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Associate Vice President for Facilities Testifies On Energy Use

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Paul Chamberlin
Paul Chamberlin testifying before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power in Washington, D.C. recently.

On Thursday, July 12, Paul Chamberlin went to Washington. The associate vice president for Facilities was there to testify before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power in support of bipartisan energy-improvement legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Charles F. Bass. The Smart Energy Act aims to better energy consumption management, technological efficiencies, and electricity production.

Chamberlin spoke to the benefits of combined heat and power production, supporting the bill’s goal to double cogeneration plants, which provide both heat and electricity. UNH's combined COGEN plant went online in 2006. The primary source of heat and electricity for the campus, the system retains waste heat normally lost during the production of electricity and instead uses this energy to heat buildings, in turn reducing sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions.

In 2009, UNH launched its EcoLineā„¢ project, a landfill gas-to-energy project that uses methane gas from a nearby landfill as the primary fuel for the COGEN plant.

Chamberlin told congressmen that cogeneration systems “should be encouraged as a matter of sound business and good public policy.”

“This was a great opportunity for UNH,” Chamberlin says of being able to join industry experts in testifying in support of the Smart Energy Act. “It gave us a chance to talk about one of our successes.”

Chamberlin learned he was going to Washington the Friday before and had to quickly deliver a written text of what he would say. He also had to supply a one-page summary and prepare a five minute oral presentation.

“It was an interesting experience for me personally and a privilege for the university to be asked to provide its expertise,” he says.

While some 400 colleges and universities have COGEN plants, they are not as widely used in businesses, Chamberlin says.

In his testimony, Chamberlin said, “Based on our experience at the University of New Hampshire, I strongly believe cogeneration systems should be encouraged as a matter of sound business and good public policy.”

A video of Chamberlin’s opening statement before the Subcommittee on Energy and Power: http://youtu.be/J8FEYbnY-NI.

Paul Chamberlin