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Melrose Releases Video About Going Green Initiatives

The City of Melrose recently released a video outlining some of their going green initiatives.

The City of Melrose recently released a video that focuses on some of their going green initiatives. Credit: MAPC Metro Boston via YouTube
The City of Melrose recently released a video that focuses on some of their going green initiatives. Credit: MAPC Metro Boston via YouTube
The City of Melrose recently released a video that focuses on some of their going green initiatives.

Martha Grover, the city's energy efficiency manager, discussed how Melrose is listed as a Green Community in Massachusetts.

"...We were one of the first designated as a Green Community in 2010," she said. "As a Green Community, we are committed to reducing our energy consumption by 20 percent, so this energy performance contract was one of the main avenues for significant energy reduction."

Steven Weisman, vice president of Peregrine Energy Group, said an energy performance contract is "this great mechanism that the Commonwealth has created under Chapter 25A that allows communities to develop projects that include many different kinds of installations and to have those projects be self-funded."

Rebecca Davis, manager of the Clean Energy Division at Metropolitan Area Planning Council, discussed the Energy Services Company (ESCO) project.

"One of the major impediments we saw for communities was trying to figure out how to execute a performance contract," Davis said. "These are often 20-year contracts with lots of technical aspects that are really important to see whether communities can get the best deal from the savings that they can achieve through the efficiency upgrades. So, as part of that we went out and procured owner agent's services for both MAPC and our communities to help walk them through the entire ESCO project, from the preliminary audit, investment grade audit to actually signing the contract."

Davis said they hired Peregrine as the owner's agent to help with the ESCO project.

"With performance contracting, you're allowed to bundle together a lot of programs or a lot of projects, and then reinvest the energy funds from savings into infrastructure improvements," Weisman said. "The result is that you get many projects completed in a really short period of time and you have performance guarantees not only on the cost and the savings but also on the way the equipment works."

Harold Meyer, business development manager for Ameresco, the developer, said that his company was the awardee of a multi-municipality procurement, with 14 municipalities joining together and MAPC aggregating these communities for one large procurement.

"The first project we did with Melrose was actually a rooftop solar project," Meyer said. "Currently, we're in construction of over 20 buildings and probably two dozen types of energy efficiency measures are...being installed anywhere from weatherstripping all the way up to new boilers and chillers and computerized controls for the HVAC."

"When Ameresco puts together the project and we develop all the measures and the priorities, they attach guaranteed savings for each of the measures," Grover added. "They projected that the first year savings are going to be about $185,000 and those savings will incur year-on-year."

Grover also noted that the energy efficiency projects are "budget neutral" and don't require getting a bond and doesn't cost the taxpayers any additional money.

The city is expected to save 822,683 kilowatt hours in electric savings and 43,508 therms in natural gas savings per year.

Mayor Rob Dolan said that energy efficiency lighting has improved the educational experience for both teachers and students in the classroom.

To learn more about the city's energy efficiency plans, check out the entire embedded YouTube video above. 

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