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Taking the steps to implement energy audit recommendations, whether low-, no-cost, or more comprehensive energy upgrades move a municipality towards energy and cost savings.
A number of measures may be implemented at low or no cost and can build the case for implementing larger efficiency projects. (Tips - Energy Star). Behavioral programs can have a significant input with a minimal amount of funding (see Acton and Acton-Boxborough Schools Power Down Case Study).
Mass Save incentives are available for a wide range of efficiency projects saving electricity and/or natural gas. It is critical that you contact your utility before moving forward with an efficiency project in order to be eligible to receive incentives.
To check if incentives are available, contact your electric and gas account representative(s) or see the Mass Save website. The billing process and/or distribution of incentives is determined by the municipal customer and investor-owned utility. Common procedures for applying incentives include on-bill credits for measures paid through on-bill financing, reduction of the total cost of measures by crediting the incentives to a vendor, or credit to municipal general funds. The municipalities procurement officer or legal counsel can provide advice.
Comprehensive energy upgrades involve multiple measures and are targeted towards achieving significant energy savings. Although these projects take more time to plan and coordinate upfront, they typically achieve much deeper energy and cost savings than a piecemeal approach.
Comprehensive energy upgrades can be financed through a number of pathways for single facilities, such as schools, or for multiple facilities. Private companies willing to manage comprehensive energy upgrades are called Energy Service Companies (ESCOs). DOER provides guidance about Energy Management Services (EMS). Defined in section three of M.G.L. 25A, EMS is a type of Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) that provides a performance guarantee from the company that installs the equipment. EMS is an alternative public procurement method used to purchase energy conservation measures, energy efficiency and water conservation measures, and onsite energy generation.