Patrick Administration Announces $2.5 million in Federal Financing for Energy Efficiency Projects in Two Communities
South Hadley and Shirley to cut energy use, costs at municipal buildings
BOSTON – Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - The Patrick Administration today announced South Hadley and Shirley will receive $2.5 million in low-interest federally subsidized financing for efficiency projects to cut municipal energy consumption.
"In Massachusetts each year, we spend billions of dollars on energy, most of it going out of the state and the country,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan. “This program rewards municipalities for meeting their energy needs by lowering operating costs while reducing our dependence on imported fuel.”
"By helping these communities embrace energy efficiency strategies, we are making significant progress toward the Commonwealth’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals," said Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia.
South Hadley was awarded $1,944,506 to implement energy efficiency measures in eight municipal buildings, reducing the town’s annual energy use by 20 percent. Projects include the conversion of an old, oversized and inefficient oil boiler to an energy efficient natural gas boiler at the wastewater treatment plant, the installation of energy efficient window shades in Town Hall, and implementation of a work-order tracking system designed to monitor repairs, track fuel consumption, record warrantees and track preventative maintenance activities. Other buildings to see improvements are the Mosier and Plains Elementary Schools, the Council on Aging, and the lighting at the Ledges Golf Course.
Shirley was awarded $570,873 to complete energy efficiency projects in seven municipal buildings, reducing the town’s energy use by 26 percent annually. These efficiency improvements, including lighting upgrades, building controls, and envelope improvements such as insulation are expected to result in a 39% savings in today’s energy dollars. Buildings included in this project are the Hazen Memorial Library, the Shirley Town Offices, the Senior Center and the Police and Fire department buildings.
"I am pleased that South Hadley is being recognized for its leading efforts to create a cleaner, more energy efficient future," said Senate Majority Leader Stan Rosenberg."I am proud to stand with Governor Patrick, Secretary Sullivan and Commissioner Sylvia in announcing this award and in extending my congratulations to the community members who made this possible."
“I am pleased that the Patrick Administration was able to secure this vital funding for Shirley and other communities as part of an ongoing strategy to reduce municipal energy use” said Senator Jamie Eldridge. “Energy costs have historically been a major budget cost for cities or towns and reducing municipal energy consumption will cut costs, reduce our carbon footprint and ultimately save taxpayers money.”
“This program provides the funding to enable South Hadley to reduce energy consumption in eight key municipal buildings which would not have been possible without this financing,” said Representative John Scibak. “The 20 percent reduction in energy use will be sufficient to repay this financing and these savings will free up dollars for other programs and services in future years.”
“I am delighted that one of the communities within the 37th Middlesex District will be given the opportunity to move forward with its energy efficiency projects in seven municipal buildings within the community,” said Representative Jennifer Benson. “This funding will have a significant impact on the town of Shirley’s energy consumption as a whole, and allow for the community to move towards fiscal sustainability for the future. I want to extend my gratitude to the Patrick Administration for securing these funds.”
The QECB program is a partnership between EEA, DOER, the Executive Office of Administration and Finance (ANF), and MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority.
The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, enacted by Congress in October 2008, authorized the issuance of Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) to state, local and tribal governments to finance certain types of energy projects. QECBs are qualified tax credit bonds, through which the borrower pays back the principal on the bond, and the bondholder receives federal tax credits in lieu of traditional bond interest payments. QECBs allow a project to obtain zero or very low interest financing while encouraging investment in clean energy projects.
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. This year, 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 clean tech industry in Massachusetts.