The $2.4 million project, which includes upgraded lighting systems, weatherproofing and heating and ventilation improvements, will be paid for 100 percent through energy cost avoidance, and with that no additional cost to taxpayers, according to the blog.
"This program will pay immediate dividends, not only in terms of energy savings but greater comfort in our city buildings," Dolan said in the blog post. "Better lighting makes for better work and learning environments; better weatherproofing helps everyone stay more comfortable in winter and summer. And the savings are guaranteed."
Energy Efficiency Manager Martha Grover expects the infrastructure improvements to reduce energy use in the city's buildings by 16 percent.
"Together with energy savings on vehicles and streetlights, this moves us closer to our Green Community goal of 20 (percent) energy reduction by the end of the current fiscal year," Grover said in the blog post.
Who is Handling the Project?
Framingham-based Ameresco, an energy efficiency company, will serve as the project's lead contractor. The company completed most of the work on Melrose schools over the summer and is currently focusing on other municipal buildings, including Melrose City Hall, Wyoming Cemetery office, fire stations, Melrose Public Library, Memorial Hall, Milano Senior Center, Beebe Estate, Mount Hood Clubhouse, police station and the DPW Tremont Street Operations Center, according to the blog.
The blog lists several items to be completed during the project, including:
- Energy efficient lighting and sensors everywhere
- Air sealing, weather-stripping on doors and windows, and insulation throughout
- Integrated energy management systems in all schools and most city buildings that will allow the facility manager to centrally control set points and monitor mechanical systems
- Oil to natural gas conversions with boiler improvements at fire and police stations
- New energy efficient boiler and chiller at City Hall
- Temperature control system improvements at the older elementary schools (Franklin ECC, Hoover, Horace Mann, Winthrop) such as steam trap replacements and pneumatic controls rehabilitation which will result in better temperature control in the classrooms and increase ventilation.
- Ventilation control systems and drives at the newer schools (Middle school, Roosevelt, Lincoln) that will modulate systems based on actual occupancy
- PC power management so that all 1300 computers will go into sleep mode when not in use.
Ameresco, chosen through a regional selection process with 13 other cities and towns, signed an agreement in early 2012 following an energy audit they conducted at city and school buildings in Melrose.
"Over a period of several months, a committee of city staff and members of the Melrose Energy Commission developed a set of priorities and a list of measures in each building that would net real savings and improve comfort," reads the blog post. "An Energy Savings Agreement was signed in May 2013, and construction began in June. Project construction is ongoing and expected to continue through 2014."
The project is being financed by a Bank of America through the use of a tax-exempt municipal lease at 2.49 percent annual interest, and the city will realize guaranteed energy savings of $185,620 in the first year, according to the blog.