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February 24. 2014 7:22PM

Claremont to begin heating district in downtown area

CLAREMONT — A new way of heating that could save downtown building owners on energy costs is planned to be up and running by the next heating season.

In May, the Claremont City Council unanimously approved a plan to work with Granite State-based HotZero LLC on creating the new heating system in and around Opera House Square downtown.

HotZero LLC recently told council members the new heating district, or phase one, should be ready by the fall.

“They are in the process of negotiating with some building owners and planning the final steps of phase one,” city Manager Guy Santagate said on Monday. “The city would allow the installation of pipes to the sidewalk levels,” Santagate said.

Along with City Hall, other downtown buildings would be part of the district. These are old and historic buildings with high ceilings and are expensive to heat, Santagate said.

If phase one goes well, building owners’ costs should go down, he said.

The process, which is prolific in Europe, uses excess heat or heat from a new source to generate hot water that is then distributed through pipes to heat a home or building.

This would be the first such heating system in New Hampshire, Santagate said, and could be another step toward the revitalization of the city.

“It can be a real game- changer for Claremont,” Santagate said. “We won’t see natural gas here easily. We’re enthused about it; we think it could be an answer.”

If successful, the city would consider adding or expanding the heating district, Santagate said.

mpierce@newstote.com


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