their energy use, making the Bethlehem WWTF significantly more efficient than many small lagoon systems in the country. And Bethlehem is not done yet! They are currently on their way to reaching net zero energy use for the WWTF through the replacement of aging and inefficient motors as well as installation of a solar array. This project is being partially funded through an American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) grant from NHDES. Bethlehem also intends to apply for Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding for the remaining project costs.

Overall Most Efficient Activated Sludge Facility: Claremont

The Claremont WWTF is a 3.89 MGD conventional activated sludge facility. Since the CEA was completed in 2019, the implemented improvements have resulted in a 23% reduction in total energy use which brings their benchmarks well below available national benchmarks for similar type and size plants.  

This CEA implementation project was funded through a combination of Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan and grant, and NHSaves incentives. The savings resulting from the implementation of these projects are covering most of the loan payments. 

"I am delighted to see the impact of our energy efficiency efforts with these four wastewater treatment facilities, all Eversource customers,” said Eversource Director of Energy Efficiency and Electric Mobility Sales Rich Kazarian. “It is a testament to our incredible vendors, contractors, and employees that this joint effort between the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the NHSaves utility partners has been so successful, helping facilities across the state to significantly reduce their energy use. Congratulations to all of the winners of this year’s WWTF Energy Efficiency Awards!"

The NHSaves Utility Partners include Eversource, Liberty Utilities, New Hampshire Electric Co-op and Unitil. For more information regarding this program, please contact Sharon Nall at


Images from left to right:

Peterborough: From left to right: Sharon Nall, NHDES; US Senator Maggie Hassan; and the Peterborough team, Nate Brown, Jamie Jarest, Nathan Limric, Pete Bergeron and Tim Jarest.

Claremont: From left to right: Jack Paloucek, Eversource; US Senator Maggie Hassan; Alex Gleeson, Claremont; Rob Lauricella, H2O Innovations; and Ted Wadleigh, Claremont.

Bethlehem: From left to right: Jack Paloucek, Eversource; US Senator Maggie Hassan; Josh Welch, Welch’s Water and Sewer/Bethlehem; and Russell Hunt, Eversource. 

Lisbon: From left to right: Sharon Nall, NHDES; Rob Lauricella, H2O Innovations; BJ Hurlbert, H2O Innovations/Lisbon; and US Senator Maggie Hassan.