For Immediate Release - October 29, 2013

Patrick Administration Recognizes Public Entities for Leading by Example in Clean Energy and Environmental Initiatives

State agencies, municipalities, public higher education institutions and individuals receive 2013 Leading By Example Awards

BOSTON – Monday, October 28, 2013 – Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan today recognized state agencies, municipalities, public colleges and universities and two individuals for significantly reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, increased recycling, the use of renewable energy and other clean energy and environmental quality initiatives.

The 2013 Leading by Example (LBE) Awards went to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), Framingham State University, Greenfield Community College, the towns of Amherst, Arlington and Chelmsford, the city of New Bedford, Paul Piraino of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Lauren Sinatra of the town of Nantucket.

“Governor Deval Patrick has set some of the most ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy targets in the nation, and this year’s winners are leading the way to achieving those targets," said Secretary Sullivan. "This year's winners are implementing real cost saving, emissions reducing measures and the Commonwealth is seeing the results.”

“The Leading by Example program is reflective of the Governor’s commitment to investing in a clean energy future for Massachusetts,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor. “Not only is this program providing clean energy jobs for Massachusetts residents, it will also save millions in taxpayer dollars.”  

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has named Massachusetts number one in its annual state-by-state energy efficiency scorecard for two years running, thanks to the Patrick Administration's clean energy policies, including the Green Communities Act of 2008, and innovative energy efficiency programs like LBE.

In 2007, Governor Patrick signed Executive Order No. 484, which established the LBE awards by directing agencies of state government to improve energy efficiency, promote clean energy technology and reduce their environmental impacts. The Executive Order calls on state government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent and reduce energy consumption at state-owned and leased facilities by 20 percent.

The program’s efforts have resulted in significant accomplishments in recent years, including an increase in the amount of installed solar PV at state facilities from 100 kW in 2007 to more than 7 MW in 2013 and an increase in the amount of installed wind at state facilities from 660 kW in 2007 to nearly 11 MW in 2013 – an 18-fold increase.

EEA's Green Communities Division, which includes the LBE program, works with all Commonwealth municipalities to help maximize energy efficiency in public buildings, including schools, city halls and public works and public safety buildings; generate clean energy from renewable sources; and manage rising energy costs. There are now 110 municipalities that have been designated as Green Communities.

“The Leading by Example program has made it possible for the public sector to take advantage of technology and strategies that grow the Commonwealth’s renewable energy capacity and limit energy use,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “The efforts we are celebrating today have made Massachusetts a national leader on clean energy and environmental leadership.”

"The Leading by Example program is another example of the Patrick Administration's commitment to promoting sustainable energy practices at state facilities," said Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance Commissioner Carole Cornelison.  “This initiative ensures that best practices of energy use and environmental stewardship are implemented throughout the Commonwealth.”

DDS received an award for its completion of a comprehensive energy project at Hogan Regional Center in Danvers and Wrentham Developmental Center in Wrentham. The sites’ renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades, including a 522 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system, lighting upgrades and combined heat and power, have already yielded results. In the last year, oil consumption was reduced by 1.6 million gallons, a 97 percent reduction, and energy bills were cut by $3.2 million.

“Prior to the project, boilers were run at full steam, even in the summer, to provide hot water,” said DDS Commissioner Elin Howe. “Investments by the Patrick Administration in new efficiencies now allow for local climate control and within just one year, the savings are already significant and the quality of life for residents and staff has improved dramatically. We appreciate the cooperation from the local community and compassion shown to residents by contractors throughout the development.”

MassDEP was recognized for completing a large-scale retrofit and addition to its Senator William X. Wall Experiment Station lab in Lawrence, which earned it the first LEED Platinum certification for a state building. The upgrades include a 52.5 kW solar PV installation, rain gardens and storm water detention basins, efficient landscaping and plumbing, and electric vehicle charging stations. The building is designed to use 21 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than a building built to code.

“Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in cutting-edge environmental innovations, and the LEED Platinum designation for our Wall Experiment Station shows that we practice what we preach when it comes to sustainable development,” said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. “The numerous ‘green’ innovations at the laboratory make it a model for other public facilities to emulate. We are proud to receive this award for Leading By Example.”

Greenfield Community College received an award for its comprehensive approach to reducing environmental impacts, including a recycling and composting program, a Green Campus Committee, a geothermal system, three solar installations, a net zero energy greenhouse and a lighting retrofit. GCC has also committed to training the next generation through four academic programs: Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency; Peace, Justice and Environmental Studies; Environmental Science/Natural Resources and Farm and Food Systems.

Framingham State University received recognition for its comprehensive energy project that converted heating fuel from oil to natural gas, a project that is expected to reduce emissions by 30 percent and save the university $15 million over the 20-year life of the system. FSU as also installed two solar PV arrays, completed a LEED Gold certified dormitory on campus and implemented a composting program.

The town of Arlington, one of the Commonwealth’s first Green Communities, has fully embraced the Green Communities program challenge to reduce its municipal government and school energy consumption by at least 20 percent over five years , and has used its Green Communities grant funding to implement high efficiency LED lighting, HVAC, and building control upgrades. The town led a campaign with Mass Save and the Massachusetts Climate Action Network, which resulted in 400 home energy audits. Through Solarize Mass, 710 kW  of solar was installed in Arlington in 2012. Arlington has also launched a curbside recycling and residential composting program, decreasing the solid waste per household by 20 percent since 2010.

The city of New Bedford was given award for its use of a data-driven approach to target energy savings at eight municipal facilities, expected to result in $400,000 of savings annually. New Bedford has now started a performance contract to upgrade the city’s remaining 35 buildings, converting 20 oil-heated buildings to natural gas and 8,000 streetlights to LEDs. New Bedford has installed eight electric vehicle charging stations and anticipates 4.3 MW of solar PV installed by the end of this year.

The town of Amherst, designated a Green Community in 2012, used its grant to retrofit street lights, resulting in $48,000 in annual energy savings and a one-time maintenance savings of nearly $70,000. Amherst has initiated a project to plant 2,000 trees over the next three years and approved a policy to disallowed polystyrene products and containers in its municipal landfill.

The town of Chelmsford, designated a Green Community in 2010, has started an $18.1 million performance contract for efficiency upgrades in 25 municipal buildings and LED streetlight conversions that will reduce the town’s energy consumption by 43 percent. Chelmsford has entered into a 6 MW solar net metering contract, expected to provide 100 percent of the municipal load. The town has also purchased hybrid fleet vehicles and installed two electric vehicle charging stations.

For the third straight year, LBE Awards were presented to two individuals who demonstrated exceptional commitment to the program’s goals:

Paul Piraino of Newbury, UMass Lowell’s Sustainability Manager,  has initiated efficiency efforts on campus, including upgrades to building controls, steam trap repairs, and HVAC upgrades that are expected to save the university approximately $800,000. Piraino was instrumental in the university’s commercial net metering agreement that the campus has signed with Westford, expected to save $23,000.

Lauren Sinatra of Nantucket, has served as Nantucket’s liaison between National Grid and the community, increasing participation in Mass Save projects by more than 1,000 percent since 2011. Sinatra spearheaded an effort to convert 600 light fixtures to LEDs, saving Nantucket $18,000 annually. She was also instrumental in the installation of six electric vehicle charging stations and the Nantucket Solar Program.