An Opportunity Not to Be Missed

The residents of Bethlehem have a window of opportunity to save money on heating costs while switching to clean, local, and renewable energy at Bethlehem Elementary School.

The Bethlehem School Board endorses a switch to wood for heat in Warrant Article #5. We encourage all Bethlehem residents to add their support at the Budget Meeting to be held at the school on Monday, March 16, at 7:00pm.

Faced with the requirement to replace the underground oil tank at the school, the Bethlehem School Board has researched the option to switch from oil to wood pellet boilers, which would mean reduced fuel costs each year of 30-40%. With oil prices on the rise again, estimates show the savings could be over $100,000 over the next 10 years.

For the initial expense, the School Board has already set aside money to replace the oil tank ($45,000), and with grant funding from USDA ($30,000) and a cash rebate from the State of NH ($48,600), the net cost to the Town Bethlehem should be no more than $40,000.

Now is the time to switch!

  • Oil prices are on the rise once again.

  • Adjusted to equivalent units of heating output (BTU’s), wood is 30% cheaper than oil now, and will only get cheaper as oil prices return to previous levels.

  • Using wood, which is plentiful and sustainably managed in New Hampshire, will bring jobs and money back into our economy.

  • Heating our school with clean, renewable energy sets a great example for the next generations.

  • Wood pellet boilers are a proven, modern, clean, and quiet technology.

  • We have $123,000 in funds, grants, and rebates already in reach. This reduces the net tax impact to less than $.20/1000.

If this plan does not pass, the oil tank must be replaced in any case, at a cost of $65,000, and we will be stuck with oil for another 20 years.

Please come and help do the right thing for the School.