Municipality Finances REALice Purchase, Gets Rebates from Efficiency Vermont

L to R - Rink Attendant Kevin Hoisington, Park Maintenance Anthony Gove discuss the new REALice System with Director of Parks & Recreation Scott Hausler

Municipality Finances REALice Purchase, Gets Rebates from Efficiency Vermont

In an effort to reduce costs, extend the life cycle of its refrigeration equipment, and lower greenhouse gas emissions, the Town of Hartford, VT has implemented a REALice floodwater system at the Wendell A. Barwood Arena (WABA). The 3D-printed system is maintenance-free and uses water pressure, eliminating the need for extremely hot water to maintain the ice. It was installed in October.

Rink Attendant David Fitzgerald on the Zamboni

Rink Attendant David Fitzgerald on the Zamboni

The Town of Hartford began considering REALice earlier this year when one of two on-demand propane water heaters failed that was supplying hot floodwater in the WABA’s Zamboni room. The Town was faced with replacing the 5-year old water heater, cognizant the second water heater might soon fail as well, or to find a way to cut down the WABA’s reliance on hot floodwater. REALice emerged as an attractive solution that would pay for itself in energy savings over the next 3.5 years.

Over the next 10 years of operation, the Town is expected to save over $87,000 by using REALice. The upfront cost of the system was offset by a rebate from Efficiency Vermont, the statewide energy efficiency utility. This is the latest investment in energy efficiency and sustainability from the ongoing town-wide Energy Program, led by the Town’s former Energy Coordinator, Geoff Martin.

In August, the Selectboard approved the purchase of REALice, voting to finance the purchase through the National Energy Improvement Fund, a Certified B Corp® specializing in energy efficiency projects. By financing the purchase, the Town incurred no out-of-pocket expenses, and the energy costs saved each month will be more than the cost of the 60-month term.

Parks and Recreation Director Scott Hausler says there has been no impact to ice quality.

“This system is mimicking hot water, but uses pressure instead of temperature to deliver water that makes great ice,” Hausler says. “In addition to continuing to deliver a quality product to our user groups, the REALice fits in well with the Town Plan in ensuring that Hartford is economically, environmentally and socially healthy, and resilient.”

Tom Smolarek, the Managing Director of Cypress, Ltd., the distributor of the Swedish-made technology in the US, says he’s thrilled for the Town of Hartford.

“Every municipality needs to find ways to operate that make better financial sense. By using REALice’s cold floodwater technology, Hartford will be saving on the propane they needed to use to heat the water, and on their refrigeration costs, too. And it will make a huge impact on greenhouse gas emissions, an estimated 27 tonnes less of CO2 each year.”

This is the third arena in Vermont to install the REALice floodwater system. Castleton University has been using the system at the Spartan Arena for over 5 years; Riley Rink at Hunter Park in Manchester Center installed its system in 2019.


REALice: say goodbye to hot water floods

If you’re still flooding with hot water, you’re losing money. Watch what what these ice makers have to say about the REALice difference: lower run times, energy savings and, most importantly, ice quality — in 96 short seconds:

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