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Greenfield Completes Town Building Energy Audits PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nancy Hazard   
Friday, 31 October 2008

& Signs Up for Energy Service Company to Take the Next Step

GREENFIELD, MA – This week, the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources (DOER) completed energy audits on almost all of the Town buildings. In addition, Greenfield Mayor Christine Forgey has signed a letter of interest that will bring Siemens, an Energy Service Company (ESCO), to Greenfield this fall to take the next steps in assessing what can be done to reduce the energy used by the Town buildings.

“This is an important milestone in the Greening Greenfield campaign because renovating the Town buildings will not only save the Town money, it will also reduce the Town’s climate change emissions,” says Christine Forgey, Mayor of Greenfield.

The process of assessing how much energy the Town’s buildings has been a very collaborative process with the Town, the School Committee, and the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee  (GGEC) being involved. “It has been great working with the Town and GGEC in obtaining these audits. With the school budget being so tight we need to squeeze every dime we can out of our energy costs,” says Donovan Eastman, chair of the School Committee’s Energy Task Force.

The audits began last January, when the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources (DOER) offered a limited number of free energy audits. Greenfield was able to get five Department of Public Works (DPW) buildings audited, before the DOER money ran out. A few months ago the DOER was able to restart its audit program, and because Greenfield had applied last year, it was at the top of the list. Buildings audited this past month include the Town Hall, Fire Station, Police Station, Library, High School, Federal Street School North and South, and the Newton Street, Four Corners, Green River, and North Parish Schools.

 “The DOER audits give us a good idea of which buildings need work, and what would likely be our best investments,” says Sandy Shields, DPW Director. “The next step is to bring in Siemens, an Energy Service Company (ESCO), who will look at possible projects in more detail, including financing, and make recommendations to the Town.”

ESCO’s, also known as Performance Contractors, have been around for over thirty years. They offer municipal governments and corporations a cost-effective way to upgrade existing buildings. They perform audits, make recommendations, and then arrange for the financing and the work to be done. They then stay with the project until the upgrades are paid off. All upgrades are guaranteed and paid for by the energy savings, so they are not appear as loans in financial statements. Depending on the financing agreements and the cost of energy in the coming years, the Town could see some positive cash flow immediately.

The first step, in a three-step process, will be that the Town will sign a Preliminary Audit Contract with Siemens, and, at no cost to Greenfield, they will submit a report to the Town with recommendations about which buildings can be upgraded cost-effectively. The Town then reviews these recommendations, and decides which buildings it wishes to pursue. The Town will use the DOER audit information to help them make their decisions.

After signing an Investment Grade Audit (IGA) contract, Siemens would do a more in-depth audit that would include a more in-depth cost analysis. If these recommendations are approved by the Town, the Town then signs an Energy Services Agreement (ESA) that details the work and the financial agreement –and the work begins.

“We are thrilled that the DOER audits are now complete and that Siemens will come in soon.” says Nancy Hazard, co-chair of the Greening Greenfield campaign. “The Town, the School Committee, and the Greening Greenfield Energy Committee have been working toward this outcome for over a year.”

The Greening Greenfield campaign is a collaborative effort of the citizen Greening Greenfield Energy Committee (GGEC) and the Town of Greenfield. The campaign aims to revitalize Greenfield using “greening” as the inspirational and economic engine that will help build a sustainable Greenfield so that current and future generations can enjoy life in this beautiful abundant valley. To find out more about the campaign, or how you can get involved, go to

www.GreeningGreenfield.org 

or call (413) 774-5667.

CONTACTS:   Mayor Christine Forgey, Town of Greenfield:       413-772-1560

Sandra Shields, Director DPW, Town of Greenfield:                  413-772-1528x107

Nancy Hazard, WorldSustain & Co-chair,                                 413-774-5667
Greening Greenfield campaign:                            
Tom Murphy, Chair, Greening Greenfield Energy Committee     413-774-5124

Donovan Eastman, School Committee Energy Task Force          413-774-3836

 
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