News Column

Patrick Administration Celebrates Completion of Pittsfield Armory Energy Project, Recognizes Energy Investments in the Berkshires

May 16, 2014



BOSTON, May 16 -- The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs issued the following news release:

Patrick Administration officials today joined military and public utility representatives to celebrate the completion of an energy efficiency project at the Pittsfield Armory as part of the Commonwealth's Accelerated Energy Program (AEP) and to recognize the effects of energy projects at several Pittsfield court facilities and the Berkshire County House of Correction.

The Pittsfield Armory project is part of the Commonwealth's Accelerated Energy Program (AEP), a program launched by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) in 2012, which aims to initiate energy efficiency projects at 700 state sites in 700 days. To date, energy projects have already been completed or initiated at 535 of these sites across the state.

"The partnership between DOER and DCAMM is yielding significant results for state agencies and helping us meet the Commonwealth's energy, environmental and economic goals," said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. "The AEP investment of more than $12 million in the Berkshires is taking a serious bite out of electricity and natural gas use, as well as greenhouse gas emissions."

"The Accelerated Energy Program has helped to define Massachusetts as a national leader in energy efficiency and conservation, having put in place projects that are already yielding $4.3 million in annual savings," said DCAMM Commissioner Carole Cornelison. "In addition to extraordinary savings, the economic and environmental benefits of projects like this will have a lasting and significant impact across the Commonwealth."

The armory is one of 29 state facilities in the Berkshires and one of 39 Military Division sites across the Commonwealth undergoing energy efficiency retrofits under the AEP. The $90,000Pittsfield Armory project is expected to reduce energy consumption by nearly 59 percent and energy bills by 57 percent each year, while eliminating more than 40 metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually, a 58 percent reduction. It includes the installation of high efficiency lighting, lighting controls, occupancy sensors, vending machine controls, high efficiency electric motors and energy management system upgrades. The project will receive more than $17,000 in Mass Save(TM) incentives from Northeast Utilities and Berkshire Gas and will reduce energy costs by more than $10,000 per year. Energy efficiency projects at the 39 Military Division sites across the Commonwealth will result in the annual energy cost savings of more than $265,000 and reduce GHG emissions by about 890 metric tons, equivalent to the emissions from 185 cars.

"The completion of this new energy efficiency project in Pittsfield will lead by example and maximize green technologies to sustain the highest organizational effectiveness and efficiency," said Brigadier General Gary W. Keefe, Assistant Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard. "The energy improvements are expected to significantly minimize electricity and natural gas consumption and reduce energy bills by nearly 60 percent annually. We thank all of our partners involved in the successful team effort that culminated in the completion of this project."

Across the Berkshires, the AEP will invest more than $12 million in energy efficiency projects at more than two dozen state sites, resulting in annual energy cost reductions at these facilities of more than $900,000. Annually, these projects will reduce use of electricity by approximately 2 million kWh and 130,000 therms of natural gas, resulting in GHG emission reductions of more than 1,860 metric tons, equivalent to the emissions from 388 passenger vehicles. Efficiency projects have and will be taking place at a diverse range of facilities, including courthouses, community colleges, offices, transportation depots, and police stations.

AEP energy efficiency investments across the Commonwealth will total more than $400 million, reducing annual energy costs by more than $40 million and decreasing state government GHG emissions by 135,000 metric tons. The statewide projects will replace hundreds of older, inefficient heating and cooling systems with state-of-the-art HVAC equipment, improve lighting, install high efficiency motors and drives and tighten building envelopes.

AEP is a key component to meeting the Leading by Example (LBE) goals. Set by Governor Patrick in a 2007 Executive Order, goals for state government operations under LBE include:

* Reduce GHG emissions by 40 percent by 2020

* Reduce energy consumption by 35 percent by 2020

* Procure 30 percent of energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020

Nearly $270 million of the AEP is funded through the Patrick Administration's Clean Energy Investment Program (CEIP). CEIP-funded investments are recovered through the energy savings generated by the projects, thereby reducing the use of taxpayer dollars on these important projects that reduce energy waste, operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions while also strengthening Massachusetts' economy.

The Patrick Administration's aggressive clean energy initiatives have made Massachusetts a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions reductions. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has named Massachusetts number one for three years running. Governor Patrick set a new solar goal after reaching the previous goal of 250 megawatts four years early. The Commonwealth now aims to install 1,600 megawatts of solar capacity by 2020. The clean energy revolution is yielding economic benefits as well, with 11.8 percent job growth in the last year and 24 percent growth in the last two years; nearly 80,000 people are employed in the cleantech industry in Massachusetts.

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Source: Targeted News Service